Thursday, 31 July 2008


It's me again, on my favourite settee, watching more incredibly poor telly. Who else were you expecting to read on 'Alan Sloman's Big Walk' blog then? Enid Blyton? Cassandra perhaps? Or maybe 'Steady Mooching'? No - none of the above. It's me. And if you carry on reading, it will still be me.

Tonight's fare, on the flat screen telly that Cost A Small Fortune When I Bought It and It Still Only Shows Crap, was Trinny & Susannah. What were you expecting? Something about the Great Outdoors? You are not living in my head are you! It's my skull cinema and I have the huge pleasure of sharing it with you.

Anyway: One of them (Trinny or Susannah; keep up!) is quite bright, slim, polite and has good ideas. The other isn't. I am not sure which is which, but the fat slob isn't the nice one.

Which brings me neatly to titanium. (Ooh - that sounded just like my Mum! - There is a link here - honest - but none of us are at all sure how on earth we got here...)

Titanium: Yes - a strong lightweight inert metal that all lightweight backpackers will trample over each other to get a few grams of the precious one, just so they can shave a few holy grail ounces off their ultra-light back-packs. What with the Chinese and Indian Sub-continents buying it all up for their ever increasing economies, the price of the stuff is going through the roof. And it is all down to this noxious pair of fashinistas.

The nice slim one (Trinny or the Susannah - help me here because I really don't know which is which - they keep changing sides on the telly) only needs to buy a few grams of titanium as she is slim, beautiful and happy. The horrid fat one (Susannah or Trinny) needs to buy a whole rucksack full of titanium and it will cost her dearly as she is fat, ugly and miserable. They want all the fat, ugly, miserable women to feel good about themselves by buying more stuff.

This is just like our outdoor manufacturing industry really...

Am I the only one here tonight who is in broad agreement with our wonderful National Health Service?

Yes - We should ban all the shopping programmes on my telly with that mad fat harpie. That way the price of titanium will drop and I will walk lighter, richer and happier.


  1. Christ I'm gonna have to read through this again a few times - can't quite see the link between 2 Media whores and Ti.
    Agree with the dissapointment resulting from the purchase of a huge screen to find it filled with the same ol crap.
    Love your writings
    John Ridd

  2. Alan join a club – write a book, row the Atlantic, do anther LEJOG, do anything to get of the sofa and away from awful TV. You have our sympathy and support.

  3. Nice one Alan - TV sucks and your Blog ROCKS

  4. Sorry Alan, last Anon. was me.
    I seem to have difficulty with your comments system.
    Ahhhh well, I'm not old to learn eventually. I WILL get it right one day

  5. Not sure I followed all this either - but I fell instinctively it's blogging at its crazy best!

    Our wonderful National Health service - yes, yes, yes - and let's keep it that way. Though it won't be kept that way, unfortunately.

  6. Alan, you're rambling - absolute "verbal" diarrhoea. I have the same problem with Trinny and Susannah. I prefer more than the other but which is which has me totally stumped - a bit like Ant and Dec really. Is it just me or do their eyes appear to be moving down their faces, making their foreheads higher/longer?

  7. I feel I should help out a bit here as one or two of the commentators seem to be struggling!

    I think I missed a bit (I remember passing a Metalurgy exam once doing a 'proof' on 'Screw Dislocation' - To this day I have no idea what 'screw dislocation is or does - but I did manage to write quite a few lines on it. When the paper was handed back the examiner (nice chap) penned - "How you got from line 7 to Line 12 in one fabulous leap is beyond me!")

    So, getting from 'fat ugly miserable women wanting to feel good about themselves by buying more stuff' to 'just like the outdoors industry':

    Most backpackers already have all the kit they need. The outdoor industry adores people like Trinny & Susannah (the 'gear reviewers') because they are the ones who let you know that your stuff is no good any more!

    Ah - the next leap is a little bigger: 'Our wonderful National Health Service': Yes - they are telling people that they will not operate (eg, do artificial inseminaton or stomach clamping) if the person does not help themselves anymore and lose twenty stone of blubber!

    This is what the Outdoor Magazines should be saying! "You cannot buy any more titanium until you lose five stone of fat from your belly! Get off that settee and go for a walk, you fat slob!"

    So the last leap: 'we should ban all the shopping programmes.. with that mad fat harpie' to walking lighter, richer etc...'

    Get rid of all the 'Lighten up' nonsense and concentrate on the good that walking can do for you and how much more fun it would be if you were four stone lighter and a whole lot fitter.

    THEN go out and buy the titanium ('cos by then I will have all I need at a price I can afford!)

    Well... I think that explains where I was coming from?

    Maybe not.... Ho hum...

  8. This comment is just for Geoff over at 'litehiker': I think you might need to adjust your telly's 'vertical hold.'

    Me, I am going to adjust my hold on reality: Lord Elpus told it quite nicely in a comment when I was crossing the M6 on my LEJOG last year, looking down at the mad cars and their occupants tearing acorss the country on the motorway. He said:

    "Whilst listening to my electric wireless set this afternoon, I heard postulated the theory that reality is an illusion brought about by mescalin deficiency. This was subsequently expanded to include the proposition that sanity was a condition brought about by alcohol deficiency."

    'Nuff said!

  9. Alan, your explanation is just as obscure as your original 'argument'! But I love you.

  10. "Most backpackers already have all the kit they need"


  11. What we have and what we want is the problem... I want better kit with out a doubt. But I keep fit as well and don’t need a light pack to get up a hill but enjoy it more with a light pack.

  12. Alan,

    My metallurgy prof reckoned I was "blindly and inaccurately quoting misunderstood concepts". I told him he "consistently failed to clearly articulate his subject matter".

    It's hard to make a rational case for using titanium in hiking - the weight-savings are miniscule. A good grade of aluminum alloy is enough! (Good grades of aluminum alloys are enormously stronger than pure aluminum for the same weight, or lighter for the same strength.) Now, mountaineering might warrant titanium . . .

    I think Trinny is the nice one. We get the BBC here in the form of "BBC America" which our family knows as the "cash-in-the-attic" channel because that broadcasts for about a third of the day, which is a third too much.

    Wow, this topic is drawing the comments.



  13. "BBC America" - Now there's thought!

    A bit like "CNN - Great Britain" then? - A Hard Hitting Report from Afghanistan on the price of cook-chilled meals for the over sixties?

    Why do the countries in the Free World export all the sump-oil to each other when there is so much to celebrate and challenge in our respective cultures?

    The Taliban and all the other disruptive forces on our shared planet must be laughing all the way home from their drinks parties.

  14. Not sure how far you'd like to take this one, Herr Blog-kaptein.

    The BBC TV channel here (on cable and satellite only) is a mystery. The best Brit material has perhaps been bought by other channels, while BBC America has to still make its way financially. I think they buy low-cost programs like Cash in the Attic, aiming to appeal to anglophile-antiquers. They do put out an excellent news program, quite a bit better than the others for international coverage. Some good movies, drama, and Ramsey's kitchen stuff . . . but nothing like the best of the BBC all the time, which I hoped would be the case.

    Most of my American friends don't watch it. Once people have cable or satellite, they have a hundred other channels so competition makes is tough.

    I love your pictures, Alan. Some brooding seascapes are my favorites.



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