Toe tapper

June 5, 2015 at 9:36 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 5 Comments
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In my early 20s, I was very partial to a song by C+C Music Factory.

It was called Gonna Make You Sweat (Everybody Dance Now).

And whenever this song played, I usually did both.

This remains the only tune to which I’ve lost a shoe.

It was Friday.

I’d just come from my automotive industry job, so the shoe was a heavy, bulky, steel-capped affair.

At the zenith of one my jubilant high kicks, it flew quite a distance – narrowly missing a barman at Bobby McGee’s.

After apologising, I removed the other shoe so I could dance in socks.

A bouncer quickly advised me this was forbidden on safety grounds (e.g. I could step on broken glass).

After apologising, I asked the disc jockey for some gaffer tape.

Being a casual DJ myself at the time, I was sure he’d have a roll behind his console.

He did, but it wasn’t the hue I’d hoped for.

Instead of the customary black, it was bright orange.

The 12-inch ‘mega-mix’ song was still playing.

I was eager to dance before it ended, so I quickly wound the gaffer tape round both my shoes, binding them firmly to my feet.

While this rendered them safe from further discharge, my girlfriend was unimpressed by the aesthetic.

But, as I’d been so uncool for so long, her concern didn’t dissuade me from my intended task.

I like to think that somewhere in the world there’s a barman, a bouncer and a DJ who remember me fondly each time they hear that song.

Though I concede it’s a

long shot.

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.


Mended ways

April 30, 2015 at 6:42 am | Posted in Uncategorized | 20 Comments
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This was then.

Mum used to mend our clothes.

When a sock got holed, she darned it.

Her neat stitches lasted long after the rest of the sock fell to bits

in the rag bag.

The darning wool was soft.

Often slightly thicker than the fabric it repaired.

You could feel a mended patch against your heel or under your toe.

At school. On a sleepover. In the park.

A tiny reminder of a mother’s thrift, industry, talent and love.


The years have unravelled.

Now, as I fall to bits, I wish I had one darned sock to keep me safe.

Each time I bin a worn one, I think I should learn to mend.

But not before I wish

with all my heart

that Mum were still here to do it.

Brought to you by The Feisty Empire.




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