Monday, May 17, 2010

The sweet smell of sockses


Socks by Pants

Socks or, if you prefer, sox. I love them. The only thing I love near as much as socks is gloves. Fingerless gloves I adore. I have four pairs. My joints are not partial to extremes in temperature so I need to wear gloves all the time in winter and lie down a lot in summer. Both are very pleasurable pursuits. However it's quite difficult to eat toast with gloves on. Socks don't seem to make much of a difference. I've eaten toast with and without socks on. Both work equally well. Toast and fingerless gloves are a perfect match.

Ms O'Dyne has just sent me these delectable socks (pictured) from Geelong. I don't know if they're specifically Geelong socks. The maroon pair are a wool blend. Lovely and thick. Quite often I have this type of sock on in the house instead of shoes. I don't much like shoes. Not even slippers. It's the 'slip' aspect of them I don't like. They never feel like they're properly attached and they make a clunky sound when you're walking along the floorboards. I prefer no sound when I'm walking along the floorboards. I don't want to be made aware that I'm walking along the floorboards. It wouldn't enhance the experience of going from the bedroom to the kitchen one iota for my headtalk to be prattling 'oh, I see we're walking along the floorboards again'.

Sometimes, early in the morning for example, I have to put shoes on as well as socks as the floorboards are too cold, even to walk to the kitchen. I like suede moccasins. They don't clunk on the floor and they stay on unless they are old. The floorboards aren't usually cold for very long as Seat of Pants is quite the solarium in winter. As long as the sun is shining, it heats up nicely. When it gets dark, and therefore cold, I light a fire. I am also grateful to Ms O'Dyne for my exceptional fire skills. Ms O'Dyne taught me how to live in Victoria and, very specifically how to live in a Victorian house. That is not to say a house from the Victorian era but a house located in country Victoria.

Previously, the only thing I knew about heating a house was that you controlled the temperature via a dial in the kitchen and 'bled' the radiators once I year. Building a fire in a wood-burning stove is not so difficult. Neither is calling the firewood man and asking him to bring a load of wood. The really useful thing Ms O'Dyne taught me is to collect kindling in the autumn when the gum trees shed their highly combustible branches and there are a lot of dead leaves and pine cones lying around. If you have to buy kindling in a shop it costs about $5 for a couple of kilos.

Ms O'Dyne also taught me a great pre-winter log-fire trick. After you have collected up all your combustibles, you take all your saved old newspapers down to the shed while it is still tolerably warm and spend a few pleasant afternoons listening to the radio and wrapping up parcels of leaves and twigs and putting them in cardboard boxes. Then in winter you pop a box in the laundry and then take the pre-prepared fire parcels out as you need them.

I'm very lucky that the Seat of Pants fire heats the whole house. I say lucky but actually I knew it would before I bought the house. Again, I have Ms O'Dyne to thank for that. When I arrived in Victoria getting on for two years ago, she installed me in a country house which had a log fire. The house was a long, thin bungalow and the fire was set in one corner of it. Most of the heat went out of the full length windows on either side of it, which weren't adequately draped. You were warm provided you sat in front of the fire and activated its fan.

The Seat of Pants fire is in the middle of the ground floor. There is a flue which goes up to the second storey and distributes its heat throughout. I don't need to use the fire's built-in electric fan. I've never been able to stand dwellings with multiple temperature zones so I chose carefully with the benefit of prior knowledge acquired by the auspices of the venerated Ms O'Dyne.

The other pair of socks I received is a spring/autumn pair with an island holiday theme. I will wear them with the only type of shoes I feel comfortable in - my jogging Reeboks. I don't like Reeboks especially. It's more a case of them being the kind of shoe I least dislike. I am used to them and they are cheap. Arty Australian women of a certain age like Consort All Stars. I wore them when I was fifteen and they cost $5 at Woolworths. These days they're too expensive and too hard to take off. Even if you double-knot Reeboks, you can still lever them off with the other foot.

Ms O'Dyne has previously and very successfully sent me gloves, including fingerless gloves. She knows exactly which buttons to push. Thank you Ms O'Dyne for your generosity and thoughtfulness.