· life ·

When I was in New Caledonia, one of the most common sounds was the chorus of mothers yelling at the departing backs of their children running off to play, "Mets tes claquettes!"^1^. I became rather fond of it. But yesterday I wished that I hadn't put mes claquettes on.

I cycle in to work, and so wear my stiff-soled cycle shoes. As I don't want to lug a change of footwear in to work every day, I keep an old pair of trainers and a pair of flip-flops^2^ in the office. I had to go out at lunchtime in search of a wireless mouse, and decided to walk rather than cycle as the weather was so nice. Unfortunately, all the shops I tried didn't have the model I wanted, so I was faced with a long walk to the out-of-town branch of PCWorld. At this point, that under-investigated but important region of the brain responsible for stupid decisions assured the region that deals with common sense that it would be easier to just carry on walking than to go back, change footwear and fetch my bike.

Flip-flops are not designed for four mile walks, particularly when you have winter-softened feet. By the time I got back (with the mouse, I'm sure you'll be glad to hear), I had huge pillowy blisters on the balls of my feet, and couldn't walk without wincing.

Ne mettez pas vos claquettes quand vous devez marcher une longue distance^3^. From now on, that will be my motto.

^1^ "Put your flip-flops on!" It's a little-known fact (until it happens to you, and becomes painfully etched on your memory) that coral is a) very sharp and b) coral cuts almost always become infected.

^2^ In fact, the very same pair I bought in New Caledonia. In 2000. I am so cheap.

^3^ I apologise to any native French speakers for mangling your language.