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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Sunset in Oman...


If not necessarily off to sunnier shores (as there's plenty of those along the local coastlands) this will, nevertheless, be my 'sunset'/ closing blog-post from Oman... Tonight I'm off to Europe for a stint of R&R, after which my family and I will be heading to Qatar in early August where I'll be taking up my new post at VCU-Qatar...
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The aim is, though (for better or worse) to keep on bloggin' over the summer...

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

An Ode to Espadrilles...



I've been a big fan of espadrilles since my early teens, when I was first introduced to them through one of my then (and still) favourite comic strip characters Gaston (drawn & written by the Belgian cartoonist Franquin) who seemed to eat, sleep, cavort and invent in a pair of these shoes... Since those days I've owned a tidy quantity of these canvas and straw/ rope footwear. I haven't found a place in the region that sells them, so last summer whilst in Andalusia I bought a set in bulk (about six pairs) which I've been wearing & tearing through ever since...

Espadrilles are light, comfortable, cheap and, at least in my opinion, exceedingly stylish. They don't deal well with wetness, but this is a minor consideration whilst in the Gulf region. They are also in many ways better than the locally favoured open-toe sandals as, even though almost equally well ventilated, with espadrilles one doesn't have to worry about sand and small rocks interrupting ones ambulatory pleasures (a common affliction here in sandy Middle-East)... So my approaching trip back to Europe will thus inevitably include getting a top-up set of espadrilles for the upcoming season of academia and practice...

Gaston in action (image from the Metabunker)...