Monday, 1 December 2008

The Wet Shoe Shuffle

I can't remember when it was that I became so hopeless at the basics. I was always a capable girl - irritatingly so, even. But now I struggle. We're talking Mr Bean territory here.

As you may know, I could write a book entitled Inappropriate Adventures With My Ugg Boots. Or a pamphlet at least. And then there was the incident with the size 9s and my plan to stuff them with cotton wool to get over the sizing issue. And then there were the 70s platform sandals, which were fortunately easy-peasy to walk in once I'd had seven glasses of wine.

In London I fared no better. A few days into our trip, the non-stop rain had revealed a slight fault in my trusty sneakers. Holes in the bottom of both shoes. When the day of my first meeting with my publisher arrived I was frantic because it was raining and the only other shoes I'd bought over from Oz were black patent high-heels (which, incidentally, The Australian chose and paid for, and bizarrely they are now my only 'sensible shoes'). Do black patent high heels say 'successful teen fiction writer' to you? My only option was to borrow my (young, beautiful, slim, young, we'll talk about this another day) sister's slouch boots. And then all I had to do was curl the toes of my right foot for the entire tube journey and 3-hour meeting, as her feet are a size smaller.

Surely the meeting with my agent the following week would hold no such problems. The morning was fine - great, I popped on my sneakers! Five minutes down the road - pissing down. I'm talking sheets of rain. By the time I reached the tube station both socks were sopping wet. The carriage was full so I couldn't take them off and wring them out. Surely the rain would stop once I reached Tottenham Court Road.

Nope! Soon there were sizable fountains squirting out of each sneaker with every step I made. My socks could not have been more wet. My toes could not have been more cold. I didn't want my agent to feel that the advance she'd got me for my novel was so low as to make it necessary for me to dress like a vagrant, so I decided to pop into the nearest shoe shop, make a quick purchase and change before the meeting. With five minutes till the meeting was due to begin. The resulting purchase was a little bit less than sensible. Like buying flip-flops for a skiing trip, say. Later on my father would say: "Why didn't you just spend longer looking for the shoes and turn up a bit late for the meeting? Aren't authors notoriously flaky with time-keeping?" Honestly, I would like to be able to turn up late, but I have a built-in mechanism that prevents it. I would need years of therapy to achieve that level of laid-backness.

During the meeting, I decided that the pinchiness of the shoes was merely due to the combination of wet feet and brand-newness. By the time I got home, I had rubbed two blisters so sore and raw that my family all winced in turn, and looked at me as if their once bright and capable daughter/sister/partner had be replaced by Muriel (It's Mariel!).

And where were my Uggs when I needed them? In sunny Australia, of course. Why would I take my warm sheepskin boots to chilly old England?

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Nik's Blog said...

Oh heck, Myrts! Sounds like a right trial. Good to see you back and a bloggin' though.


Mum'sTheWord said...

Thanks, Nik. Just call me Mrs Bean.