…would they look like these?
My husband has collected penguins for many years. This is a small representative sample. There are many, many more.
He shared a house with someone in the armed forces who knew people who had been stationed in the Falklands. To escape from active duty in the Falklands soldiers looked for ways to get a psychiatric assesessment that they were not fit for active service. The way to do this was not emulate the TV/CD tendencies of
Corporal Maxwell Q Klinger in M*A*S*H but to visit the penguins.
To get down to the penguin beaches, soldiers had to walk slowly and deliberately across a landmine infested field. When stopped and asked why they were doing so they were to reply “I am going to speak to the birds“.
Ever since that time, my husband has had a soft spot for penguins. There are penguins in various parts of our house. Here are a few that I could easily find in and around our kitchen.
We went to Edinburgh Zoo together once and brought M—- with us. My husband spent quite a lot of time introducing her to the penguins. Penguins are a fairly inscrutable bunch. They don’t say much, smell quite strongly of fish and every so often flick faeces at each other and at zoo visitors. Such was M—-‘s fate on this particular day. If there is a penguin version of anthropomorphising, it doesn’t extend to stuffed penguins.
It is fair to say that at one point in time my husband had a collection of penguins that rivalled my shoe collection. Now that we have children, both our collections are raided regularly. Both my children have a penchant for high heeled leather boots.
Since it took me until I was nearly 18 before I allowed myself to be talked into wearing a pair of high heels (thanks Dad), I take this as a very encouraging sign. The Noisy Boy in particular is rather fond of my heeled boots. I think that he sees himself emulating is hero Captain Jack Sparrow while wearing them. Maybe one day, ten or twenty years from now he’ll come across a similar pair of boots which will gave him a stab of swashbuckling recognition.
I had a similar stab of recognition when I saw these shoes
These are quite similar to the first pair of shoes that I ever bought.
There was a slight, very quiet and slightly nervous girl at school with me in Fifth Year. Her name was Claire. At least I think it was because up until the day that I first noticed her shoes, we had never exchanged more than two or three words. On a particular day, I saw a pair of black and white shoes flash past me in the school playground and decided to accost her. I started shoe stalking early.
“I love your shoes” I said. She looked nervous.
“Erm, thanks” she said, looking around for reinforcements.
“Where did you get them?” I asked in that voice that you use to prevent cats from scarpering when you want to cut their claws.
“Barratts” she said. Then she scarpered.
Barratts probably still has a branch in Paisley High Street. The shoes looked a bit like these saddle shoes – just squint a bit and imagine that the white bits are black and vice versa.
The shoes cost £17.00 which was quite a lot of money at the time, particularly as the predominant material was a spongy polyurethane. When it rained the moisture from the pavement found its way into the shoes and my feet frothed from the inside out. It would then take about 3 days for the shoes to dry out. Eventually I wore them out. Since then I idly lust after two tone shoes.
On my current wish list are the following:
The Alexander McQueen black and white striped leather pump (photo credit: The Shoe Minx)
Cos K Collections Handmade Brooke 4 inch stiletto heel (£170.00)
And last but not least – the Christian Louboutin Esoteri Platform Booties down from $899.00 to a mere $197.98 from the Onsale Christian Louboutin site . I have no idea whether these are the Real Deal or not so I will defer to my Online Shoe Guru and Louboutin authenticator, Erin over at Shoe Love and revert in due course. [Note To Hosiery Lovers: Erin is currently rocking a pair of two tone black and white stockings from Transparenze from TJ Maxx of all places.]
It took me a while to figure out why I love black and white shoes so much. My husband thought it might have been something to do with Alan Parker’s film Bugsy Malone where a few of the leads were wearing spats. I know that this cannot possibly have been the case because Jodie Foster irritated me for many years to the extent that I literally couldn’t watch any film that she was in. The actress Barbara Flynn (The Beiderbecke Trilogy, Cracker) has the same effect on me.
And then suddenly it hit me – black and white was pretty much the colour combination of the early Eighties particularly if you grew up listening to The Selecter, Madness, the Specials and Bad Manners.
So that explains my two tone shoe obsession.
Can you remember the first pair of shoes that you ever chose/bought for yourself? Can you remember why?
C’mon, don’t be shy – you can tell me and the rest of the Internet.
This post is dedicated to Kissability/Kathleen Joy – poetess and penguin lover. I wore these for her and she laughed.