New Year Shoes

New year, new shoes: that’s always been my motto. I guess it was drummed into me in early childhood via the ritual of shopping for new school shoes, and it seems to have stuck. I simply can’t go into February without a new pair of toe-tappers. What, you don’t call your shoes toe-tappers? Get with the program.

 

School shoe shopping, for me, always coincided with getting a new pair of heel supports to help correct my mildly askew tootsies. It may surprise you to hear that it’s actually quite exciting to go for a children’s orthotics fitting. Cheltenham used to have a podiatry clinic that specialised in kids’ foot conditions, and I’d always get a jelly bean after my feet had been measured up. That was enough of an incentive for me to consider the whole exercise a fun outing. It’s possible that it made me feel special, having slightly weird feet.

 

Anyway, making the most of these interventions meant having well-fitting shoes, and when you’re a kid that essentially means getting new shoes every year. According to that Cheltenham podiatrist, this was the most important thing that could be done to correct my foot posture, more so than the orthotics themselves. 

 

It makes sense, then, that I absorbed the idea that annual shoe shopping is of the essence. As my feet tend to stay the same size from year to year and I no longer have a foot issue to correct, it’s not quite so applicable these days, yet I continue to behave as though my foot health depends on it. 

 

What can I say? Maybe I just like having new shoes – the factory-fresh smell as you open the box, the point-of-no-return moment when you take them outside for the first time, the slight awkwardness of the fit for the first few days of wear. Of course, there’s also the excitement of ‘new year shoe shopping’. That in itself is worth the price of admission.

Regional City Raiding

Even though I’m immortal, I never thought I’d be operating a band of raiders in the Australian outback. Yet here we are, driving a fleet of cars around Queensland. From town to town we travel, just like we did in the old days when we used boats. It’s just as exciting, just as dangerous. Police cars have replaced navy ships, but the chases are still the best part of the job. We’ve just bought two new vehicles, and had a handful of people join the crew. Finally, we’ve got some four-wheel drives, letting us get to the harder spots and put our treasure there. It’s nice being on the land as well, because we’ve got maps on our phones, and can find buried treasure ourselves through the Geographical Caching Service. It’s a lot more convenient.

At the moment we’re taking stock, getting our fleet fixed up at a 4×4 mechanic. The break is a much-needed one because we ran out of sunscreen a few days ago, and the crew is starting to get a bit burnt. That’s right, although we found the secret to immortality hundreds of years ago, we can still get sunburnt. While everyone is resting up, I’m getting to know the area. Toowoomba is a nice place, about an hour and a half out of Brisbane, where our usual hideout is. We’re planning on heading back into the middle of the country, though. I’m not sure when we’ll go back to our base. We’re all having a lot of fun out here.

The best mechanic in Toowoomba thinks we should never go back. He says it’s better out this way, more liberating away from the busy roads of the big city. I’m starting to agree with him. Regional cities are simple, but they have everything you need. I think we could find a good hideout here, and get the rest of the crew out this way. We’ll have to have a team meeting about it.

– Cap’n Large