Shortly before Christmas my shoes were in a terrible state of disrepair, so my partner bought me a new pair of boots. They are warm, they are comfortable, and they took virtually no breaking in.
The only problem is that they have flexible soles of some man-made substance, and they squeak. Not just a little, but with every step I take. In London crowds that isn't so bad, but in quiet side streets or late at night it can be quite embarrassing, to say the least.
I was suddenly reminded last night, as an otherwise silent street echoed to my squeaking feet, of a comment I heard in the early 1980s from a schoolfriend in south London. When a teacher's shoes creaked he turned to me instantly and said 'He hasn't paid for his shoes'.
I'd never heard this before and didn't understand. He explained that shoes only squeak until they're paid for. I was delighted by this, and had forgotten it completely until last night.
Maybe I should buy my own shoes in future.