This evening it was a toss up between writing about Lord Carter’s newly published report on Digital Britain… and writing about my new flip flops, or ‘thongs’ as they are comically called in Australia.

I decided to write about my flip flops.

I thought that you would prefer to read how I shopped long and hard to find a way to spend less than ten quid on a pair of rubber shoes which will almost certainly fall apart before I am bored with them… rather than hear about Lord Carter’s proposal to levy a 50 pence a month charge on all phone lines to fund a universal service commitment to provide at least 2Mbps broadband service to every household and business in Britain. Which is actually less than the cost of a pair of flip flops each year.

Some people might think that flip flops are not very practical. You can not run very fast in them and they leak when it rains. But I only want them because they are more comfortable than bare feet on gravel or a stony beach. And they are also the very best thing to wear on your feet when you go to the showers at the campsite (I’m planning on some more camping).

In the blogosphere I have already found several people who think that a 2Mbps broadband service is not very practical. But if the alternative is 256Kbps or 56K modem, which is a connection speed equivalent to bare feet on a stony beach, then 2Mbps may seem very comfortable.

When I wore my flip flops last night I fell over in the bathroom. It was my fault for trying a sideways manoeuvre. Flip flops are not good for lateral movement. The bathroom is small and I hit the wall before I hit the floor. I did not sustain any serious injury (thanks for asking). It was my fault really for attempting to do something outside the normal usage constraints of my footwear.

Lord Carter’s proposals include some measures to clamp down on internet piracy. I support the idea that people who use digital communications outside normal constraints should be hindered and even punished. Especially when they are depriving artists, musicians, writers and actors of their livelihood.

I’m very pleased with my flip flops. They are chafing a bit at the base of my big toe, but I’ll get used to it soon.

You can read a short summary of Lord Carter’s report here. And see a picture of my flip flops here.

14 Responses to “Digits”

  1. 1 Fiona

    if the flip flops were £10 in a Millets clearance sale I dread to think how much they were full price.

    If you had told your ex colleagues you were looking for flip flops we could have found you a spare pair of bright yellow Aviva ones which would leave pretty logos on the sand as you walked along the beach 🙂

  2. 2 ann at now we are a Viva

    Alex – flip flops are outdated. Though I think the Aviva ones are clever. What you want are Crocs or Gumbies, which permit lateral movement and are far more comfy when wet. And cheaper. Might have attached a picture, but might not, computer doesn’t seem to be co-operating.

  3. 3 Camilla

    You need Crocs. Admittedly they cost three times as much as your flipflops but they are three times as comfortable and three times as practical. You may also think they are three times as ugly, but once you have worn them for a while you might change your mind.

    no, before you ask, I am not on commission….I was convinced by a piece Libby Purves wrote in Yachting Monthly a couple of years ago. My family all sneered, loudly, and now they all have their own.

  4. 4 jaytay

    I was hoping for a picture of your own feet wearing said flip flops 😦

    Wait, that sounds wrong….

    • 5 Amanda

      ..at least you didn’t say you wanted a picture of him wearing thongs

  5. 6 alexoutside

    Fiona – is nine ninety-nine expensive? The nice lady in Millets said that they were a bargain and going fast, so I should snap them up.

    Ann and Camilla – the Crocs had already been snapped up.

    Camilla – I should probably have checked Libby P. first, she is always full of good advice. Her book “How not to be the perfect mother” was our guiding light when the children were very young – I still recommend it to all new parents.

    Jaytay – a picture of my feet? Ugh. Or Ugg.

  6. 7 Tina

    I too am disappointed.. I would have had you down as a Birkenstock man or an early adopter of the ‘fit flop’.

  7. 8 Amanda

    Whilst thongs may seem highly amusing to those not used to our particular vernacular downunder, they are a hell of a lot cheaper than ten quid. And lots of pretty designs and colour. Even ones with sequins if you so fancy. Better put that on your Xmas list.

  8. Whilst i really don’t feel qualified to comment on the state of your footwear, other than to say that personally i find flip-flops awful, i did feel the need to respond to your comment, cunningly hidden in the otherwise innocuois blog, about Lord Carter’s report.
    My that was a long sentence, but i digress…
    Whilst i do think that people should pay for music if the artist wishes to charge for it (and not all do), i have yet to see any explanation of how they will differentiate between an illegal-file-sharer and a legal-file-sharer. The supposition inherent in the paper is that all file-sharing is illegal. As well as being incorrect this also leads to the presumption of guilt, something i cannot advocate.
    And all this from a musician who’s trying to sell music on the web…
    As a final point, in general the only people who are being deprived of anything are the record labels, most of the income never reaches the artist.

    • 10 alexoutside

      Drew – thanks for reading the small print. Point accepted about the need to differentiate between legal and illegal file-sharing. We probably agree that it would be good if at least some of the income reaches the artist. The disintermediating power of the web is such that I would expect a greater proportion of income to reach the artist really – which will never happen if people steal the product. I think that Lord Carter is genuinely interested in protecting the right of the content provider to make a living.

      • Alex, there’s really far too much to talk about in this arena than we can reasonably achieve on a blog & comment, suffice to say that i think we are agreed on the principle but the practice is up for debate. :¬)

  9. 12 Becky Stafford

    I think the flip flops are very stylish! I was stunned when I spotted Aviva branded flip flops on the aptly named Propaganda site!! why would you want those?! who wants to take Aviva on hol?

    The flip flops were a good choice, Crocs are god awful. Never stoop so low as to invest inb a pair of those…!

  10. 14 Becky Stafford

    Darn tootin’!

    Flip flops, pumps, wedges/heels and converse are all this girl needs!

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