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Jake Bailey: Winter coat loathed and loved

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As the sun set in Wanaka, the fresh southern air gave up those last few degrees above zero which it had clung to for at least part of the day. The only thing colder had been the looks of other motorists, since I was driving a rental car, and was lumped in with the "rental car tourists" instead of the locals, in the "Us v Them" road wars.

But it was freezing, and so was I. Packing my bags only a few days earlier, I had gone to my wardrobe to grab the one and only jacket I own, only to find that I apparently don't own it any longer.

I had told myself that I'd toughen up and brave the weather in my sweatshirt. That it was only a week, I'd spend most of the time inside, I'd get used to the cold after a day, and a bunch of other phrases which would oust someone as having never spent much time down South in winter.

That evening in Wanaka I stood corrected and stood in front of a mirror, looking at myself in the most hideous jacket that you can picture.

It is the epitome of function over form. It looks like a nice big soft marshmallow which you've dropped on the kitchen floor, and then scuffed it around on the ground with your bare feet a little until it's a nice dirty shade of brown- the shade where you can't tell if it was made that colour, or perhaps it was once white but the owner has no........

© New Zealand Herald