Tag Archives: stumbling

Like, Really?

stupid high heelsBless her diamond-encrusted heart. Shortly before her £7 million wedding, Tamara Ecclestone was sent five pairs of designer flat shoes by InStyle magazine – totaling £2040 – and ‘challenged’ (yes, they used that verb) to hang up her heels and spend a week in flats. Like, OMG.

Tamara informs us that she has hundreds of pairs of heels. Well, of course. She confesses that when the box of flats arrived, ‘I was worried; to be honest, my heart sank…they kind of offend me.’ Flat shoes offend her? Oh, to face Tamara’s totes tragic challenges.

But for the sake of the article and no doubt the hefty fee and the chance to promote her new beauty line available exclusively at Harvey Nichols, she bravely found a pair she could tolerate and went to dinner. Sadly, she ‘felt really unglamorous and I think people were probably shocked to see me not in heels.’ Tamara lasted just two days, claiming ‘the shoes didn’t make me feel good…I’m definitely not going to buy any.’  Ok then.

Sharing the same article, I was expecting more of Dawn O’Porter, the TV presenter and author who was flogging her new book, yours for only £7.99. However, she went to a business meeting in flats ‘looking like an embarrassing auntie. I felt ridiculous. The meeting didn’t go well.’ Because of a pair of flats?! What planet, etc, etc.

She rose to the challenge though, and soldiered on, despite cheating by wearing a pair of Marc Jacobs heels on a night out with her husband. The next day she had dinner with her girlfriends, in, gasp, a pair of flats, and splutters, ‘I felt like Nora Batty.’ One of her friends gleefully told her she looked like her gran.

What can we possibly take away from this insightful piece of investigative journalism? That wearing flats somehow morphs previously vibrant personalities into embarrassing aunties, grans or Nora Batty? Do these outgoing women really need a pair of heels to feel normal? I fear their psyches are more fragile than they would have us believe.

Anyway, before you chuck the flats in the bin, girls, send them my way. I’m a proud member of the Flat Shoe Club (TM) and we didn’t really want you as members anyway. So there. I’m also proud to be an embarrassing auntie and am more than happy to be stumbling in flats….

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Stumbling In Style…

MS Trust Shoes 2 MS Trust ShoesThese are quite possibly the best, most stylish, most beautiful pair of flats I have ever owned – the lovely and talented Helena at MS Trust customized them for me after I hankered after a gorgeous pair of high heels she created.

They’re currently living on my desk so I can admire them and I’m just waiting for the perfect opportunity to launch them into society.

The shoes led on to a Twitter discussion about what else we could customize – I suggested a blue hard hat for work? Tagline – ‘When your world crumbles around you, there’s always the MS Trust…’

The Builder thinks that’s a brilliant idea, as it could possibly mean I will do more work, rather than eating bacon butties, texting and pointing out that his measurements are wrong.

Anyway, I absolutely adore my new shoes – they are a work of art. I’m tempted to frame them, but that would be a waste. They need to be seen! So if anyone would like to take me out to show them off, just let me know…

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Tripping All Over The Place

Did you know twice as many people die in trips and falls at home than in car crashes? No, me neither until I read the cheery news over breakfast yesterday. Now I have another thing to add to my list of worries that keep me awake in the wee small hours.

Foot drop is the bane of my life. I trip over flat surfaces, the cat, pavements, dust balls and just about anything else in my way.

At Christmas I tripped up the stairs, then fell backwards, smashing into my bookcase and landing like a squashed spider on the floor, books raining down on me. The bruising was spectacular, but I did find a book I’d given up as lost.

There’s no way of knowing when foot drop will strike. One day it leaves you in peace, the next it’s shoving you around the high street with abandon. People give me a wide berth, as hey, I could be drunk. At 9.30 am. Kerbs taunt me, potholes are a logistical nightmare when crossing the road and cobble-stones are pure evil.

Sorry Shakespeare, but I am never, ever going to Stratford-upon-Avon ever again. A lovely little day trip turned into a day from hell when I got out the car and saw cobble-stones stretched out in every direction. I clung to my friend for dear life and quite possibly looked as if I was being taken out from a secure unit for the weekend as I muttered, ‘evil, evil things, I hate you’ under my breath every few minutes as he dragged me up the road.

