Day 42 of the Shoe Challenge – Sydney, my shoes are committed to you but my heart is not

There are some delicious cool wafts of breeze puffing through the screen door to my left as I type this post. It is not helping to erase the memory of the soggy, gluggy humidity earlier today. At this time of year I start to think fond thoughts of the early June mornings with feet thrust into Ugg boots to escape the cold chill of our kitchen floor tiles.

My father and I had an uncomfortable, soggy gluggy conversation on Sunday night. One of those important life conversations. One of those what-are-you-going-to-do-with-yourself conversations. It was a conversation that covered the full range of uncomfortable subjects from C to H (Commitment to House Buying).

He is resolutely in favour of  house buying is my Dad. I am not. Every time I think about buying a house in Sydney I start to get a bit dizzy and sick.  My Dad believes that if my husband and I buy  a house here  it will help us put down roots and give us some financial security.  I think that if we buy a house here it will become a millstone around our necks. Not surprisingly, about halfway through the conversation I felt like I was playing Roger Federer at tennis with a concrete raquet.

After I got off the phone and ever since then I have been asking myself the same question:

Sydney – do I want to commit to you? Should we take our relationship to the next (home buying) level?

Before I decide this, Sydney, there are some things that we need to talk about first.  You really have to do something about the humidity.  I love heat. I love sunshine.  I hate humidity and so do my  shoes. There are exquisite shoes that I have hardly worn that have become unglued and unwearable. Shoe fabrics and elastics have disintegrated with alarming speed over the ten years that we have lived here. Not to mention that I can go to sleep with perfectly clear skin and wake up with a set of plukes* that resemble the Pyrenees.

In the summer, Sydney, I find it that there are things that I could rise above but for your humidity: getting into the office to find that my chair is 3 inches lower than it was the last time I sat on it; the fact that I can’t find my house keys; sitting behind someone on an un-air conditioned train who is both reading a newspaper and breathing …

The humidity really does get to me here – it is physically impossible consume enough water to replenish what is escaping through my pores; my sleep is constantly disturbed by the temperature going up and down like an faulty sauna on some summer nights. Last (but not least) I  have to keep my Tunnocks Teacakes in the fridge and cold marshmallow tastes funny.

Image at: 2009_07_01_archive.htm

That said there are some  good things about Sydney – the beaches, the fresh produce, the diversity of culture, the fact that you never really need to wear winter clothes and the good friends that I have slowly managed to acquire here.

Also, I  do enjoy that I can wear fabric shoes like these silky Faith stiletto slingbacks more than once in Sydney without them buckling and being ruined in the rain.  There is rain here but I generally take my shoes off and splash about barefoot in it when that happens. I would never be able to do that in Glasgow.

So what do you say, Sydney – should we just be friends? See how it goes… maybe in a couple of months I will feel differently.


* Pluke (also plook) Scottish vernacular for a spot, zit, boil or inflammation of the skin.

14 thoughts on “Day 42 of the Shoe Challenge – Sydney, my shoes are committed to you but my heart is not

  1. oh -those are beautiful. Nice pins, too 🙂

    I didn’t realise the chair thing was the humidity here (am nearly 2 hrs up the coast but it’s the same or worse) however i’ve had shoes and belts – and my beloved long leather coat – completely destroyed. I didn’t notice when it first started, and when i did, it was too late – what sort of place grows mould on any leather? *cries* I loved my leather coat.

    I’ve lived in the UK – and in South East Queensland – my partner’s from the tropical Far North – and neither of us has ever lived somewhere with such bad humidity that lasts so long. November to March? arrgghhh. People think i’m joking when i say i want to go back to Queensland where it isn’t so damp, lol.

    • I remember very well our conversation regarding the November to March humidity thing. This morning one of my colleagues told me that I was going to have to grin & bear it for another couple of months. At that point I tried to astrally project myself to Glasgow without success.

  2. I am completely with you on the humidity!

    Don’t let anyone tell you it’s worse than FNQ (far North Queensland), it’s not, just people Up There are more adjusted to it and move slower. You know those Queensland cowboy clients we dealt with…

    Stunning shoes and stunning outfit in general! Wow.

