Monday, December 17, 2012

If the shoe fits - Tracing the outline of a shoe

Picture from Dos Family amazing blog, found many months ago and saved in my laptop!

This picture stopped me in my track and transported me right back to my younger self, way before my teens. It also puts a huge smile on my face.

It may look like a non-descript picture of an outline of shoe somewhat hastily drawn behind a used envelope but it brings back so many good memories because half way round the world, more than 20 years ago, my dad used to do exactly the same – tracing the outline of my shoe.

I vividly recalled him tracing my siblings’ and my slippers on random pieces of paper – sometimes drawn behind a used envelope, calendar or torn pages of a company’s annual report book - often the night before he goes away on holiday with the best intention of coming home with presents for us. It was always dad who did it, never mum.

Shoes aside, whenever my parents travel, they tend to bring home little gifts for us when we were much younger. Dad has a tendency to buy us the latest fashionable item from the country he visits which more often than not, is never in-fashion/cool in our tiny town at the same time. These pieces of clothing tend to be relegated to the back of the cupboard before the annual clothes purge to the charity bin.

He once bought my sister Ida and I some lurid printed mid-drift tops from Indonesia, accompanied with his famous quote ‘Better wear these things now when you are young; please don’t wear these bare-backed, pusat (navel) showing tops when you are 40. People will talk and they will say - did you see Charlie’s 40 year old daughter wearing that top!!??’ Oh that used to give us the giggles but now as our ages are closer to the 40 mark instead of our teens, it sadly, cannot be truer!Wise words papa!

I remember my first pair of Doc Marten shoes dad bought for me from London. It is quite possibly one of the last few pairs of shoes he bought me before the holiday presents stop as we turn ‘fussy and difficult to buy for’. It was the 90s, it was the coolest shoes to have at the time and he was going to London so Ida and I put our orders in. He took our slipper measurements on paper and came home with the goods – Ida received a black ankle boots and mine was Mary Jane style. We feel like the coolest people in Melaka...even in 30 degrees heat in Malaysia we wore our black leather Doc Marten with pride.

The Doc Marten shop must have left an impression on dad. He came home and told us all about the store– the biggest of its kind at the time in Convent Garden. He told us about the size (it has 4 (or 5?) shop floors), the range of shoes, the customers who shops there (punks with spiky hair!) and the shoe lift! When he puts his orders in, the shop assistance send a call for the shoes and the shoes arrived in its own shoe lift! A shoe lift!! Dad was well impressed!

Unfortunately the shop shuts down as the trend died away shortly after. I don’t venture to Covent Garden much now but whenever I do, and if I passed by the building where Doc Marten used to be, I am always reminded on the shoe lift and my first Doc Mart that dad bought me.

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