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On my return home after spending several weeks in France and one in London, the last with two grandchildren, I found several new items of clothing in my suitcase. Of course, a trip down Oxford Street with a very grown-up twelve-year-old granddaughter inevitably entailed some retail therapy, and I suppose that both she and I went a tiny bit berserk as we visited every single store between Marble Arch and Bond Street underground stations.

Thus it was that when I came to put my new acquisitions away in my closet I found to my horror that there was no room at the inn! It seems that over the years I have accumulated an inordinate amount of clothing. Drastic measures were required.

It is now almost eight years since I retired from my job at the Bank of Israel. Admittedly, it was not a high-powered managerial position, but as translator and editor-in-chief of its English publications I felt that I had to present an image of efficiency and competence (whether my performance was either of those is not for me to say).

Oh, how I loved ‘going in to the office’ in my efficient-looking trouser suits of various pastel colours, with shoes that were not too frivolous, but not too old-fashioned either (I hope). That lasted for about fifteen years, up until my retirement at the ripe old age of 62, as the law permitted me to do at the time.

My career at Israel’s central bank came after I had worked as a free-lance translator/editor/writer for many years. Free-lancers can wear what they want, work how and when they choose, and only on rare occasions do they need to present a respectable front to the world. Having experienced both work situations, I found that I enjoyed each one equally, and have no regrets about either. In both cases I came into contact with interesting people and more-or-less interesting material.

But I now have to face the fact that those days are past. That I will never again wear those cute little trouser-suits, and so, since they are superfluous to needs, as the saying goes, they will have to go to make room for my new acquisitions which, though charming, no longer need to project any image about my ability to do the job.

Thus it was with a heavy heart that I weeded out an inordinate number of those dear little suits (how and why did I acquire so many?), packed them into bags and took them to the clothing recycling containers that the local authority has kindly placed at strategic points throughout our neighbourhood.

The clothes from these containers will be distributed to needy folk, of whom Israel has no shortage. I’m just wondering what kind of needy folk will end up wearing those clothes and on which occasions. Furthermore, they will have to be rather petite to get into them.

I wish both the people and the clothes the best of luck as they embark on their new career.

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