Saturday, 17 February 2007


Just how many walking socks can a beardy bloke own?

I am now the proud owner of five pairs of Smartwool ‘Mountaineering Extra Heavy Cushion’ and six pairs of Thermal Liners. Not forgetting the five pairs of new laces. So what that means is that each pair of thick socks and each pair of laces have to last 333 miles and each pair of liners; 277 miles. If they last any less than that I shall be finishing the walk in bare feet.


From my vantage point on the settee (the settee is my friend) I am master of all I survey on the telly. If what I have watched tonight is representative of all that is Great in our Great Britain, I am glad I am going for a long walk. Perhaps I will find out on my walk what really happens in Great Britain: What really makes Britain great? Or, if not great, slightly marvellous? Perhaps what makes it curious?

On the box tonight I was treated to ‘The Culture Show’ (a singularly uncultured programme), Dragons Den (where the Dragons invested in a teddy bear with a ‘media player’ incorporated into its tummy) and the Comedy Map of Britain which was fantastically un-comedic.

I hope to God that the real Britain out there is more entertaining than the tripe I have sat in front of tonight. Having said all that, I spent most of the time sorting out possible B&B’s from Midsomer Norton to Knighton.

I am due to have a day off in Knighton. On the places where I am due to have a day off, I am doing no web research, so that when I get there it will all be lovely and fresh and a place to explore.

Tomorrow I am going to have a nice lunch and a walk. Lynnie will be coming too as we are all having lunch in a great Spanish pub (the Star, Lidgate) and she won’t have to eat a sandwich in a field. I think she has got life in perspective. Perhaps the BBC should get in touch with her.


  1. Alan,
    Methinks you have a bit of a sock fixation. If they all wear out will you be asking Brother Dave to return the stolen pair?
    Lots of love Little Sis xxx
    P.S. Where's my piano?

  2. That stretch over Ofar's Dyke through Knighton is a lovely stretch of walking. It is well connected by bus and train - so you could treat yourself to a different kind of day out!

  3. I know it's sad, but prompted by your rhetorical question, this beardy bloke has just been upstairs to check his walking-sock stock.

    The result - 35 pairs!

    That's worrying, isn't it?

  4. In reverse order...

    THIRTY FIVE PAIRS!!! The man is ILL! (I will now creep over to the blanket bozx and sock drawer and count.... OOO!

    Not so bad Duncan... 16 pairs. How on earth did I manage that??

    Andy - Nice idea, but I am not availing myself of any transport during the walk - I will get out of the car at Land's End and then the next set of wheels (hopefully) should be a train home from the Other End. I want the entire four months to be at walking pace.

    This has put a few limitations on the walk - i.e, being unable to take lifts to and from friends' homes for deep baths and fluffy white towels and flaggons of vino...

    Ho hum...

    Megan: It was never your piano. I let you use mine to torture Mr Baden (our piano teacher)! OOH! SISTERS!

  5. WARNING! These heavy duty Smartwool socks are really warm. I wore them doing the West Highland Way in September and my feet sweated so much that the outside of my sleeping bag was wet slightly damp each morning. Oh, and they stunk like blazes. So, while they will help you avoid blisters and ease the pain on your feet, beware of them being too warm.

    I use poles now which ease the weight of my feet a lot and so only wear the heavy duty ones in really cold weather now.

  6. Geoff

    I understand. Night sweats are a commomn problem for ageing men. I will leave the fortnightly stink test to Lynnie. She has a fine upturned middle calls nose (not unlike Fleur Forsite's) and she can give me an honest appraisal.

    I am not sure how our East European Partners help with easing the burden on your extremities, but I am glad for you.


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