A SENSORY DIARY OF DUNEDIN - THE SMELL OF LEATHER
“Just drop me off at the front door” I asked my husband Ron.
“I’ll wait for you” he replied.
“Don’t bother” I responded.
I knew Ron’s impatience would be no match for my ability to go shoe shopping in my favourite Dunedin shoe shop, Frames at 211 Hanover Street so I kissed him goodbye on the cheek on my way in.
Ron pushed the door open before pushing me into the famous shop. I placed my cane down on the floor and moved forward two steps to the right and found the front counter.
“Can I help you?” a polite man asked.
“Yes , I’m Julie, what’s your name?”
“I’m Kevin” the polite voice responded.
“I’m after some full length black boots” I enquired.
“Follow me” replied Kevin, placing his elbow out beside him for me to grasp.
Kevin sat me down before bringing a myriad of black boots. Kevin placed the boots in my hand, one by one, allowing me to feel the heel and he would often point out any design feature that made the boots unique. Then he would go off and find the right size from the ones I selected. After each potential boot decision, Kevin would walk me around the store to make sure they were comfortable.
I would sit down again before trying on the next pair.
“What do you have in ankle boots?” I enquired?
The process began all over again. More boots, more heel feeling, and more trying on.
“What about court shoes with a strap over them?” I asked.
More shoes, more heel feeling and more trying on.
At one point Kevin placed a pair of shoes in my hand I was prepared to die for. A little black number with a strap over the top, with a button on the outside. And all with a inner piping of black patent leather! I fell in love with them instantly so Kevin, once again, diligently went away to find my size. Placing them on my feet, I was like the ugly sister placing her foot into Cindarella’s glass slipper, determined to make it fit whatever.
“Do you have these in the next size up?” I asked Kevin.
“I’ll go and look Jules” he replied.
He came back with the news I did not want to hear.
"No" he informed me.
I was crestfallen. These shoes were perfect! Well they would have been if they had fit, and like all good men rescuing a damsel in distress, Kevin scurried around to fix the problem. To my complete surprise he returned with a pair that almost matched the previous shoe so Kevin rushed away to bring out my size.
"Perfect. I love them." I smiled.
Before one last go at the boots again, Kevin and I returned to the counter. He happily packed up my ankle boots and new black patent leather court shoes and wished me a fond farewell as he waited with me outside as I rang for a taxi. We bid each other farewell and I thanked him for his patience.
I got home and went upstairs to put my new purchases on the bed at which point I thought I would check out my shoes again. I pulled out the court shoe with the strap over the top of them and thought to myself these feel familiar. I rushed to the wardrobe when I realised I had bought exactly the same pair last year, only in red! I had broken my cardinal rule of shoe buying – never to buy the same style in different colours! It’s too easy to get them muddled up!
Now what will I do? I know. I will make two braille labels entitled “red” to place on the upper part of the sole so that I will be able to tell the shoes apart! My very own solution to my very own shoe problem!
Thanks Kevin and the wonderful team at Frames! You really do rock! People often ask me if I get ripped off or are people horrible to me because I am blind! I often find that I receive the best in humanity and Kevin at Frames Footwear is a prime example of that. I’m the luckiest girl alive!
If you want to check Frames out here are their details:
Free Phone:0800 523 726
Phone:03 477 8864
Address:211 Hanover St, Dunedin
Post Submitted by Julie Woods