Fashion victim? Not me!

My landlady described me as a denim slagheap

My landlady described me as a denim slagheap

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As a husband and father I am more than aware of the appetite some women have for fashion items.

I have spent hours sat outside changing rooms while Wifey and/or the girls try on the umpteenth outfit, before no doubt returning to the one they first tried on several hours earlier.

Handbags and shoes, in particular, seem to float their collective boats. My eldest is presently back at university in Newcastle, but because of accommodation issues (i.e. she had nowhere to live) resolved only this week, I had to make a special journey up there mid-week taking masses of supposed essentials she had put in a huge pile in the middle of her bedroom floor, pending her finding some digs.

Along with the bags of clothes, full length mirror, duvet, hair dryer and straighteners, various handbags, were around 15 boxes of shoes. I don’t even own that many pairs, and it was in marked contrast to my own university days when a sports bag was easily enough to carry all my books, and what few clothes I had.

Mind you I was hardly a snappy dresser. My landlady described me (harshly I thought) as a denim slagheap and one pair of ragged jeans was enough to keep me going for weeks.

On top of that we had no mobile phones, printers or computers to lug around. Calls were made by taking your turn at the local phone box, shoving in 10p every two minutes, and the only computer was the university main frame which filled a room and probably had less capacity than a modern laptop.

Yes, they were simpler times with much less clutter to lug around, but I wouldn’t go back. I am as guilty as anyone of buying, owning and in due course discarding, various pieces of technology. For all their reliability issues, they have given all of us unprecedented levels of freedom. We can take and receive phone calls almost anywhere, while phones, tablets and PCs give us access to the internet with almost limitless information and the ability to source almost any product. Consequently, many of us now shop online, book holidays and do our banking over the internet, and find out through the various search engines what those drugs the doctor has prescribed actually do, and what our political masters are really up to….and all in minutes with just a few clicks. Without realising it, technology infects our lives.

If your mobile phone is not close at hand, you feel almost undressed. If the internet goes down, you find yourself ranting and raving at the internet service provider. Visit an area with no internet access and there is a feeling of vulnerability and being out of touch even though in 10 minutes’ time you will probably have easy access to WiFi.

Worst of all, however, is when you upgrade. I recently bought an iPad for use when I’m out walking. The navigation/map feature is superb but setting up other features has been a bit of a nightmare. Emails would not send, WiFi would not connect and I have not figured out half the stuff it does, let alone connect to “clouds”, but I will persist.

I might struggle but I have few concerns about my daughters. While clumsily trying to use the iPad, an email came through thanking my daughter for her recent order. It was another pair of shoes, ordered by her without telling me on my iPad. We need to have words.