Shoes, they are strange things. It’s like they hold this magic that no one can escape from.
“Don’t judge me until you have walked a mile in my shoes or lived a day in my life.”
How strange that it’s the shoes that count.
As women, shoes are a major challenge. Wedding’s being the worse time of a woman’s shoes choosing exploits. Do you go for sensible flats, or flattering heels? It’s not until you get to my age that you can get away with the semi-heel. The, it looks charming and elegant but solid and comfortable heel.
If anyone wanted to spend a day in my shoes they will be hard pressed to find an uncomfortable pair, they will find five pairs of sensible Mary Janes thrown liberally into the bottom of the wardrobe. Now boots, that’s a different matter, bike boots, two pairs, short ankle and long winter ones. Riding boots, two pairs of hiking boots, one for walks through countryside, and one for rocky terrain. Three pairs of day boots, low heeled black, flat black and brown ankle boots, welly boots and gardening boots. I think that’s it. Trainers for outdoors, trainers for indoors, slippers, black plimsolls, grey plimsolls, trainers for the gym, trainers for running, (Part worn) No sandals, a pair of sketchers, the cheap ones that say George inside them, but they are really mine, flipflops, give me a break!
So, there isn’t a lot of variety in my footwear selection, but each and every pair I do have is built for purpose and comfort.
I’ve been on holiday, don’t lose the will to live just yet, or the thread, there is a point to my shoe fetish. I’ve been to a Health Spa. I’ve been poked, pummelled and pampered, massaged, mermalised and manhandled, and I’ve enjoyed every minute of my time. I got hugged by several members of staff as I left, I think that was the relief of seeing me go home.
On arriving I was greeted and shown to my room, there was a bit of a mix up but it was amicably sorted. Then the porter brought in the dressing gown and the dreaded flipflops. I hate flipflops. I realise that the Egyptians invented the dastardly things, but the Romans brought them over to England and here they have remained.
We managed to get rid of the Rara Skirt, the Balloon pants and the Boot-string neck ties, and any bugger that tells me any of this lot is coming back, I will liberally beat up with a wet fish, so why are we still stuck with toe cutting flipflops? Worse of all I paid a bloody fortune for my three days of bliss, why should I have to torture myself with the worse footwear ever?
Walk a mile in my shoes, only if you choose the offending articles that were placed on the floor in front of me.
“Not for me thank you.”
Not being a newbie at this game, I had planned ahead and the porter placed a pair of neat banana bottomed sandal come Mary Jane type things on the bed.
“And these are for you, I believe,” he said with a knowing smile.
“Thank you, thank you, thank you.”
Do you think the third thank you and hugging the porter in my room with the door closed was a little bit of over kill? He must have done, he accidentally on purpose didn’t bring me my case, but a young receptionist was sent with it instead. Funny how I never saw him again until the day I left!
They were tres magnifique, (the posh health spa has left me with an appreciation of the French language, don’t you know) the sandals were amazing, in fact, more than amazing.
For those of you that have never worn what I term banana souled shoes, I suggest you look up Sketchers, you know the ones, they have that curved bottom to them, and when you walk they act like a type of mini suspension that makes you feel as if you are being gently catapulted from one foot to the other.
I was off down the corridor like a weebling wombling womble on steroids, they were so comfortable, the lattice crossed elasticated tops fitting perfectly on my knackered feet. Even after a two-hour journey in Doc Martins, oh yer, forgot to mention, I have a pair of them as well, my swollen feet were cushioned in the lap of luxury. I swear I could hear them sighing with relief as I took off the military spec walking socks.
I wore the sandals for three day and they were perfect.
As I packed to leave I crammed my DM’s into my suit case and kept my sandals on.
Note to oneself, never paint your nails before packing.
My boots now have a lovely pink streak on them. Any suggestions how to get pink nail polish off leather boots. I know I’ll leave it on, I could paint a pink Unicorn on the side of my left boot. Wicked idea. Should I use acrylic or buy some fabric paints? Oh decisions, decisions. I could never be expecting to solve the world starvation problem.
“Should I send coffee to China, or Tea to Africa? Let me see, red tea or green?”
On arriving home I couldn’t wait to show Mark my new sandals, I was secretly hoping that it might take his mind off the cost of my three-day break.
Yep, I did it, you know I did. Let’s remember that Mark is six foot four inched tall and has feet comparative to his height. Let’s remember that little blue sandals would not be his first choice in a shoe shop. So why did I say it, well you just do don’t do.
