Seablog: Happy socks (n) (pl.) [ha-pp-ee so-kks]

I’m listening to The Odyssey at the moment and always wonder what ‘ambrosia’ actually is, not believing it was dealt from a blue tin and either made of rice or, euggh, custard.My current theory is that perhaps it was the Greeek precursor to the Happy Socks of the 21st century. The gods were always served ‘ambrosia’ with nectar and I think anyone would love a bit of nectar and a new pair of happy socks. I know I would be super chuffed. Though, come to think of it – ancient Greeks were a sandal-loving kind and I don’t want to be encouraging the sock-and-sandal look, even in a bygone civilisation. Or, perhaps the historians have it all wrong and translators have misunderstood texts and where we see sandals they were in fact sporting just happy socks.
‘What are happy socks?!’ I hear you cry, eager to see if my new podiatric hypothesis sounds plausible .
Well, let me tell you. Happy socks were first invented in the winter season of 2005/6, in my front room at home by my lovely Mum, geenius that she is. She knitted me a pair socks, in some very funkily coloured wool. Not just one colour wool but magically, the samee ball of wool is made of many many colours. Not only do these socks look marvellous but on putting them upon your feet, they exude deep joy and a sense of warming calm until smileyness pervades your entire being. From that day forth, I have been the proud receiver of many pairs of the delightful socks – in as many different colours as exist under the sun. A brand new pair were made especially for the ocean and my acute powers of detection lead me to suspect there is a new pair commissioned especially for my birthday bag. I promise I haven’t looked, but one just knows sometimes. One senses one’s toes starting to wiggle in eager anticipation of the encompassing, restorative, all powerful and remedial qualities of the socks within. Tonight,
for example, would have been a perfect time for happy socks, for when I came inside from rowing my toes were soggy and cold. However, the cabin soon reached a rather warm 29°C (I’ve been in here since 6pm day 41 due to big seas/squalls – now day 42 0100) and socks were a bit too much. Having just been outside to cool down and take in the whistling midnight winds (gusting 25 knots SE- so we are honking along) and getting the requisite soaking, I have now donned said happy ocean socks to toastify the toes. Oh, how contented are the tootsies now. Logically, happy socks make happy days. There isn’t really a time when happy socks don’t serve a beautiful purpose, save when you’re swimming or it’s too hot to wear socks. Or you’re wearing sandals. Or out here on the waves, there is a strict rule about not wearing them outside the cabin for fear of ruination.

And with that I leave you with a sprinkling of happy socks facts and the news that one of your favourite bloggers will be making another appearance in the next week or two… They’re vey busy at the moment liaising with the weather gods and the like. Finally, do let me know what you think of the ancient happy socks theory – should I submit a paper to Ancient Greeks Today?

Meanwhile, we’ve some surfing to do.
S & D x

Further happy socks facts…
– Ownership increases especially around festive periods but production is year round
– Also known as Similar Socks in some circles
– Matching headgear has been known to exist, particularly during my Baldilocks summer of 2006
– Some are even fashioned out of bamboo wool (one has to be absolutely sure to avoid areas where hungry pandas are known to frequent)
– Can be knitted while watching television/listening to music, being chauffered and I wonder if it even goes on while the Master Artiste is asleep, without even realising she is doing so, so clever and skilled is she.

Susieroo of the Calderan variety – ¿Que pasa chica? No hay los tiburones por aqui…espero a ver uno antes el fin. So I know a real Lifeboater,eh? I salute you ever more m’dear and to think you’re doing so with Similar Socks. Grand. Whereabouts? Might row and see you. Any spare crunchies that you could wing my way?! Otter love x
Xtina – I figured I can be Master Clock Keeper out here and choose whatever time zone I like to suit me best. Currently going by WST still, 7hrs ahead of BST. My treats would be a plankton net and my plankton ID guide (left at home!); a bird and fish ID guide (couldn’t find any in Freo) and some lemons. A new set of headphones. And perhaps if the chocolate resupply plane is passing too… And if Mum’s doing some baking this week…!Is a masseur too big?
Alan- You are on my list of people to see immediately on my return. Might come straight from the airport. Oh how my shoulders yearn for you to mince them! Folks-If you need sports massage and you’re in N London, Alan is your man. I travel hours to see him.
Marcel-Just under 2,000nm to go… Canon sounds ace. Fireworks and orchestra too?!
Laura – Haha! I know there is at least one mars bar left -I’ve seen it in one of the food bags tucked in the front cabin. Just can’t reach it. Those not packaged in day bags do all appear to have , erm, disappeared.

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16 Responses to Seablog: Happy socks (n) (pl.) [ha-pp-ee so-kks]

  1. Grandma Barb says:

    Hello Sarah:
    I look forward to you’re blogging each day.I get a lot of enjoyment from
    Question! In one of you’re news clips you mentioned that you would go for a swim.Is this not a little dangerous considering what might be in there with you.
    Take care
    Grand Barb

  2. Barry Gumbert says:

    Hello Sarah Dear:

    I was a rower in High School and my mom knits so I know about Happy socks. YEA!!!!! She also made lots of ear warmers (like a sweat band but for cold ears. I wish we had known about rowing mittens since it gets mighty cold here in the mountains of Oregon USA at 5am in March. I’m glad the winds are at your stern. I don’t suppose Ocean Rowing rules allow for kites? If/when we go to rowing in Glacier Bay we will take a para-foil kite to aid travel on tail wind days. I’ve been telling my friends about you and they are getting less and less afraid of the whole Ocean crossing thing. It’s only 3000+ nm from L.A to Hawaii.

