I am a girl.
That means I am made of sugar and spice and all things nice. It means that I smell always of rose water. I can wrap a present and ice a cake, but I can't give directions or use a power drill.
It also means that I like to look nice and ... well ... ladylike.
I am, however, not built like your typical light and delicate creature. I am a comfortable six feet tall and I am what my Great Aunt would call "well padded". Under the circumstances it shouldn't surprise the reader to know that I have size eight feet. I know that's not dainty, but let's face it, any smaller and I'd tip over.
I can buy trousers with long legs and skirts that don't hover somewhere above the knee. It's not very easy, but I can do it. And I can get tops that have long enough arms that my wrists don't get chilly. It's the shoes that have always been the problem.
Yesterday I went to buy some boots. Just plain boots. Flat ones that I can walk distance in at speed. This was, I thought, a simple brief.
In the first shop I struggled to find anything in the European Shoe Mountain next to the tills. After much digging I found two boots, one for each foot, in my size. Imagine my glee! Of course, they were less designed for striding around London and more designed for tottering across a (small) room, so I bought a bag of Percy Pigs instead and headed for the next shop.
Here I found a couple of things that would fit the bill and handed them to the teenager snapping gum and fiddling with her mobile phone in the corner. She skulked off to find my size, reappearing some time later empty handed.
"We ain't got no eights in flats". Seems unlikely.
"We don't 'ave no demand for eights, see?" None at all? Surely I'm here demanding them?
"Not many people have feet that big. It's really unusual. I've never sold a single pair. An eight is very big you know."
I staggered out of the shop, dragging my over-sized feet behind me and considered running away to join the circus.
Shop three. Losing the will to live now, I approached the first shop assistant I saw and said I'd try on anything boot shaped in an eight. Anything you've got! Hit me with it! He vanished looking alarmed at the slightly crazy boot lady pacing around the shop. Some time later he reappeared looking frightened, as well he might. He shuffled towards me looking at his toes, and explained that they had a couple of sevens and loads of sixes, if that would be any good. I'm afraid I had to kill him.
I went home bootless, and destined to spend another winter in nothing more presentable than unisex Converse trainers. Ho hum.
Then today, a miracle.
Some time ago I was told about Duo, a shoe shop that specialises in all shapes and sizes. I disregarded them at the time, thinking they'd be a bit ... well ... special looking, but I had a wee look a couple of weeks ago, and found them to be lovely, so ordered myself a pair.
They weren't due to arrive for ages yet, but today, as if sensing my distress, they turned up. A pair of deliciously cute, dark red suede boots with a lovely little heel and a bow on the back. They are the epitome of girlie prettiness. And best of all ... THEY FIT! I'm wearing them right now ... because I'm worth it!
OK, so I won't be covering miles in them, but I'll feel like a lady, and that's enough for today.
2 weeks ago