By Iris Nowell
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Her mother had made Joyce a winter coat that she cut down from one 37 Iris Nowell of her own, a red garment that touched Joyces ankles and was collared in old-fashioned red fox fur — the kind of gauche, homemade coat at which schoolkids hurled their cruel, contemptuous barbs. Joyce hated the coat. It publicly epitomized her hand-me-down, low-class existence. " As she did with many a childhood injury, Joyce in her adulthood converted the fox-collared red coat into a therapeutic symbol. It helps explain Joyce s penchant for dress-up, as if those early taunts emboldened her later to wear daring, sensational clothes.
Sometimes the family would enjoy the filched treats in the middle of the night. As Joyce visualized it, "He brings a steak out of his top pocket and it is wrapped in paper towels.. Then he brings out little pastries that are small and he shows them to me like he is serving them to me, like in a hotel. It is marvellous. He puts a white towel over one arm like he does at work. " She added, "Father has a beer and it feels like we are having a party. " The sisters' contrasting natures are evident here.