Monday, February 10, 2014


Growing up I was always told to keep my shoes polished. Those were the days when 'proper' shoes were leather and supposed to be shiny. However, growing up in the 70s and 80s all the people that I can remember aspiring to never wore shiney shoes, in fact as I remember they were probably wearing swade desert boots or something like that. Moving to Central Asia in the late 90's mean I had to rethink my attitudes. Many of the people I worked with were exceedingly concerned about the shinyness of their shoes, pieces of tissue paper would be used to wipe off the ever present desert dust a number of times a day, my slovenliness borne of out-of-date beatnick aspirations had to be reformed. 

The other thing I picked up in Islamic Asia was a habit of never wearing outside shoes inside a house. This brings a whole pile of implications concerning what footwear to choose; lace up boots are out, 'slip-ons' are in. So despite the bad memories of taking the bus into town to buy shiney, slip-on 'sensible shoes' (which marked the end of the summer holidays for me in the 70s) I am back to wearing sensible, polishable slip-ons wherever possible. What goes round comes round.

Shoes in a forgotten attic - Istanbul - Watercolour on Paper

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