I didn’t realise I had a shoe problem. I have a shoe problem. I am not one of these women who buy shoes for fun or feel they need different shoes for different outfits. I possess no shoes in brown, beige or any shade of blue, unless you count turquoise beaded flip-flops. I do have red glittery ones though (white stilettos, corrupted on the advice of Agent Fang). I also have two purple pairs; one pair of Mary-Janes one pair of high-heeled knee-high snake-skin boots. I also have a pair of fuchsia pink high-heeled espadrilles.
I actually managed to sell my black and white cow-print ankle-boots on eBay. I fear several other pairs are heading in the same direction. I can however blame eBay and the charity shops of Whitby for most of the original purchases. Or my mother, who likes to buy me sensible shoes. Both my Granny and my sister also made their contributions.
Similarly I find myself with an array of cosmetic products which I hardly ever use. It was six months on Monday since R & A’s wedding which was the last occasion I saw fit to wear any make-up. Clothes, I’m not too bad with really. There are only a handful things which I am waiting to shrink back into and although I am quietly demoralised by my immobility-induced lumpiness at times, it really isn’t much to complain about. It is mostly my arse, which I used to worry about being flat and shapeless anyway. Now… well, Kenny Everett did a sketch…
I don’t suppose any of this matters at all. There aren’t many things I get sentimental about, and when I need to clear space I can clear it. I think the thing that is making me nervous is the fact that once we’ve done the bedroom, we move onto the Boiler Room, which is an odd room which isn’t much use as anything but a storage room.
This contains such wonders as my photographic and developing equipment and chemicals, a half-painted army of Orc soldiers, a box full of cloth for clothes-making and repairs, several folders full of psychology notes and essays, plus textbooks, CD-Roms, even videos of psychological experiments, three boxes of audio-cassettes, oil paints, watercolour paints, watercolour paper, canvas board, wood, clays of more than one variety, paper of every conceivable variety and enough books to furnish a mobile library.
We all have this a bit, don’t we? I mean, we all have projects we started but never finished for one reason or another. Unfortunately my daft mind immediately looks at each item and says, “Alas! I can’t do this any more because I’m not well enough. Oh woe is me!”
Which isn’t quite true. Watercolour painting, for example, you can do almost anywhere, in any circumstance. I do other sorts of painting from under the duvet. Only am I completely rubbish at watercolours; that’s why I don’t do much of it. Similarly, I probably wouldn’t have fewer books if I was much better than I am; there aren't enough hours in a lifetime to read all the books one could possibly want to read.
Other things, well yes, it is all to do with my health, but why do I have to make it more painful to face things I have neglected because of ill health than things I have neglected because I have been too lazy or too busy doing other things?
But I do. It is almost like I need this, I need to feel sorry for myself. And I am particularly cross when I feel sorry for myself about things, things that really don’t matter and would probably trouble me far less if they all vanished overnight.