Twice Bitten – Shoeper Shoe Challenge #10 of 105


Simba the Lion Cub, Denizen of Calderpark (Glasgow) Zoo

As she very often does, my good friend  Carol Duncan has just stirred up something in my memory (see her comment on this post). She made me remember that a fifteen years ago I was someone else, or at least I looked like someone else.

For a start I was twice the size that I am now.  Those of you who remember me from Scotland will remember the dark days when I drank too much, when I couldn’t sleep without drinking too much, when I didn’t take care of myself.   I don’t want to go back to those days ever again.

When this picture was taken I was on the mend. My sister’s friend A (a zoo keeper) had to mind two baby lion cubs (Simba and Akita) over the Christmas holidays. Their mother had rejected them and refused to feed them. They were little and needed 24 hour care, as infants do  I found this really old grainy video on You Tube which shows the two lions in A’s house.

We were invited over to A’s house during the Christmas holidays (December 1998) to the meet the lion cubs. It was an invitation that no one in their right mind would refuse.

At the time when these pictures were taken, I spent most of my time in jeans and walking boots. No idea why because I don’t remember actually doing that much walking.  I did spend a long time on my nails though, which seems odd looking at my gnawed cuticles now. Funny how things change.


Me hanging out with my temporary pal Simba.


It’s weird but lions are not in the least bit silky. Their fur is rough, like a labrador dog’s coat.  They bite a lot. This is fine when they are the size shown above, it’s kind of cute.

The second time that I met Simba, he was the size pictured at the top of the post. He was in fact about to jump on me when the photograph was taken. I was wearing a big fake fur coat. He jumped on my back and sank his teeth into my neck.  It was done in fun but I could feel steel in the playful nip. When he dug his teeth in, he started to shake me by the neck. I felt cold terror for the first time in my life.

I’ve been bitten twice by the same lion and survived as my husband likes to tell people. I wouldn’t want to go back to offer him a third chomp.

It’s kind of hard to replicate the high of playing with lions. I wonder how zoo keepers who tend to elephants downsize to cats and dogs.

Funnily enough in the thirteen years since these photos were taken my perception of life in general and heel height in particular has changed.

When I bought these shoes (at the insistence of my father) I thought that they were really quite high, almost too high and flimsy to easily walk in.


Dolcis Silver Satin Sparkly Sandals

And now? Now, at the insistence of my boss today, I’m going to concentrate on being happy* again.

Well, that’s the only reason I can explain why I ended up in the back garden doing lion impersonations. Life does funny things to a person.

Floaty Blouse - Wayne Cooper. Silk Skirt - Marc Jacobs. Shoes: Dolcis.

Floaty Blouse - Wayne Cooper. Silk Skirt - Marc Jacobs. Shoes: Dolcis.

*For happy, insert slightly unhinged.

Are you the same person that you were 10 years ago? If not, why not? What’s changed? Has it changed for better or for worse?

17 thoughts on “Twice Bitten – Shoeper Shoe Challenge #10 of 105

  1. a good question. Same person in that my values haven’t changed (I am pleased to say). Different in many ways
    * greyer
    * bulkier…a reverse of your development
    * more self-aware
    * more open…communicative
    * more mature (I hope)
    * more self-content
    * poorer
    * happier

    Same person in that I’ve never patted a lion, still terrified of snakes, sharks.

  2. Ah, I remember that day well. How have I changed since then? Hmm. I am older and grumpier, speak my mind more readily, am less concerned how others see me; I like to think I trust my judgement more, but that may not be true. I trust my children to get on with their lives, and try not to worry so much (don’t always succeed).

    • Worrying runs in the family. At the moment I am so worried about this that and the other that my inter-costal muscles hurt. That could have been me overdoing the push-ups on Monday right enough.

  3. i would never have picked that was you – and I only know you from photos (although not for much longer!!).

    I’m not the same person. But I am. I love knowing I can look back and go yeah, things have changed. I’ve had some defining moments and experiences that are etched on me now and I think I look like someone who has changed – and not just a few kilos in the opposite direction to you….

    • Ah yes, from Friday Bells you’ll be enlightened – not only will you know what I look like but you’ll be familiar with what my children smell like and sound like. I’d bring an iPod and industrial strength ear plugs if I were you. It goes without saying that I get the better end of the deal – you and Ally will provide a diversion/adult company for me.

  4. Not in the slightest, mainly because 10 years ago I was a 12 year old and wanted to be a famous actress.

    Actually along a similar line, my next post is going to be the concept of ‘if I started blogging a year before I did’, as I know mine would have been completely different! I am hoping to get some interesting responses.

    Suki and Simba really seemed to click! It is sad that such friendships can’t really last beyond a cub’s adolescence.

  5. I’ve made the most radical change possible in the last ten years. In 2001 I was

    in my thirties
    without responsibility
    didn’t need reading glasses.

    In 2011 I am

    in my forties
    a father of two
    read with specs.

    If I had hair I guess there’d be some grey. I’ve been shaving it all since the 1990s. I can still do fifty push-ups without much effort and I can run 10kms comfortably in under and hour.

    I’d say in some respects I’m a little more adventurous now… I get out when I can but I’ve always loved my home space.

  6. Ten years ago
    No kids
    Different job
    Different house/suburb
    Smaller shoe / handbag collection
    Ten Years later
    Three kids
    Pilates/yoga/dance studios & teachers college
    Living the same place as I did 20 years earlier / rather a batch by the sea that a mansion in the burbs .. I am the same Bondi loving hippie I was at 18 #trueadultself
    Picked up a shoe/bag obsession again regressing back to 17 year old art student self
    #true adult self

    Stretch marks x 3 , speak my mind more , know what I like , less sleep ( thankyou Mr 2)

    Happier #true adult self

    More Authentic / true to self – rather than others

    • Plus:

      – added to the life experience of others
      – rebuilt yourself physically and mentally
      – done things that hardly any of those doctors thought you could.

      Tip of the iceberg.

  7. Great post!
    Ten years back I was totally different from now – I like myself much better now! I was just 15 then and the experiences of the past ten years have made me more confident and happy.

    I really changed when I went to Japan for the first time at age 16 and spent 10 months in high school and a wonderful host family there, an experience that had a great influence on me and changed my whole life. It was my best decision to go there and luckily I was supported by my parents too.

    Also, concerning fashion, 10 years ago I wasn’t interested in fashion at all. That changed with my first pair of beautiful shoes which I got just about ten years ago (forced onto me by my mom) which started an obsession 😉

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