‘What are you wearing?’
Those four words will never again have the same tone of innuendo for me, not if I can get my hands on one of these bad boys! Let me set the scene: I’m on the sofa, eating my favourite strawberry granola, cup of tea in hand, when I rather absently flick on the TV (hey it’s Sunday, it’s raining, what else am I gonna do?!). ITV Weekend is on and they’re talking books, so I settle in. Then, the obligatory gadget guy comes on and just at the end of the slot, he introduces us to what could be my future writing uniform – The Selkbag.
Described as a kind of onesie come sleeping bag, it gives all the warmth of a sleeping bag without the restriction. Now I have always been quite vocal about the challenges of being a writer in Ireland’s inclement climate (Frostbitten), documenting the chills and shivers of writing in the DAMPEST CLIMATE IN THE WORLD!
‘Being a writer in Ireland is a bitterly cold job, especially in the west of Ireland, because it’s so bloody damp! I’ve tried to come up with ingenious new ways to keep warm while I’m writing (aside from keeping the central heating on all day, which only results in me nodding off into a dry heat coma). These involve sipping lots of hot drinks throughout the day, stepping my feet into an electric ‘bootie’ type setup (that’s bootie for boots, not the other bootie, that’d just be weird), wearing Fagan ‘fingerless’ gloves (which sometimes leaves me hankering to do a theatrical rendition of ‘Consider Yourself’). I’ve also been known to wear ear muffs too and when all else fails, I just light the fire and snuggle up with my laptop on the living room floor. Not very structured or comfortable, which are two very important elements when trying to write a novel.
I read once that Marian Keyes used to do a lot of her writing in bed – another victim of the damp Irish chill, no doubt. So I tried that too, tucked up with me hot water bottle AND electric blanket – now there’s a recipe for disaster (and another newspaper headline – “Writer electrocuted in efforts to keep warm!”). There should be some kind of government grant – a payment for climatically challenged writers to see them through the winter months.’
But all of this could be about to change. I may have been too embarrassed to open my front door while wearing Fagan gloves, ear muffs, dressing gown and ugg boots, but with this pink boiler suit affair, why any writer would be proud to walk down to their local shops for more teabags. Imagine what you could save on your heating bill? The comfort in the knowledge that once you zip up your suit, you’re going to be warm, gloriously warm all day! So bring on the Selkbag I say. In fact, I think they should be handed out free to writers in a kind of survival pack. With chocolate. My only fear is that I might never want to come out of it!
My fingers thawed out just long enough to write these two novels, which you can buy here: