My dad had this little ritual when me and my brother were young when it came to time for new shoes. My dad is abit of (well actually a lot of ) a 'Made in England' man. He would only ever drive Triumph cars, wear Marks and Spencers clothes (when they were still made in blighty) and wear Clarks shoes. Clarks Shoes is and always has been based in Somerset, England, although the shoes are now manufactured elsewhere. Famed for designing the iconic desert boot and the wallabee. Their shoes have always had a reputation for quality and good ergonomic design. And this is what my dad liked about them. He considered them to be 'good sensible shoes'.
Although these are now considered pretty darn cool, at the time they certainly were not. Fashion did not sit high on my dads list of priorities when it came to selecting 'good sensible shoes'. I remember sitting with my legs crossed in assembly trying to hide my shoes underneath my skirt so that the cool kids with their cool shoes didn't take the mickey.
I remember the sales assistants seemed very stern and important as they approached with their special machine to measure every contour of the foot which was a pretty scary prospect to a seven year old who has ridiculously ticklish feet. Although dad always saw the funny side of my nervous giggles.
After buying the shoes we'd go and buy a pasty for lunch which we'd eat out of the bag and then he'd take us to the swimming baths in Street. It became abit of a ritual for us so when dad said that he wanted to take Maggie to buy her a 'good sensible pair of shoes' whilst we were visiting home this year, I felt an overwhelming love for him and the little ritual that we enjoyed together. It was just as I remembered it. Thank you Clarks for years of happy feet in happy shoes.