The Missing Shoes

A pair of nubuck waterproof walking shoes. They’re mine and they’ve gone missing. Disappeared. Vanished. Never to be seen again.

I wore them standing in Monument Valley, USA. They were on my feet as I walked in this iconic place, and likewise when I walked in Death Valley, the Joshua Tree National Park  and Antelope Canyon. We covered a fair bit of ground together in the US and most recently we tramped the coastal footpaths on the Cornish cliffs and strode across Bodmin Moor.

I’d not had them that long – probably 3 years at the most and certainly not long enough to wear them out. I broke a toe a couple of years ago and couldn’t wear them for a while – too painful while the toe healed – so they’d had several month’s rest.

A couple of weeks ago they’d come out for a planned walk with husband and daughter, when they climbed happily with me to the top of a hill in the Costwolds to see views of the surrounding English countryside and the River Severn. As they’d got a bit muddy, on returning to daughter’s house they were packed into a plastic bag ready to take home and be cleaned.

Once home, they were left in the bag in the utility room, awaiting cleaning. That was the last time I saw them; when I went to get them both bag and shoes had gone. I searched high and low, asked daughter to check everywhere in her house, checked the car boot etc. All the normal stuff. No luck.

What happened? Was there a shoe thief about, secretly breaking in at night to remove them? Had they taken on magical properties and gone walkabout by themselves? Had we been invaded, unknown to us, by a plague of footwear-eating rats who came out after dark to gorge themselves on rubber, nubuck and mud?

No. Husband had been having a much-needed clear out and scourge of the accumulated rubbish in the garage ahead of a new door being fitted. Large bags of rubbish had been ferried to the local dump. Yep. That’s where I think my shoes are, still in their plastic bag awaiting cleaning.

I’ll say no more. He’s offered to buy me a new pair.

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