For sock lovers

or for those on intimate terms with one

You have fussy feet. Or your children do!

Your socks are a statement about your mood and a lucky charm for your day’s adventures.

Perhaps you’re a cyclist, runner, horse-rider, golfer, bushwalker/hiker or any athlete looking to improve your sporting prowess? I know from personal experience how an uncomfortable, itchy or ill-fitting pair of socks can inhibit your performance in the sports arena. SockShine intends to seek out the socks that will help you to shine at your next big event.

Or are you a busy parent struggling to keep the number of socks emerging from the dryer in harmony with the number of feet in your household? And then wondering what to do with the holey ones, the too-small ones or the solo ones that have parted ways with their significant other.

Maybe you don’t think about socks at all. You just wish your life was simpler and pairing up socks is a chore you could do without!

Whatever form your sock love takes, I hope to indulge it with tempting morsels of sockolatey goodness, sprinkled with zesty explorations on finding more simplicity in our lives.

But why socks?

In my very first post, Let’s talk about socks, baby, I relate my sad sock story, explain why I started this blog and elaborate on what you can expect to find in my articles.

For me, socks are intimate. They hug the skin more tightly, more sensuously, than most other clothing.

Socks are subversive. You can wear silly socks underneath a very serious business suit.

Socks are easy to buy. I like clothes that express my personality, but I definitely do not enjoy shopping for them. Except for socks. When I want new socks, I don’t need to subject myself to the rigours of long changing room queues followed by the voice of self-flagellation that sneaks out from behind their distorting mirrors. They are distorting, aren’t they?

Ostensibly, SockShine’s mission is to cast more of the limelight on this humble but mighty garment. It seemed to me that socks don’t get anywhere near as much attention in the fashion world as shoes and clothing do. Although I’m definitely no fashionista, I hope to address that imbalance for those who share my sock addiction.

But actually, SockShine is about more than just socks.

Illuminating the simpler moments and comforts in our lives.

Socks are one of life’s simple pleasures. I’m a bushwalker and one of the sweetest delights is slipping on a clean pair of socks at the end of a long day’s wet and muddy or scratchy dusty hike.

In fact, as well as being a simple pleasure, socks (and clean socks at that) are a basic comfort that most of us take for granted. Apparently they’re the most requested item of clothing at homeless charities and shelters. But thankfully there are now some very socially-aware sock brands seeking to address this need.

Be your best self—from the feet up.

So whilst the subject of this blog may appear to be frivolous, it’s also an exploration in living simply, living fully and living meaningfully. What if we brought a more mindful approach to slipping on our clothing, bringing our attention to these basic comforts? And what other simple pleasures do we tend to overlook in the course of an ordinary day?

Find your feet. Take a stand. Choose your own path. Ground yourself.

In amongst the sock banter, this is some of the other territory I hope to traverse.

So can socks save the world?

I don’t know. Right now, in this age of turmoil, it seems more than a little ambitious. But I will say this:

Be kind. Because for all you know, that difficult person is wearing uncomfortable socks.

Confession time.

I used to wear odd socks. Each morning was a fresh blind date for the sock singletons in my sock drawer. I loved seeing what happy marriage of pattern and colour I could set up that would have me striding confidently through the day.

That was until a despotic yoga instructor broke the spell with the suggestion that I was subconsciously creating imbalance in my mind and body.

Of course I didn’t desist immediately, but the nagging thought got louder and louder that maybe, just maybe – no matter how ridiculous – he had a point. Until, eventually … I conformed. As my sock selfies will attest.

Want to know more about me?

I’m a South African now living in Hobart, Tasmania, with my Lichenologist Love. I’m ruled by an exceptionally beautiful, long-whiskered Cat who wears sparkling white socks (but never with sandals, of course) (He crossed the rainbow bridge at the end of January, 2019. It broke my heart.)

Under the design label Monkeyshine, I make modern charms with retro soul. Or should that be modern charms for retro souls? I can’t decide on the tagline.

I also weave telephone wire baskets. Often on top of mountains. I take work-in-progress photographs of the baskets ‘on location’ and share the story of their travels at Occasionally I auction them to help wildlife charities and causes dear to my heart.

I’m 47 and still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up. Sock Influencer has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?

Will you join me?

I dream of building SockShine into a global collective of sock lovers and those who appreciate life’s simple comforts. A community of creative adventurers, wanderers and wonderers, stand-takers and moment-savourers, people who are choosing their own paths and putting their best-dressed foot forward.

Sound like you? Great! In that case, I’d love you to sign up for The SockShiner newsletter.

While I wait for Madam Inspiration to knock me off my feet with brilliant ideas for a sock-related sign-up gift, why not go old-school and subscribe without the bribery? You'll hear all about the latest treats for feets and you'll be first in line when my sign-up freebie muse delivers.

*Get it? Got it. Good.” is a running exchange between characters from the classic, 1956 Danny Kaye comedy/musical, The Court Jester. Wonderfully witty, old-fashioned entertainment. And Danny Kaye as the Jester wears some marvellous stockings!