I went to see my sisters in Stockholm recently and as I was packing my bag, it dawned on me that I had to make some serious sock decisions. When you live in a country where people never take their shoes off you don’t make serious sock choices. You put on whatever socks happen to be available. Green, red, stripy, mix it up. Nobody will know.

However, if you are planning on going to my Motherland, you will need to plan your packing around what matching socks you have, since you will be required to take your shoes off in people’s homes. In Sweden, all must be colour coordinated, or preferably, simply black.

I had to dig deep into my sock drawer and in some ways, it was quite a meditative experience. While digging through the drawer I contemplated the fact that I had not heard about any fungal epidemic going on in the UK. Perhaps the shame is too deep. Perhaps the worst is still to come. We all watched The Last of Us…

My Northern Irish husband has shared with me that when I go away, he lets loose and walks around our home with his shoes on. His feet steaming in his boots, half leather, half plastic.
I reprimanded him and put up cameras to monitor whether he really is that annoying.

Finally, I had amassed a pile of socks for my trip. Four pairs of socks that matched. It was then I realised, I needed to work on my sock game. We should all work on our sock game. There should be a national campaign on how to work on your sock game! A smelly, mixy-matchy foot situation is not going to help anybody.

I am embarrassed I have fallen so far from my Scandinavian moral high ground.

Gabi Froden

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