Monday, October 20, 2008

Goodbye, Shoes of the Summer

One of the Communist's claims to fame is that when he was a Bevan Boy, working down the pit - or "dahn t'pit" as the Yorkshire miners would say - during the Second World War, he had the biggest pair of boots in the Yorkshire coalfield.

Size elevens, his feet were - - - his foot is - - and, by the way, the missing foot, amputated a year ago, still hurts him from time to time.

Size elevens! And he was not very tall, at five feet eight, and has big hands too. In those days, nobody wore size elevens, except him.

Size elevens! And what size - - I hear you beginning to wonder idly - - could your feet be, Daphne, with a father who needed such enormous shoes? And you only five feet four, as well!

Hah! Credit me with some sense. I planned it quite well, since you ask. Keen to avoid having size nines myself, I made sure he married my mother, and, as extra insurance, brought my grandmother - my mother's mother - into the gene pool.

My mother takes size two and a half. My grandmother took size one and a half.

So my feet, whilst not exactly small, averaged out at a size six. Though when I was pregnant they increased to a seven, and never went back. Still, not bad - - though they are rather wide, so not all shoes fit me.

I never have many pairs of shoes. I always have a pair of Fairly Smart Boots, for when I'm at some kind of Fairly Smart Occasion. Then I have Walking Boots - - though mine are about ten years old, and I may have to replace them at some point. For those lazy hazy crazy days of summer (no, I don't remember them either, not this year) I have some of the original design of Crocs and I'm not getting into the Crocs debate. You say they're ugly: I agree. But they are great for the beach or going swimming. I love my Crocs.

And then, for times when I want to walk some distance but don't need such heavy-duty walking boots as my Walking Boots, I have trainers.

I've always been told that it's important to choose trainers with care, and I did. I spotted them in a sale and I thought "Those'll fit me, I'm having them." They had been reduced to five pounds, so clearly they didn't fit anyone else.

I've taken them to lots of good places this summer and they've stood me in very good stead - - London, Cambridge, Tenby, Paris, a trip on a narrowboat - - and then, when autumn came, I took them to Paris again.

And, as I walked round Paris, suddenly the ground under my right heel seemed a bit harder than usual, so when I got back to the hotel I looked at the trainers. Or pumps, as we used to call them when I was at school. Or plimsolls, as the teachers called them. Or daps, or dappers, as they called them when I lived in Cardiff.

Back to my pair. The rubber under my right heel had split completely and I was now walking on what could best be described as the ground.

Something like this always happens with my shoes after a while: because I once had a thrombosis in my right leg, I always tread more heavily with my right foot. I don't notice this but it always shows on my shoes eventually. And this is why I can't wear high heels: I'd fall over, providing much entertainment to those around me.

It didn't seem sensible to bring my trainers home but I felt bad just abandoning them: I associate them with many happy walks. So I took a couple of photos of them in my posh hotel room in Paris.

Then I threw them in the bin, and came home without them.

I keep looking for them. Must get some more.


Blogger Silverback said...

There will be a one legged scam artist somewhere in Paris dropping gold rings all over the place and wearing your good shoe.

1:01 am  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

LOL @ Silverback!

You ought to have bought some new ones in Paris perhaps!

8:07 am  
Blogger CLS said...

ummmm - hopefully we will still have some of our currently wonderful weather for you next month - better check the 'SALE" racks - you are gonna' need another pair for Florida!!

You shoulda' showed the beggars you shoe and told them you were a 'poor soul' too - - ah they were French - wouldn't have gotten the humor.

5:37 pm  

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