Summer was predicted to make a fleeting reappearance yesterday. I did my normal morning weather peek over the window sill, took one look at the grey clouds and decided that the weathermen were a bunch of liars. However, as the day crept on, the clouds were replaced with the blue stuff, and the weather man's premonitions were fulfilled...
Of course, as soon as the sun comes out, for however short a time, this is the cue for clothes to be removed all over Britain. For us ladies, it's all about sandals and shorts, spaghetti straps and tan lines. For men, it usually means one thing only. Taking their socks off...
The husband's feet, although not the worst I have known by a long shot, should have a chap ringing a bell walking in front of them, just to give passers by a bit of a heads up not to look down. Cosied up in thick socks for eleven months of the year, the big reveal is an event I dread, because as the socks do come off, his open toed sandals are reverently lifted from the back of the wardrobe, dusted off, and slipped on.
Now I love this man, please remember this, but last year saw ten years of sandal resentment fester to an all time high around the August Bank Holiday. Having put up with the husband's trotters over the summer, I had reached my limit, and in a fit of pique, declared the sandals unfit for purpose. There were straps missing from them, and one of the air soles (yes, air soles) had developed a puncture, so every other step was punctuated with a strange noise not dissimilar to a hippo with wind.
I had had enough.
Launching them into the bin, I told the husband that he would have to go and buy some grown up sandals to wear with his shorts. His lower lip wobbled, and he told me very quietly that they had been his favourite shoes, but that he would do his best to replace them with something more age-appropriate.
The last few weeks of summer saw various items of footwear appear. Usually accompanied with eagerly raised eyebrows and, 'Well? What do you think?'
What did I think? Well my reactions ranged from 'no idea', to 'bad idea', interspersed with silence and a glare over the varifocals, but by October last year, we were no closer to resolution. Once the weather started improving a couple of months ago, the ugly question arose again, and it became apparent that something had to be done regarding his summer foot apparel.
It all came to a head two weeks ago. He chanced upon a camping shop in his travels and went in, the lure of pictures of men climbing mountains proving too much to ignore. (It's a bloke thing, this mountain advertising. Never once, have I looked at these posters, and thought, 'I bet they have some lovely sandals in there'). Anyway, I digress. Sure enough, he came home with a shoe box, his eyes gleaming with joy.
Oh dear Lord, they were exactly the same as the ones I'd thrown out (but with the straps, and minus the hippo-wind puncture). But at least they were black (and not Fungus the Bogeyman green) and they didn't smell like half a pound of Gouda.
I suppose I should be grateful for small mercies. That camping shop could have sold him a lovely pair of thermal socks to wear with those sandals.
I could have been looking at a whole different problem then...