From high fashion to the high life

I PRIDE myself on being one of the most unfashionable men in England.

I just don’t care about being a la mode. What is in and out leaves me totally unbothered.

Clothes shops are places to be avoided. I never look for new apparel. The only time I get anything new is at Christmas.

A big bonus to this is that it costs me nothing to be clothed in the old and the freely given.

And I’ve just discovered that having such an attitude may be saving me from getting hurt.

A new survey reveals that two-thirds of Brits have suffered from a fashion-related injury.

The most common cause of this is the humble zip with 37 per cent of the population having painfully nipped their skin in one (I haven’t done that for years – I think it’s a case of once bit on, twice shy).

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Next in line are heavy bags with a quarter of people admitting they had suffered from a bad back as a result of carrying one around.

Some 17 per cent of Brits had developed a rash after wearing a fabric that did not agree with them, just one per cent fewer had tripped up over untied shoelaces (why young people don’t do them up I have never understood) and (this one does not apply to me, of course) 15 per cent had slipped over due to too long dresses and hemlines.

Pulling a muscle or otherwise hurting themselves while dressing or undressing was another cause of injury, along with sprained ankles from falling over in high heels, getting fibres or fluff from a garment in eyes, damaged ears from catching earrings, and feeling faint or actually passing out due to wearing too tight garments.

From high fashion to high adventure, we travel to Nepal where a new bid is being made to “finally” settle the height of Mount Everest, a subject I have been interested in since I was a child.

The international community is being asked to put an end to a long-running dispute.

Although China argued about it, other countries agreed Nepal’s figure of 8,848m (29,029ft) in 2010.

But still the dispute has rumbled on, with China contending that Everest is nearly four metres shorter than Nepal’s figure because it should be measured to its rock height. However, Nepal says that the snow height should also be included as is done with other peaks in the world.

Back in 1999, an American team using GPS technology recorded a height of 8,850m which was adopted by the US National Geographic Society.

Now it is reckoned that establishing a fresh, definitive measure “to set the record straight once and for all” will take two years to do.

Something else the experts may like to consider is whether there should be a Yeti standing on top when the final measurement is taken.

And in years to come there’ll be the geologists’ claims to ponder that the Indian subcontinent sliding under the Eurasian plate will cause the Himalayan peaks to rise even further.

It’s all go on the roof of the world.