- my pre-school red suede desert boots; and
- lusting after my eldest sister’s apple green patent leather flats.
My first ever job – the one I lied about my age to get – was in retail, at a shoe shop that was not exactly a stockist of Manolo Blahnik, if you get my drift; and so devoted was I to matching the right shoe to the right foot, I became one of their best-ever salespeople. So much so, there may have been a tear or two shed when I left for university.
(And no, I will not risk a global nightmare epidemic by posting a photo of my actual feet!)
I traversed my university days wearing thongs (flip-flops for the non-Aussies) in summer and Uggs in winter.
But the moment I got my first corporate job and I was actually earning real money, everything changed; hideous feet notwithstanding, my thong-and-ugg days were soooo over.
And I blame my husband.
|Some of my flats - a little kooky|
It started innocently enough with the purchase of a pair of green suede ankle boots that looked like they belonged on a pixie. My husband (then boyfriend) The Hon persuaded me to buy them, even though they cost a whopping hundred bucks and sent me into a mid-store meltdown!
And boy, does he regret that moment, which was when the world of shoes opened up before me like Aladdin’s cave.
I have since bought shoes in a constant stream, from all over the world.
|A little selection from China and India|
Once, on a visit to Shanghai, I bought twenty pairs – and I was only there for a few days.
I’ve bought hand-made silk shoes, and glittery shoes, and complicated shoe boots; black shoes and blue shoes and pink shoes; unbranded cheapies from market stalls; and designer ‘look at me’ numbers from high-end stores – and I love them all.
|Making their debut at RWAus15|
My last trip to New York two years ago netted me a pair of high heels in ginger that are still waiting for their first outing (I’m seeing their debut at the Romance Writers of Australia’s 2015 conference).
And don’t get me started on the collection I amassed while living in the Middle East, where shopping is a national pastime and my heels climbed higher than ever before – oh those halcyon days!
|Perfect present from a friend who knows me well|
Needless to say, The Hon is no longer giving me any encouragement whatsoever! In fact, he’s encouraging me in quite the opposite direction.
During our morning walk today, he actively steered me away from looking at a pair of sneakers because ‘you already have so many pairs’. Short, sharp argument ensued over that!
A little like the short
sharp argument that ensued three nights ago when we walked past my 'local' and I dropped a hint or two about Christmas coming up and how ideal
the fabulous pair of cork-soled wedges in the window were for a Sydney summer.
That one required intervention from our daughter @KdeR, who gave him very short
shrift and told him to just give in and get on with buying the shoes. (That’s my girl!)
|My faves, heavy on the glam|
|Some of the 'brands' - wish I could photograph them all!|
I guess The Hon’s view is that when I was working in corporate public relations, there was at least some justification for the glamorous footwear. But now that I’m a writer, have stopped earning real money (sigh), and am sitting behind a computer all day wearing airline pyjamas, should I be returning to thongs and Uggs?
Well, you might think so – but you’d be wrong.
You see, the weirdest thing happened a few months ago. My hobbit feet and bulging calves decided to mutiny against my new habit of sock wearing and sneaker donning. They started aching every time I started walking for more than five minutes in flat shoes. They didn’t even care if I was wearing my ultra-glam Avril Tremayne custom-printed Converse sneakers. They wanted heels, dammit, and they were going to keep complaining until I gave them heels!
So now you can imagine me, sitting hunched over the keyboard, hair unbrushed, no make-up, crappy twenty dollar glasses bought from a pharmacy slipping off my nose, pyjama-clad…
And although I have two new books coming out in February, in honour of shoes and shoe lovers everywhere, this month I’m shining the spotlight on my first Harlequin Kiss book, Here Comes The Bridesmaid, with its shoe designer heroine, the absolutely fabulous Sunshine Smart.