Last weekend, I had no appropriate shoes for the races. What is appropriate attire for a camel race, after all? (Answer: In the case of the winning fashions of the field, green body paint, brown leggings and tinsel). I have no sensible boots, and settled for my old Mary Janes, which have been worn so much the soles have split. This is fine in dry weather.

In Toogoolawah, it rained and rained and rained. It was muddy and slippery and after the races the audience traipsed out into the long grass and mud in the centre of the showgrounds to watch the Iron Man competition. The water (and mud) soaked up into my shoes and stockings and left my feet cold and muddy and with mud-coloured callouses.

The next shoe issue was related to a client boatcruise.

I had not seen my good cocktail shoes since February, and it was a choice between scrappy strappy shoes and serviceable (and this time watertight) Mary Janes with very little heels. Karen at work was my fashion adviser and we opted for stockings and the Mary Janes, she applied makeup to my face at strategic intervals and I ran out to find a taxi. As it turned out, which shoes to wear on the boatcruise was the least of my concerns.
At the marina, I located the (elegant, spotless, luxurious) Emerald Lady, and together with the other guests discovered that our shoes were not to be worn on deck. The staff collected them in a large storage box and we ascended to the upper deck barefoot. Well, the others did. I asked where I might remove my stockings and was sent to the (luxurious) master bedroom, reemerging shortly to attempt to conceal my callouses, blisters and hobbit-toes.

We made a pleasant party, cruising up to Saint Lucia in one direction and out to the Gateway in the other, eating beautiful little gourmet appetizers and miniature venison and green-aoli burgers, curling up on the chaise longue and… finding out my client’s cousin is married to my third cousin, who is in town after having a baby (home from the hospital today, I am now having dinner with the family on Monday).

When we returned to the marina and eventually disentangled ourselves from conversations, the bar and our hosts, all our shoes were neatly lined up in pairs on the walkway.

There were no taxis at Dockside and, as I don’t care to wait for transport, I walked over the Storey Bridge and down to Eagle Street and my office to collect my bags. Then – it being Friday night and the queues for taxis impressive – I walked home to Auchenflower. I was home a little after one, with sore toes and shoulders and feeling a little disconnected from reality (but that is as much to do with NaNoWriMo and very little sleep and two beers as anything).

This afternoon (I being carless) Ciata dropped me off at Paddington in my pretty but not particularly supportive corduroy flats (already guilty of blisters in North East, PA) and I discovered new designer shops and bought presents for babies and sisters. The galleries were having a special night tonight, so I rang Genevieve who made her way out by bus, and we spent the evening eating Tibetan, buying a beautiful, beautiful choker and making our way through eight galleries. My favourite works were in the Brett Lethbridge Gallery (specifically Brett Lethbridge’s noir, whimsical prints with their mechanical lines) and Higher Art (Thomas Moser’s etchings) but my favourite gallery was Kiln, in the converted Paddington Substation. Laura Skerlj, whom I knew from Vanguard at uni, had some works in the Kiln exhibition and I ran into her at Lethbridge. I haven’t seen as much of her artwork as I’d like to, but her bird-locket painting in this exhibition and some of her book pieces that she exhibited at a Vanguard event are among the more evocative pieces I’ve seen, and I really enjoy looking at her work.

Genevieve and I then walked from Paddington to Rosalie, past late-night house parties on the balconies of old Queenslanders, dark shops full of glass and mirrors, talking and sipping nectar (literally, from flowers) and had gelati. We then went to the Milton shops for a taxi for Genevieve, and I walked home again, and took my shoes off.