Wednesday, 30 November 2016

Crazy boots.

I really hate winter. “But you get to wear boots!” said my friend Julie, when I said this to her recently. “Boots,” I replied, “are no compensation.” Winter makes me depressed. Give me a summer’s day any day, a thin dress, a pair of open-toed wedges. Wedges give you a bit of height, add shape to the leg, show off pretty painted toes. You can skip down the road to the Tube in a dress and a pair of wedges and feel like the cat's pyjamas. By comparison, boots are dull.

The problem with boots is they are flat, or, if they are not flat, they risk making you look like a goose-stepping Nazi or a hooker - or both. For the longest time I've been on the look out for the perfect winter boot/shoe. Something to replace the summer wedge, something that is not black or grey or brown, that is not boring and flat, like these...

Or does not make you look like a prostitute, like these...

or these...

And is that hard? I hear you ask. You betcha. I calculate I have been searching for three years, but it could be longer. Last week I found them.

I was on my way to the hairdressers before pre-theatre dinner with mates and I spotted a crazy pair of ankle boots in the window of a high street store. Wow, I thought. I went in, I tried them on, they were perfect, and bonkers, and made out of psychedelic carpet bag material. Mary Poppins boots. 

Mary in the sky with a carpet bag.

The assistant serving me was wearing a pair. “I’ve even had compliments from men about these boots,” she said, and that clinched it. I strolled over to the mirror and the boots looked even better in the reflection than they did from above. They were not black or grey or brown, they had a small block heel but not too much, they were something between a shoe and a boot and they did not make me look like a prostitute. When I asked the price I almost died. Never in my life have I paid such a sum for footwear. “Fuck it,” I said, “I'm having them,” and the shop assistant laughed and then relieved me of my money. I put my new boots on and sauntered off to the hairdressers.

Sergio nearly fainted. “But they’re so gay!” I said to Sergio, my hairdresser. “Darling, darling, darling,” replied Sergio, “they are beyond gay,” and I took that as a compliment. I took a photograph of my boots and entitled it “crazy boots” and sent it to Husband. “Very crazy,” came back the reply, and I took that as a compliment as well.

I went to the restaurant after the hairdressers, which involved a long walk and traversing Waterloo bridge in the wind, which totally screwed up my new post-salon hair, but I didn’t care: I was wearing new boots. People stared, a woman pointed, small children laughed, and I was walking on air. Or rather, on very expensive leather soles, made in Spain.

At the restaurant I showed my friends. “How much?” they said. “I cannot tell you," I said. “But here’s my thinking: I'm making a little film at the moment, for which I will receive payment to pay for my boots, and I have been looking for these boots for years. So right here you are looking at many years' worth of boot, all in one piece of footwear.”

O-kaaaay, they said, and then, when we had to wait too long for the food, I looked down at my boots again, perched on the end of my legs there under the table, and I didn’t care. And when the waiter came over to give us each a shot glass of Limoncello, by way of an apology, I drank it and cared even less. And later, when we went to see Glenda Jackson being King Lear at the Old Vic on a stage full of famous actors, and the actor playing Edmond suddenly showed off his spectacular bare arse, and the actor playing Edgar suddenly showed off his unspectacular bare cock, (it was a modern production) I went to the loo in the much-too-short interval and queued up in a very long line, and a woman behind me said, “the queue for the men's is almost as long as the queue for the women's.” And I said, “well, I guess that’s equality for you.” And she said, “also, do you mind if I just say..." And I said, "yes?" And she said, "I love those boots!" 

One hell of a Lear.

And once in the loos, precisely two more women said, “where did you get those boots?” and I laughed. And when I went back to my seat after the interval, at the very back of the stalls, and rested my head against the sound stage behind and briefly nodded off because of the Limoncello, I dreamt I was wearing the most marvellous pair of carpet bag boots and the best bit of the evening was that when I woke up, it was true.

Love E x


P.S. So maybe winter isn't that bad after all.

These boots make me laugh.

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