Head note (what do you call a note before footnote?): this post is about, what else, feet. And shoes. Again. Prepare to be bored to death.
Last weekend was a busy one. Woke up really early – 4.30 AM to be exact – last Friday to get ready, mostly to sit down and pull myself together before jumping into the shower, then off to Elgin on the first train with Alison and GM for cashmere sale. Johnston has been standing since 1797 and is supposed to be one of the best cashmere producers in the world. They also are the UK’s last remaining vertical woollen mill, the only one still to carry out all processes from raw fibre to finished garment. You don’t need to travel to Elgin to find them. Harrods sells the product too.
I was a bit afraid to go to their sale, as when I checked out their website before, they have a dressing gown that costs as dearly as £595 (that’s almost Rp12 million to throw for something you only wear after shower, during make-up regime!) and I wonder if I could afford it. But I thought even though I couldn’t afford to buy it, I could at least touch it, as cashmere is known for its very smooth and soft texture. How delightful I was to find out their cashmere jumpers cost £70 (Rp 1,4 million), which is about 50% less than their original price, and their cashmere scarf is less than £20. The big bag they handed out on the entrance was soon heavy and full fo stuff. The check out queue took almost an hour to pass through, and by the time we finished it’s noon already.
Went back home in the afternoon to grab the suitcase and hop on train again for Edinburgh. The whole day was really really cold and the temperature was dropped below zero and I took my new orange cashmere scarf with me. I had black pointy boots which I thought would be useful later the night, but after an hour in the train the pointy parts started digging into my feet and I turned into a grumpy and cranky lady. Whoever invented the phrase ‘the happiness of a woman lays on her feet’ was a genius. It didn’t help that the supposedly luxurious serviced apartment had a crap management and I had to walk in between two different buildings, dragging my sorry feet in frosty night back and forth, before finally settling in the warm sofa to take the boots off.
I thought I was smart enough by bringing my ballerina pumps (picture, left) for next day’s wandering & shopping. Little did I know that the city of Edinburgh was extremely cold and the coldness creep into my thin shoes. I mean, you could actually feel the pavement was ice cold. The reason I had the shoes? Well they’re not just quite comfortable, but most importantly, also oh-so-pretty. I gained a compliment from a blond student when we’re inside the vintage shop. She looked at my shoes and said something that made me completely forget about the coldness and my frozen toes: “I love your shoes!”. I was so proud of myself, just like a mother being proud of her baby. How I still don’t catch pneumonia until now, I don’t know. GM already said I was being silly when I told her I showed up at St. Andrew’s ball with my open toes sandals and nothing else to cover the feet.
I had to wear my black boots again when we went to The Kitchin for dinner. The restaurant is so popular they put us in the waiting list for a week up until Saturday 6 PM, when they suddenly phoned and said they had a table for us at that night at 9.15PM. Now, normally, if you’re in Indonesia, you’d say bollocks to that as you’d be off somewhere else already. But who wants to turn down a Michelin star restaurant? Not us. Especially since I personally have never been to a Michelin star restaurant before. I mean, The Ivy might be the most popular, snob restaurant in London but it isn’t known for its food (and judging by my stomach pain the next day, it is definitely not recommended). The Kitchin, on the other hand, is awarded one Michelin star for excellence in January 2007, and the chef, Tom Kitchin, is the youngest ever Scottish Chef proprietor to receive one. So I determine to swallow my painful toes in my black boots and headed to the restaurant. We turned up 15 minutes earlier and waited at the lounge, where they served us with tiny hors d’œuvre. When we waited our starter we got another compliment, carrot and star anise soup which tasted so wonderful I wish they had it in a bigger bowl. One thing that I definitely did not do was taking photographs. It is not the custom here, and although I am sure they wouldn’t mind (not like They Ivy’s rule of no mobile phone, no camera), it would be embarassing. Unlike in Indonesia where everybody can’t stop clicking their cameras. Such a shame though, because the food looks so fantastic.
I was miserable throughout Sunday when the temperature was dropped to -3. I had to keep going into the shop just to stand on warmer surface. I solved the comfort issue, but I forgot the climate issue. The red ballerina shoes look good on me but there’s no point having them if I couldn’t move my toes. That was when I started wondering if I should give in, stop being stupid, and start being practical.
The era of Uggs Boots.
After all, I will be a year older this week.