I like shoes. I suspect that for women shoes are a symbol of financial prosperity or at very least stability. There were times in my student life when I simply did not go adequately shod. I am still grateful for the small pair of police boots my friend Trish scared up for me when I was an undergrad.
Now that the bony deformity has asserted its presence in my foot, buying shoes has new, unforeseen difficulties. The principal one is finding comfortable shoes that don't look like "comfortable shoes." When I was in a charity shop the other day, I picked up a pair of England-made navy blue loafers. Although they were not overly feminine, they weren't exactly gender neutral either. I thought I had a problem solved, and all for £5,
But on the way home from a dinner party--as soon as we left, as a matter of fact--the sole began to flap off my right shoe. At first it was just the toe section, but then the sole peeled away right down to the heel, leaving me taking huge flapping steps like a clown. As I was wearing nylons, just walking along the pavement--and through the woods--without my shoe was not a comfortable prospect.
Fortunately, B.A. was with me, and he nicked a strand of ornamental grass from a front garden and made a thong for my shoe. This was tricky, slippery work--especially at midnight after a boozy supper---and the sharp grass cut his finger. Polish Pretend Son looked down pityingly at B.A. kneeling on the pavement trying to lasso together my shoe and said, "Today I was thinking, 'Should I get married? And now...."
"Hey," I protested. "This is a beautiful argument in favour of marriage. My gift of love was not to spend more than five quid on a pair of shoes, and B.A.'s gift of love is to mend them with grass when they fall apart."
The grass thong survived to the other side of the street, after which B.A. and PPS found a plastic tie affixed around a lamp-post, cut it off, and made it into a more durable lasso. This one worked much better, and did not come off until I had climbed a flight of the Historical Stairs.
I think it was rather like a story out of the oeuvre of the American author O.Henry (of 'she sells her hair, he pawns his watch' fame). All the same, I may make myself buy some proper new dress shoes, somehow both feminine and comfortable at the same time. The sad thing about women's clothes and shoes is that quality--real quality, quality like in men's good clothes and shoes-- costs a small fortune.
Baking note: I entertained a lot this week, so I baked a lot this week, and I highly endorse the healthy recipes of Hemsley + Hemsley. Their peanut butter cookies, the ginger cookies, the apple crumble with ginger cream and, to throw in an actual meal, "Pablo's Chicken" are all excellent. The very small amounts of sugar--i.e. maple syrup, date syrup or honey--may come as a disappointment at first, but I discovered I quickly grew used to the new taste. Everything is flour-free, which means both an increase in nutrition, but also in calories and in price. I may have to start buying ground almonds in bulk.