The Utterly Inessential Shopping List: Winter’s least appropriate shoes, a bed of rare glory and an everything-proof mobile for adventurers or the incurably clumsy

Every week in this little slot, we lament the nastiness out in the world and suggest that you alleviate some of that negativity with something to make you smile. This week's selection comes from Victoria Marston and Toby Keel — enjoy.

The 4×4 phone

A few years ago, Land Rover released a phone which they claimed was the ‘toughest in the world’. This year, they’ve produced a new version, which is, naturally enough, even tougher. And boy does it feel it: the Land Rover Explore R really does have the sort of heft you’d expect of the car whose name it bears. It’s a huge, heavy metal beast that feels as if you could use it to hammer nails into a block of wood — apparently the makers (a mobile phone company called Bullitt, who produce it for Land Rover) test the phone by dropping it from 6ft onto a steel floor, as well as dunking it in sea water and attacking it with a flamethrower. Okay, probably not that last bit…

The phone is not crazily expensive by mobile standards at £399, though if all you’re bothered about is speed, screen resolution and camera you’d be able to find a model with comparable innards for half the price. But that wouldn’t have buttons modelled on Land Rover Defender door handles, nor would it come with a year of OS maps, or a scratch-proof screen that you can operate even while wearing gloves — and nor could you use it to defend yourself from a rampaging bear while trekking through the Canadian tundra.
TK

Land Rover Explore R, £399


Just loafing around

Let’s be honest — it’s a terrible time of year to even attempt to wear suede outside of the house. I, however, have always been an absolute daredevil. I would also cry the second it started raining on these shoes. Life is a rollercoaster.
VM

£159 from Nicola Sexton


I’ve got the key, I’ve got the secret

Do we think there’s anyone who genuinely needs a keyring? I don’t think I remember ever buying one, yet I believe I own approximately 5,463 of them. Or thereabouts. I do enjoy a spaniel though, so would be willing to make some space in the keyring draw for this little number.
VM

£12 from Inspired By Darcy


The Swiss Family Bunkbed

A pal of mine — a slightly eccentric pal, right enough — got rid of his bed years ago. He replaced it with a couple of reclaimed builders’ pallets, and simply popped his mattress on top — all at a cost of £0.00. So there’s the proof that beds are in the ‘Utterly Inessential’ category. Yet if you can see this wonderful bed, and not immediately want to throw out your boring John Lewis model and get one, then I don’t believe we can ever truly be friends.
TK

£499 from Noa & Nani


A hat not recommended for anyone called Timothy Iain Tait or Belinda Ursula Munnings

I’m not entirely sure why you would need your initials emblazoned all over your bobble hat, yet I’m strangely taken with the idea. Bonus points if you have amusing initials (and bravo to your parents).
VM

£35 from Waring Brooke