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My Life-changing Experiment (aka ‘The Joy of Sox’)

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Warning: This post was published more than 7 years ago.

I keep old posts on the site because sometimes it's interesting to read old content. Not everything that is old is bad. Also, I think people might be interested to track how my views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have mellowed and matured!

But given the age of this post, please bear in mind:

  • My views might have changed in the 7 years since I wrote this post.
  • This post might use language in ways which I would now consider inappropriate or offensive.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken; embedded material might not appear properly.

Many thanks for your understanding.

Three years ago, everyone’s favourite Guardian columnist Tim Dowling wrote a G2 article listing low-cost ways to transform your human existence, in Even £50 can change your life.

His lowest budget suggestion was buying socks:

£50 [is] enough to be able to throw out your entire sock collection and buy a new set from Tesco. No more holes or mismatched pairs. Just fresh, clean socks every morning from now on.

Doesn’t that sound appealing?

Around the same time, another of my Guardian favourites, Anna Pickard, was blogging about the frustrations of socks, and perhaps because of the sheer volume of sock-orietated content that permeated my brain around then, the idea of having a whole new collection of socks has been lodged firmly in my mind ever since.

Now, back to 2010. Having recently accepted a dream job in Public Health, and having just about finished my job in General Practice, I was in the mood to treat myself this weekend. But this being credit-crunch Britain, and the job I’ve just finished being un-banded, the celebration was hardly going to be grandiose.

But – given Tim’s advice – why not make it life-changing nonetheless?

So off all my socks went to Oxfam (well, nearly all of them, I kept my favourite ones). And, clutching Clubcard vouchers, Partnership Card vouchers, and a Debenhams voucher from Kantar, off I went to the shops, and procured myself three fine sets of shiny new life-changing socks for nothing.

This does mean that I’ve swapped a whole drawer of socks for just about fourteen pairs, but it cost me nothing, and who needs more than two weeks’ worth of socks anyway?

I can officially declare that it is entirely liberating to have a whole collection of comfortable, hole-free, well matched pairs of brand new socks. That initial sense of mild disappointment and frustration each morning that “all my nice socks are in the wash” has been eliminated.

And my feet have never felt happier.

A Happy Foot

A Happy Foot - It's not mine, it's just illustrative. Courtesy of evelynishere (used under licence).

By-the-by, it turns out, that the Guardian‘s position on this has changed. Michael ‘Smugface’ White doesn’t do new socks. Instead

I still wear my own children’s discarded socks and, if they were a particularly good black pair, occasionally even darn them.

Just think of his poor feet.

Is this really, as he claims, an environmental micro-choice which remains with him from his time spent growing up in the aftermath of the Second World War? Or is it just a pitiable sign of a being a tight, grumpy old bastard? It’s hard to say for sure, but I know which explanation I favour.

Knowing what’s under his highly polished shoes, will we ever be able to take his pompous self-righteous TV political commentary seriously again? Here’s hoping no-one will.

This 1,416th post was filed under: Headliner, , , , , , , , , .






More posts worth reading

What I’ve been reading this month (published 3rd September 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 5th August 2017)

What I’ve been reading this month (published 10th July 2017)

Photo-a-day 97: Meadowhall’s dome (published 6th April 2012)

A Week in My Life: Tuesday (published 8th February 2005)

They’ve brought this back?! (published 15th February 2007)

iPad App Review: Flipboard (published 15th April 2011)


Comments and responses

Comment from Coire


by Coire

Comment posted at 17:14 on 17th May 2010.

Congratulations on the public health job! So you’ll be joining Pelumi and my friend Glen in safeguarding the health of the North East….oh dear! 😉 x


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