Then there was the Gastro Pub Incident, when a friend took me out for dinner. A short stumble to the bathroom led to disaster as I cartwheeled across the floor in front of six bemused diners, ending up halfway under their table. To compound my misery, my friend hadn’t even noticed as he was too busy scrolling through his phone. I limped back to our table, face burning, sniveling with pain and embarrassment.

Anyway, the good news is, the sixth most common way to die at home is by drowning in the bath. Thank you, MS heat intolerance for making baths a thing of the past. At least you’re good for something…

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I Stumble, Therefore I Am

super squirrelI caught the tail-end of a programme the other day in which a man with a prosthetic foot was being interviewed. He was asked if, should a miracle cure become available, would he take it?

He was vociferous in his rejection of this – he was perfectly happy and his ‘disability’ had made him who he was.

Powerful stuff. Mulling it over, I came to a surprising conclusion. MS has shaped and moulded me in completely unexpected and positive ways and given me courage where previously I had very little.

When I was younger I was in a terrible, near-fatal car crash. I vowed to change my life forever if I recovered, and I would never take anything for granted again.

A year later, the scars had almost healed, I could walk properly and I was back to normal. Did I carry that message and always remember how fragile life was? Did I heck. But with something like MS, there is no end point, no point at which you can forget, so we really do need to change our lives and keep changing them, whilst appreciating every small victory and achievement.

I used to hate MS, until I realised that by hating it, I was hating a fundamental part of myself and this was essentially self-loathing. MS is me and I am MS. It is not a separate entity. I went through a dark, lonely, terrifying grieving process and hit rock bottom not just once but repeatedly.

When a chink of light appeared, I was on the up again. I frequently joke that when you get diagnosed with MS, anything else is immaterial. You can cope with pretty much everything life has to throw at you. And I think that is true and a powerful lesson to learn at my age, rather than as a wistful pensioner looking back over a life less-lived.

MS has given me a kick up the backside. It has made me speak up for myself, it has made me more confident and less willing to accept shabby behaviour. My stumbling, my tingling, and dodgy hands are now part of me. I stumble, therefore I am…….

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Why ‘Stumbling In Flats?’

I’ve had some  messages asking me to explain the title of my blog, so get yourselves comfortable and I will tell you the whole sorry saga.

I’m quite tall for a woman, and I was pretty tall in school. I longed to be a dinky little thing, one of those cute girls the rugby blokes would be quick to take under their wing and look after. No such luck. So, I slouched. I wore Doc Martin boots, long skirts edged with tiny mirrors and grungy tops. All through sixth form, I was group-less, so belonged to the group of all the people who didn’t belong to any group.

When I was 18, I decided against taking up my place in University and moved to Europe instead. I swapped the grunge for crisp white shirts and smart jeans, and if I was feeling particularly adventurous, a jaunty neck-scarf. The next step was exchanging my Doc Martins for elegant, Italian-made leather ankle boots, with a glorious heel.

Well, it was a life-changer. I did not walk, I strode. I sashayed. Head  and shoulders back, I adored strutting my stuff. I had a bit of a setback in Poland though, when a bunch of friends and I  headed off to stock up on cheap fags and beer. We ended up staying in a dodgy hostel where we were told to leave our shoes outside the door. Polish tradition, no?

The next morning, my beautiful boots were gone. I cried. A lot. I drove back home in a borrowed pair of too-small flip-flops. Lesson learned, I saved up for another pair and never looked back.  Until MS came along. I may as well have been walking on stilts. I simply could no longer wear heels at all.

My ‘walk’ became a ridiculous shuffle, eyes downcast, watching the floor. Foot drop was the bane of my life. So, with a heavy heart, I gave my last two pairs of heels to a good friend of mine. It was a sad, sad day. And since then, the closest I have to heels are cowboy boots. How depressing.

I miss my walk. I miss striding and sashaying. I hate foot drop. But it’s happened. I have a whole bunch of beautiful flat shoes. But, hey, I still stumble…

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