“You have to try these sandals they are so comfortable.”
The look was curious. It sort of crossed the boundary between, “have they addled your brain at that place, and really do I look that gay?”
I’m not stupid, and by the way, I did say hello, put the kettle on and thank you for unloading the boot of my car, before I asked him to fit his size tens into my size five and a halves.
Now you might think that unloading the car was not a major task, for heaven’s sake I’d only been away for three days and two night, what could I possibly have to unload? Well let me tell you, I had a week’s shopping. No honestly, as I left to come home, I asked Mark if there was anything we needed. Send a list I said, as he began the rhetoric about not having this that and the other. That was a mistake, should never have asked him.
I drove for two hours to get home and what was the first thing I had to do? Hit Sainsbury’s, in my new sandals, oh the abuse, the damage, the indignity shown to my perfect shoes. Although, I was really pleased at how well they propelled me through the aisles and around the late afternoon shoppers.
Then home at last, I did, I asked Mark to walk in my shoes.
Some might be thinking, OK, so you got some groovy shoes, but what about the holiday? What interesting things did you get up to?
Absobloodylutely nothing. I relaxed, and lounged, and slept, boy did I sleep.
It was a break, I didn’t upset anyone, well almost no one. You just can’t go to place like that and not callout the wannabe’s, can you?
What’s a wannabe? It’s the, I wannabe special and posh and act like I have money. Really, wearing Matalan swimwear is a dead giveaway, I know because that’s where mine comes from. Asking how much a cup of coffee costs, is another tell-tale sign that the airs and graces you are putting on, don’t come from money honey.
I save my pennies for my three day retreat, and I let the world know, I’m a housewife and this is an amazing place and no, I don’t have a membership, hell I can’t afford it. But I don’t look down my nose at anyone, not those with, nor those without. And the worse kind of snobs are those who think they have and they are something, when they have not and really are not that special.
So, as the two women who lounged behind me in their too tight to mention velveteen tracksuits, berated the working classes and the benefit system, I decided to be the bigger person and take myself out of a conflictive situation. By conflictive, I mean if I hadn’t been in such nice surroundings I would have very politely told the woman who hadn’t got a clue, that invalidity benefit doesn’t exist, so no your sister’s neighbour isn’t claiming it, and no she isn’t getting £800 a week, because there is no benefit available that pays out that amount, but I was good, instead I moved myself to another area of the lounge.
The Coffee lady came over and asked if everything was alright and why I had moved. I explained that rather than physically picking the fat woman up by the throat, shoving her up against the wall and reading her the 1983 mental health act, I took myself away from what could otherwise be an explosive situation.
What I didn’t expect was a gym instructor, big, beautiful boy, erhm, sorry, muscular, magnifique, errrhhhhmmm, sorry a young sports instructor, to politely to tell the woman to keep her cakehole shut because she was upsetting the other guests with her loud mouth. OK he didn’t quite put it like that, but her reply was brilliant. The pseudo posh accent she had used to order her coffee and talk to anyone who wanted to listen suddenly went away, seriously it just dropped.
Mine does that, apparently, the angrier I get the further south my accent goes, until when I am livid, my South London, core blimey, rings out. She didn’t even hit Sheffield, she went for the Bermondsey lilt and hit home with a barrage of abuse, to which the young Adonis asked her to leave.
Now it wasn’t my imagination, you could visibly see the relief of the other guests as she and her friend were escorted out. Apparent I wasn’t the only one who had taken offence.
She was tall and in her sixties, beautifully turned out for a woman without makeup, her hair pinned up and wearing the regulation dressing gown.
She stopped the procession of staff and the women in their tracks and turned to the loud mouth wannabe.
“My dear, when you decide to berate someone, make sure they are not sitting behind you.” She turned as the wannabe realised their mistake. “When you have walked a mile in my daughter’s shoes, then you can call her a fraud and a benefit cheat.”
They tried to apologise but it fell away into the melodic twinkling of the Spa musak.
The rest of my stay was peaceful. Dancing with the Porters, giggling with the Maître D’hôtel (More French, what did I go to France? Nar, Leicestershire) and explaining to the masseuse about cheesy bellybuttons.
It was a good holiday and I’ve carefully put my new sandals away in a box in the bottom of the wardrobe, ready for my next trip.
How Much? Really you think I’m going to post the cost where Mark can see it?