The Pheasant & Canadian Squirrel

I promise, this is not a nature or cookery related post! It all started with a family trip to a restaurant called The Pheasant about 10 miles away from where we live (where en-route funnily enough, I almost knocked down and killed a pheasant who was chasing a girl pheasant across the road…love is blind eh?)
We had a great meal - actually, how great is it to not have to cook Sunday lunch? Bliss to get a day off - thank you Granny for treating us! As we'd come straight from ten-pin bowling (thank you Tesco club card vouchers!), I was working a casual look...
Navy Wool Belted Coat - Dept. (old)
Jeans - Diesel from TK Maxx (last seen here)
Tan Suede Wedge Boots - Aldo (old)
Scarf - Spanish Market (older)
Raspberry Coloured Oversized Knit - Phase Eight (new but looks oldest) 
Now, I was going to talk more about this lovely lightweight knit from Phase Eight as it's a gorgeous fit and a lovely colour but I was gutted to notice on Sunday that it's all bobbled on the front after only 3 wears! And more annoyingly, over the bust so I have bobbly boobs when I wear it. Has anyone ever experienced this in a new purchase and have you any advice? I really couldn't wear it again - v disappointed.

So onto the mention of Canadian Squirrels. You see, Granny (with some trepidation) wore her real fur coat on Sunday. There's a lovely story behind it as she bought it many years ago in London with money she was left in an uncle's will. 
Of course, the kids wanted to know more about the coat and Granny told them it was made from Canadian Squirrel. Next thing, one of the girls pointed out a stuffed squirrel up on the fireplace beside us (random and hopefully fake!) so you can imagine the intense questioning that ensued...

I tried it on when we got back home and it is a gorgeous coat and incredibly warm..but as always the debate goes on in my head about real fur and indeed fake fur as I think that faux fur being so on-trend is partly responsible for driving demand for the real stuff. 
I do think it's a shame that Granny has this coat with great sentimental value that she never wears and in the charity shop at the moment, we have two stunning real furs gathering dust in the stock room….but as much as I love the warmth and feel of fur, I simply can't go real for a whole lot of reasons. Would love to hear your views or experiences though.


  1. It looks amazing on you. I think if it's old/vintage then wear it - what we did back then was done - move on - as long as we don't kill more for fur then that's a good thing.

  2. I agree if it is old or vintage then wear it! Could the coats at work have the sleeves cut off? Wear as a gilet over a leather biker jacket.

  3. Well I didn't get all the fuss about my little pony burgers last week so you can guess my views........I'd like to make the kids guinea pigs into a fur collar when they depart (and a lovely way to remember them too!!)
    Take the jumper back......if you can't wear it again I would because you can defuzz all you like but the bobbly boobs will return!!!!

  4. Hi Avril! I think wearing vintage real fur is acceptable, wouldn't go for new at all. You really look lovely in it, I bet its warm and snug. I would also take your jumper back too, it's not fair to not wear it again and lose the money to it. Sharon xx

  5. Avril - I definitely agree with the other posters who are saying take the jumper back - 3 wears is not an acceptable lifetime for a piece of knitwear!

    Fur... I think the difference between leather (or eating horses for that matter!) is the way in which much fur is trapped. Do you really want to wear the skin of something that has spent hours or even days in agony in a leg trap? And if it was farmed fur... well you don't have to do much research to find horror stories about the conditions many animals are kept in - especially in Asia :-(

    Now using the fur of pet guinea pigs that have died naturally - I think that's a brilliant idea! But I guess a lot of people who wouldn't think twice about wearing shop-bought fur would get quite upset about the idea. Strange old world!!

    Personally, I suspect vintage fur drives the real fur market as much as, or more than, fake fur (sorry!). After all, who's to say whether someone walking down the street is wearing a new or vintage fur?

    As for real 'new' fur, well personally I just couldn't - I still remember this too well!
    (A possible exception is New Zealand possum fur, simply because of the environmental devastation those cute little furry animals are causing.)

    But then I don't eat meat (some game excepted) because of the factory farming system, so my no fur policy fits with my take on things. I can understand that others may have a somewhat different take on things. But generally many parts of the mainstream fashion business simply don't seem to care (how many 'top models' who swore they'd rather go naked than wear fur, have since had a change of heart?). And I think that's very sad indeed.

    Anyway, an interesting (and controversial!) topic. Thanks Avril for bringing it up!

    1. Thea, I don't want to be rude because 1) you liked my boots 2) my guinea pig idea.......but game is often killed in a less humane way (amateur shot) than a lot of animals in abattoirs. Sorry.

