About this blog

This is a window into the weird world of Anglicanism, as experienced on a Cathedral Close. Has anything much happened since Trollope's Barchester Chronicles? You will still see the 'canon in residence' hurrying across to choral Evensong, robes flapping, as the late bell chimes. But look carefully and you will notice he is checking the football score on his iPhone as he runs. This is also a writer's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the novelist's life. And it's a fighter's blog. It charts the agony and ecstasy of the judo mat. Well, the agony, anyway.

Tuesday 7 February 2012

DAY 38--The Joy of Socks

Today I'm in my cold weather writing gear.  You have seen it all before.  Pink cardie-coat, multiple black thermal base layers, black treggings, fake Uggs and two pairs of socks--Lidl yoga socks (black), under a pair of fluffy black bed socks with shocking pink hearts on.

Socks.  This is my subject today.  The humble sock, derided Christmas gift for the impossible-to-buy-for male relative.  But I'm beginning to think that by the end of this year it will be new socks I hanker after most.  Trends will come and go, but socks are a wardrobe constant for the trouser-wearer.  Is there any foot-related bliss to equal that of a soft new pair of socks?

There is?  And that would be...?   Really!  Well, I must remember to google that some time when the net nanny is on holiday.

One of my vivid childhood memories is of new white knee-length socks.  They were nylon back in the late 60s early 70s.  They came in various lacy designs and sometimes had a little row of pastel-coloured flowers running up each side.  For the first few times you wore them they were as soft as lamb's wool.  But they gradually stiffened up and the elastic went.  They then became 'slip-downs'.  You had to stop every twenty paces and tug them back up.  Alternatively you could secure them with a pair of rubber bands and fold the sock top down to cover them.  Some girls had loops of shirring elastic to hold their socks up, but a rubber band did the job of cutting off your circulation just as well.

Until now I have tended to treat my socks cavalierly.  If I lost one, no big deal.  But I'm being more attentive now I know they can't be replaced before next January 1st.  The loss of one of my lovely thick black Lidl yoga socks (what are yoga socks, I wonder? can they safely be worn by Evangelicals, or are they the slippery slope to the occult?) would be quite a blow.  I'm monitoring the back of the heels of my woollen walking socks--wearing perilously thin, they are.  Perhaps I'll end up adopting my younger son's sock stance.  He asks nothing of them beyond that there be two to wear on any given day.  He doesn't not require them to match, he doesn't require them to have a sole even.  

So there we are: socks.  Long overlooked, but looming ever larger in my year of not buying clothes.


  1. Just two days ago I, as I regularly do, grabbed the first two mis-matched socks from the laundry. One with Orange toe-tips the other turned out to have red. It was sometime later I noticed @ratryn was wearing exactly matching odd footwear. There is togetherness in odd socks.

  2. Oh that shirring elastic - I remember it well.
    As for black socks, I was once told by an evangelical friend that no Christian should ever wear black. His arguments were unconvincing. Today I am wearing a black clerical shirt and black boots - plus, I hasten to add, a few other garments including a red gillet.

  3. The (most definitely evangelical) Vicar from our home church came to stay with us for a couple of weeks when we lived in the tropics. I discovered that he only wore black socks. Sports ones. But was not in the slightest bit bothered about matching the pairs. Seemed very sensible to me, as the angst associated with sock matching for a family of five drives me to utter distraction.

  4. It sounds to me as though you will have to learn to darn your socks this year.