Tuesday, 19 August 2008


During our recent holiday, my feet were picked out by my family as objects of derision which apparently no sensible person would choose for the ends of their legs. Of course, I didn’t help myself when it came to light that the trekking shoes I have worn for years are a complete mismatch in that the left one is three sizes bigger than the right. Curiously I’ve never noticed before, but now that I have they’ve become most uncomfortable; incompatible you might say. I now have to stop every hundred yards to retie the laces on the left and the days of feet striding out in unison seem to be gone.

Looking back it’s strange nobody ever pointed out the defect to me at the outset or that I failed to inspect the labels carefully. We felt so comfortable together that it was all that mattered and there was no reason to look further. Moreover we’ve had great times together: climbing the steps of the Eiffel Tower; trekking in India, wandering along footpaths and bridleways where hiking boots would have seemed like overkill and pounding the streets of so many towns and cities both here and abroad.

In a mix of soft beige leather, manmade fibre and black rubber I thought they had an almost sophisticated look; that is until parts of them began to stray and stretch with age.

That moment long ago when I tried them on in the shop and my feet declared them a perfect match is now but a distant and tainted memory.

Despite the criticism thrown at them, however, my feet themselves remain a perfect couple. Further, and just for the record, they do intend to continue living side by side, happily ever after; once I find a new pair of matching shoes, that is!

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