Day 365: The End… But The Moment Has Been Prepared For

Ha… ha… ha… ha… ha… happy new year for tomorrow!

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There were doubters. There were cynics. There were multidimensional imps with pointy sticks (have I mentioned them?). But here we are. The last day. The 365th pair of trainers and over a grand and half raised for Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Jan-1-riddler-ConverseThe Sole Of Sci-Fi ends as it began, back on January 1st 2014, with a pair of Batman villain Converse All-Stars. Then it was the Riddler (right) today it’s the Joker. There’s a definite feeling of having come full circle.

Donations from Clown Asylum and Lisa Wood propelled the total over the £1,500 barrier yesterday. Originally I set the total at £1,000, but when we crossed that before six months were up, I ambitiously re-set it to £2,000. Though donations have slowed down in the second half of the year, I still think £1,500 is a damned impressive result. But as I said, that’s no reason to stop donating! (Actually, halfway through writing this blog I got an email from the sponsorme.co.uk site saying my account had been closed; I thought when I put an end date of December 31st it’d stay open until the end of December 31st but apparently not. So I’m setting up a new page here for any stragglers…)

I’d like to thank everyone who has donated this year, and also everyone who has loaned me trainers. I would never have done it without you! I know if I name names I’ll insult someone by forgetting them, but I think I’m going to risk it, as the following people have been fundamental in their support (some people have retweeted or shared my social media posts nearly every day):

December 31 main 2Simon Withers, Richard Edwards, Steve Gotobed, Nicky Gotobed, Dom Carter, Pete Bayly, Ian Hepburn, Lisa Wood, Steven Ellis, Paula Miller, David Bradley, Emmaryal, Boo, Stacey Whittle, Dan Grenfell, Sarah Montrose, Zoë Gold, Deborah Bradley, Jayne Nelson, Fraser James, Mum, Dad, Rhian Drinkwater, Michael Molcher, John Edwards, Mrs Hirez, NurseDarry (the pun-master), Misty Lister, Toria, Rob Spedding, Nick Setchfield, Sarah Fones, Martin Fahey, Narin Flanders, Will Guyatt, Jodan Farley.

(There’s the possibility that I may have mentioned the same people twice as I don’t always connect Twitter handles with real names, as Dom Carter knows all to well – I was talking to him early this year about a Twitter follower for about five minutes before he went, “Yeah, that’s me.”)

I’m also painfully aware that I have seven pairs of trainers in the house that need to go back to their original owners. Don’t panic. This will happen soon.

Hmm, that’s a lot of words. Here are those Joker Cons again from another angle to break up the text.

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March 8 mainSo, at the end of the year, what are my main memories? Clambering over filing cabinets in the SFX office in the early days chiefly. I still love my Inception photo from Day 67 because it was done without any Photoshop, just me lying on my back on some shelves in the office stretching my legs to the ceiling.

July 7 mainIn those early days I had the naive ambition to try to do all the photos without using Photoshop trickery, but I’m glad I relented, as the blog began to much about five time the traffic when I started doing the movie and TV skits which eventually became the site’s defining MO. It’s now impossible to think back on Sole Of Sci-F without images like this Trasformers poster one coming to mind (actually one of my faves of the year in terms of getting the trainers – which belonged to Steven Ellis – to integrate convincingly with the image: somehow the colours and lighting just worked).

Finally, then, a few Sole Of Sci-Fi awards,  a few of them neither trainer nor sci-fi related, but things I just wanted to mention from 2014:

Favourite New Brand Of Trainers of 2014: Pearl Izumi

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Trainers That Raised Most Money on ebay: These limited edition Nikes donated by Steve Goteobed

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Sole Of Sci-Fi Blog With The Most Hits: Day 289: A Sneaker Peek At The Extended Desolation Of Smaug (I doubt this had much to do with the trainers/image)

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Trainers I Really Didn’t Want To Give Back: Dan Grenfell’s Nike Lunarswift’s – loved the colours

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My Favourite Sole Of Sci-Fi shot of the year: Loved the combination of quirky trainers, moody photo and subdued colours.

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Unexpected TV Gem Of The Year: The Detectorists

TV Highlight Of The Year: Line Of Duty/Black Mirror “White Christmas” – a tie

TV Nadir Of The Year: Mark Wright winning The Apprentice – the world seriously needs NO MORE self-appointed SEO gurus

Film Of The Year: Guardians Of The Galaxy

Best Film I Watched This Year (but It Actually Came Out In 2o13): Only Lovers Left Alive

Stupid SF Online Furore Of The Year: A black stormtrooper

Best New Show Of The Year: The Flash

Worst Character Of The Year: Another tie – Rebecca Pine in Under The Dome/Barbara Gordon in Gotham. I’m not being misogynistic. One for being a walking plot device whose character changed every week the other for being so wimpy and whiny it’s impossible to believe she’ll ever be Batwoman/Batgirl/Battokenfemale. Good grief, surely TV evolved beyond creating such thin female characters years ago.

