Friday, 18 April 2008

Stapler's Question Time

After my recent ode to APC, MR Style commented that APC is a little expensive. I'd like to open this up to debate; Here's my take on it...
For me, buying APC (or really any 'expensive' item) has two main advantages. Firstly, the buying experience; making a purchase in Liberty with space to breathe and wander around without queueing or fear that some 15-year old might steal your bag, is infinitely preferable to H&M's poorly-designed shop on Regent Street. In addition, there is a sense of the 'reassuringly expensive' from this kind of purchase. The act of buying something like this is a luxury; the pleasant assistants, heavy card embossed bag and feeling of indulgence that engulfs you as you swish out of the plate-glass doors. A guilty pleasure with a short-term high. The long-term high comes from buying an item that is well-made and ethically so (in Tunisia), to a design which is both fashionable and rare enough that every second person won't be wearing it. Further, this quality means that it will last for longer than my current falling-apart coat. My APC coat was expensive (£155), but the combination of the above factors, in my eyes, makes it good value for money. I've also had many flattering comments about it as well. As a young man with no real committments, a relatively high disposable income and more than a passing interest in fashion, these purchases are made only at the culmination of a lovely thought process, and though I am the first one to scoff at stupidly expensive purchases, I also believe in paying for what you get. In short, I reckon that some items from the current APC collections are worth the premium, and I reckon MRStyle would too...What do you think? How much is too much? Is it better for the short-term to buy Primark, or should we all be buying clothes hat last longer than two weeks? Let me know via the comments...

Denis Allen Clarke (1926 - 2008)


There has been a bit of a sad delay in my postings recently, and that's mostly due to the recent death of my much-loved Grandad. He was a lovely, kind man, who I talked to regularly, often from the pub. He was the sort of person with whom you feel very comfortable, and I'd spent many happy Christmases, birthdays and holidays with him and of course the rest of my family. His death was a shock; he had been active and independent right until his heart attack. There was no slow mental or physical decline, which I've witnessed several times before and is as far from a Staple as you can get. He was very proud of my professional achievements, and believed that I was following in the family tradition of journalism; in turn I looked up to him for guidance and support. We were very close, unusually so I suppose, as he was the last remaining relative on my Mum's side. Never fussy or imposing, he was a man of great humour and lived a socially useful, fulfilling and brilliantly rounded life. He is, and will be, greatly missed. Grandparents are your family history and support network; they are what makes you who you are, and in this way, they are above a Staple. They are your genesis.

The Staple - Scotland

A view from the train

From the slopes of Ben Nevis

Glen Nevis

Bonnie Scotland

I'm writing this from the summit of one of the highest railway passes in the UK. Corrour in Scotland, on the line between Fort William and Glasgow, at just over 1400ft is just staggeringly beautiful. There's still snow on the ground, mottling the palette of browns to a frosted chocolate. Although the clouds are low, the light across the glaciated terrain is clear and crisp; the rough grass has seemingly not been touched in millennia. The senses of both emptiness and remoteness are all-enveloping, and it's easy to forget that you are in Britain. It's a million miles from Oxford Circus, in every sense. And it's so heartbreakingly beautiful, especially with the light icing-sugar dusting of snow all around, turning to a thick covering as the altitude climbs. Dropping down a little lower, a fine mist covers the train and turns the clear sun into a hazy squint. This is so beautiful, so still and so superlative that I've run out of appropriate superlatives. The train is mostly empty, with a couple of tourists like myself and several locals who seemingly make this commute a few times a week. It's impossible for me to imagine making this journey without staring open-mouthed through the window, my eyes and brain struggling to compute the scenery unfolding. Extended train travel always provokes this reaction in me: I know I've said it before, but the most civilised and simple way to appreciate your surroundings as well as have time to think and just be , is on a train. If anything was a Staple, this journey is.