Tag Archives: showers

The importance of socks

My little sister and I have an ongoing competition: who would survive best in a life-threatening situation. Jail, she wins- she’s taller and stronger than me, and doesn’t mind carrying heavy things (we are, naturally, being sent to jail during the Victorian age, and will be spending our time on the railroads, or breaking rocks or something). Inexplicably shoved into a Hunger Games-type scenario?

We’re still deciding, but I think my people skills far outweigh her brute strength. A panicked cross-country flee from a serial killer? I am 100% better equipped to survive. I take 3 minute showers, unlike my little sister, who has a deeply anti-social habit of falling asleep in the shower in the morning; I always know where my Oyster card and passport are; I have shoved all my leftover foreign currency into a box on my bookshelf. I believe, firmly, that people wash their clothes too often, and am perfectly content to re-read books over and over. In short, I will be packed and on the Heathrow Express before my little sister can comprehend that the angry knocking on the bathroom door is the beginning of a Psycho-type scenario, not simply me, wondering angrily how ‘anyone can take so long in the bloody shower’.

I have spent years studying fleeing people in movies and TV shows, and can tell you definitively that they are doing it wrong. When TV people are fleeing, why do they always heap things from the top drawer of their wardrobe into their suitcase? No-one stores jeans or jumpers in the top drawer. I can only believe that thousands of movies and TV shows are letting their protagonists hastily pack bags full of socks.

Now, socks are tremendously useful- I scarcely ever have sufficient pairs, and my own sock drawer is a delightful testament to a life spent ‘borrowing’ other peoples socks (socks are like elastic hair-bands- no one is going to ask for them back, unless you are foolish enough to stumble across their owner whilst wearing them, weeks after the initial borrow; but even then, it is fairly difficult to forcibly remove socks from someone else’s feet without looking slightly deranged), but let’s say you’re making a panicked flight to Brazil from the man who you believe killed your Father and stole most of your inheritance, and is now out to kill you to stop the truth from coming to light- all I’m saying is, socks can only go so far. (Not literally- socks, unhindered by any cross-country regulations or border controls, can circumvent the world at ease, but you know, metaphorically).

‘I think socks are useful. After all, everyone gets cold feet on airplanes,’ My little sister pointed out. ‘That’s why they give you free socks on long-haul flights.’

‘Precisely,’ I replied joyously. ‘They give you free socks! There is absolutely no need whatsoever to pack any socks at all!’ As my little sister began a diatribe on the virtues of washing, and general cleanliness, I quietly pointed out that she had already been killed, whilst I, not even needing to check any baggage, was well on my way to a lifetime of mojitos and ex-pat burning in warmer climes.

‘What about Hell,’ My little sister responded robustly. ‘With your ghostly complexion, you’d never survive. But I’d coerce the other inhabitants into making me a protective enclosure.’ ‘Oh yes?’ I replied, disbelievingly. ‘And why would they do that?’ ‘Socks,’ My little sister replied smugly. ‘I’d bribe them with socks.’

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No need to be naked

This morning, I had a meeting with Nike. Initially, I misread the email, so thought the meeting was from 8.30-10pm. i had been told I could bring a guest, and, unable to find anyone decent who wanted to be awake at such a hideously early hour, I invited my Mother.

As it turns out, it was less of a ‘meeting’, and more of a ‘Train to Run’ class, with an ‘Nike Master Trainer’. This was annoying for several reasons, the first being that I had to stop laughing at my Mother for turning up in running kit.

The class was a Women’s only training group.

I personally can think of few more competitive, judgemental situations a person can put themselves in. Luckily, I had brought my Mother. We had a perfectly splendid time, falling over in the balance drills, yelling in the strength portion, laughing while we failed to understand the partner training bit.

By the end of the hour, we had achieved the perfect ‘instantaneous-move-from-lounging-to-doing-the-proper-exercise-because-the-coach-was-approaching’ manoeuvre, and were feeling tremendously proud of ourselves.

‘Quick,’ I whispered to my Mother. ‘There’s going to be a rush on the showers.’ In a burst of speed unseen in the actual running class, we dashed from the studio to the changing rooms.

I grabbed my towel, my Mother grabbed someone else’s washbag, and we hopped into the showers. ‘This is not my washbag,’ My Mother called out to me. ‘I know,’ I replied, slathering myself with the fancy free shampoo attached to the wall. ‘I thought you were upgrading.’ Apparently she was not, so she hopped back out of the shower and returned with her own toiletries. (I personally feel that everyone uses far too many toiletries. There is only one thing you need in a shower. Shampoo. It is the all-purpose washer. Think of it as the ketchup of washing. It goes on everything).

Due to my Mother’s unusual approach to other people’s possessions, I had plenty of time, bored, fully-dressed, in the female changing room. Here are my observations:

1. No-one is able to look elegant when trying to remove their knickers whilst holding a towel around their waist. It is the most ungainly and attention-drawing position of all poses, despite the forced nonchalance of the performer’s face.

2. There are women who, if I looked like them naked, I would never ever bother to clothe myself, but instead occasionally, Anna Karenina like, drape the odd fur across my exquisite body if I felt chilly, yet are bizarrely shy in public changing rooms. (Naturally, as they hid in the corners and tried to change without an ounce of skin being on show, I sought to put them at ease by staring at them and smiling broadly).

3. I am all for body-confidence. However, there simply is no need to lovingly blow-dry one’s hair stark naked. it is almost impossible for the women who are sharing your mirror to apply their eye-liner in a straight line.

4. Not enough women, despite my continued, bullying efforts, are wearing matching underwear. I am considering spot checks on the tube in the morning. I am pretty sure Boris will back me.

5. My Mother takes forever to get showered and dressed. I am not sure if this is because she is tall, or because she is old. Either way, I had very much outstayed my ‘casual observer’ position by the time we left the changing room. I hope you all enjoy these insights, because I’m not sure I’ll be in a position to make any more anytime soon.


Gil took us through drills from Nike Training Club’s new running specific classes. These specialised drills will be available for all runners free through the Nike Training Club app and Live classes around the UK –

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