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

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Hold up! Before you read on, please read this...

This post was published more than 10 years ago

I keep old posts on the site because I often enjoy reading old content on other people's sites. It can be interesting to see how views have changed over time: for example, how my strident teenage views have, to put it mildly, mellowed.

I'm not a believer in brushing the past under the carpet. I've written some offensive rubbish on here in the past: deleting it and pretending it never happened doesn't change that. I hope that stumbling across something that's 10 years old won't offend anyone anew, because I hope that people can understand that what I thought and felt and wrote about then is probably very different to what I think and feel and write about now. It's a relic of an (albeit recent) bygone era.

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

  • My views may well have changed in the last 10 years. I have written some very silly things over the years, many of which I find utterly cringeworthy today.
  • This post might use words or language in ways which I would now consider highly inappropriate, offensive, embarrassing, or all three.
  • Factual information might be outdated.
  • Links might be broken, and embedded material might not appear properly.

Okay. Consider yourself duly warned. Read on...

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 1,414th post was filed under: Miscellaneous, , , , , , , , , .

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Comments and responses

Comment from Coire


    17.14, 17/05/2010

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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