    PS – Your father is abjectly wrong. You would be better off having an investment unit in inner Sydney, negatively geared – where prices & rents will always be inflated – than paying over $700,000 for an almost-decent family home in an almost-bearable neighbourhood which may eventually plummet when the landscape of transport shifts away from fossil fuels. But that’s just IMO. We’re contemplating regional Victoria where they stretch first homeowner grants if you move away from urban areas – if only NSW could be so sensible *sigh*.

    • Thank you for the Sydney property advice, I shrank just a wee bit further back into my shell when I saw the figure of $700,000. You will find me whimpering in there for the rest of the day. Melbourne has good shoe shops I hear.

    • dear pussinboots, your little note was quite charming and intriguing little thing. to be sure, I am not certain that I have ever been abjectly wrong abut anything. certainly ,on occasion, a little wrong about some things but never, to my knowledge, abjectly wrong. to be truthful, I am not abject about anything. as an architect, that would be against my basic religion. from your comments, you are either a lawyer or in the real estate business in which case you know next to nothing about anything about buildings or property investments. the sad truth is that over the last two hundred years there has been no such thing as a consolidated loss on property. in short, if you live long enough the profit on property is real. why would anyone want to line a land lord’s pockets with hard earned loot? it is a no brainer. anyway, my point was that caveat calcei should make the commitment by investing in Oz. until one does so then it is simply an extended family holiday and your neighbours will see it as such, this I can say with certainty from personal experience. I do admire the leggy pictures. in the legs department you take after your mum. mines are a wee bit muscly and high heeled shoes were never my forte. great shoes, by the way.

  3. CC, I take it you are taking these photos with the camera mounted on a tripod. Either that, or Mr CC has VERY steady hands. You are such a minx. The white dress makes you look very virginal. Nice couch, too……

  4. Well , I’m glad to see it’s a joint process. He is a man to be admired.I’d better not be TOO complimentary in my comments, as I’ve heard he can be insanely jealous….

  5. Ah the Melbourne Sydney debate…hmmm. To enter into it or not…For housing Melbourne is good for investment properties, there are many close to the city suburbs that are going through a ‘becoming groovey’ process ( Northcote/Thornbury as one example) and they are still cheap – up here it seems all the suburbs already have their ‘badges’ (if that makes sense – ‘migrant area’ ‘cool area’ ‘money-d area’ ‘daggy area’ etc ) and nothing will change it because it is so solidly in place…
    maybe its the being older thing….
    Plus I could go on about all the little differences (Oh god the humidity lasts ALL YEAR – please don’t tell DOC)
    and the warm weather? that’ll be nice 🙂
    but I do love rugging up.
    Oh and Sydney needs to re-jig what it calls showers – Sydney – today had RAIN admit it and move on.
    (lovely shoes btw)

  6. Dear Alex:

    The most adorable response I’ve had in weeks.

    Miss Calcei shrinks as I do at the figures of “average” Sydney housing; and personally I fail to see how that makes money until your children’s children inherit the property.

    Not that I want to line a landlord’s pockets either, but I did recently calculate that if we continue to pay the rent we currently pay for say, 50 years, we still would not come close to shelling out the “average” price for a Sydney property – and a mediocre one at that. Meanwhile we can rent and simultaneously invest in an area that we will want to live in future. Or move to any other more affordable area whenever we choose.

    Not a lawyer nor am I in real estate; I will refrain from taking offence. I don’t think it is a conflict of knowledge but more of generational presumptions – my family wants me to buy as well, but only because they think it means “having roots” when to me it means having a gigantic millstone around my neck when I’d rather have investments and flexibility.

    Besides, having roots in Sydney is overrated. It is a fake tanned, white pantsed, aesthetically obsessed bimbo of a city with crappy clothes shopping and a positively adolescent attitude to arts and culture (and I’ve lived here blissfully for years). I won’t go into the arguments over Sydney’s cost of living vs. property prices or the fact that the Sydney market has artificially inflated and deflated several times since I started paying attention in about 2000.

    If you want to invest, get a farm and have someone pay you to use it. Half for some kind of organic farming or messing about, the other for agistment. And continue living in civilisation until it drives you to drink.

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