The pouring rain in London’s dark streets this morning did not deter me from my walk. A brisk three miles through the puddles made a change from the slippery slush of last night. But it only took ten minutes for my shoes to start leaking. By the time I crossed Trafalgar Square I was squelching audibly.

On arrival in the office I had a dilemma. I was unsure about the etiquette of discreet shoe removal.

My day involved a series of serious meetings with business people. Would they mind if I sat listening with my toes wiggling freely in my colourful socks? Perhaps they would see this as a charming, harmless eccentricity.

I say harmless, but actually (sensitive readers may not choose to continue) I was a bit concerned about…odour. After forty minutes walk, a thorough soaking and another hour or so procrastinating, walking to the printer, making a cup of tea etc, I was conscious that my feet might not be as, um, fresh as usual.

I decided to keep my wet shoes laced up.

This evening I made my way via still-wet streets and overheated tube to the station where I boarded a crowded train. My feet were feeling a bit uncomfortable, trench foot was a possibility by now. The train was so busy I thought I might get away with an unattributable contribution to the overall fug, but with that many people in a confined space there was a good chance that someone would tread on my soft and wrinkled extremities if I exposed them.

I decided to keep my still wet shoes firmly on my feet.

I read the Evening Standard, pausing momentarily on an article that revealed Sleep Talkin’ Man as the latest internet phenomenon.

The train was late, due to an electrical fault requiring attention from a passing engineer. This did nothing to ease my podalic discomfort. By time I got home, my whole life’s ambition had resolved itself to the simple desire to remove my shoes, peel my socks from my pale and damp skin and wiggle my toes in the warm air – and also to buy some new, water resistant shoes very soon.

5 Responses to “Footloose”

  1. 1 Sarah

    I’d recommend wellingtons with a back pack with your day shoes in it as it also means that the bottom of your trousers stay dry. And let’s face it no-one likes making eye contact in London so they wont know who you are!

  2. 2 Andy F

    At this time of year I strongly recommend, sensible outdoor walking shoes or boots, with an indoor pair carried in back pack for sartorial elegance.
    Although not relevant to you in London, my walking boots live in the car boot at the moment.

  3. 3 Ann

    Alternative to lugging spare shoes about is waterproof socks, I recomment Sealskinz (think that’s a trademark, not an ingredient list) available from Blacks. So waterproof you can paddle in the sea and keep dry feet, though no idea why anyone would want to do that.

    • There is a dead seal on the beach nearby at the moment. I can see an opportunity to get some socks to go with my cat. Sorry, hat. 😉

  4. 5 Amanda

    Oh the sheer joy of wet cold feet. Wouldn’t even mind the trench thing, methinks. A different kind of odour here with it being 43 today – I’m going to empathise with you by putting my feet in icy water now before bed. Delicious. And thanks for looking after Ames, “funny” Alex as you are now known x

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