New street shoes from Newtown

Usually I wait until Christmas Eve before doing the Christmas shopping. I figure there’s little point in prolonging the stress when it can be conveniently and efficiently crunched into a few hours on the day before Christmas. This year, I’ve had to take that period of stress and shunt it forward a few days, because Stacey and I are about to head up to Taranaki for Christmas with her family. I finally figured out what to get for Stacey, and all it took was for her to drag me into a shop and show me. The best part is that it’s not too volumous, so I haven’t had to spend extra money on more wrapping paper.

I also had a few other errands to run. The primary one of these came as a consequence of Wellington finally having had some decent rain a couple of days ago. After a few pathetic attempts at rain over the last couple of weeks, we actually had a persistent downpour for several hours during the middle of the day. This event coincided with my discovery that I seem to have walked through the soles of my work shoes again, and this was the reason for the errand.

Newtown Shoes has been my favourite place to buy regular street shoes for a while now. It’s run by Jimi — a fun Fijian musician guy who knows a lot about shoes. He used to make them back when New Zealand actually had an economy that supported shoe factories. Jimi lectures me every time I walk into his shop with tatty shoes. Today he pointed at the shoes I was wearing and and called them embarrassing, probably because I’d never polished them since I bought them. (They never look as if they need polish after walking through the mud and wet grass; the discolouration only shows up when they’re dry.) They weren’t my favourites anyway, so I’m not to bothered about replacing them.

In any case, I’m really happy that I managed to get some nice, leather shoes that are exactly the same model as what I’d had before my current ones. They’re the Eclipse model in the All Terrain range of Slatters, and personally I think they’re among the most comfortable street shoes I ever had. I can wear them around the office without looking too out of place (they’re brown and leather), and they’ll easily cope with two or three hours every day of walking around streets and through wet grass to and from work in the mornings and evenings. The original soles on the previous ones didn’t last forever (I had the soles replaced twice on my original pair), and some of the stitching came out after a while, but they continued to last for ages and remained very comfortable after I had it repaired. Jimi suggested I should really put some beeswax on them this time to help the leather last a little longer, so I’ll probably sno-seal them over the next few days. First, I need to find someone who can lend me a hair dryer.

Tomorrow morning, hopefully very early, we’re off to Taranaki for a Christmas with Stacey’s family. This will be my first time actually being there during Christmas, since I’ve so far only been there on Boxing Day at the earliest. I’m not expecting to get any tramping in while there, but maybe a daywalk or two depending on how things pan out. It really depends on how much time there is. I guess I should go to bed.

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