This is my original blog for all our non-caravanning trips since 2009 and more recently posts about coming to terms with being single again having been widowed in 2018. And anything else too really!

My caravanning blog is (Get Your) Legs Down and all our trips in the caravan are there. My grog blog is The Ale Archive where I list every beer I’ve ever tried.

Saturday, 2 January 2016

Getting to the point.

Winkle pickers. I just love ‘em. From the plain smooth lines worn with slim cut suits in the 60’s to the zipped and buckled re-incarnations worn by goths in the 80’s and the less bunion crushing versions you see today. It was when I was at the local technical college in the late 80’s that I first encountered them. There were just a couple of goth boys there, and their style was quite different – one favouring the black shirts and long black cardigans  in the style of The Cure’s Robert Smith – and the other, tight glossy PVC jeans and a long black leather coat. Yes, that got my attention too, but they both wore winklepickers. Punctuating skin tight jeans be they denim or PVC they looked just great to me. I had to have some.WP_20151204_14_04_58_Pro (2)

02My first pair, which I still have today, was ordered from some company advertising in the back pages of either Melody Maker or New Musical Express. No slick websites in those days but I was only about 18 years old and that's longer ago than I care to remember. As you can see, two straps and buckles and a with a high Cuban heel and they were never comfortable although I did and do love the look of them, particularly with a pair of bootstrsps. Comfortable they ain't - I would assume that the heavier you are the more it hurts - gawd knows how women do it - but then I've never been a lightweight. Not since I discovered beer anyway.

My second pair were a lot more comfortable. Flat heels for a start helped and with a zip up the front and four buckles, these came from Mr Shoes opposite the Market Square in Cambridge. It may have been that the Goth craze was dying by then - in little old Cambridge anyway - but having scoured all the shoes shops in town they were the only pair I could find. I remember the cost too - £46.50,  so not cheap back in the late eighties.

I wore these a lot - even at work in an office supplies company I worked for. They survived the move down south in 2005 but I cant recall wearing them after that and they ended up in the Sally Army bin soon after. I wish I’d kept them.


WP_20141229_003The next pair came along somewhere around 1998-1999. A time A recently acquired computer sat on the kitchen table of my mobile home. You know, that horrible beige coloured thing tinged with nicotine. Anyway, taking a break from searching for porn I came across a company called Underground Shoes that manufactured and sold the sort of footwear that - at the time - wasn't at all popular. As I recall a shade under fifty quid - not particularly cheap back then, but they've stood the test of time, as I still have them today, 17 years or so later having been worn fairly regularly throughout. Re-heeled numerous times, they're coming to the end of their life now so its fortunate that their duties are now shared. Elasticated gussets ensure they can be worn with all but the tightest of jeans and their smooth lines are a prefect match for a black suit worn on the odd cruise or other more formal occasions.WP_20151226_10_07_39_Pro

WP_20151226_10_06_58_ProI've bought the odd pair of vaguely pointed boots over the years, that certainly couldn't be classified as winkle pickers and most have gone by the wayside, however, a particular pair from Next of all places have retained their place in my shoe (well, boot) cupboard since I bought them in the late 2000's. Comfortable and with a slightly wider opening they are easy to slip on and kick off, although said opening  precludes the option of really skinny jeans. They get worn most with my regular leather trousers – they are almost the same ‘blackness’, and for a while they accompanied my tighter lace-up ones too.

WP_20150320_055It was nearly eight years before I  acquired my next pair. I’d came across The Gothic Shoe Company and browsed their online catalogue many times, then in January 2015 they ran a competition – and I won!. The prize was any pair from their range, and while I was sorely tempted to go  for something outrageous I ended up choosing a pair of  buckle zip and ankle boots, and although I’d always liked the look of the black leather or suede and chrome zips and buckles of the goth boots of the 80’s I went for the all black option – black leather, black zips and black buckles. They look – and feel great and whilst I’ve worn them mostly (and like them best) with my lace up leathers they work well with regular denim jeans and a recently acquired pair of skin tight faux leather jeans too.


And last, but not least – at the time of typing anyway. My latest pair. I mentioned above The Gothic Shoe Co. Well, early in the year they started producing some of their boots and shoes in what they called ‘old school’ style. Sharper points, lower profile soles and flatter heels reminiscent of the boots of the 80’s. Of course I was interested, but it wasn’t until December this year that I finally bought a pair. Lace up, and brogue style, they will provide and alternative to and  eventually replace my Underground Shoes pair, when a I’m wanting a more formal look.





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