Friday, 31 December 2010

Merry New Year

Hope you have a ...

... New year.
I would write more but I can't.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

The nightbus: your journey home tomorrow night

Great public service the nightbus, even if it is full of weirdos. That's why you won't catch me on one if I can help it.

Visvim gaiter hi socks: a mountain too far

Turns out the socks I was after, you know the ones that wrinkle down around your ankles? They're Visvim. I honestly had no idea.

I was having a little Google for Moncler V and this 'Modern Alpine' loookbook from Honeyee magazine came up. You might recognise one of the images from the sock blog, and you will notice that the socks are also featured in the Moncler V lookbook.

There, in the caption of the second shot, are the words "Gaiter hi (hand knit)". I reckon they were hand knitted by tibetan monks while suspended by their feet over hot coals judging by the 21,000 yen price tag, which equates to about £166 in the Queen's sheckle. For one pair.

Which is probably why I haven't been able to find any for sale, and why I probably won't be seeing my own feet in a pair.

Still, the rest of the Honeyee lookbook is worth reproducing here, if you haven' already seen it.

Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Snapshots: the contrasts of Christmas

We got connected to the internet on Christmas Eve. That's almost a month to the day after we moved and were subsequently disconnected. 

One of the good things that have come out of my enforced month in the non-internet wilderness is the sacking of Sky for breach of contract.

Now, with multiple posting and delayed publishing a hopefully dim and distant memory, I can get on with the business of blogging, and have I got some catching up to do.

First and foremost, in the spirit of the time of year, I bring you the contrasting scenery that characterises most of my Christmas movements. One minute I'm in the shadow of Tower Bridge, the next I'm with the family in a snow covered field in Norfolk.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Nuts to Boxing Day

I expect you're all feeling a little like this right now.

Read The Times' story about the fat squirrel here (as long as you are a subscriber)

Saturday, 25 December 2010

Season's Greetings

Watch out for low-flying raccoons

Friday, 24 December 2010

'Twas the night before Christmas ...

Best wishes to all and may Santa bring you some fine clobber.

Rapha continental film: if you can't join 'em, watch 'em

Rapha Continental Film, Coming Spring 2011 from RAPHA on Vimeo.

It's not only my broadband that I've been missing since I moved. In the month I have been in my new house, I can honestly say I've been out on the bike about twice.

This is deprivation on a major scale brought on by snow, a cold, more snow and now the Christmas drinks season. It's got to the point where I'm gagging to get riding, and I've been feeling so unfit that I've actually taken up running again.

I might try and squeeze a seafront sprint in tomorrow, so long as a blizzard doesn't come along.

In the meantime I might try and find somewhere to watch this trailer for the new Rapha film, seeing as I am still parked on the hard shoulder of the information superhighway.

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Get a bobble on: the return of the woolly hat

 It wasn't so long ago that any bobble on top of a woolly hat would be treated like some kind of mutation and despatched of soundly with a pair of scissors.

But such are the vagaries of style and the birth of the alpine look so oft championed on this page that this year there are more pom-poms bobbing around on heads than you would find at a cheerleader's convention.

Some are subtle, others stick out like a clown nose. Some, like on the earflap Fragment Design cap bounce around like pieces of crud on the arses of sheep. Some hats have two, which offers the impression of an arse and a pair of nuts. Others, such as on Albam's designs, are removeable, would you believe.

But why would you want to do that? These days, woolly hats need bobbles. That's just the way it is.

Casual Connoiseur

Fragment Design x Kangol

Norse Projects (bobbless)



Wednesday, 22 December 2010

Best foot forward: the hunt for big socks

A pair of socks like he has got on would do
Grenson Fred Vibram brogue
I'm actually beginning to wonder if those hiker boots of mine are possessed. For weeks now I've been quite happily yomping through the snow with only a hint of pain in the heel department.

Then I order a pair of those brogues with the Vibram soles I was telling you about and guess what? The hikers rip my heels to shreds on my way to collect them from the post office.

To be fair I'm not sure the boots are entirely to blame, because these blisters only seem to occur when I'm wearing a particular type of woolly sock. But it takes two to tango.

That brings me to the real point of this post - the total absence of a decent looking, functional boot sock anywhere.

I've been after a decent pair of these since I saw the mountaineer-styled lookbook for the  Moncler V collection. The chaps in that shoot had tucked their trousers into some pretty natty-looking socks. Striped, no less.

