When I was 24 Andy bought me some amazing red chunky kick ass boots for my birthday from a shop in Edinburgh called 'Pie in the Sky'. At first I was unsure because they were to the knee lace ups with a sole on them like a tractor tyre. I was worried I couldn't carry them off. But in fact with them on I felt like I could take on anything.
I had never heard of the brand 'Art' before - it is a spanish brand an until a year or so ago - when I spotted them in a shop in London - hadn't seen anything else like them.
They have been faithful friends seeing me through 8 winters and being comfy, reliable and toasty as well as adding that edge to my usual weekend outfit of jeans and hoody.
Well, the sole started to go on my red boots and while the cobbler is doing his best to squeeze a bit more life out of them I have to accept they will now be worn on occasion and when I don't think the weather will finish them off.
So with a heavy heart I began to think about new winter boots. Well, as luck would have it, one of the two rather excellent shoe shops in Bridge of Allan, Chapter, sells Art boots and shoes. Last winter I had seen a pair of Art boots in Chapter but had decided it would signal a betrayal of my favourite fellows and they weren't done in yet. When I realised another winter was unrealistic I called up Chapter and asked if they still had any and they did!
I went down and tried them on and it was like falling in love all over again. This time they are black and have a bit of a chunky heel on them - but in all the important ways, comfort, warmth, kick-assability - they are blood sisters to my previous pair.
Of course, my original pair are still favoured - they will have outings too. But I will make sure they are outings that won't tire them out to the point of no return. Their retirement should be a long and happy one - and anyway, mad as it is, I cannot bear to part with them.