Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Understanding the ISVR Police

I've had a number of people complain about my lack of shoes in my research building. The complaints come from the other departments that occupy the building as they don't know who I am and so just see some weirdo walking around without shoes and socks on while my department understands me as being a barefoot geek. This has been going on for some weeks and I've recently been found by the local health and safety wardens who have alerted me to the complaints and said I should not be doing it.

Their reasons go along the lines of 'what if someone leaves a drawing pin on the floor' or 'the floor in the toilet is dirty you can't possibly walk in there'. I said I'd put some slippers on which they seemed to accept. However, what I later realized is that theses folks who are complaining don't realize I'm barefoot all the time. They think I come to work, remove my footwear and start wondering the halls. This explains their worry that i might step on something as they don't realize I have to navigate the gauntlet of the outside just to get to work, so floors indoor are no real challenge to me.

As for using the toilet. Yes the floor is covered in nast, but that's life (or more accurately the poor toilet habits of many shod men). I take special care, unlike outside, to not enjoy any puddles I find in the toilet. And the next time I get told off I'll just ask them if they use the toilet door handle when leaving the facilities - as there is probably more germs on that one item than the whole of the floor (which is cleaned daily). By the way, I avoid using toilet door handles where ever possible.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

ISVR Police

I just got caught again for barefooting upstairs on the ISVR floor and told off. A different guy this time at least.

I was using the ISVR kitchen (called Franks) where I heat up my pre-cooked lunches. Stupidly though today I was simply boiling water for a Nong Shim instant noodle which I could have done upstairs.

So this guy says "your not allowed to go round without shoes on". I turn round and say "excuse me?" as, not knowing who I was, he didn't say "Oi you without shoes, stop it". So I said that according to health and safety I was fine and so he went to get the ISVR health and safety officer! Busted!

That guy was quite nice, and said laid down the rule said it wasn't allowed in 'our building'. Naturally I enquired as to who's building it was. He said ISVR, and I alerted him to the knowledge that Aerospace is here too. This took the line of questioning to why I was in Franks if I wasn't ISVR ad away from my bare feet (I think he sensed a defeat when I didn't come under his duristriction). I explained th lack of microwave in our facilities due to the shit building design. Thankfully he never noticed that I wasn't actually using the microwave! Phew :)

It looks like I might have to wear my slippers to lunch from now. But otherwise the battle continues.

Other Barefoot Links

Barefoot Hiker - a british website. walks are organised on an adhoc basis so send them an email and I might see you on the next walk :)

Barefoot Hikers is a website for international readers. There are links to other barefoot walking groups around the world.

SBL - About, gives a short mission statement for the Society for Barefoot Living.
"We enjoy walking barefoot as nature intended, taking delight in feeling the many textures the world has to offer, like having tough, callused soles, and even think it's cool to get them dirty."

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Just for Future Reference

I'm just filling in my application to join the Society for Barefoot Living and it asks for a little introduction to my barefoot living. So I though I better check when it was I started and I've found out that it was at about 6:05 pm on Sunday the 2nd July 2006.

Barefoot Resources

I've been wondering the web a little and have finally come accross some resources for living. I'll give you the link below, but I've not yet had a good look at the site, so I'll save my comments and hopefully route out some nuggest for you.


I got this link from this article written for the The Great Outdoors Magazine.

Monday, October 09, 2006

On my way to work this morning I felt a rather new and strange feeling underfoot. The pavement was strangely warm and soft. I looked down to find a patch of freshly laid tarmac. So naturately I went back to put my foot in it. Sadly I didn't leave a proper impression, not that it would have taken a very good one (wrong type of tarmac), but I should have tried.

My tarmacked foot

A Good Day for No Shoes

Today is a fine shoeless day. Firefox is telling me that it's about 17 degrees outside, with some gently sunshine warming the ground to a very comfortable temperature.

The University here has spent a great deal of time (and no doubt funds) over the past few years paving the campus with those red bricks rather than tarmac or concrete which was there before. And I must say that this was a great move. Not only do they make much nicer looking pathways, but the are rather lovely underfoot. The bricks seem to capture the sun's energy rather nicely and release it gradually, meaning that they don't heat up too much and maintain a reasonably steady temperature. So today, a lightly fresh brease perfectly complements the underfoot warmth to deliver a most pleasent walking experience.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Autumnal Prospects

Autumn is definitly coming now, you can see the sun dropping rappidly in the sky every day. The mornings are getting colder and the weather is generally wetter and more blustery, though as yet no leaves are really turning (except the conker trees).

My feet are just about surviving, last monday was tough going. The wet ground and cold morning was hard on the feet. Walking in the wet seems to be more painful than normal due, I think, to the fact that the wet softens the soles. Thus even rough forms of tarmac are more difficult to walk on.

However there is one thing I'm quite excited about - falling leaves. I always love walking trough the collected piles of falen atumn leaves. The crunchy rustle underfoot and the scuffing swoosh sound that they make on each step as your feet fling them into the air. What fun this will be without shoes on! I can't really imagine, but I hope it will make up for the cold.

Monday, October 02, 2006

Running to Church

I was a tad late at getting ready for Church. In fact I was still in the house at 6:30 when the service began. Yeah, I'm not fantastically well organised.

In order to limit my lateness I decided it would be better to run there than walk. So I did. It's 0.6 miles there and I was quite amazed that I made it. The soles of my feet really warmed up on the way and I made it home all right, but today my feet were feeling the pain. The soles felt all delicate and there was little enjoyment of the pavement on the way into work. The cold and wet didn't help either. 

Barefoot Gardening

I'm sorry this is a little off putting, but here is my foot after a day digging in the garden. I can reccommend barefoot gardening but you definitly have to be careful of stabbing feet with claw shaped rakes or scooping up a toe with your shovel. And digging with spades are really out of the question - finally! a barefoot limitation!

Rainy Weather

Hmm, not quite so good today. The temperature has dropped a bit and it's been raining for a couple of days now, and I have to admit that my feet are a little cold, at least when I'm out walking around in the wet.

But indoors is still working for me, and getting inside after walking around outside give a nice warmth rush to the old pegs. 

I'm also now in long trousers which is a little anoying without shoes. My legs arn't the longest available due to my somewhat vertically challenged nature, and they don't seem to cater for my height in the fassion industry. They don't cater for my slim physique either for that matter. Which all means that my trousers are scraping along the floor and sucking up puddle water (as I still enjoy the thrill of walking through puddles without shoes on - similar to the joy of wellies in the mud). But this isn't helping with the warmth factor.

How long will I last? Place your bets now...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Cold Feet

This is a little worrying, my feet are feeling a touch cold today and I've only been indoors. Firefox is telling me that it's 17 degrees in Southampton, which isn't exactly winter conditions. How am I going to survive this winter? It's going to be cold outside...