There was this fantastic emerald green cardigan I owned, and a very nice white shirt with with red diamonds on it, though when teamed together it did look like someone had over-dealt at bridge. All sorts of Next garments passed through my hands over the years after that, but my favourite of all at time were a pair of dark purple - perhaps we'll call it aubergine - suede loafers which I'd coveted for a while. I think they may have been about £17, a smallish fortune back then, especially on student money. They were out of my reach.
But I didn't have to wait long. One day they were presented to me after my housemates rather touchingly clubbed together and bought them. I can't recall why they decided to do this - it was autumn and my birthday was in June - but whatever it was it was one of the kindest surprises anyone has ever sprung.
Naturally I wore them to death, so much so that I had to replace them myself eventually. I finally went off them when my brother got a pair. Three years younger than me, that wouldn't do at all. (In later years I felt much better if he came shopping with me, him being the gorgeous one, the one shop assistants didn't ignore, the one who did manage to attract the attention of the aloof shop assistants in Red Or Dead who were always far too busy frugging to the background music to catch the eye of this lumpy old pongo).
I've often looked out for a similar shoe over years but never found one. They were subtle, autumnal, comfortable, stylish. Things like that never - or should never - go out of fashion. Unlike Next itself, which ranks one up from BHS in the style stakes these days. Oh whither Foster Menswear, Woodhouse (another one with snotty assitants), Jigsaw Menswear and Chelsea Man, all littering the high street in the Eighties?
Though I like clothes, I hate clothes shopping. The key is being super-confident, and if I'm in the mood, then you notice how assistants dance around you. But there's nothing worse than feeling overweight and every inch of your 47 years and having the boy in Ted Baker addressing you with 'Alright geez?'. That's guaranteed to have me making for the internet where you can shop inappropriately for your age and no one judges you.
Anyhoo, this song, with it's highly wintry feel from a film on one's ever seen, really reminds of marching down the high street at 21, liking the way I looked and looking the way I liked, getting into that autumn/winter wardrobe and enjoying every minute of it.
Golden days indeed.