Twelve went forth, only eleven returned.
Let me set the scene: For the last nine years, I have spent a week in August as part of the support team at a residential training school for retail managers, held in Oxford. This prestigious annual event (www.oxfordsummerschool.co.uk) combines a packed work programme with a number of social occasions: a reception on the lawn (weather permitting), a chapel service, a karaoke contest and a black tie dinner and ball in a marquee. Sounds fab doesn’t it? It is.
Of course, to accompany the many changes of outfit to suit the occasion, one must pack an appropriate quantity of shoes. In my case, this week, the magic number was TWELVE. Some years I have made do with as few as six…I remember the magical summer of the Nine West sandals that went with everything *wistful face* . Anyway, I tweeted/facebooked a photo as I usually do.
Getting to the point: The old friends I am talking about here are the gorgeous white birkenstocks with the pink and turquoise flowers and the metallic buckles, second from the right, bottom shelf. Lets be clear, we have history, me and those birkies, we go back a LONG way. I reckon six or seven summers but really, I can’t put an exact date on when we got together, they have just been part of my life for ever. I have worn some great shoes over the years, but these birkies were the only ones that regularly drew comments from random women in shops. Not just a shoe envy stare – come on, we’ve all done it- more of a ‘cool sandals’ and a friendly nod, but still they had the power to provoke a conversation. I loved them for that. Who doesn’t want to chat about their shoes?
Sadly, years of service had taken their toll and while the uppers were still looking fabulous and the soles as good as new, the cork sandwiched between them had disintegrated beyond hope. Reader, I binned them.
Back at home tonight, I am agonising about my decision. Was I too hasty? Maybe they could have been glued? In my heart, though, I know they had to go.
As a tribute, here are some photos of me and my birkies in happier times: with Batman on holiday in Fuerteventura (that’s a phrase you never expect to write! ) and paddling in the sea at Brighton *panics* oh, b****r, maybe all that seawater wrecked the cork?
Farewell old friends, I will miss you.
Ahem. Does anyone think a new pair will make me feel better? Too soon? Just askin’….