Daily Archives: September 7, 2018

The great Wiltshire sock cull 2018

For Charlie.

It’s important to have goals in life. It’s important to have perspective. Live on the edge a little. A frisson of danger, a pinch of excitement, verve… elan! It makes it all, well, worth it, yes?

So dear reader, to our Friday tale.

We open on a scene with your authour confronting the smalls drawer intent on packing a rucksack for a jaunt to India. His face is subtly twisted by the following realisation: he has excess formal socks.

I am aware that this doesn’t even qualify for a sneer of “first world problems.” It’s pond-life levels of decadence. This is not worthy of a hashtag. If it were a medal – in the “things to do with your time awards” – it wouldn’t even figure unless EVERYONE else had been disqualified on an obscure legal technicality. Even then it would only be awarded Cardboard at best. Awarded in a deep hole dug out to fashion an inverse of the podium. You’d just see the top of my lonely head as the proper official’s third cousin – who was in the venue only to sweep up – bestowed my award by lying down and reaching out into the abyss after I coughed a lot to make it awkward for him to ignore me.

You might say: ah, Ian’s self employed, it’s Friday and he’s not going to start anything meaningful at this hour. You’d be right.

I know what your thinking. Socks! So very many socks. How come?! In the racy lifestyle I’ve been leading these days, a week in Runcorn has been a regular feature. Imagine a four hour M6 slog Sunday night unpacking at your weekday digs only to discover: you’ve forgotten your socks.

I’ve stared down the barrel of that bleak puppy. Let me tell you it’s a dark place*.


It’s a wonder I’m not a more bitterer man than I am.

Anyhow, back to the scene…

We cut to an overhead shot of a jumbled mass of all black socks bursting forth.

[Pro-tip: only buy black ankle socks chaps and you’ll never have a mismatching crisis.]

Worse still, there are a pack and a half of fresh-uns peeking out.

Spur of the moment: “They’ll have to go.”

And with that all the previously enjoyed work socks are going to the clothing bank. BOOM! This is how he’s rolling on a September Friday.


24 socks

[FIN. Roll credits.]

Aside: now what with this being the 21st century and all, if you visit the M&S Outlet/ Primarni you can only buy fellas ankle height hosiery in packs of a level billion. What a time to be alive! (Let’s willfully ignore the obvious question: how on earth can they retail a sock-stack for £3 and make a margin? They pay factory workers in a hot country a living wage right? Right? Please don’t judge me. I needed socks, they sold them, I bought them.)

So I’m taking the new socks to India? Tsk. Awwww. Noooo. I’ve a bunch of shoe-liner-sports socks for that. I know, I k now. Who would’ve imagined life would be so crazy.

India footwear packing list v3.7:

  • Skate shoes (with liner socks)
  • Flip Flops.

We fly Monday. Hmmm. Does that give me time to tackle my tee shirt drawer?

Footnote: this entry needs a better title. Can anyone offer a sock based pun?

I’ll start “Socks is life” or “Nothing succeeds like sockcess”…

*Knowing you’ve no socks. Not Runcorn.

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