Marbles

During the recent wintry spell I tried all sorts of footwear to keep myself upright at work and play without having to use traction devices. The biggest outdoor brands and the best rubber compounds fought for friction on a daily basis, and as ventured back out today the pair that were sitting ready to go reminded me of just what a failure it had all been. The grippiest footwear, the sole unit that I’ve leaned to trust on water-ice coated pavements and frozen snow is none other than Doctor Marten’s patented air-cushioned sole. The soft compound grips (maybe helped by the air chambers compressing?), the tread patterns (I have a couple of different pairs) clear quick and the general feeling of security in my verticality totally trounced any of the “proper” outdoor footwear I tried. Steel toecaps demand thick socks in winter though, but it’s always a joy to multitask your gear instead of £20 socks lying in a drawer for most of the year.
No doubt Vicky Vibram could sit down and tell me a hundred reasons why outdoor soles are actually better, that’s why they were worse in those conditions and yet those reasons benefit the consumer in ways too numerous to mention.
Yes, yes, yes. My Doc’s were better than the outdoor stuff. I bought a new pair too.

Three Men go to Scotland has been on this week and it was a delight. I really don’t like regular modern outdoor TV much, for something about the Highlands to really reach out and nudge me it takes something like this to do it. Folk exploring and discovering really brings a tale or a scene to life, presenting from a point of knowledge and experience is different and it takes something like Tom Weir’s understated manner or Muriel Gray’s punk ethic to make it work for me.
Griff Rhys-Jones, Rory McGrath and Dara O Briain are a fine mix of personalities and in part two Ed Byrne dropped in and showed his inner mountain geek off very well on the way to Skye I thought. So much of their route was familiar, I’ve been stuck in the Corryvreckan and sailed the same islands (oh aye, there’s nearly 40 years of stuff happened before this blog you know), and even worked on some of them. A beautiful part of the world and one I never seem to have time to apply myself to these days. The two shows constantly tugged at me as familiar shapes and places drifted by, I even missed walking through Oban for the first time in my life. My cabin fever clearly has entered its final stage.

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