Category Archives: Shoes
My dear people,
Epic is back. As you may know, the past few months have seen me very much stuck in blog limbo, that is to say that I wanted to blog, oh so very much I wanted to blog, but Monsieur and I were planning our wedding and for anyone who hasn’t done this, it is not to be recommended to bloggers unless your blogging specialty is wedded bliss.
Anyone who knows me will understand that it’s somewhat of a surprise that I climbed into a big, white dress and got passionate about invitation design. I simply wasn’t born that sort of girl. Jeans are my Alexander McQueen and the only shoes I get truly excited about are my Fit Flops. If you’ve ever seen that episode of Friends where Chandler proposes to Monica and she immediately pulls out a massive scrapbook filled with clippings and cuttings and samples for her Big Day, i.e. she’d been planning her wedding since well before a ring was popped onto her finger, that is not me. How was I ever going to pull off a wedding day when I had zero interest in floral arrangements? Truth be known, I did it for Monsieur, my very own Groomzilla, and in hindsight, it was a good call to follow his wishes. We had a blast.
On the day, however, I started off as The Bride on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown. It’s a wonder my make up went on straight, I was trembling that much. My friends did what good friends do in such situations and tried to relax me with champagne. Normally I’d neck the bubbly in a single gulp, but anything that passed my lips had a tough time going further. In quite the unprecedented of drinking events, I only managed half a flute. My chest tightened up, I ingested about half a bottle of Bach’s Rescue Remedy spray, much to the amusement of the photographer, and once in hand my bouquet shook as if it was having its own personal earthquake. But once by Monsieur’s side the shaking slowly subsided and the day proceeded at a calming pace. Well, mostly calming. The dancing to the Hawaii 5-0 soundtrack needed to be seen to be believed as quite a number of us flailed about pretending we were on surfboards. Bride on surfboard? Probably not a good look but oh yes, that was a You Tube moment if ever there was one. Unfortunately, no one caught it on film and if I have any regrets about the day, that would have to be it.
Happily, I can confirm that marriage is suiting Monsieur and me. We still get excited about using those terribly grown up words of ‘husband’ and ‘wife’ and all the hard work seemed to pay off because we did indeed enjoy a truly beautiful day. But never, ever again will I arrange a wedding. The stress of it is astronomical and every spare hour goes into the preparations. In the end it feels as if regular life is a strange and distant memory.
Matrimonial planning also affects sleep patterns, as I found out. I never knew that one person could have as many wedding nightmares as I did. They started as soon as we confirmed the date and venue, and only finished about 6 weeks. That makes seven months of nightmares. No fun.
Here are some examples of wedding nightmares: at different times I dreamed of forgetting to book the florist, being 4 hours late for my hair appointment or getting married in an amphitheatre which demanded I walk down ancient and crumbling stairs without tripping. In one such ‘mare I lost my bouquet. In another, long-dead relatives visited to wish me well and when I asked how it was possible that they were there sitting next to me, they replied “Ah well, the bus from Scotland had a few delays and it certainly was a long and difficult journey, but we’re here now.” So now we know: the dead live in Scotland. As you can see, some seriously random stuff was going on between my ears each night so I was always relieved to wake up and see Monsieur and know that there was still time to fix whatever had been bugging my subconscious. But then my dreams started to freak him out to the point where a typical early morning conversation went something like this:
ME: “Darling, I just had another dream about the wedding.”
HIM: “Don’t tell me. I don’t want to know. You’re starting to freak me out.”
ME: “But I just wanted to say how happy I am this morning because I woke up.”
HIM: “Yes. That’s great. You woke up. So did I.” (looks at me with puzzled face)
ME: “No, you don’t get it. I’m relieved because my dream wasn’t real.”
HIM: “That’s right, darling. Dreams are NOT real. That’s why they’re called ‘dreams’.”
ME: “Seriously, listen! In my dream I married the wrong man by mistake and I couldn’t get out of it and you were so annoyed but I couldn’t see his face at the ceremony part and he kind of looked like you but then the registrar said…”
HIM: “Didn’t I just tell you NOT to tell me?” (Before I can say another word, Monsieur hurries to the bathroom where he can lock the door and find peace, however temporary.)
So it won’t come as any surprise to hear that Monsieur and I are extremely happy and a big part of our wedded bliss is down to no more nightmares and not having to take care of any more wedding preparations. There’s definitely a reason why you’re only supposed to wed once and it must have something to do with stress levels, which in our case were not helped by that belching Icelandic volcano and grounded planes or trying to decide the lesser of the various evils in the UK’s General Election 2 days before our wedding.
