I’m beginning to regret wearing my Docs today. Breaking in a pair of Docs is a multiweek process for me, involving blisters, anklemeat and sticking plaster.

I bought these particular Docs years ago. I bought a pair of Blundstones at the same time. Since they didn’t need any breaking in, the Docs were consigned to the shed. I found them a few months ago while searching for a derailleur tool, and finally cleaned them up last night.

At the moment, my ankles are merely a bit raw. In a couple of days, you could boil my socks for soup …

take your …

picks, various

Just a few of the guitar picks I’ve tried (though the one at the top is a felt uke pick). I got a bunch of Fender celluloid picks at The 12th Fret today, and they could be good. The huge one at the bottom is indeed homemade, made from two sheets of wood veneer laminated together with the grain offset 90°.

There’s a tale about the Kinky Friedman one.

The week of shaving carefully

So how did my first week of shaving with a plain safety razor go? Pretty well, I think.

I’ve discovered that Weleda shaving cream and after-shave balm work well for me. They have a muted, natural scent, and are very soothing.

What didn’t work for me was Lush Prince shaving cream. This heavy, waxy preparation clogs up the blade, it smells too strongly of neroli, and is a horror to rinse off. I also cut myself the only time I used it. Styptic pencil owies resulted.

Catherine has remarked on the closer shave (I suspect ‘cos I’m spending more time on it). It’s strange, but the stubble seems sharper. I wonder if multiple blades smoothed the razor-cut ends of the hairs, and thus gave an impression of a smoother, longer-lasting shave?

I like my Merkur. Using it for a year will end up cheaper than any cartridge razor, and result in far less trash.

histamine overreaction

On the deck last night, fitting new Schwalbes to the tourer, I got my usual July mozzie bites.

Every year since coming to Canada, I get the same two bites; one above and one below my right elbow. The swelling’s usually pretty alarming. The first year it was egg sized. It’s calmed down a little since then, but I fully expect a couple of weeks of redness and oozing (oozing!). All part of the Canadian summer experience, I guess.


The scourge of British school life is going away: the BCG injection is being dropped. Thisteen year olds from the 1930s have sported suppurating left shoulders because of this. It was a favourite target of school bullies, being whacked on the tender injection site. My BCG scar, 23 years on, is greatly faded, but still there

So goodbye, Bacillus Calmette-Guérin; we hardly knew you … ow, my BCG!

a bit bitey

Did some weeding tonight (with a propane torch, of course). Got bit by my first mosquito of the year, a droning monstrosity resembling nothing less than a single-prop bush plane. Haven’t these mozzies heard that I’m not allowed to give blood because the wussy canadian donation system can’t handle gude scottish blude European blood might have brain-melting cooties?