I'd follow my Scottish grandmother to the Wool and Yarn shop to buy her a new curling sweater, then to the Golf and Winter Club to watch her throw and sweep with her team.
She and her teammates were Club Champions many a time, and although I tried to curl once or twice, the sport didn't stick.
* * *
In Summer 2001 I went to Trondheim, Norway, a beautiful medieval city on the coast, with my 23-month old daughter and Mr. C in tow. While there, I visited Husfliden, a shop that sells traditional Norwegian clothing, delightful hand-knit mittens, and other Norwegian products.
I was looking for a sweater, but not the standard issue Dale of Norway or Oleana; I wanted something unique. (This is actually a problen for me: in my quest for the unique I can end up with a closet full of separates that have all filed restraining orders against each other. One must match, even a little, sometimes.)
In the men's section I saw what I wanted: a handknit brown sweater with white flecks that had heavy embroidery on the yoke and cuffs.
Not to mention silvery hardware on the cuffs as well.
I carried it around the shop while other browsers glared at me, with one woman demanding to know whether I was going to buy it. I did.
When I got back to my hotel, I looked at the attached paper tag and learned, much to my delight and surprise, that my sweater was the official Norwegian men's curling team sweater for 2001.
* * *
Some call them argyle pants; I call them Harlequin pants: these brightly colored trousers worn by the Norway Curling team are the 2010 Olympic Games' court jester.
They are not a Harlequin Romance.