The Twin -My Dad and Auntie

This week my Dad turned 80, as did his twin sister, so I have been a bit nostalgic this week. As I looked up at my sensible array of shoes I spied upon two old pairs of hand made Lancashire clogs – one belonged to my Grandma, who was born in 1899 and a small red pair that were hand made for me when  I was just a toddler in the 1960’s.

red lancashire clogs

check out the funky clogs!
funky footwear!

They were made by the local clog maker in a clog making shop in  Hindley, near Wigan in Lancashire where both my parents are from. I think the shop is a kebab shop now.It is interesting that I have a thing about shoes, as my mum, (who will be 80 in a couple of weeks , but she does not want anyone to know so  shshsh mum’s the word)- so legend has it, did not have a pair of real shoes until was 11 and my Dad who had tuberculosis in his hip and spine, and lived in some dreadful sanitorium miles from home for most of his childhood, wore the same style of black ( never brown) othapoedic boots   ( and still does) all his adult life. I was thinking about how much lives have changed.

My Grandad who in this picture was mid-thirties, fought in the first world war, lied about his age so he was probably under 17 when he went. He was in a bunker with all his mates, a shell went off and he found all his friend had died. He spent his adult life down the coal mines with a flask of water and jam butties  ( bread and jam to you) a wonderful sense of humour and spirit, as many did, and died of emphysema at the age of 59 in a miners home in Blackpool, so I was robbed ! My other Grandad also died at 59 of poor health – they were very hard-up, he had trouble finding much work. I never knew either of them which is a real shame.

My heritage, as with everyone, is an important part of who I am, and I bless my family for the struggle, hard times and spirit they had. So easy to forget. It can get like the Monty Python sketch ‘we used to live in a shoe box in the middle of the road -you tell the young people and they just don’t believe you’. It was bloody  grim, but I bet there some things that were better.  There was lots of music in their houses. No bloody X-factor making people think singing is a thing for the ‘talented’- to be judged by a bunch of overdressed ninny’s.  No-one would have gone in a shop talking on their mobile phone and completely ignored the person serving them. When my uncle died in the 1980’s, even then, every man in the street in Hindley took their caps off as the prossesion  went through the streets.

Everyone sung. My Grandmas both sung in the church choir, and one of my grandmas played the organ and the mandolin. One of my many Great Uncles played the concertina, his mate had a bass concertina which got taken on every trip , singing on coaches, mandatory! Another arranged  the finest music for the local brass band and everyone sung, and did recitations. The piano was in the centre of one of my Grandma’s houses.

So I must give the clogs a bit of a polish. Both are too small for me -now that was a bit more interesting than my next boring pair of sensible shoes.

SONG OF THE DAY -George Formby -Leaning on the Lampost

Still makes me weep…so nostalgic -again legend has it he live next door to my auntie in Hindley Green. A lot of the reason it is so touching is the smiling. I recognise his smile -many of my family from that era had the same ‘smile though your heart is aching, smile even though it’s breaking’  thing going on.  Very special. Very close to my heart. x x

Shoe Number 5,6,7 and 8 – The Vans Collection

So from left to right. The Black ones with the white and red stripe. Now these get worn a lot! Comfortable…Good with black,the little flash of colour keeps it a bit funky. Can stand for extended periods in them. Brown ones, are a more bulky skatey boardy type -ha ha ha ha  -me on a skate board! They are the oldest pair and have seen some wear during my brown periods. The next pair are still so new they have only been out a couple of timess and are a little on the big side…agina I don’t know what happened there…so its big socks…but a fine selection of red and browns there. The last pair in my all time favourite maroon…oh my -this is really the dullest most boring blog ever…I am boring myself…I am about to eat my own arms off. My shoes and the story of their reason for being is really so insignificant I may have to go and scream in the street.. A quick interlude. An

Egyptian and Mr P. sharing an intimate moment in the British Museum.  So now I just need to try and divert your attention to the total dullness of the experience of my annoyingly sensible shoes before I continue on with the next pair as I am determined now I said I would start to finish. Sigh!

