Farewell Trusty Trainers


I was walking in Basford Park one morning last week when I noticed a squelchy feeling in my right shoe. It wasn’t raining. I hadn’t stepped in any puddles and yet my sock was definitely feeling damp. There was, it was true a faint mizzle in the air and as I crossed the grass I was more and more convinced that my trainer was leaking, but the wet was coming in not through the sole, but from the top of the shoe, as if the fabric had become porous. What was worse was the dampness had spread to the other foot.

By the time I got home both socks were sodden; my feet were frozen and I knew that the time had come to bid farewell to my trusty trainers.

Sad though I was to part with them, I couldn’t complain. They were cheap. Bought from Millets they cost less than ten pounds and I’d got them because we were going to India and I needed something sturdy for our trip to the Himalayas.

In the Himalayas

I wasn’t going climbing, merely a trip on the little train up to Shimla where we’d be staying for a few days and where the temperature would be much, much lower than on the plains.

This of course was why the British built their hill station up in the mountains. It was the government’s escape from the almost unbearable summer heat and their nostalgic re-creation of home. Even today parts of Shimla look like something out of the Home Counties.

Shimla view

The trainers did their job on that holiday and then, because I rarely wore trainers, they languished for years in their box. Until the virus struck. Under lockdown, especially in the early days when we were only allowed out once a day for exercise, my early morning walk helped to save my sanity. Which was when the trainers came into their own.

Brought out of retirement, they were the most comfortable, most practical, most durable, so I thought, of the shoes I owned.

And now they are on their way to the bin. They can’t be saved and they can’t be re-cycled−what good are trainers that leak? So they have to go.

The memories they bring back however will be with me forever.


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