I don’t like shopping at the best of times. 

I have a favourite pair of flat shoes which I wear when I want to look elegant. They’re black shiny patent leather and look great with trousers. They hardly look at all worn even though I have had them for years. 

The other day I happened to notice that the soles of both shoes had almost split in two. What to do?  Feeling quite intrepid I drove to the nearest shoe repairers.  I put on my mask and gloves and ventured inside the tiny shop.

The young man, whose mask was annoyingly slipping down his nose, took the shoes from me. He regarded them carefully as if he were a doctor examining a patient and then said,

“You’ve been keeping these in a cupboard!”

“Surely everyone keeps their shoes in a cupboard.” I said

“I don’t” he said. “I keep them under the stairs”.

“In a cupboard under the stairs,” I said.

“No”, he said. “Under the stairs.”

“Well, most people keep their shoes in a cupboard”, I responded feeling a bit like Alice in Wonderland talking to the Mad Hatter.

The upshot was that he could save them but at great cost to the Neidle purse.  At these times of Covid I think everyone is taking the proverbial Michael when they pluck prices out of the air.  £35.00, he said. He had taken his mask right off his face to speak to me so I stepped back outside the door and into the rain.

 “I’m an old age pensioner”, I replied, trying to look old, sad and miserable behind my mask and hood. Using my best negotiating skills I asked, “could we call that £25.00?”  £35.00, he repeated.

Returning to my tale of the patent shoes, I thought of calling the repair man’s bluff and walking away, like one can do when haggling in street markets, to see if he would change his mind and call after me but decided better of it.

After all, now we’re no longer going anywhere. I have nothing else to spend my money on, other than food and petrol. Who needs new clothes? Not me. Hair cuts? I ‘ve only had one since February – and that was in our back garden. And, as I blogged some weeks ago in my piece aptly titled, 50 Shades of Grey”, I am embracing my grey. So, I am saving a small fortune by not having my hair coloured.

While on the subject of beauty parlours, a notice came through our front door recently offering all manner of exciting benefits including a luxury pamper treatment. 

  • A luxury shampoo
  • Blow dry by hand (is it ever done any other way?)
  • Spritz of fragrance
  • Blueberry facial scrub
  • Hydrating body butter
  • Relaxing bath
  • A luxury hydrobath
  • Nail trim – nails only £5

Then I looked at the other options of ‘full body brush through’, ‘paw wax’ and ‘ear cleanse’ and realised that this was an advertisement for a doggy parlour!

So, another opportunity to save my money! Looks like I’ll be able to afford to get my patent shoes repaired after all.


© Andrea Neidle, My Life in Poems