Me, my feet and I

2 Jun

My feet. No, actually my feetI have always had an erratic relationship with my feet. I have to confess that for quite several years, we were not on speaking terms. For a start, they have been size 8 or 7 (UK) since I was around 11, so in any of the shoes du jour of my teenage years (DMs, mainly) they resembled ocean-going liners at full throttle.

Then, when I was fourteen, I had the indignity of an ingrowing toenail operation. Wearing trainers with a hole hacked in the toe at a school where we ordinarily had to wear the Platonic ideal (I rather like this definition of the Platonic ideal, even if it remains clear as mud as a concept) of uniform was not the greatest start to my career at that educational establishment; it also left an unsightly scar down the side of my left big toe, with only two-thirds of a toenail remaining even to this day.

Following two pregnancies where my feet spread to an extent where ocean-going liners became supertankers, then strangely shrank back to a size smaller than they were at the start, I believed that finally we had the chance to reach an entente cordiale, me and my feet. I also gained a fresh respect for their capabilities, undergoing moxibustion to turn the baby during my second pregnancy, involving the burning of acupuncture ‘products’ by my smallest toes on a daily basis – and you know what, it worked. So surely, I concluded, feet rock if they can do all that and keep me upright against all the odds.

It was strange that I didn’t enjoy the presence of my actual feet until mid 2007 since I have been renowned throughout my career as the Imelda Marcos (see the end of the second para on this link) of Marketing. Oh, I love love love a shoe. For example when planning my wedding outfit I had no real thought for my dress and every thought for my shoes – all I wanted was Jimmy Choos, and by jiminy I got them. Frankly I could have got married in those and my invisiknickers and I would have been happy.

But enough.

I had major surgery on my spine last year; for the majority of the five years prior to that, and six months after, I couldn’t wear the beautiful heels I’d amassed over the years and lovingly cared for. But I did have some gorgeous flat sandals permissable for spinal issues that I felt deserved the best possible showing. So I started to look into what I could do with my feet. Inspired by one of the pedicures I had when my back was too bad for me to reach my own feet to deal with them, I started cutting and shaping my nails; but the biggest breakthrough came when I unearthed a pumice stone and some aqueous cream at the back of the bathroom cabinet. Originally purchased to soothe away L1’s verruca I gave it a go on the cracked skin at the back of my heels – after all, it was getting so unsightly that anything was worth a try. And you know what, it not only worked, but in one fell swoop it transformed the way my feet looked and felt. I couldn’t take my eyes off them. And they didn’t even have shoes on them (my usual reason for encountering an inability to take my eyes off my plates of meat).

For me and my relationship with my feet, the key has proved to be ease and simplicity. Once a week I exfoliate those feet, getting rid of the dry and cracking skin around the heel, slather on some aqueous cream and leave them free for the cream to soak in. When I cut my toenails I don’t go for glamour, I go for straightforward and simple, with snipped and shaped nails, and it works very nicely for me thank you. And most importantly, in the midst of a busy life where sometimes it’s still a bit painful to bend over to pamper those tootsies, it’s a routine I can easily maintain. The Clarks Scent Flower sandals strike me as being the perfect excuse to flash those feet that are perfectly fitted for me, frankly. Let’s just start praying for sun eh…

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