Sunday, 28 January 2007


I don’t know what it is about Lilac. But it is not the colour of choice for rufty-tufty walkers. I have had various walkery things of the lilac hue, but am not proud to admit it.

The fleece lining of the ear flaps of my black Lowe Alpine Mountain cap have turned slightly lilac, my last pair of Polartec black tights turned a weird lilac, but were only thrown out after baccy burns proved too draughty in the nether regions. My pack towel is a wonderfully pretty lilac.

But to choose a pair of lilac boots: That is something else. No, it was not me.

A man who since 1998 has bought 12 pairs of boots for the Challenge has at last found a pair that fits like carpet slippers, are snug and watertight and even manages to keep his girly heels firmly in their heel cups. He thought he had bought a brand new pair of the same boot that had seen him cross Scotland twice with no blisters, only to find that they had been made on a new, fatter last.


So he got in touch with Asolo and they sent him one of the old lasted pairs and so at last Phil is comfy in his new boots. But, they are LILAC. With very bright flashes of lurid red dotted all over the outsole. So Phil’s latest obsession with his plimpsoles has ended in tears. I can hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from the plimpsoles acolytes already.

Today, we did a road walk of 8.6 miles (yes the ‘point six’ IS important) so that Phil’s red flashes would stay pristine. He had forgotten about the little stretch along the Icknield Way in the gloopy mud. Maybe after a good scrub the lilac will soften down to a dull grey.

I hope so: Phil is walking solo this year, so there will be no-one to protect him from the fashion police on the Challenge.


While I was out working hard, training, the wooden floor layer (he is a man who lays wooden floors, he is not wooden himself; in fact he must be remarkably flexible to work in such a confined space) was making a splendid job on the downstairs loo’s new wooden floor. He also shared a curry with the poorly wife.


  1. Is this the man who used to own a pair of chic raspberry over trousers? I think the little green monster is rearing its ugly head!

    Ha! WW

  2. Dear 'Wonderful Wife'

    It's the 'Ha' that I find most hurtful. Is it not enough to expose my raspberry years so publicly? Everyman goes through one of those phases in his life. It is behind me. I had put it aside. And now, so cruelly you have brought it back.

    'Ha!': Such cruelty.

    I can now see that Phil is indeed a Saint.

    I had no idea Phil... You can talk to me any time, old friend.

  3. Ah yes. A viper's tongue indeed. But I bear the barbs, old chap, I bear them...

    True, I did try those lightweight shoes this winter, but found that, unlike the aficionados, I’m not overly fond of wet feet – especially when accompanied by frozen sludge oozing over my ankles. So I have reverted to the view that trail shoes are best suited to…. well….trails.

    So I'm back in my lovely, lovely (grey!!!! – click here to view) Asolo boots. Warm, toasty dry tootsies again - luxury.

    But Alan, you exaggerate, sir. I’ve only ever made two bad choices in my quest for the perfect fit (although, admittedly, there have been several ‘returns’).

    The result though makes it all worthwhile - six challenges and NO blisters.

     Smug grin!



Because of spammers, I moderate all comments, so don't worry if your comment seems to have disappeared; It has been sent to me for approval. As soon as I see it, I'll deal with it straight away.
Thank you!