Shaggy Dog Story Alert…

Shaggy Dog Story Alert…

Hi there

Thanks for popping in. It’s quite hard for a workaholic, who is completely addicted to her work, to sit and do not very much. Progress is lamentably slow healthwise, and I really do have to be a patient patient – which does NOT come naturally. However, a voice in my head stops me in my tracks with “You’re lucky to be alive Barbara – behave”. And so I do. What a turn of events, eh. But this too shall pass. And let’s face it: it could have been such a different outcome. That’s quite a leveller, innit! But rather than be gripped by what could have happened, I have to turn it around.

Quote of the day

An attitude of gratitude makes Life lighter


So I’m doing things I CAN! Like blogging, like chatting to you.

Get this! I’m sitting here in a pair of brand new Dubarry boots. Well, new, not new. I bought them (at great expense) last Christmas. Not this one just past – the one before. Worn them once. Too tight, half a size too small. Should never have bought them, but the bloke in the shop said they’d stretch. What he didn’t mention was that it would be a long and painful process, coupled with sore feet and bleeding blisters. Sod it I had proclaimed, after a crippling walk along the coastal path at Rye last year. What a waste of £250!! As I said. Dubarry’s are not a cheap boot.

Well, this morning I had a memory of Mum and me in Canterbury when I was a teenager. We had bought a pair of school shoes for me, and I was breaking them in. Also uncomfortable and too tight. What’s a size 8+ girl to do, when the biggest shoes are 8 ?! I was hobbling along, wingeing, and I remember my mum taking me to the little river with the ducking stool by The Old Weaver’s house. Yikes!

I digress, but Yes, there IS a witch’s ducking stool there, popularly used to prove whether a woman was a witch or not in the Middle Ages. The woman was dunked in the river. If she drowned, then Ahhhh, she wasn’t a witch after all. If she survived the ducking and came up alive, then she was definitely a witch, and was either hanged or burned. Good grief. No chance then. We humans really are unbelievable, aren’t we? Also makes me think it’s a man’s world….

Anyway, back to the brogues which were crippling me. She told me to take my shoes off and pour a little water in each one, then get back into them. Tell you what. Within 5 minutes those hard leather, beefy brogues from Clarks became my all time favourite shoes.

So back to the pricey Dubarry’s. I’ve poured water into each one, and now I’m sloshing around in them, wearing them around the house until they behave ! Already feels like it’s working though. Lookie lookie!

So there you go!! Another great quote for the day!

When Life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

Love always,

Barb x x x

51 thoughts on “Shaggy Dog Story Alert…

  1. The thought of sloshing around the house in your boots made me laugh! What a tonic you are even in adversary. Enjoy the sunshine. Xx

  2. You could have taken them to be stretched – do places do that any more?! It’s sunny here so maybe a nice gentle walk would keep you and Dave busy.
    I have just finished making a baby quilt for a friend of mine whose daughter has just presented her with a granddaughter. I decided to crochet the baby a little jacket. I haven’t crocheted much for years but I loved doing it. Maybe you could give another go to a craft you haven’t done for ages – lino cut maybe? Just a thought.
    Have a lovely squelchy day!
    Zara xx

  3. your boots beautiful but the pain in your feet , show on your face. Try stuffing with slightly damp news paper as much as you can. Save on uncomfortable feet. Love Canterbury I went to college there and know the ducking stool well. My favourite shop in Canterbury pottery right outside the Cathedral. Take the time you need to recover. xx

  4. Barbara
    Your shoe story reminded me of growing up in the Teams in Gateshead in the 50’s and my school friends asking me where I bought my shoes, of course everything was bought at our local Co-op for the dividend, but somehow it was embarrassing to admit to this. At least my parents could afford to buy them. We all moved down to High Wycombe in 64, (my father was in the wood making industry) after my grandparents passed
    Keep taking things easy Barbara. I have raided the sale to encourage my 30 year old granddaughter to take up Groovi, she’s having a hard time at the moment.
    Love Janet xx

  5. Oh my all the old wife tales really do work. Only thing is I would never have the money to buy such expensive footwear, and to put water in a cheaper product they’d probably rot and fall apart.🤪 braver lady than me.❤
    I always buy my boots one size bigger, and prefer boots to shoes, I have very delicate heals as soon as a new pair of shoes hits them they are full of bleeding blisters. My big fluffy socks adorn my feet and if they are too big an additional pair bulk out the size. I hate having sore feet nothing worse. I feel your pain but it must be much easier for a size five foot to find a size 6 or 5.5 than being a size 8+.
    I hope your boots break in soon so you can comfortably wear them on a nice gentle walk.
    travel gently Barb, slowly dies it we will all be here when you are ready, as you say gratitude for life certainly blows life into context.xx