Blogging is such a strange phenomena…I mean what and why did I ever decide that doing a blog every day was going to be a rewarding experience for me or anything else. I suppose my first thought was the commitment and discipline of doing something every day, but now I am thinking maybe I would have been better off practising the guitar every day as I am not sure my writing skills will ever get better from this experience. my spelling and grammar are just appalling and I am forever correcting and re-writing , even this small amount I do every day.  I wonder if there are many dyslexic ‘writers’? I would love to know what their secrets are. So have you forgotten about the shoes? …nearly? well sorry because here comes pair number 9!


I like these shoes. Ecco are very comfortable, but I have a major gripe with ecco shoes- the ladies ones all look rather middle -aged and a bit thin and pointy- the shape at the toe bugs me. What is it about designers and pointy shoes. Just because I am a woman does not mean I want POINTY SHOES. Mr P. has the Male version of these shoes in brown and his are not pointy. I have all the things a woman needs, I don’t see why I should have to have my shoes made slightly more pointy so they are ‘more feminine’ I WANT ROUND TOED SHOES.   WHAT IS WRONG WITH UNISEX SHOES? OR UNISEX CLOTHES? That is why I like Vans as they don’t …well  not much, do that annoying ‘we better make them look a bit feminine, quick- make them more pointy’. Which brings me to another thing while I am having a mini-rant.WHY SHOULD MEN AND WOMEN HAVE COATS AND JACKETS THAT DO UP THE OPPOSITE WAYS? And how come its fine for me to wear a man’s coat but men go mad if they have a coat or a jacket that does up the wrong way? Why should what I wear have to be ruled by my gender? Well I don’t, but I would like some round toed suede shoes please.

SONG OF THE DAY -Nu Shooz I can’t wait

THIS WAS A BIT OF A FAVE IN THE 80’S not sure if it was just cos i likes the name of the band and the intro.

WALK LIKE AN EGYPTIAN! “This is proof that true liberation is when a people liberates themselves. No one invaded South Africa or Tunisia and yet they liberated themselves overnight. The US invaded Iraq and Afghanistan eight years ago to “liberate” them and they are still not FREE.” – Isa Eric Shaw

Song Of the Day

Walk like an Egyptian

And this is our version of the song, really badly lip-synced to our very own live practice track, this Saturday night after a very large  and truely divine dinner.   Our way of shouting out to the amazing Egyptian spirit!

SHOE NUMBER 3 -THE MUSTARD leather CONVERSE- Bought in Camden Market, just because I wanted to feel the experience of retail euphoria for just a few glimpsing minutes. I know I know, it is superficial and unreal, but there  you go. They are a good few years old -bought for  under £20 -possibly because mustard was just not doing it for the trenoids at that time. I am partial to a bit of mustard and  these are a good, well worn grubby pair of trainers which again seem to be lasting for ever, and have seen me through some good and some bad  times. Not great for standing up in all day, or pounding pavements for any considerable amount of time, but what a colour!



These were a shockingly expensive pair of shoes as far as shoes go in my cut price, bargain basement world, and they were neither. I am also thinking that the whole barefoot philosophy is a bit ’emporer’s new clothes’ for me . I mean it might be nice to wear a pair of shoes that make you feel like you are barefoot on some beach ( except they would get wet) or on same grassy field except again you would get wet. But have you ever tried going barefoot on concrete, with a full rucksack ….It don’t work. REALLY SORE FEET!. I went back to the shop  more than once and put my predicatment to the people in the shop. 4 mm of memory foam and a flat sole  between me and the pavement just ain’t cutting it…REALLY SORE FEET.

SO THE PEOPLE IN THE SHOP SAID I WAS WALKING WRONG Not heel toe as i had been taught from birth – but slap the whole foot down on the floor at the same time….REALLY!   ‘Oh my god -shouted the young child! look , the emperor is wearing a pair of flatties with no support…’ ha ha ha ha ha   but they are soooo environmentally friendly …ha ha ha …SO I wear these for short periods of time . As most of my life my feet is in contact with pavements these are really not the shoe for me.

SONG OF THE DAY 64million people cannot be wrong!

AND IF YOU STILL THINK YOU HAVE NO TIME FOR THE DELICIOUS GAGA  scroll down and watch the ‘live version’. She is amazing!