I’ve spent so much time lately looking up at the sky and worrying about the buildup of greenhouse gases that I haven’t paid much attention to my feet – until today that is, when I trod in a puddle. And boy did I notice that! I had a big hole in the bottom of my shoe.
I’d been wearing crocs for the last year but they’d finally worn out (and are currently being turned into garden planters – see May 3) so I pulled out an old pair of “real” shoes. And lo and behold they had a hole in them. Right, I thought, time to take them to the bootmaker. It was then that I realised I’d been living in the Blue Mountains for 6 years and had no idea if there even was a bootmaker. I did the quick ringaround and discovered there was still one in Katoomba. I then went through my wardrobe and gathered up all the shoes that needed repairing and, a woman on a mission, I headed to meet “the man”. “The Man” in question took one look at all my shoes and said no. Can you believe it? He said no to a whole bag of shoes. As it turned out, my most expensive pair of beautiful black leather shoes had rubber soles made in one piece with foam in the heel (THAT’S why they felt so light and comfy to wear!) – virtually impossible to repair. With shame I discovered that I’d worn another pair just that much too long that he could no longer fix them and the other two were another type of rubber-in-one-piece job that is also impossible to repair. I was devastated but kept saying: “do you really mean none of these can be repaired at all?”
In his beautiful Czech accent he nodded sagely and said, “It’s AmWay – the American Way – buy it, use it, chuck it out.”
I was overwhelmed with guilt, having just spent the last year selling crocs myself and being completely sucked into AmWay.Â Bootmakers are definitely struggling to survive with our new shoe wearing trends.
Being stubborn, I kept looking at him and saying, “but these black ones are such beautiful shoes … are you really, really sure you can’t do anything about them?” He finally relented and said he’d give them a try but couldn’t guarantee anything. It’s going to cost a fortune, so I understand why people choose “AmWay”, but I’m determined to break free of the trap. I’ll save money other ways (more home brew should do the trick!) He then showed me how to recognize shoes that are repairable and ones that aren’t … and also highlighted the need to look after the ones you do have. Another guilt attack.
I was definitely “brung up” right – every week, when I was a child, my mother would get us