  6. Hello Barbara,
    Lovely to hear your are pacing yourself as you continue the road to recovery, the outcome will be so worth it.
    I sympathise with your sore feet and blisters. I too, have been talked into buying shoes a size smaller in the hope that they would stretch, don’t do it! it never works, and you end up throwing them in the back of the wardrobe. Having said that, I discovered a great item to combat blisters….especially with sandles. The magic word is Compeed, just rub it on the areas where you would normally get blisters and hey presto!
    What a result, I used this a lot last summer and was walking on air instead of hobbling about cursing!
    Take care.
    Much love.

  7. Good luck with the boots! I have spent that in the past on boots, shoes and bags and loved all of them – still wear/use them in fact. Since retiring I’ve hardly bought any proper shoes – don’t need too ! Size 4 here so not really a problem. They’re my smallest part 😹. Travel gently – no rush xxx

  8. Glad your still taking things slowly Barbara recovery takes time. Your story about the water in the boots bought back a memory of my father soaking old newspaper in water and stuffing it into my shoes because they were to tight, always worked!! My clarity order arrived on Friday have had a little play with my new goodies but now I’m off to make a card for my daughter who is fifty this month.xx

  9. Do you think the water trick will work on all the clothes that I have bought because of course I will diet to fit in to them, and the pesky ones which seem to have shrunk since I bought them! Good to hear you are getting stronger every day, soon be Spring too.

  10. Oh, shoes should never have to be broken in – if they do, they are don’t fit. I really hope the water works in your boots. They are beautiful boots.
    Keep recovering. Sounds corny but maybe enjoy some of this forced slow down. When you return to being a workaholic, perhaps it will be at a bit of a different pace????
    Moleskin is great for preventing blisters. I used it when hiking, or would tape my toes and heels with gauze tape.

  11. You are so funny, love reading your blogs! Looking good in your boots hope it works! I’m sitting reading Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens very good. Keep the brakes on and still take it easy. X

  12. I had to smile reading this as I have bought loads of pairs of shoes/boots over the years in the vague hope that they would stretch – I have a really high instep and wide feet. I never knew about the damp newspaper or water to help though – wish I had as it sounds like it would have saved me a lot of pain. Glad to hear that you are still travelling gently along your road to recovery.

  13. Oh dear, there is nothing more miserable than uncomfortable feet. I never wear boots because my feet leak and I finish up with puddles inside them!!!!!
    My size 7’s accumulated to over 70pairs while I was working and are now hardly worn but I can’t bear to part with them even though I may never be able to wear them again. My feet spread and blistered after chemo so I now have to buy wide fitting shoes but try getting something elegant. They are nearly all flat and/or frumpy.
    Still, like you I am still alive and as you say, it could have been worse. Life is precious even though we have to slow down so take it easy and allow your body to recover in its own time.
    It is so good to see you smiling, lovely photo.

  14. Your story of you and your Mum reminded me of my lovely Mum (no longer with us). I used to detest shopping for school shoes as I was marched to Clark’s and I had to have brown lace ups (early 60’s). No amount of crying or stamping made an apeth of difference. My Mum would say ‘one day you will thank me when you have lovely feet’. These days I have bent toes and ingrowing toenails so, no Mum I don’t thank you for the humiliation I suffered at school. I hope you get your boots to fit, they look so classy

  15. As I remember it the problem was that it was not possible to get larger than size 8 shoes, and I’m not sure the situation has improved?? A friend of mine had to suffer in size 8 shoes for her daughters wedding not long ago. Just take it easy and be comfortable Barbara for however long it takes. Xx

  16. Great story about the boots. They are lovely boots 😍. I bought some shoes which were in the sale. I knew they were half a size too small, but they were a bargain !! 😆 I tried the wet newspaper method, but that didn’t work. Then my partner said his Mum used to say you have to pee in them !!! Needless to say, they are still in the box under my bed !! I cannot therefore confirm whether this works, but I wouldn’t advise trying it !!
    Take care. Lots of love. Linda

    1. In the forces blokes used to pee into their boots to soften the leather not sure if I would want to try it but it was definitely a thing or a tall story

  17. You do make us laugh with your stories. Made me think of the song

    -Those boots were made for walking
    – and that’s what they a gonna do
    – and one of these those boots are gonna be comfortable for you.

