Daniel Craig and me

What do Daniel Craig, Tom Hiddleston and Simon Gravatt have in common?

I imagine you’re thinking physique. You probably pictured that scene of Daniel Craig as James Bond emerging from the sea in his blue swimming costume. But while physique is a good answer, it’s not what I have in mind. What we have in common is that all three of us wear the same brand of sock.

The guys at The London Sock Company are experts in the male foot; there’s nothing they don’t know about how to comfortably and stylishly dress it. They also have a cool logo that features a penny farthing (quite what that has to do with socks I’m not sure, but it looks good) and they come in a range of colours, of which pink is my favourite (enabling my feminine side to peep out from under my trousers).

Three years ago my wife gave me gave me a box of 15 various coloured pairs of London Sock Company socks, each with its own compartment. What more could a man with OCD tendencies want? It was my favourite present.

Last year Ros gave me another London Sock Company present: 3 pairs of boxer shorts. A sock company branching out into boxer shorts? Could experts in the male foot really also know the male penis? The first thing I noticed was that they were targeting a different demographic. Whereas their socks are made for sophisticated men about town like Daniel Craig and, dare I say it, myself, they clearly had a younger customer in mind for their boxer shorts. Designed for well-hung 25 year olds, they look ridiculous on a saggy, shrivelled sixty-one year body. Or rather, I look ridiculous in them. But this is why my wife is such a genius. I have learnt not to question her judgment: She is always right. I found myself thinking that if she believes I look good in them, then I must have retained more of my Adonis-like body than I had thought. I began to think more like a 25 year-old and less like the grumpy old man that I had thought was my duty to live up to. Rather than scold me for being a miserable sod, my wife had successfully reprogrammed me to be a more positive person simply by buying me some boxer shorts. 

December 2023

Simon 2.0: The upgrade

There’s one other person who’s responsible for my new-found happiness: Dr Robert Iorga, one of the top neurosurgeons at St George’s Hospital, or, for that matter, in the world. I first began to realise I had a problem when watching England play China in the Women’s World Cup. Not only could I not see the ball, but I couldn’t see any of the Chinese team as their red strip merged with the green grass. All I could see was the English team in their white kit. It made for a bizarre viewing experience.

My eyesight deteriorated over the summer to about 30% normal vision. The problem was identified as a large tumour in my head that had been there for years, growing slowly until it had reached my optic nerves. On October 18th Dr Iorga cut open my head and then spent to next 7 hours meticulously removing the tumour. 

Onl once it had gone did I realise how it had affected me, certainly for all of this year and probably a year or two before that. Previously I was apathetic and completely lacking in motivation. I’ve done nothing this year; these are the first words I written.  Simon 2.0. the tumourless version, is literally a new man, energised and positive. My eyesight will still take weeks, if not months, to recover and so I’ll continue to struggle with certain aspects of life. Last week I thought it strange that there were no urinals in the cinema toilet. I wondered if I had gone into the Ladies by mistake. I went out to double-check the sign on the door. As far as I could tell, it looked like a gents sign so I went back in. Someone else came in. She was at the sinks when I came out the loo. I thought I was going to get arrested!

But once these minor technical issues are ironed out, I’m confident that Simon 2.0 will prove to be a substantial improvement on the original.

December 2023