I shall begin by apologising for the delay in posting but one of the things I wanted to write about needed to be common knowledge first. My blogs this week will be rather like buses; you wait ages and then two come at once!!
So I take you back to the start of September. I don’t know about you but since my school days, I always feel that 1st September marks the official end of summer. The evenings start to become darker and the cardigans begin to come out! X factor has begun and the countdown to Christmas starts.
In order to make the most of the last of the good weather, my boyfriend and I decided to go to Broadstairs, Kent for the day, which was where we went for our very first date. I love Broadstairs and it is often referred to as the ‘Jewel in Thanet’s Crown’. Charles Dickens regularly visited there between 1837 and 1859 and wrote David Copperfield whilst staying there; it does inspire my writing imagination too. Today Broadstairs still retains the vibe of the traditional British seaside resort minus the donkey rides.
We began with a game of crazy golf, followed by fish and chips on the beach; it always tastes better by the sea even if you do get a sand garnish! The first Fish and chip shop that opened in London was in 1860. Railways played a big part in fish and chips becoming a staple of the working class diet as it linked cities to the coast and they also can be credited with the increased popularity of a holiday at the seaside. We followed up with an ice cream, then on to the arcade with the great 2p machines. I even dipped my toes in the sea but wasn’t brave enough for a swim! Many were braving a swim though; perhaps apart from protecting their modesty, the Victorian swimwear which covered most of the body was made as a result of Britain’s inclement weather? It was funny when my partner and I went to Egypt and our guide in Cairo was saying it gets quite cold in the winter, around 20 degrees and we said, in Britain if the mercury reaches 20 then we all have our shorts and flip flops on!
We finished off with a Pimms in one of the local pubs. Pimms was actually invented by the son of a man from Kent in 1823. It is now a drink very much synonymous with the British summer, hence its popularity at events such as Wimbledon.
That evening we went to friends for dinner which was a most enjoyable end to the day. I remember being sent to bed whilst my parents entertained friends at dinner parties and now I’m attending dinner parties; how time flies! The food was restaurant standard which sets the bar high for when we invite them back.
During the week I treated myself to some star print palazzo trousers after realising that my other pair of plain black ones had been badly torn by my high heels. At least now I can be on trend with the star print. I spent many evenings browsing the internet for a perfect pair of shoes to wear as Godmother at my baby nieces christening at the end of the month. My boyfriend looked over at my surfing and said ‘you really do love shoes, don’t you!’ Had it really taken him this long to notice??? Men, eh! I couldn’t find what I was looking for but did find a gorgeous pair of shoes for my baby niece; after all, got to start them young!
That got me thinking about my first pair of shoes; little did my parents realise that they would be the start of a life long love affair. I think I inherited the obsession from my maternal Grandma; when she died my Mum found enough shoes in her wardrobe to open a shop! I’m only sad that she died when I was 7. I think we would have been great friends. My main memory of her is sitting for hours and drawing together and how she always gave us a small bottle of lemonade, some fun size sweets which were a new concept then and £1 pocket money. My Mum says she always said if you couldn’t decide which dress to buy, she would say get both! For my first birthday Mum says she bought me a dress from Bentalls which was £25 then. She was always generous to a fault. No wonder I live to shop, it’s in the genes.
I remember when Mum and I went to Bromley to get my first pair of welly boots and ended up on the wrong train on the way back! I was so proud of those wellies!
Later once I started school I remember we all had the Clarks Magic Steps shoes, mine were patent burgundy. You were no one unless you had them. These had a key in the sole. My friend actually tried to smash the key out. They made you feel like the princess in the adverts. Even now some of my most glam shoes make me feel like a princess. The power a piece of footwear has!
This reminiscing called to mind some other fashion and footwear trends over the years. There were jelly shoes, heeled jelly shoes, crocs and Ugg boots to name a few. Does anyone else remember the Bon Bleu tracksuit? I always wanted one but alas we can’t always have what we want. It’s quite ironic really that on own clothes day at school, most kids wore the alternative uniform of the Bon Bleu tracksuit!
On a more serious note and the cause of the delay on this blog; a bombshell was dropped on me at work. They are closing our department and I will be redundant at the end of November, unless a suitable alternative within the company can be found. Guess this means I will have to seriously curtail the shopping habit! The shoe collection will certainly suffer. We had expected the day would come but I don’t think any of us thought it would be quite this soon. They sent us home early and I literally felt sick with shock. I’ve had chance to get used to the idea now though. I’m doing my best to look at this positively, as an opportunity. Perhaps this is the push I needed; after all, what I really want is to be a teacher and a writer.
I should also mention that the complaints to the shop where we got Rufus finally paid off and we got the Vets bills refunded as well as £30 of vouchers which I intend to treat Rufus with. It does pay to complain!
I shall leave it there and consol myself with a drink; perhaps ‘it’s Pimms O’clock?!’