Sunday, November 22, 2009


After mild humiliation yesterday, I changed my clothes and decided I'd better brave the rain and walk to the market. We try to buy meat from the butcher there every week, because it's very cheap and means we don't have to buy rubbish, expensive meat from the supermarket. It's about two and a bit miles from the flat.

If I was going to brave the rain, I didn't want to get wet feet. I own many pairs of mind-numbingly beautiful shoes, but not one is waterproof. I own two pairs of boots that are mostly waterproof. One needs re-heeling, so I couldn't wear those.

The other pair is ever so slightly ridiculous. Also brilliant. They are viking boots, existed long before Uggs were cool and are basically here to stomp all over them. If my boots were a man, they'd be Chuck Norris, only beautiful. If Uggs were men, they'd sing for My Chemical Romance.

They are heeled (though not stilletto) black leather with fur which folds over the top of leather between my ankle and just below the knee. The fur is held in place with buckles. This never quite works because vikings have chunkier calves than me, but this does not ruin the look.

Until yesterday, I had not worn them for two years.

My outfit was carefully selected to keep me warm and dry without making me look like a mountaineer or a farmer's wife and I was ready to go. I'd made it about a mile before my toes started hurting. Secretly, I had always known this would happen.

The boots don't rub, they're not even terribly high, but if you walk in heels of even a slightly different height to those which you are used to, your feet will complain. Anyone enthusiastic about shoes knows this is worth working through. When you get home, you take them off, give yourself a quick footrub and pad around in flats for the rest of the day. You don't wear the heels for a week, and when you do, it hurts less.

Sometimes you need to repeat this a few times, but eventually, you will win. The prize for conquering the heels is being able to wear them pain free whenever you want. If you really love them, you'll do it.

Unfortunately, I had another mile to walk, and two miles to walk back when I got to the market. By the time I got there my usual swift stride had dropped to the pace of someone slowly and casually browsing shop windows. I could not persuade my legs to move me any faster.

I made my purchases, and set off home. Slowly. In the end I gave in and got the subway. A random guy complimented me on my footwear and I even managed a smile. It was still worth it.

Finally I got back, removed the boots. Stood up and immediately collapsed. My own dumb fault. Got back up, hobbled carefully to the bathroom and bathed my feet in cool water. I assessed for blisters, a few very small ones, nothing to worry about. I put on a big pair of fluffy socks and my old comfy trainers.

This enabled me to walk again. Very slowly. I had been reduced to old lady speeds. Very annoying when you want to get things done. Only my feet were unable to move quickly - meaning it would take me a full minute to get from the kitchen to my bedroom, but only a few seconds to complete a task there. Rubbish.

I remembered there was a cane in the umbrella stand. Less rubbish.

My feet are better this morning, still sore, but I can walk like someone who isn't in their 80's now. I have, however, discovered that I will make and extremely efficient and vicious old person. I suspect I'll need a little practice, though. Who wants to come stand in the queue at the post office?

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