Wednesday 21 January 2015

New shoes

 Cherry red buckle up Start-rite sandals
 with the daisy cut out motif at the toe 
and the springiest white crepe soles. 
I felt as light as thistledown.
We bought them at the family run Regal shoe shop.
The owner knelt at my feet to measure and assess.
Then he would disappear into the dim recesses of the shop
 and re-emerge with a tower of boxes.

Summer sandals were white and cleaned with chalky Meltonian shoe cream.
School shoes were brown lace ups.
Once a box contained rainbow sparkly fabric party shoes,
 the perfect finishing touch to my voluminous party dress 
with the angora bolero top.

 They didn't really stand up to the rigours of energetic party games. 
Squeak Piggy Squeak, Blind Man's Buff, Oranges and Lemons, 
Musical Chairs and Musical Statues usually entailed
 a fair bit of shoving and dodging. 
Your big toe went through them pretty quickly.

The first pair that I had any independent say over
 were bright pink ankle boots.
I was so proud of them.
They killed my feet but I could never admit it.

Desert boots and clogs were the mainstay through my teenage years.
Clark's sandals in summer.
I never wore high heels and my platform shoes were
much more conservative than my younger sister's.

The most coveted boots when I was a student, 
were made by a firm called Olaf's Daughter's.
They were incredibly expensive and my friend had 
the long emerald green ones that laced up.
I eventually managed to buy the three quarter length version in red.

Somewhere out there, 
one last perfect red shoe with a bouncy crepe sole, awaits me.
I'll let you know when I find it. 


Well, you see, all this Kondo-ing has so depleted my belongings
that I am actually able to breathe new life into my wardrobe
and break out a little.
I found these in the sale at Helen Bateman.
My first choice would have been the purple ones with
the multi-coloured elastic, 
but they had run out of my size.
But these are pretty damn fine.

(No lizards were inconvenienced in the making of them.)


  1. Your new boots will match the new jacket perfectly, I should think. When I was little I had very similar shoe-buying experiences. My mother would take me down to Lion's Shoe Store where I would get a pair of leather, buckled Buster Brown shoes to go with my school dresses and pants, as well as a pair of runners for gym. I usually wore flip-flops all summer but one year when I was twelve, I think, my mom bought me strappy sandals with a more-than-slight platform heel. Not terribly practical but I still played all kinds of neighbourhood games in them - hide and seek, Sardines, war, etc. That's determination! Thanks for bringing back my shoe related memories, too. You and your sister are so gosh-darn cute!

  2. Oh, I love those!

  3. I saw these and fell in love with them and have now ordered a pair. I think we live far enough apart not to fetch up wearing them at the same function at the same time! I just hope that they fit me, being a little bit pointy, but there is a returns policy so I feel happy to order and try them. I'm tempted to buy some of the bags, too! I thought that Helen Bateman used to do nicely embroidered slippers but I don't see any on her website. I couldn't justify paying the full price, but the Sale prices are wonderful!
    Margaret P

  4. Speaking of lizards, I have a confession to make. Many years ago before I became vegetarian, I bought some leather shoes. I still have them, but I'm embarrassed to wear them and don't want to throw them out. I should be able to wear them with the comfort that Peter Singer declared that he was happy to eat road-kill animals. Waste not, want not.

  5. Clark's sandals in summer for me, never white though. New shoes always happened at Whitsun so that we all had brand new shoes to do the Whitsun Walks form Chapel to Church through so many Welsh villages; such cruelty to children. Winter was spent in thick Wellington boots with thick, long socks. Grim.

  6. Brown sandals all summer long , getting scruffier by the day till , eventually some uncle or other was given the job of cutting a semicircle off the leather top for toes to poke through ....
    And desperately wanting tap shoes .

  7. Oh such shoe memories! I wonder if it is because shoes are really the only item of clothing that the wearer sees all the time....these are beautiful - I wish you health to wear them, as we say when someone gets something new.

  8. PS Just an update. The mock-lizard Chelsea boots arrived yesterday but sadly they don't fit. They are very narrow and tight, even though I ordered my size, but every manufacturer of clothing or shoes or hats has a different approach to sizing and these are just too darned tight. They were returned this morning. I shall not cut a dash in mock-lizard boots after all.
    Margaret P

    1. I'm sorry to hear that. I ordered a size up but they are, as you say, quite narrow and I won't be wearing thick socks with them.