    I have terrible trouble with shoes/boots. I can’t bend down to do anything up and I can’t feel most of my toes so I have to have a lot of room ! Takes a lot of patience to try on so many. Prefer a slip in boot.

    Keep pacing yourself to help your recover – don’t run before you can walk especially if you are wearing water filled boots! 🤣🤣🤣

  18. Its great seeing you looking so much better. The attitude of gratitude is working well.
    I really dislike shopping for clothes and even more shoes. One foot is slightly different in size – not hugely but enough to make it difficult and the skin is prone to blister. I have found Hotter the best fit but the only comfortable style are trainer like. Fortunately I have never been an elegant dresser, actually not elegant at all. As you say when life gives you lemons (read dodgy trotters) ……..

  19. Looking good Barbara, glad your still going slowly. My problem with shoes is I have one foot smaller and trying to get shoes that fit properly is not easy.
    Take care xxxx

  20. I used to work in a shoe shop, and one of my managers advised putting a big potato into the shoe to help it stretch. I did say this to a elderly lady, who very seriously asked, does it need to be mashed? Still amuses me, years later. Hope you mums trick works, not nice, when our feet hurt is it. My mum always took me to the Clarks shop when I was growing up, I had thin feet, and only one style fit me, so for years I had the same style, just different sizes as my feet grew. Enjoy the rest of the day gently. xx

  21. Couple of days ago, we thought Life is a Lemon and we want our money back. Then we got angry and did some nagging at the doctors and becoming the proverbial squeaky wheel! Finally Pete can look forward to starting a programme of treatment. Then Noel, my son, said “well you do have to squeeze the lemons to make the lemonade and that’s what you have done”! xxx

  22. well, it is good to see that your sense of humour is recovering at pace. Spend lots of time with your Mum, just talking and remembering happy times together with your Dad. I would never have thought of putting water into shoes/boots to stretch them. I wonder if it would have worked with my riding boots, years ago, which would leave me with wicked blisters when the missing bus used to mean a three mile grudge in agony. Take care. xxx Maggie Craner (Silvercrafter)

  23. Hi Barbara, looking so much better. I to have these boots they are fantastic. Fortunately mine are the right size to get big boot socks in them which has a furry roll top. Very cosy and warm in winter. May be this is time to start taking life a little easier and start enjoying some me time. Not that we want you to leave Clarity we would be lost with out you. But you have to make every day count.

  24. I do love your tales – hope the water works. Stuff the boots with newspaper when you have poured the water out to help keep their new shape.
    I can remember the year there were no shoes in size 7 in black suitable for school only navy blue. I had to get special permission to wear them. Seemed strange as the school uniform was royal blue blazer, navy pinafore & blue & pink tie so navy was a better colour anyway !!
    You best be looking out your shoes for May 3rd so you can get them broken in. 2 months next Friday eeek that’s not long !! but one day at a time !!

  25. Your memory brings back one of mine from when my husband and I visited Canterbury many years ago in the 1970ths.
    We saw the the Weaver’s House and the ducking chair — we visited the Cathedral and a lot more.
    Hope it will work with your boots.
    Take care Barbara, Trijntje Huppel

  26. Good for you persevering with the hurty boots! I will only buy shoes and boots that are immediately comfy now after several bouts of plantar fasciitis. Hope the water does the trick x

  27. “These boots were made for walking” ..or should the song be “Sloshing in”🤣🤣🤣 You do make us laugh Barbara. Hope it works. x

  28. Oh how funny! Just sloshing around! Well I never. Haven’t heard of that before! Hope it works! X chuckle chuckle chuckle.

  29. Old remedy for tight shoes is to put wet paper into them and mash up into the toes and work down, next morning wear them.
    Might help……I always got my mum to break in my size sevens lol
    But sadly she’s long gone.
    I hope your feeling a wee bit stronger Barbara.
    Love Fiona h. X

  30. Your story really put a smile on my face Barb, but also an earworm in my head with Frank and Nancy singing “These boots were made for stretching”!
    My Mum always bought us footwear that was too big, stuffed the toes with newspaper and said “You can grow into them, as your feet get bigger just take out a bit of newspaper”! Being the eldest (and biggest feet!) at least I could pass them on to my younger brothers!
    Good to see you smiling and getting better bit by bit – when the going gets tough, the tough get – wet feet?
    Also your mention of the witches ducking stool made me think of a very funny part in Monty Python and the Holy Grail – a hilarious demonstration of silly logic! I’m still laughing!
    Take care, step by step (but maybe in different shoes!)