The good news is that looking back at our wedding day will always bring a kaleidoscope of wonderful memories. 95% of the day went to plan, the atmosphere of love and friendship all around us was overwhelming (in a good way), the cake was so perfect that it brought a tear to my eye and the tables all looked wonderful. Apparently yes, I do care more about floral arrangements and stationery motifs than previously, but I still maintain that this is the first and last wedding I’ll plan. Ever. Besides, on the day we were so busy with the photographer and guests that I didn’t try a single canapé and then didn’t realise that I hadn’t tried them until a full 48 hours later. As for nerves, I could barely eat at the wedding breakfast. Unusual behaviour for a foodie? You bet. It’s precisely what this particular Epicurienne considers a travesty not to be repeated and I’m sure that you, my food-loving friends, will concur. To spend months planning a wedding and not even have a single delicious little bite of canapé? Not. Blooming. Happening. Again.
And so to Hawaii! Tune in soon for tales from the honeymoon where Monsieur and I benefit from the healing effects of sun, surf, sand and sleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeep.
I don’t usually write about feet or shoes, apart from the fact that I’d rather spend my annual footwear allowance on travel than on a pair of Manolos and I just might have set up a site called Clogblogger once upon a time. However, if you’ve ever worn Fit Flops, you’ll know why I’m writing about them today.
Last year, I invested in a pair of these flip flops with ‘the gym built in,’ that claim to help you tone and exercise muscles in your legs and back whilst simply walking. A couple of friends already had them and swore by them, so I bought a pair of rather unsubtle gold-sequinned Fit Flops with the suitably flamboyant style name of Elektra. By the end of last summer, including a full two weeks in Vietnam where I seldom wore anything else (on my feet, to be specific, because clothes definitely did feature. At times.), I didn’t want to take them off. No, it’s worse than that. My feet, a couple of particularly sensitive souls (pardon the pun), grieved the advent of autumn, for it meant that their beloved Fit Flops would be exiled to the back of the wardrobe. Poor feet!
Here’s the gold variety that stirs an alarming amount of interest from my male colleagues. Oo er, missus! Who knew they’d be such attention-grabbers?
And this is the black equivalent that I wear on more sombre occasions:
There are one, two, three, four more Fit Flop wearers within 5 metres of me right now. Most of my girlfriends are advocates, and when I went to a wedding recently, my feet were understandably NOT happy about abandoning the Fit Flops in favour of something high and elegant. No siree. In case of a Feet-Against-Heels uprising during the day, I stuffed a pair of ballet pumps in my bag, but as it was, most of the girls went barefoot in the grass at the reception, so the ballet pumps were surplus to requirement. Chatting to an acquaintance, I admitted being relieved not to have to trot around in my heels all afternoon,
“My feet are spoiled. They’ve been in Fit Flops all week.”
“Mine, too!” confessed the acquaintance, “and I have a pair of ballet pumps in my bag, for dancing, later.”
“Me, too!” I squeaked, so happy to have located a kindred spirit with high-maintenance feet like mine. High five, girlfriend!
Even so, I couldn’t wait to slide back into my Fit Flops when we got home.
The next question is inevitably: do they work? Well, it’s hard to tell, because my legs are the most-utilised part of me and are therefore pretty fit already. But a good test was during the recent 48-hour tube strike when I had to walk to and from work each day. That was a total of 4 hours and 40 minutes fast walking, in Fit Flops, over a two-day period, and boy, did I ache by the end of it. The aches were in unusual places, too, usually untouched by regular walking or hiking. (At least, that’s how THIS particular body behaves.) So the Fit Flop’s claims to give you a workout while you walk seem to be true. Having said that, for me it’s kinda like TV. I’m not interested in knowing how it works, as long as it works.
Long may the summer last, though, because in spite of Fit Flop’s foray into winter-weather alternatives, they’re lacking the funk of the spangly Elektra, and I’m not a big UGG fan. But I may have to eat my words soon, because this here high heel-phobe has been invited to an evening with Jimmy Choo. Help. I’ve never spent £368.00 on a pair of shoes in my life and I really can’t afford to start such an expensive habit now. Besides which, £368.00 could pay for a long weekend in Venice, in my Fit Flops, and that’s what I’d really rather do.