By: Blonde Two

Yesterday evening, I asked Mrs Google a question (obviously Mrs Google is a woman because she knows so much about everything).  I asked her what a hoodie is.  The answers that she gave were diverse and sometime incomprehensible (no comments about women allowed), here are a few;

“The best article of clothing on the planet.”

“A hooded sweatshirt with a wide pocket on the front.”

“Necessary clothing for drug dealers and potheads.”

All clothing communicates a message about how the people who are wearing it would like to be perceived.  The poor old hoodie has gone over the last decade, from being a comfy, fairly warm top with a jolly useful pocket, to a symbol of all that is bad about the “youth of today” (I hate that term – why lump people all together?).  I have to confess myself, to a couple of occasions (probably unjustified) of feeling intimidated by large groups of youngsters with their heads and faces hidden in their hoods.  It is a shame really, that we choose to judge people by their clothes – is that hood up because he is a nasty, shop robbing teenager?  Or is it up because it is chilly in November and he doesn’t own a coat?

I would like today, however to raise the profile of the humble hoodie.  I know of a handful of these much maligned items that were hard earned, were very well deserved and are very much loved.  Let me explain …

Last year, it was decided that we would provide our Ten Tors teams (and their hard working adults) with named hoodies.  This is by no means unusual in the World of Ten Tors but is often outside our budget.  The youngsters choose red, had discussions about what names to put on the back (you would think that would be easy) and the order went in.

And then something strange happened, it was as though there was an instant bonding between each youngster and their hoodie.  They became inseparable.  The hoodies were worn with pride both in bed and across the moors right through Ten Tors weekend (some crossed the finishing line, some didn’t).  After that, they kept appearing at any given opportunity. They are still wearing them now, our veterans turned up in them for Dartmoor training this weekend.  It gives both Blonde One and I such a thrill to see how much they value this little bit of recognition of their determination and hard work.

Even odder though, is the pull of the hoodie for the Two Blondes.  I have started wearing mine more and more and I know that Blonde One has too.  I even found myself in Marks and Spencers with it on the other day – a risky clothing strategy as it has my surname plastered right across that back of it and my work logo on the front.

So, the morale of this story is don’t judge a book by its hoodie or a teenager by his cover.  Sometimes there is a story to listen to first!