Urban Writers Bootcamp – Part 3
Here we go again! I was given this title and asked to write for 15 minutes. This one is a bit rambling. Does anyone else care to share about their favourite pair of boots / shoes / heels? Might be interesting to read other’s shoe related memories maybe?
Are people actually reading these? I’d hate to bore you all rigid. Talking about shoes seems a little irrelevant and none parenting related. Mind you, erm….desperately claws for relevance…kids wear shoes too! They do! And erm…so do mums, and wellies are quite nice on puddle jumping days? Oh, I give up! I’ll just write about shoes and hope you tolerate the randomness. Thank you for reading. x
‘In everyone’s life, there is one unforgettable pair of shoes…’
My unforgettable pair of shoes were my huge black doc martens that I wore when I was 16 going on 17. They were part of my slightly hippy chick era and I used to wear them with leggings an awful lot. My mum said they made my legs look like golf clubs but I chose to ignore her and wore and loved them anyway. I even made my own shoe laces with a system of coloured threads and weaving, I thought they looked fabulous. Some people painted their Docs, I never had enough confidence to actually go that far, I simply customised the laces – which is probably quite a good half way house between ‘Way out man!’ and ‘I’m not shouting too loudly cos if I do, I’ll look stupid’. I wish I still had them, they were comfy as cushions on my feet and were waterproof and went with anything, or at least I thought they went with everything. My long taselled patterned hippy skirt looked great with them (I think…..). Mind you, when you’re young, I think it’s possible to carry almost anything off. Now I’m getting all wistful and feeling like an old git, which I am, a little I suppose. One thing I remember very fondly about my Docs was that they hurt my feet like hell at first, but my dad quite literally sat in front of the tv massaging the leather with some sort of grease or other until the leather softened up enough so that they didn’t give me massive blisters. Very thoughtful, and they did fit like a glove after that. I trekked many a mile in those shoes, to friend’s houses, up and over windswept hills – in particular on a walk when a whole bunch of us stayed up all night and climbed a hill on the longest day of the year to watch the sunrise. I remember seeing the mist lying like a sea between the higher ground bumps. Mum once said that mist like that looks like sleeping ghosts. I love that imagery. I suspect the boots probably cracked over time, I was never very good at keeping up with polishing them, I’m still rubbish at shoe maintainance. They were great though, a little bit of rebellion against the very straight style I was brought up with. One day I’ll get another pair, and then I might actually paint flowers all over them, and make funny coloured laces again. I think I’m old enough to be undignified and not worry about it so much this time round. Hell! I might even dye my hair with pink streaks, like I always wanted to but never dared. I think I might like being old and mad after all. The self conscious years of trying to look trendy (or purposefully none-trendy) are long gone, but the old yearning for these funniosity boots still remains.
The next one was really difficult for me. I usually write with my own voice, or a more serious version of myself if I’m required to write something that isn’t actually tongue in cheek. This task had me writing in the style of….
Your narrator is an old man, benevolent and wise. He is not omnipresent (i.e. he can’t tell you what is in your character’s head), but sits at a distance and gives the reader a sense of feelings, etc., through physical description. He is watching tourists in a café. Write as your narrator.
It was really, really difficult and I don’t know how well it comes across really, at least I tried! I have edited very slightly.
The couple lean over to kiss each other, so sweet. She is about 18 I think, although it’s hard to tell these days. I should think the boy is a similar age, he has that fresh faced innocent look that erodes away with time. I should know! I look in the mirror now and the wrinkles make me look ever so tired. I’d rather not look like that, but they are the lines of my years, like the rings on a tree. Discreetly I sip my tea, stare at the open paper on the table in front of me, blankly – it’s not very interesting, some Hollywood woman has worn an odd dress apparently. Probably thinks she’s being new, fresh and interesting. I say she’s a new dog playing old tricks. The rain patters on the window and the drops shiver in little tracks top to bottom. The other person in the cafe looks troubled, I don’t like peering at him for fear of attracting the wrong sort of attention. He keeps scrabbling in his bag for something that doesn’t appear to be there, no matter how many times he looks. His phone rings a lot too, but he doesn’t answer it. Very annoying in a relaxed place such as this. I’d tell him to switch it off, but he’s a middle aged, stressed looking bloke and I think he’s got enough on his plate already – a fried breakfast in fact. He’s not eating it though. Odd that. My eyes drift back towards the rainy street, watching the world fly by in a rush in the blink of an eye, everything passes so quickly. My tea is going cold, I cup my hands around the base and the warmth seeps through my fingertips.