Tag Archives: shoes

You will not beat me

I just had an amazingly undignified fight with a shoe rack.

It all started amicably enough. Yesterday, I noticed that our guests simply fling off their shoes in our hallway, where they lie, perfectly positioned to trip people over. (Particularly those people who are entering the hallway still telling the end of an extremely amusing story, but I think its a pretty widespread problem). ‘I am buying a shoe rack,’ I announced grandly this morning to my uninterested housemates. ‘I am buying a shoe rack today.’

Being a person of my word, I did, in fact buy a shoe rack.

It came in 6 pieces. Two long slats, and 4 little proppy-uppy things that hold them together (and apart, but at this moment I was still happy with the shoe rack, and unaware of its hidden sinister properties). ‘This will be so easy,’ I thought to myself smugly. ‘I won’t even bother thinking about lunch until I’ve chucked it up. Then I can have a ploughmans and really deserve it.’ 

I’m starving, the bloody thing won’t stick together unless I hold it with my hands (which, although effective, is less practical than I would have liked), and I’ve grazed my foot on its sharp and unforgiving corners.

Yesterday, I thought I could not hate anything more than a rogue trippy-up shoe. Today, I have met its meaner, more pernicious cousin. In future, all house guests will simply have to arrive barefoot.

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The great wars of 71a

My little sister, our housemate and myself have moved in together. Like all good households, there are several covert and deadly wars running quietly below the happy surface of our home.

1. The kettle war

We bought our kettle because it was silver, and we had decided that the very best way to make our kitchen look like one of those show-room kitchens was to have silver appliances.

We had no other criteria, so the kettle we have is pretty crap. It looks nice, and I believe we have fooled at least one (drunken) person into complimenting us  on our kitchen, but it’s one of those ones where unless you shove the little thing right up, it continually tries to turn itself back on. ‘See,’ I explained patiently to our housemate. ‘Can you hear that sound? That dry hissing sound? That’s because you haven’t flicked the little thing up fully, and the kettle is trying desperately to turn itself on.’ ‘I can’t hear anything,’ My flatmate told me confusedly. Which is odd, because yesterday she asked me fairly abruptly to stop rapping in my room.

2. The shoe war

‘We each have 2 feet,’ I said to my sister carefully. ‘You spend too much time alone,’ She replied, looking for her stethoscope. ‘And for each foot, there is a shoe,’ I continued. ‘Is this the kind of stuff you’re writing nowadays?’ She asked worriedly. ‘And so, if one of us leaves their shoes in the hall,’ I went on. ‘Feasibly, there will be 6 shoes in the hall. Which is then less a hall, and more a shoe locker.’

‘You can’t call it a shoe locker, there’s a store in America already called that,’ My little sister said absent-mindedly. ‘This isn’t a game of semantics,’ I shouted crossly. ‘Stop leaving your shoes in the hall.’ My little sister looked up at me finally. ‘Is that the end to your poem? It’s rather abrupt, don’t you think?’ I stormed off in a huff, tripping over one of her flip-flops as I stomped into the kitchen.

3. The clothes-drier war

We have 3 clothes drying racks. They all look reasonably similar, but I happen to know exactly which one is mine. ‘There are many others like it, but this one is mine,’ I muttered as I took it out of the clothes-drier cupboard. I carefully hung my wet clothes over the drier and popped off to work.

I came back to find my clothes lounging on the floor, and my clothes-drier in my little sister’s room. ‘Ah,’ She said when asked. ‘I needed it.’ ‘Whereas I was admiring it as an architectural phenomena?’ I replied. (Actually, I have spent some time marvelling at how it folds down so small then rises up so tall. It’s bafflingly excellent). There are 3 of us in the flat, and 3 separate clothes drying racks. Unfortunately, laundry in our flat is done on a flash-mob model, where weeks of no laundry whatsoever are suddenly followed by all 3 of us doing as much laundry as possible.

‘Give me back my clothes-drier,’ I insisted, attempting to wrestle my sister’s clothes off its sturdy frame. Unfortunately, at this point my clothes-drier decided to demonstrate the aforementioned folding ability, and collapsed on my foot. I think underneath my little sister’s hysterical laughter was the tone of deep remorse and defeat.

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Shoe the Keyhole

‘We’ll be at your house about 5pm on Friday,’ She said. ‘Bring booze,’ I told her. But it didn’t start there. We’d been at the same party, although I’d only bumped into her on the stairs as she was leaving the toilet. But that wasn’t when it started either. We met for the first time at a very nice restaurant. Perhaps it started there.

I had made fairy cakes. I had gone to Sainsburys (the big one, up the road, not the little Tesco express around the corner) and bought those little coloured stars made of sugar to sprinkle on top of them.

I had made fairy cakes, and washed my hair. They were coming at 5pm.

At 2pm I panicked, and forced two of my girlfriends to come over. ‘You’re doing what?’ One asked. ‘Look,’ I replied crossly. ‘I can’t talk about it. Are you in or not?’ My first girlfriend arrived at 4.45pm. ‘I can’t get the front door to open,’ I said urgently. ‘Just let them in the back door,’ She suggested. ‘Are you mad?’ I asked shrilly. We went up to try to force the lock. ‘What are you doing?’ My second girlfriend asked as she arrived. ‘The bloody lock’s jammed,’ I told her. ‘You two must fix this.’ They didn’t. They were coming at 5pm, and I was going to have to let them in through the back door.

‘Stop eating the fairy cakes,’ I snapped at my friends. ‘They’re not for you.’ I opened the fridge anxiously. ‘And drink less juice,’ I ordered them. ‘I’m going to run out.’ I started peering nervously through the window. ‘There’s a man out there with a camera,’ My friend pointed out. ‘Shut up,’ I snapped at her. ‘No, but honestly,’ My other friend chimed in unhelpfully. ‘You should probably let him in.’ At this point I’m near hysteria. ‘I am not letting a random chap with a camera into my house through the back door,’ I shout at my friends. It occurs to me that he can see me. I stop waving my arms so flamboyantly. They were right of course. It was 5.15pm, and I should probably have let him in. Because the director arrived pretty soon after that, and I had to let them both in then.

We were filming a spot for www.javari.co.uk the new shoe and handbag site from Amazon.com. They had hand-picked a selection of influential, fashionable people to do little ‘Shoe The Keyhole’ video spots, talking about their own shoe collections and how they had accumulated them. ‘And they asked you,’ My friend added helpfully. ‘And you made fairy cakes and let them in through the back door.’ I wondered if I were now famous enough to ask her to leave. ‘Talk about that time you thought you could walk in slingbacks,’ My friend prompted me as we started filming. ‘Or when you bought those ‘sex heels’ for a dirty weekend. And fell over seductively in the middle of Selfridges.’

As my friend continued jabbering away during my shoot, I realised why www.Javari.co.uk is going to be so successful. People can buy the shoes they want, for any occasion, without having to go out shopping. And they never need to tell anyone about it.

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