The lucky young woman was Lily, the younger daughter of my French lady friend Véronique. We'd been eating out with the girls at a regular monthly get-together, and I came in for coffee afterwards - and for a sing-song around the piano. Here's Lily and myself discussing what to sing, and then doing the deed:
I get rather carried away with putting expressiveness into songs, but hey, anything goes late at night. The pictures were taken on my new camera, which Véronique ably wielded.
Afterwards we sat down for the coffee. On the TV was a programme about Christian Louboutin, intimately revealing him at work, at home, and at various receptions and events, creating and showing his latest collections. Shoes like his are completely out of my league. Quite apart from the cost (let's say £400 plus for a pair), there's the sky-high heels - and I don't wear heels. I don't own any shoes with a heel. They are all flat. Look: I don't need the extra height, I haven't got a good sense of balance, and I don't want to add further damage my feet, legs, and back. But of course, I don't mind supple young things under fifty enjoying the elegance heels provide, if that is their wish.
Anyway, Lily rushed upstairs and came back down with a red bag containing a prized pair of Christian Louboutin shoes (though how afforded, I know not). By the way, I'm sorry for the strong yellow tinge to these shots - I forgot to adjust the white balance on the camera for indoor lighting. I so wish the photos had been taken in daylight, and I could reveal how nice they really were.
She took them out and held them up. They really were green, at least to my eyes - I have a hard time distinguishing between pale green and pale blue; but these were definitely green.
Ah, those signature red soles! I'm sure you wouldn't wear these on any surface where the soles might get scuffed or dirtied - it would spoil them! I have little doubt that, seen from behind, that red colour is a sex trigger to men, catching and holding the eye, and encouraging testosterone surge. As if the provocative posture induced by very high heels were not enough by itself. The shoes pander to lustful primeval fantasies then, as well as being desirably handmade, and indeed veritable works of art. I didn't ask Lily why she had bought them. It may have been no more than a yearning to own some gorgeous, high-status shoes for special occasions - rather like my buying that Prada handbag some years ago - where you get an ongoing thrill from possessing something extraordinary.
Would I buy very expensive flat-heeled shoes? Well, I always keep in mind that cheap, badly-designed, badly-made, ill-fitting shoes do your feet harm - and they will look tatty, or fall apart, within a year. I think they are a false economy. Better to buy just a few good shoes, to cover a range of purposes from country strolls to posh hotels. If you can afford a famous name, or at least a particularly high-class look, then why not, provided they are comfortable and fit for purpose.
Shoes are important. They protect your feet. They also get noticed, and say something about your taste, your spending priorities, and your current state of mind. They can also make you feel very good about yourself. A woman with a hundred shoes is a woman who has a pair of shoes for any mood and any occasion, and can signal her attitude to life and love with great subtlety. It's too bad that so many men see only the high heel, and draw a single coarse conclusion.