So I did the usual Google trawl, first for Moncler V socks, then striped mountaineering socks, then walking socks, and drew a sartorial blank. There are walking socks out there, but they're more munter than mountaineer, and to be more precise, they just aren't long enough.

I want my mountain socks to be massive. I want them to wrinkle up around my ankles like Nora Batty's stockings, and I want them thicker than an arctic duvet, with even thicker candy stripes. In short, I guess I want something that looks like a bit like a Seventies football sock.

I found a glimmer of hope in a post from the Oneupmanship Journal. The sock drawer he featured contained a couple of Burlingtons, and a cable-knit affair from Universal Works which almost hits the mark.

Then I discovered that Universal Works actually produces a thick walkers' sock, which none of its stockists seem to stock. An email to the company confirms this.

So my search for the perfect boot sock goes on. In the meantime I'm going to burn those sadistic merino-mix efforts.

My feet will be in a better place without them.
Universal Works

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Heritage Research ss11 lookbook: blue sky thinking

The snow's back, in case you hadn't noticed, and it doesn't look like it's going anywhere soon, so we might as well take the glass half full approach and look to the spring, because one day in the next month or two it will warm up. Unless my colleague is correct and we are at the dawn of the next ice age.

According to Heritage Research, the post-war era was full of pastel shades, shorts, cardies and harringtons. That's what inspired their spring-summer collection. Even the Morris Minors looked cool with surfboards strapped to the top of them.

What you don't know from the photos is that if that's an English coast, it's probably colder than the sub-zero temperatures we have today, and that bloke is actually waiting around on those rocks for a breakdown van because his car has broke down. 

If he actually went surfing, he probably has mild hypothermia too.

Monday, 20 December 2010

White mountaineering Nep Tweed 3L jacket: bag me a bird while you're at it

When White Mountaineering takes on the country set they don't do things by halves. The traditional tweed jacket might well be perfectly weather proof and quite capable of crashing through a few sturdy hedges, but it doesn't come with taped seams and a 3 layer Gore tex membrane.

The White Mountaineering one does, subtly reinforcing an outer fabric of wool, polyester and angora tweed. There are a few other thoughtful details too, such as the hood hidden in the collar and the leather elbow patches.

All you need is a decent 12 bore and a few grouse to bag.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Nike 6.0 New York snowboard trip: powder puffs

All you need to go snowboarding when you live in New York is a friend who can break into a Nike store and a car thief with a taste for a decent sized van.

Then you have it all - the gear, the transport, and the prospect of a five-hour drive to the mountains.

That's not what happened here, of course. This lot are ransacking that Nike 6.0 store with permission, so they can trundle off into the crisp winter dawn up to that hill making the stuff look good.

I don't know how far the nearest mountain is from New York. Maybe it's the equivalent of Ben Nevis from London, which makes me wonder why we don't all nip up there for a day trip.

Mind you, the way the weather's going at the moment, I could go riding from my front door.

Saturday, 18 December 2010

Unkle The Runaway: return of the Pointman

Unkle has re-visited its video for The Runaway with a nifty little robotic Pointman. Which is altogether less erotic than a girl shimmying away behind a silk sheet, but hey, he's got more charisma.

It's like an old friend has come back to visit.

Friday, 17 December 2010

Girls Friday lite

Word is that I will have a broadband connection at home by the 21st. That will be more or less a month to the day since I lost it when I moved. During that month I have rediscovered life without Ebay and the blogging has been done on an opportunistic and batch basis. Like now. Here are a few girls for Friday. I would find you more, but time is precious.

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Getting to the sole of the matter: Vibram

Yuketen Maine Guide Boot with Vibram sole
Out in Spitalfields with Boris last night, which culminated in my being privvy to a gathering of some the capital's career-casuals - those who have made a living out of an unhealthy obsession with hard-to-find mens' clothing. 

Boris called it "a riot of rigid denim and chunky knits," which summed things up nicely, although I would have to add Vibram soles to that description.

As Scouse Dave observed, Vibram soles are just about everywhere these days, attached to everything from calf-height hunting boots to hikers and brogues. It has become the preferred method of difusing the stiff leather shoe.

They were certainly the choice in the pub, which means the look will only gain momentum from here.

Can't say I'm averse to the look myself. I've long been a fan of the shoe with the trainer sole, so a sparkling white Vibram sole, while no doubt derided as sacrilege in certain shoe-making circles, does make a welcome update to a classic brogue, or as it happens, a Maine Guide Boot, to me.

Viberg for Heritage Research
Fracap for Oki-Ni