In the latest of a series that sees Standard Issue writers celebrate the clothes that make them happy, Daisy Leverington says adiós to the shoes that summed up a decade.
The phone in our holiday bungalow was ringing. I was still drunk.
“Helloyes?” I mumbled.
“Er, hello, this is reception. Your shoes have just arrived in a taxi.”
My shoes? But I was wearing them at 5am when I staggered through the…oh shit.
“Tha’swonderful. Be there in a jiffy.”
Gran Canaria, 2002. I’d only brought one pair of going-out shoes: my black leather Clarks’ mid-heel sandals, the ONLY shoe with a heel I could walk in. They were my favourite shoes and, on this girls’ 18-30 holiday, they had just been on their own big adventure.
I arrived at reception a scraggy, barefoot mess.
“Thanks,” I muttered as I grabbed my trusty shoes, which had inexplicably arrived back at the complex’s reception desk by cab at 8am.
To this day I don’t know what happened, or how they found their way home, but they are still my favourite – and most loyal – items of clothing.
They saw me through three university end-of-term balls. One where I got drunk on bitter because I couldn’t afford wine and then hitchhiked from Old Trafford back to Chester; one where my ex had the cheek to chat to a girl I didn’t recognise and I spent the remainder of the evening weeping in the toilets, and another where I had a brilliant time, ending with a shag in a Travelodge. Awesome.
They never once gave me a blister and were just the right height to ensure I didn’t look like I needed a poo when I walked in them. They looked great with everything and I never had to waste brain cells deciding what to wear with an outfit as I didn’t own anything else.
They went from “totally casual, yeah?” first date apparel to “we’ll probably be having sex soon” fourth date outfit in a flash, depending on what I chucked on with them. They were a bit shiny, but not enough to scream: “Try it” at the fellas. They were re-heeled so often I made friends with the lady who worked at the shoe stall (we once went to the theatre together).
My black shoes summed up my crazy, carefree years: my 18-28, before-kids-and-first-marriage, getting drunk, climbing on stuff and getting naked nonsense years. They eventually just fell apart; the lady at the shoe stall said nothing more could be done. I didn’t cry at the time but they left a big hole in my heart.
And the fucking taxi bill was £38.
Daisy Leverington - Actor, mother, expert at winging it.