So there she stood on parade, my first born daughter, all ready for her first day at Big School.
Shoes polished, a dimple in her tie knot, sleeve length perfect, a credit to her tailoring father.
It would have been churlish to bemoan the polyester fabric, fused construction, with not even a Milanese button hole in sight, so instead, I just drank in this vision of beauty and innocence.
My angel, Daddy’s darling, the next chapter of life upon her.
And then things went cloudy and I drifted off, a story playing in my mind…
A boy…Diamond White… A Clearblue test… Purchase of shotgun… Armley Prison… The end of a tailoring dynasty.
But then I laughed. I was worrying about nothing.
Because all the boys in the world are so addicted to Fortnite and Minecraft, that their urge to go forth and procreate has been suppressed.
Is today’s ‘League of Legends’, yesterday’s ‘Razzle’ magazine?
Other ‘firsts’ this month included my much anticipated return to ‘Sous Le Nez,’ for lunch with customers.
Oh!, how my heart leapt with emotion as I headed back down the stairs into this subterranean oasis of French cookery and bonhomie.
With the masked front of house team resembling modern day Dick Turpins, we bumped elbows, old friends reunited, and embarked on a joyous culinary walk down memory lane.
The new pigeon pie starter with crispy bacon left me shaken and breathless, the only thing missing, a post-coital cigarette.
But it was just simply being there, a taste of normality so missed and exquisite, that deserved three Michelin stars all by itself.
As we walked through the sunshine, and ordered Gin and Tonics outside the Leeds Bar and Grill, it felt like a new era had dawned, trading banter with peers on neighbouring tables, a prelude to the good times to come.
And then bang, three days later, Leeds back in Lockdown!
Steering our country through Covid is a poisoned chalice, and like armchair football managers with the benefit of hindsight, it’s easy to point out the shortcomings and failures of others.
But how can I give any credibility whatsoever, to a leadership that says, James, you can’t have your close family round for dinner, but you can sweat and share bodily fluids with a dozen strangers in the jacuzzi of the David Lloyd health club?
The pulse of our City is fading, it’s worker bees reduced to zoom-calling, stay-at-home Cinderellas, a 10pm curfew giving us barely enough time to get up to Barnard Castle and back for an eye test.
It’s embarrassing and laughable, this Westminster production of “Carry on Corona”, with what I fear is a rather distasteful soupcon of “Big Brother” to come.
Yet over the past week, my sprits have been warmed by a procession of customers who, like myself, remain as positive and upbeat as they dare, ploughing on in the face of uncertainly and no doubt the further upheaval to come.
This virus is not going to stop them becoming man and wife, forging a future together.
New homes will be bought, new businesses will be born.
Every war has its winners and losers, and whilst many sectors are on the ropes, with a seriously pissed off Tyson in the ring, there are those that have adapted, even prospered and grown.
As long as there are men out their who take pride in their appearance and seek out the fun in life, the lights of Michelsberg Tailoring will continue to shine, a beacon of hope, service, style and elegance.