I am not a shoe girl. Or, for that matter, a bag girl. Recently I disgusted a friend when we were looking at very nice bags in John Lewis together, and I said ‘it’s very pretty and all, but it’s not wipe clean, is it?… What? What?‘ The reason that I am not a shoe girl is mostly because I have very big feet (size 8+) and therefore my feet look like they are sailing great big boats off the bottom of my legs in most flat shoes, and I am way too clumsy for heels. And getting a size 8, or 8 and a half, in ‘normal’ shoe shops can sometimes be quite tricky. Once, Rich’s dad said ‘oh Alice, I’ve found the perfect website for you, it’s called ‘canoes for shoes’!! Elegant. And he didn’t mean it as an insult, or anything.
Also, I have had several traumatic shoe incidents (TSI’s.) The first TSI (ha,not sure I can keep this up!) came when I was on a night out with some very cool, arty people from university who I didn’t know very well. In an attempt to make a good impression, I borrowed some proper going out shoes, with a (quite chunky) heel. In the queue to get into a cool, arty club, I managed to get my heel stuck in a drain. That’s right. I actually am that ridiculous.* I had to be prised out, by a guy in Jarvis Cocker-esque glasses and a Pearl Jam t-shirt. Another TSI involved a brand new pair of brown leather platform sandles (I’ll let you treasure that image for a while,) which my friends instantly labelled ‘Alice’s geek shoes’. Having only just purchased them, I removed them in the park in order to do backwards rolls on a goal post -not going to apologise for that one, blatantly that is just the kind of person I am- and a dog promptly ran off with one in its mouth. I did get it back, it was just a bit soggy and had actual dog teeth marks in it which reduced its appeal, somewhat.
So, anyway, I don’t really do shoes. Contrary to the modern myth that all women go gaga over heels, I resolutely live in bashed up converse, flip flops and wellies. And nor do we, as a company, sell shoes. There is already a lovely independent children’s shoe shop in Bedford (hello, Angels and Urchins! – my children definitely qualify for the urchin part of their customer base.) But baby shoes are a different matter entirely. They are my shoe-shopping Achilles heel, (not sorry.) There’s that supposedly-Hemmingway six word short story, which is one of the saddest lines in literature: ‘For sale, baby shoes. Never worn.’
It’s a scale thing. Tiny shoes are just so adorable, so perfect. It’s like when you see a new baby and you can’t help but comment on their teeny-weeny fingers and toes, even though you know, logically, that everything is to scale. It wouldn’t make sense for babies to have giant toes; therefore they must have tiny toes, hence the tiny shoes. Yet every time I see baby shoes, I feel the need to coo over them. Which is why I’ve ended up in possession of these beautiful, hand-knitted ones, which I will be listing for sale on our website when I next get half an hour:
Also, charity shop find of the week (play appropriately joyous fanfare yourself) are these cuties!:
And guess what? They are originally from Zara. My favourite European clothing store. Such a cut above that other, orange-fruit-named shop…
*you know the sitcom Miranda? Well that is essentially me. Apart from owning a joke shop (yet!) or being single. I do also have a ‘little friend’, just a bit like Stevie… (you so know who you are!) Although, I would like to state that I have never got stuck, half naked, in the railings of a park gate. I have managed to get a railing stuck in my foot during a drunken 2am wall-top rant but that’s a totally different thing…