Time for a rant …

Ok it’s time for a rant. This has been a particularly mild winter, February is winding down and spring is just around the corner. In the past year or more I have noticed more and more shoe stores advertising “barefoot” shoes. The expound on how they feel just like walking barefoot, they’re so light, so comfortable, so natural. NOT!

Shoes are not barefoot. End of. They are not barefoot if they are light weight, have five little fingers for the toes, two big fingers for collections of toes, or space age mesh. Shoes are shoes, barefoot is the lack thereof.

My other bone of contention with so called “barefoot” shoes is the cost. If I trundle on down to Aldo or some other shoe store and pick up a pair of Doc Martins, I can fully expect to pay (in Canada) something like $140. Expensive as all get out but for that price I get a heavy, comfortable leather shoe that is quality made. They previous pair I had lasted some ten years, went through a house fire and was finally parted with only because I was offloading a ton of stuff with the idea of moving to France. Barefoot shoes, including the vaunted Vibram Five fingers and other “toed” barefoot shoes come in around the same price. However for my $140 I now get a flimsy, cheaply made, sweat inducing vinyl mocassin that chafes my feet in any number of places. For the same price as the Docs I get a shoe made in China somewhere for about $0.13 that if I am lucky will last one summer.

If you are thinking of going barefoot, go barefoot. Your feet (and most of your other bits associated with mobilty) will thank you, you will save money and you’ll be amazed to discover what an incredible environment ypou walk on each day. I have been barefoot for nigh on 30 years except where forced into shoes by winter weather, inflexible rules (there are no such laws), intolerance and prejudice. I love the feeling of being barefoot from warm summer pavement, soft grass, cool rain soaked paths and even fresh winter snow. Try it, you’ll be amazed, truly you will.


first star to the right and on till morning …

So my family and I (My wife Jacky, my son Matthew and myself) have decided to up sticks and leave the rat race, commuting 100Km to work, winters, concrete cities, noise, smog and the crazy pace of city life behind and move to the country side of Southern France. For 10 months or so at least in any case. Then we’ll see what is next, maybe stay there, maybe move on. Are we nuts you say? No I don’t think so, time marches on, we all get older, we all talk about doing it but few of us actually do it.

Life is a great adventure, it should be lived, full and vibrant every day. It is far too easy to be stuck in a rut of day to day survival, working 9 to 5 to pay the bills, pay for the commute to work. Both my wife and I are very interested in history, art, classical music so what better place tgo experience ity than from France. Being in France most everywhere we would dearly love to visit is accessible within a day or two of driving, less by train and some by walking out the front door. From Canada, visiting the Louvre or the Artists Quarter in Paris, or Notre Dame (or any of a thousand other places) would be an expensive airpline trip and a weeks vacation away. So we made the decision, “let’s do it!” and “let’s do it now!”.

So now we are preparing for the move and what a job that is! Decided to keep our house  and rent it so we have some minimal fallback should it all go pear shaped (don’t expect that it will though as we’re both of a spirit to make it work). Then discovered that we really should spruce up the kitchen with a lick of paint … but wait that made the counters look dull so we’ll spruce them up … ah but now the trim in the front room looks a little tired, better paint it up as well .. and so it goes. Then we decided to sell up the detritus, flotsam and jetsam we didn’t want to take with us, didn’t want to store and didn’t want to leave. Wowsa! What pack rats we are! Four billion books, two billion nick-knacks, 750 assorted appliances, some classic vinyls records, ancient calculators, old lamps, 17000 bits of old clothing (some fits, some doesn’t), enough shoes and sneaks to keep Immelda Marcos happy, prints, pictures and so much more. Can all this stuff possibly come out of our one house? Not to mention that now we have moved all this stuff from it’s original spot to the living room, the place now looks like several bombs went off! Well it all has to go somewhere by the end of the month (August) because  on September the fifth we’ll be on an airliner headed for France. Winging our way to sunshine, a slower easier pace of life and trying madly to master enough french so as to not embarrass ourselves when we land. Watch this space, I’ll post more as the month progresses, it’s sure to be fun and funny.