Thursday, November 10, 2011

Thursday extracts: Old Henry

I'm busy doing NaNoWriMo and I'm pushed for time to find you an extract this week. So here's a few words from my current NaNo project.  The book's narrator is a former theatrical dresser, so he talks a lot about what people wear.  I'm enjoying that bit, because it's not something I often do. 

Meet Henry:

He dressed neatly but never sharply. His clothes were clean and well ironed, but were worn well past the time that less frugal people would have consigned them to the rag bag. A charity shop would have turned them down. He had a penchant for cord trousers and heavy cotton, checked shirts with a plain white vest or t-shirt under them. He always wore a narrow, leather belt and I don’t believe I ever saw him in a tie. When he went out he wore a dark jacket, even on the hottest days, and the whole lot was topped off with a tweedy flat cap. I suppose he was used to the heat down in the mine and his skin rarely saw sunshine, so he preferred to be well covered up outside. His face and hands showed signs of weathering; not a suntan exactly, more erosion by wind and rain, but the rare glimpses of arms and legs that his outfits afforded showed the rest of him was a very pasty white. And remarkably hairy. Over his shoulder he slung an old canvas bag on a long strap. It was the same kind he had used for years to carry his ‘snap’, as he called it; his packed meal to be eaten during his only break in a working shift.

3 comments:

Sandra Davies said...

Such a strong description - clothes is something I am not at all interested in (for me) and so I find it hard to describe them. I liked the erosion of his skin and that the charity shop would have turned down his clothes. And I love the way you put sentences together smoothly and without repetition (I'm noticing that these days.)

snafu said...

I think I saw him in the chippy last night ordering a bag of chips:)

John Gray said...

the little bits of PURE description paints the perfect picture