Sunday, 10 January 2010

Soldier boy

screw driver in hand i'm fixing the door, the cold weather has made it stick and fail to close properly. in such icy weather i'm wearing my paratroop boots, plain green trousers, black jacket and a burglar style thinsulate hat (the only hat i haven't had stolen). this lovely ensemble is nicely rounded off with a Glock 6" combat knife securely holstered in my belt, the perfect tool to scrape out the ice in and around the door frame and shave off any splintered wood around the door. unaware they're in earshot my two new neighbours confer quietly as they approach walking up the stairs to the entrance of our building,

"he's a bit..."
"oooo i see what u mean"

i keep this amusement for myself. for me in rough weather, function often supersedes fashion. i often wear warm comfortable clothes, practical footwear and dark colours that don't show dirt. sometimes i look very much like a bad-ass squadie in civvis. difficult not to look like that in those boots without a load of dreadlocks on top of your head, difficult not to wear them in the snow when the soles are made by a tyre company and the fabric is thick leather, breathable, waterproof and they cost £30.

super hardened high polymer lightweight plastic cases the military uses to transport guns and rocket launchers i use as luggage for my laptop and camera gear. an LED torch housed in aircraft grade aluminium that's brighter, lighter and more battery efficient than anything in it's class. the Glock knife sharp and strong with a hole in the holster so it doesn't fill up with rain, a clip on the hilt so you can't grab it from my hip and the top guard which just 'happens' to be the perfect size to open beer bottles. fancy that, the standard issue knife of military forces worldwide has a hook that opens beer bottles....what a co-incidence!

i think the things that attract me to the military issue items that i possess isn't a romantic idea about war or an insecure attempt to project toughness to those around me, but an enthusiasm and excitement about things that work. i'm not a mechanically minded person that likes to disassemble things, take them to bits then repair them while putting it all back together. i'm a person that likes it when none of that is necessary. to buy and own things that other people might scoff at with distaste, but items which last me a decade, are beautifully designed, operate perfectly, are repairable and keep me and my equipment safe. quality long term.

i do think that it's a shame that such huge financial and intellectual resources are invested in weapons of war when they could be practically applied to improve human life with medicine, healthcare, logistics, welfare, housing, communication, peace and prosperity. i don't wear the boots to kick hippies, i wear them to keep my feet dry.