Graphic Novel Of The Year: Bryan Lee O’Malley’s Seconds

seconds bryan lee o'malley

Comic Of The Year: Moon Knight

Most Amazing Ability Of The Year: Either Halle Berry’s ability to scale elevator shafts wearing high heels shoes or the Flash’s ability to know exactly where to stand to be backlit when taking to Iris.

The Flash 105 Plastique new power copy

Villains Of The Year: The production designing and lighting team on Marvel’s Agents Of SHIELD for making the show (which in terms of writing and characters is getting better an better) look so drab and uninteresting. They should be forced to watch Gotham with looks gorgeous even when the scripts are little iffy.

Freakiest Trainers I Had To Wear This Year: Crepe-soled running shoes? No thanks.

December 5

And that’s your lot. I’ll update the blog irregularly in the coming weeks with total updates (if there are any). I’ll be looking forward to getting an hour and a half of my life back every day. And I’ll try to work out what I should blog about next. By necessity, I need a new angle. But one thing’s for sure – it won’t be daily.

Thanks everybody. Keep in touch via Twitter and Facebook.

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• Current total: £1,525 

• Remember this is all for charity, so  PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE (this is now the extra donation site for latecomers)

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Day 174: Space Nike-99

Giant steps are what you take, walking on the moon. But you must be a lunatic to do it in trainers…

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The Eagle hasn’t landed. I think it’s still looking for Moonbase Alpha, but that span off into deep space on the  Earth’s alternative universe moon back in 1999.

Today’s smart pair of Nike’s are an on-loan pair from one of my loyal Twitter brigade, Dan Grenfell. He says he’s in no hurry to have them back, because it’s a good excuse not to do any exercise. Looking at how pristine they are, I’m not sure he does any exercise when they are in his possession.

The style is actually called “Lunarswift 4” which is what inspired the Space: 1999 reference. It’s certainly a rare show in sci-fi history. Most screen science fiction is littered with plot holes, but only a few films or TV shows are ballsy enough to make a huge scientific howler part of their very premise.

In case you don’t know this famous blooper already, here it is in a nutshell.  The show is about the moon being forced out of its orbit by an explosion, thus becoming an unsteerable planetary spaceship for the members of a lunar base that was set up there at the time. Every week it would travel near a new planet in a new system, giving the inhabitants of Moonbase Alpha enough time to explore the neighbourhood. So here’s the problem: if the moon was travelling fast enough to escape from Earth’s solar system and travel between other solar systems so frequently, it would have to either a) zipping about at warp speed, or b) have a brake.

Space 1999 monsterThe show also boasted a lead couple who were married in real life at the time (Martin Landau and Barbara Bain) but who both showed less emotion on screen that Mr Spock on a particularly dour day. If there was sexual chemistry between these two it was like the chemistry between water and sub zero temperatures. Space: 1999 also had a few shuffling monsters that would have rejected on ’60s Doctor Who resulting in a hilarious amount of really slow chase scenes down corridors.

Despite all that, when I was a wee lad, it was the bee’s knees of science fiction. And that was mainly because it had some seriously cool special effects. The Eagle shuttles remain one of the most impressive spaceship designs ever, and Moonbase Alpha itself was a model that bore up to close scrutiny week-in, week-out. And while season two committed the heinous crime of dumping one of the greatest theme tunes of all time (the replacement wasn’t terrible, but it was nowhere near as good as Barry Gray original) it redeemed itself by replacing a fusty old scientist with a shapeshifting alien vixen called Maya.

Oh yeah. And season two featured a planet called Luton. Because the American producer drove past a signpost for Luton and thought it sounded exotic. Given where Space: 1999 was filmed (Pinewood), thank God we didn’t also get planets called Slough and Staines.

Usual Sign-Off

• Current total: £1,000 (come on, let’s forge on into that second century!)

• Remember this is all for charity, so any pennies or pounds you can spare PLEASE DONATE BY CLICKING HERE.

• Follow me on Twitter to make sure you see what trainers I’m wearing each day.

• If you have any trainers you could donate (either on loan or old pairs you’re getting rid of) which are size 9 (ish – I can do anything  from 8 to 10) contact me at dave.golder@futurenet.com so I can arrange collection.

• Please, please, please leave comments below! I’m after ideas for mini-challenges, future photoshoots and how I can find enough pairs of trainers!

 

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