Shabby Elegance

I like this phrase. I thought of it when I saw Timothy Spall on The One Show t’other day. I would like to think I can be described thus.

I am not a smart person. No one could ever describe me as a smart person. I mean that in the sense that I don’t, as far as I can get away with, dress particularly smartly. I like to feel comfortable in my clothes. I like to be able to move easily, feel warm or cool enough, but that’s not to say that I don’t like to “give off some kind of impression.” I don’t want to be utterly anonymous, to have no impact whatsoever upon those around me through the medium of my attire, but the impact I want to make is one of gentle, unassuming relaxedness. I am presently wearing a t-shirt (comfortable, baggy, warm) that says, Sofa Loafer World Champion. I picked it up cheaply from Primark.

Oh, and I shave infrequently.

And I don’t have a hair-cut that often (*1).

But Shabby Elegance isn’t just about one’s physical appearance. There’s the “Elegance” part. It’s no good being shabby, but being rude, surly, ill-mannered. I would like to think I was a polite chap. I like to think about what words I use – in the written and the vocal sense. I try not to be lazy with my use of language. There’s nothing I like better (*2) than learning a new, impressive-sounding word, of multiple syllables, and then throwing it casually (but appropriately) into a conversation. And I like, in my interactions with my fellow human beings, as far as possible, to lean towards a general effusion of niceness. And good-humour. And respect.

Timothy Spall seems to encapsulate the above principles (as much as one is able to tell that anyone, who one doesn’t actually know except through the medium of television, encapsulates anything). He is also a damned fine actor, which is a bonus. I think I may promote Mr Spall to a higher placement on my “Fave Celebs” list.


*1 see Scissor-phobia 1 & 2.

*2 “…nothing I like better…” – ? What kind of nonsense is this?! There I am, talking about “not being lazy” with language, and I toss out a meaningless phrase like that! I think there probably are things I “like better” than learning new, impressive-sound words – such as, for example… ooh I dunno… really good sex! I can only hope, on this occasion, you can forgive my linguistic slackery and accept the non-literal connotation of the above… (because to be honest, I can’t be arsed to change it)…


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