A Salon Celebrating 80 Years and a Love of Shoes









The time for pondering and approaching speakers for Dilys Salon has ended me thinks. The first potential guest didn’t respond and the second was not available in June and July. I did consider waiting until the autumn but frankly that’s too far from Dilys birthday (23June) and is too late (potentially) for me.

So the Salon will be a celebration of Dilys; she will be her own guest and I shall respectfully grill her into a sophisticated fascinator! Now Dilys and I have agreed to plan on this basis we will identify a date and a suitably sophisticated venue. We are looking towards the end of July and I will be sending out invitations later this week I hope.

Apropos my previous post about the advanced marching of my MS the Salon will have another dimension. When constructing my new crutches earlier this week – which wasn’t exactly straightforward; first one easy peasy second one involving WD40 and a smattering of expletives – I realised (as if I hadn’t already) that these are likely to be the last additional pair of walking aids I shall be purchasing (c£130 per pair). The Cool Crutches name may work well in marketing terms but frankly it’s only funky and cool if one has a broken leg and it’s a passing phase; and is probably a child under 10 too.

For 5-6 years I used one crutch primarily outside with the occasional day in the house. The last 1-2 years the progress necessitated two outside and more recently two inside as well. The latter being somewhat irritating as I can’t really carry a tray anymore; in fact I am half expecting the person who helps me in the house (the fairy on a Friday) to suggest I start eating at a table! Without putting too fine a point on it my fine motor movement/co-ordination is not as good as it was. I am superb at spilling, dropping, sprinkling etc on the floors and the furniture which said fairy (who unfortunately relies on a hoover rather than a magic wand) has to make disappear! Obviously having the post feminist guilt about paying someone to assist with the domestics one does attempt not to leave the place too untidy on a Friday.

The last few weeks (and months) have been noticeably more difficult; the messages from my brain to my legs seem to have reverted back to pre-digital days and you may remember the limitations of an analogy system. More apt might be a parallel between a dial up internet connection and WiFi; currently the Spinster is operating a dodgy dial up nervous system with a likelihood of disconnection sometime this autumn. In layman’s – (why the devil not laylady – oops that has quite a different connotation) – I will be very surprised if I can walk at all by Christmas (probably sooner).

So the wearing of heels (even with the aid of my two new German imports) is going to come to a conclusion in the very near future. Pragmatism will win the day as even the Spinster who happily pays 3 figure prices for footwear can see the ridiculous extravagance of such profligate behaviour if frankly they never touch the ground i.e. they ain’t going to wear out; ever! Hence the added dimension to the Salon; we are going to celebrate outrageous footwear! I was going to insist on heels but reflecting on my regular attenders a number of whom seldom slip on sling backs, and may go into anaphylactic shock in the absence of laces or a nice Velcro fastening, I giggled like a girl before deciding to be a little more lenient! Don’t I always think about the comfort of my ladies; your ultimate wish is invariably my command (within reason please)!

The Salon will celebrate footwear in a number of ways (brace yerself bullet points follow):

  • Invite ladies attending to wear outrageous footwear; especially encouraged will be heels of an architectural nature usually reserve for the bedroom (sadly I got rid of my spike heeled knee length boots in stretchy suede recently! Amusingly I came to own these boots after a friend whose lodger had half inched them from his high street employer off loaded them onto me on account of them being my size rather than hers.)Fear not I saw some rather attractive innovations from the House of one Doctor Marten yesterday!
  • A shoe swap: as I rather too enthusiastic purchaser of shoes I have a not insignificant number of heels which I will no longer have an occasion to wear; given the range in my wardrobe compared to the number of days in a week it’s safe to say I have more than I need in good condition. So I propose to seat people according to their shoe size inviting everyone to bring a pair of shoes to swap! I will be adding a note with the story behind the shoes, when I bought them and where they have taken me; so as to share the lurve as it were!

I sincerely hope your sophisticated sense of fun has been tickled and you will fancy joining Madame Price OBE and I in late July. I already have commitments of ladies living out of town; in fact out of our great Nation.

This Salon will mark my swansong from this event in its particular manifestation as the change in ones circumstances require a pause for thought. The impact on one’s personal and professional commitments will need a period of review and reflection.  My dear friend and I will be taking a mini break in Kent to seek inspiration of the Bloomsbury kind as we visit Sissinghurst and Knowle where Vita Sackville-West et al hung out indulging in literary conversation and matters of great import. I’m rather hoping to get a few tips on garden design at least!


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