    2. Hi Claire, yes I'm aware of that. Pheasants in particular :-(
      The game that I eat is venison from a National Trust property where I've checked out - as much as one can - who does what and how (and fortunately they were very willing to share!), and it sounds OK. No amateurs, and the deer do need to be culled because they breed so fast!
      I would give up meat altogether, but I travel a lot to places where it's not always easy to make people understand that one doesn't eat meat (and easy to cause offence by refusing it), so I don't want to completely lose my taste for it... Selfish reasons maybe, but as I say, we each have our own path :-)

    3. Thea, that sounds fab...I wonder if I can get venison from the NT near me?

    4. It's certainly worth contacting them to ask... I think they do have several 'venison operations'!
      We get ours from Hafield Forest, on the Essex/Herts. border: They do all kinds of cuts, plus sausages and burgers, but you do sometimes have to call ahead to reserve if you want something special as it's quite popular and tends to sell out.

  6. If the shop won't take back the jumper then I would suggest using a razor and shaving the bobbles. I do this with my cashmere jumpers. Some of them bobble horribly and some don't bobble much at all but I can't wear bobbles on my boobs either. I tried to take one jumper back to Jigsaw years ago after it bobbled horrendously and they wouldn't take it back - just said to use of those bobble combs which I find very ineffective. I was a very upset bunny. Talking of furry things ...

    .... I guess the general view on the coat is that it's okay if it's vintage fur but it depends on your own comfort factor. I personally wouldn't feel comfortable but having said that - it fits you beautifully. I helped with a truck loading for a charity project once and they had a box of fur coats in it that had donated by a dry cleaning company when the original owners hadn't come back for them. I tried one on ... but I put it back in the box.

  7. I think the coat is really cute, but personally don't understand why vintage fur is ok to those who wouldn't otherwise wear it - what's the difference? And pardon my naivety if I'm missing the obvious!

    Nic x

  8. Anonymous17:53

    I have a vintage Arctic Fox fur coat, which is gorgeous. It was bought for me a few months ago in a second hand shop in Woburn. Quite a well to do area. Haven't worn it outside yet.. I think if it is a vintage one, from the days when they did not farm them, then it is OK to buy/wear.

  9. I think if it is vintage it is fine to wear but whether anyone could nor not I am not sure. My daughter has been having this debate with herself this week and has not yet reached a conclusion though. However my only worry would be the attitude of people you meet when out.
    I think the squirrel in the Pheasant is possibly real - maybe a bit of road kill - you could have added the pheasant to the collection if you hadn't missed it!!

  10. I wear vintage fur....I have inherited two items - one thirty years old and one more like 80 years old. The other option is to throw them our or leave them in the wardrobe.

    My only hesitation is if this encourages the selling of new fur coats, especially farmed ones. I do not support new fur coats.

    My moral position is that it is recycling, and better for the environment than buying a new fake fur.

  11. Anonymous21:19

    If you can't take the sweater back then the battery driven gadgets for removing bobbles are better than the combs. I have one which I think was from John Lewis and when I use it my cashmere sweaters look almost new again. I have had some of them for several years so the gadget was a good investment. Marie S

  12. I hate it when sweaters bobble. The coat is stunning but it is such a gulity pleasure for any fur owners now. My mother in law had a few that she never wore.
    Incidentally, there is a pub called The Pheasant two miles from my house.

  13. Anonymous09:49

    Hi Avril, I have a lovely Tommy Hilfiger top that has bobbled around the boobs, and I realised it is because I was wearing my bag across the shoulder, therefore rubbing in that area and causing the bobbles. I love it too much to take back (I will not be able to get another now) but on the tv the other night a person was saying the best way to get rid of bobbles is to use a razor blade. I agree though, if it is that new take it back. Nikki x

  14. 'I think if it is a vintage one, from the days when they did not farm them, then it is OK to buy/wear.'

    This makes sense, thank you liddle!

    On that basis, I would wear a vintage one, but would also worry about others' attitudes. Mind you some fakes are so convincing would anyone know for sure?

    Nic x

  15. I agree that old vintage fur is lovely and should be worn (have old relative who has a wardrobe full of totally amazing stuff - it's DECADES old).

    I would NEVER buy real today - for that I will stand my ground and stamp my feet.

    It looks good on you though!


  16. My Granny (passed away many years ago) used to say that every woman should have at least one good fur coat! Different generations hey! She had a very dramatic long fur coat that I just couldn't ever bring myself to wear and it lives in a wardrobe which is a bit sad in a way. The vintage fur coat you're wearing looks absolutely fantastic on you (especially with the rest of your outfit) - could it not be worn on very special occasions where you're seeing family or v close friends who you know won't mind vintage fur?

    Would definitely take back jumper though - that's rubbish after only 3 wears. If they get difficult, you might just have to name and shame the jumper in your blog (sorry that's the mean lawyer in me talking!)

    Liz x

  17. I Love Love Love This coat, it looks fabulous on you hun


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