  31. Ouch, nothing worse than tight boots/shoes! – I admire your determination to stretch them though. It reminds of when we had our Farm and getting exceptionally wet on many occasions with wet squelching feet, not the nicest of feelings. Careful though as when the leather gets wet it could also become ‘stiff’ once dried out again. Having to deal with horse tack that got wet, we would then oil it to soften and feed it. You may find that oiling them with plenty of Neatsfoot oil will help stretch them too! – Fingers crossed they become your really comfy wellies! -Well done for listening to yourself and keeping a quieter pace. The Sun will be out with warmth and spring flowers very soon and your Birthday isn’t far away, so look forward to feeling so much better after a jolly good rest! 😊 xx p.s at least you don’t have to worry about that diet anymore! You’re looking good! 👌 😍

  32. I hope the water treatment works! I have the opposite problem -my feet are 2.5 and I usually have to get size 3, so need to out insoles in them! My mother had a bunion and the local shoemaker/mender used to stretch them for her with a special gadget he had. I don’t suppose that the shoemakers exist any more. I know the duking stool well as, living near Canterbury, we’ve been there many times. Just continue to listen to your body and don’t try to rush things. I doesn’t work!!

    1. Beautiful boots – hope it works and they’re comfy soon! Had a gorgeous lunch in the Weavers House with a friend just before Christmas but didn’t try out the ducking stool 😆Take care and as much time as you need. xxx

  33. Or, our Barb, is it that your feet shrink in all that water?
    My daughter has size 9 feet and also has trouble finding shoes that she likes/fit, except at sale time. Every cloud…..
    Big hugs, Sue.

  34. Like Linda Williams I too grew up with the fact that ‘maiden water’ straight from the source will stretch your shoes!!!! Think we come from the same part of the world.
    Good that you can have so much contact with folk and not even have to get too exhausted talking.
    Wonderful to have so many friends. Treat yourself gently, and God Bless.

  35. Hi Barbara
    When I started work walking the streets of London as a Traffic warden before anyone was wondering what I was doing 🤣🤣 my dad would always stuff wet newspaper in my DM’s to help once broken in they were like slippers. When they got wet from a day walking in the rain he would heat up boot polish to get rid of the marks. I have small feet thankfully so still buy children’s shoes no VAT. Hope the boots are easier now.
    Love Ruth and Jackie xx

  36. Hi Barb, your Mum is really clever and wise. May be a good tip for me too, because I have really big feet (most of the time size 9!). Love both quotes. Hope the boots are stretching now. Take care and stay safe everyone. Bx

  37. Gorgeous boots, so hope the softening and stretching works. I remember the days of curling my toes when my shoes became tight and there was no money to replace them. It didn’t stop me wearing pointed toes and stiletto heels as a teenager though! I am lucky that my feet are still recognisable, but I do go for comfort these days.
    Good to see you looking so much better. XX

  38. I feel your pain Barbara. I recall that the Queen had a dedicated lady to ‘wear in’ her shoes before the royal foot wore them !!!!!!!!!! What size feet does Dave have?😂😂😂 You are certainly looking better so keep up the steady progress, much love to you and yours❤️

  39. Well you are certainly looking a lot healthier and brighter which is good. Never had a problem with shoes being too small; too big was the problem. Mum said that I would grow into them (lol). Keep smiling.

  40. I feel for your poor feet. I am only a size 6 and don’t have swollen feet but my feet are wide just be hind my toes and have to resort to buying mens size 7s boots and trainers and wearing bigger socks, I dread having to wear dress shoes. This time last year my young sister was very ill with sepsis and problems with her lungs she found that like you taking things one step at a time walking a short distance having a sit down and then walking back doing this she was back working pt within 2 months and then ft by about 3 months. It took her about 2 months before her lungs were clear and like you she had to do breathing exercises to increase her lung capacity a year on there is no stopping her. Take care, one step at a time and what a lovely time of the year to calm down and take things easier.

  41. I used to be a nurse in the Army. Breaking in new boots was always ghastly. Then one day, having tried on a pair the QMS told me to come back for them in the afternoon, he poured a whole load of oil into each one. Best boots ever.

  42. Oil, Water, Pee whatever next and I haven’t heard of any of them before but maybe that’s because I can’t wear boots or shoes with backs. So pleased you are feeling better Barbara.
    One day at a time. Take care.

  43. They are great boots!
    I need to try that trick with a pair of shoes I bought for my sister’s Alex’s wedding (yes Barb, she is making her own wedding cake!!). At the moment, I am walking around the house in a pair of white shoes and Snoopy socks 🤣😂🤣

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *