I really should be cleaning my flat. It looks slightly like a bomb has gone off in here.
I returned on Thursday after roaming round the country for a fortnight (Clacton, Leicester, a FOCUS project in Penistone which is the 2nd best named town in the country after Cockermouth, Leicester, Clacton, Manchester, Clacton) and just threw my stuff everywhere. Although to be fair the place was a tip before I went away.
The good news is though... I can't clean! I have been forbidden from taking any antihistamines until after I've been to the hospital on Monday, which means I can't be sending dust up into the air.
Last time I had an allergy test the nice staff at the Royal Throat, Nose and Ear Hospital failed to tell me that you're not supposed to take antihistamines for 3 days prior to the test (and I'm a bit thick so it didn't cross my mind) so they just stuck a load of needles in my arm for nothing. I didn't even react to being stuck with pure histamine.
So, having been antihistamine free for 24 hours so far I'm trying to avoid all allergens. I'm a bit afraid of leaving my flat because there are flowery things all down the street outside my building and they'll make me sneeze my little head off.
So, instead of cleaning, I'm going to take this opportunity to blog about shoes. I know it's a subject I've blogged about before, but after my footwear traumas of this week, I think it's a topic worth revisiting.
When going down hills in my chair I put my right foot on the floor and use it as a brake. This means I get through right shoes rather quickly (and still have an immaculate left one. If anyone knows anyone with no right foot and a size 4 left one that wants some shoes, I've got plenty).
At Kingswood Peak Venture (the site for this summer's FOCUS project) there was a wicked mean evil hill that I had to push up/roll down about a million times a day. The good news is that from pushing up it I now have the upper body strength of Arnold Schwarzenegger (can you believe I spelled that right first time?!?). However, from rolling down the hill and using my right foot as a brake, I completely wore through the sole of my right trainer. This made shoe shopping a rather urgent thing to do once I re-entered the real world.
Then on Monday night whilst in Clacton at my parents I had a somewhat unfortunate incident involving cat food and my left shoe. So Tuesday really, definitely meant New Shoe Day.
Shopping for shoes is usually quite fun. They're the one piece of clothing I can shop for and not come home crying about how I'm too fat. This was before I'd experienced shoe shopping in Colchester.
I scoured the town high and low looking for some Skechers. In the end I did find some in Barrats, but they were all hideously girly. And, well, I'm not.
I decided my best bet was Office. Amazingly I'm not banned from the chain of stores as the last time I went in a branch I was wired and doing a report for Five Live about inaccessible shops. And I did make them and their employees look rather stupid.
So, there I was sitting in the trainers section in the corner of the store browsing. Unsurprisingly seeing as how I was deep in the heart of Essex, most of the trainers on sale were white. This narrowed down my selection somewhat as I'm not overly proud of being an Essex Girl, and it's not neccessarily something I want people to know about me as soon as they look at me.
But, my selection got narrowed down even more. Once I'd ruled out the possibility of wearing white, most of what was left were velcro trainers. I sat there thinking "well, I can't buy velcro trainers, I'm too crippy. I'm gonna look like I've been given them by an Occupational Therapist because I can't tie my own laces." It was bad enough on the FOCUS project last week when we went 10 Pin Bowling and I had to wear velcro shoes because my feet are so small I'm not supposed to be old enough to tie laces.
I was left with a choice of 2 pairs of trainers. One black with blue stars all over them, and one black with pink hearts all over them (and a little skull and crossbones in each heart). I opted for the latter because they seemed more "me" - at the moment I seem to be going through a phase of wearing predominantly pink on my feet.
I informed the shop assistant of my choice and asked if I could keep my new shoes on, seeing as how the old ones were somewhat gross. The shop assistant wouldn't even go near them and made me put the old ones in the box. They're still in there actually. I'd planned on taking them home and throwing them in the washing machine to get the cat food off, and keeping them in case I ever found myself painting or doing something equally messy that required old shoes. But they've been sealed in that box for 4 days now, and I'm scared of opening it. I think I may just have to burn them.
With my new shoes on I rather spontaneously headed up to Manchester to see some singery songwritery types gigging. All night I got compliments of "Cool Vans!" But I couldn't muster up a very enthusiastic response.
The pain had already begun.
I spent the night up in Manchester sleeping on a friend's sofa. At one point I woke up in so much pain I decided to see if gravity would help my ankle and went back to sleep with my legs cocked sideways over the back of the couch.
My theory is that my foot has gotten so used to the nice, comfy arch support in my old Skechers, it now can't cope without it. Or it could just be a random coincidence that my ankle started hurting shortly after I put my new shoes on. After all, my ankle does hurt quite a lot quite often what with there not actually being a proper joint there anymore (it got completely smashed about 20 years ago and is now just a smoosh of bone not resembling a joint in any way).
I guess I've got to go shoe shopping again this week to find some with better arch supports. This time I will not be shopping in Essex.