    I wish I was a crew member on the chocolate re-supply plane.

    Much Love, Barry

  3. RoninVancouver says:

    Hi Sarah,

    Nice to know we can find Sarahndippity in the mid-Indian Ocean this time of year. Otter be a blast. Be nice if Roz could generate your degree of humour. Even the water chuckles when you dip Dipper’s dipsticks in the drink. Such wonderful progress you are making. With you all the way.


  4. Marcel says:

    What is yr favourite orchestral piece?
    Everything is possible in Mauritius.
    2000nm left…a breeze…a mere South Easterly breeze !
    In French we call them “Alizée”

  5. Rosie Tyalor says:

    Happy socks….happy you.

    Really puts all the ‘guff’ of everyday life into perspective, well done you.

    Today I’m in London delivering a lecture entitled ‘Girls Behaving Badly..’ – I’m sure I can weave (sic) happy socks into this lecture somehow, somewhere… this space!

    Take care, much love.

  6. Remora says:

    In the other Aust to Mauritius rowing race, the leading boat is still the women’s four. They are now only 150 klms (95 UK miles) behind Sarah and will be along side her in a week or so. For those girls to still be whipping the bottom of the he-men teams must be hoot for them!!

  7. xtina says:

    Sarah ~ would love to drop a set of head phones off to you, definitely hiding a mass of chocolate in with them though, (don’t forget i said only one thing can be lowered down to you) Guy wouldn’t let me put any chocolate on his boat, wonder if he has changed his mind yet?
    Can you explain how you surf the waves one day in your messages,i know you all have to do it! Obviously all things on deck are tied down,or put in your cabins?
    love xtina

  8. Peter Duff says:

    Sarah – As I follow the adventure of my niece Sarah Duff + the Ocean Angels as they maintain their lead in the 2009 Indian Ocean Rowing Race – when I heard about your solo crossing. I find it incredible that someone should row across so much ocean – but to do it alone – mind-blowing !! More power to you – may the currents assist you in your endeavour !!

    Good luck and best wishes from Lüneburg, Germany.

  9. Vincent says:

    Wow Sarah – you are even inspirational about socks! I like your theory about ambroisa but they have figured out that it was probably a psychptropic mushroom called aminata muscara.

    They figured it out from mosaics of gods – but I seem to remember colourful footwear…

  10. Jane Spence says:

    Hi Sarah,
    Speed bonny boat! Glad to see you racing along – even carrying all that extra gas! Maybe it’s laughing gas and what keep’s you and Dippers so buoyant. Glad you’re not getting blisters – you won’t need to use your motor then, ha ha. Wonder if you’ve finished Odysseus’ Poseidon adventure. Your sheepskin certainly sounds like something discarded by one of Polyphemos’s smelly old moutons.

    Hope the chasing Indian Ocean racers are still trailing way behind. Eat your wake! Best Jane

  11. Hello Sarah and Dippers! It was sooooooooo lovely to speak to you today – when I answered the phone I couldn’t believe it was you from all the way out on the Indian Ocean! You sound so happy and full of life – it really was great to talk to you.

    We love the sound of the socks, I must ask your mum if she can make us both a pair – happy socks! Great milage done so far and it sounds as though Dippers is loving the ocean, and we can just picture you two surfing down the waves.

    Oh yes, Jamie spoke to Marine Track, we will send you an Iridium Sat message later – but the long and short of it is, we can’t get anymore information from the tracker on the website.

    I hope you managed to find our secret message? We managed to hide it well I think if you haven’t found it already.

    We don’t need to tell you to enjoy the rest of your trip, because we know you are and you are full of beans! Take care and happy rowing, lots of love Emily and Jamie x x x

    P.S When you come to visit us, I will make sure I have several Cornish Pasties for you! x x x

  12. Kitty says:

    Hi Sarah

    Hope you will publish your writings when you get home, the blogs are brilliant.

    Re music when you arrive, how about some bag pipes to welcome you!! The Chief of the Police Force(way back in 1997) in Mauritius was specially commissioned to play the bagpipes for my Aunty when she celebrated her 85th birthday party. Apparently he was the only person on the island who could play. It was brilliant!!

    You are doing so well, keep it up.


  13. Louise K says:

    Hi Sarah
    Just catching up with your website and wonderful blogs. Glad things are going so well and that you find some choccie brownies in your birthday pack!
    Louise K

  14. Hi Sarah, used the hubbies Google Earth last night to find you – I totally applaude your sports psychotherapist Dr. Briony Nicholls – She obviously did a fantastic job as your chipper tone exudes confidence and happiness not expected for someone alone in the middle of the ocean in a little rowing boat! (42 days) Obviously that good British backbone plays an awfully big part too! Mauritus is ever nearer – row on! From all of your SISTERs

  15. Lina says:

    Hi Sarah, so entertaining to read your blog, you make it sound so alive!!and Dippers a real companion,and I suppose he is! How is the chocolate stock going? I believe that there is a birthday coming up soon and i wish a chocolate rain for you! Keep up the rowing Sarah you are a legend!!!Gerard says hello!

  16. Margot says:

    Hi Sarah, My mum, the short bread maker, is also a maker of the same kind of happy socks that your mum produces. The multi coloured wool is quite something that has to be seen to be believed. They truely are wonderful on a cold Perth winter morning. I love reading your bloggs. You sound so happy and just as crazy as ever. They always give me a laugh and I can just imagine you and dippers under the wonderful night sky. You really are amazing. from Margot

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