I always have a handkerchief in my pocket.

I couldn’t tell you how it happened, but I suspect it has a lot to do with childhood hay fever which often reached epic proportions during exam times and Wimbledon fortnight. Mum would always press a freshly ironed square of white fabric into my hand and beacuse of this, I always get a little bit worried when I don’t carry one.

It’s a product from a bygone age and I like it. There’s nothing nicer when someone needs a tissue and you can pass them a freshly laundered handkerchief (equally there’s nothing worse than a used one). Buying them is more troublesome than you’d imagine – M&S have a reasonable selection, but they’re a bugger to find, tucked away in a dusty corner of menswear.

When running through the checklist of items before leaving the house, the handkerchief is the first thing I grab from the drawer, then its iphone, car keys etc. Writing this, it’s just struck me that the little square of white linen is almost like my comfort blanket and perhaps it is.

I felt moved to write this short post in praise of the hankie – for its link back to a time when things were very different, for its sheer eccentricity in the face of progress and just for being still around.

3 thoughts on “Handkerchief

  1. Gentlemen carry handkerchiefs.

    I learnt this at an early age from my Father. I always packed one away in the suit pocket when in the corporate world – the bigger and more colourful the better!

    Salute to hanky carriers the world over!

  2. This amused me as I have just ironed and placed handkerchieves in my husbands ‘hanky and pant’ drawer and in my sons ‘night-over bag’ ready for him to take to Cub Camp.

    Although having hankies, let alone ironing them, may seem unnecessary to many, I feel that giving my boys a lovely clean, folded piece of well used cotton in their pockets is a luxury that costs little but means a lot…Especially in hayfever season.

  3. What a lovely blog. I agree with everything that the above have said. It’s a real shame that so few people carry them anymore which is why I always do. They are a pain to get. i always buy a red and white Padstow red ‘oss pattern handkerchief but can I buy one anywhere except Padstow? not likely – I can get a Simpson’s one or graffiti or quotes from popular songs and musical notes but a plain old red and white spotty hanky is nigh on impossible to find. Thank goodness for t’internet.

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