in my third year at art college, the graphics department set us a task to design a poster for shelter, the charity which concentrates on providing accommodation for the homeless. disappointingly, in retrospect, most if not all of us, were guilty of overthinking the project, finding ever more obscure means of bringing the charity to the attention of the general public.
as i recall, my own poster centred around the slogan 'campaign for larger umbrellas', wordage that accompanied an illustration depicting more people than could comfortably fit under a single umbrella. though this made perfect sense to me, apparently the same could not be said for the judges charged with choosing a winner ultinately destined for print. in fact, when we eventually saw the winning entry, we could scarcely conceive that they'd seen fit to choose a monochrome poster, when ours were collectively more colourfully impressive.
however, the salient lesson we'd all missed out on was the nature of the charity and the relative costs of producing a poster campaign in black and white as opposed to full colour. yes, it would have been more than helpful if the third year graphics lecturer had informed us thusly (as sheldon cooper would say), especially since i'm not at all sure that this was omitted in order we learn the lesson on our own. still, the very odd spelling of yogurt by one of my fellow students did at least offer more than just a single humorous moment.
you will think me admirably disconnected that i was brought to remember all this while cycling along the eight mile straight-as-a-die stretch of low road between here and port ellen only the other day. to be bluntly factual, there is not one iota of shelter to be found along any one of those miles, something to which i will readily testify. on saturday morning i was favoured by a cross-tailwind, peppered quite liberally by heavy hail showers, while on my similarly constituted route on christmas day, the wind had swung round to offer a headwind, also featuring a rather painful set of hail showers.
over the years, i have been fortunate to have received several different pairs of allegedly waterproof gloves for review, all of which promised much, but mostly failed to deliver. one unsung and unmentionable pair were wringing wet through over the same route in heavy rain despite a name that encouraged the wearer to believe dessication would forever be their birthright. therefore, on past experience, i now have less than 100% faith in any pair of gloves the name of which is preceded by the word waterproof.
you might, therefore, forgive me for prejudging these bright orange dexshell thermfit neo gloves, given that they are built from thermally padded seamless merino wool. once again in my experience, merino wool is not renowned for its water repelling properties, though having worn these for several weeks, i can vouch for their remarkably cosy internal terry loop piles. in fact, given the relatively mild december so far, they may just be a smidgeon too warm; a complaint i rarely voice.
on the down side, though the palms and fingers feature a very effective grip pattern, for cycling purposes, they'd benefit greatly from the activity specific padding seen on most other cycling mitts or gloves. over long distances, the lack of same meant that i had need of moving my had position more often than i'm used to.
however, that minor quibble aside, the dexshell thermfits proved to be pretty much totally waterproof so far as i could ascertain. on arriving home after a 100km wet ride, the gloves' interior was a tad damp, but i'm fairly sure this was due more to their thermal properties outweighing that of their breathability. despite my intial misgivings, it would appear that dexshell have created a pair of brightly coloured gloves that are every bit as waterproof as their socks.
granted, the long cuffs may err just a bit too much on the long side, particularly if attempting to wear jacket sleeves over the top. however, to mark this as any sort of deficiency would surely leave me wide open to accusations of nit-picking. available in four sizes and at £35 a pair, they're remarkably well priced.
who needs umbrellas?
wednesday 28 december 2016..........................................................................................................................................................................................................