Friday, April 12, 2024

GAL FRIDAY: So liberating to bare the sole


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I was sipping some Barefoot Wine while perusing a shoe catalogue.

I cried because I had no Jimmy Choos, until I met a man with bare feet. I thought that this must be liberating – to air one’s lower extremities without having to worry about brand names and putting on airs, airport security, shoe shining or even a lost sole.

I think I’d shed my social graces and become a barefooter.

That’s what they call them nowadays – barefooters. Before you have a histrionic fit, let me assure you that barefooters have been responsible for some of the greatest historic happenings.

Take for example, Alexander the Great. His vast armies conquered; all solely on the soles of their feet. Ancient Egyptians, Hindus and Greeks all preferred the shoeless status. Even the athletes in the Olympics of yore participated barefoot … and naked.

Which brings me to the question: why don’t we have any nudist beaches here? Well, it’s actually not my question, but was one posed to me when my English friend tried not to expose his person while changing at the beach. He was barefooted too.

It then occurred to me – nudist beaches are a niche tourist attraction. From Martha’s Vineyard to Marseilles, numerous naked people can be seen sampling the offerings of beaches nearby. And we have such beautiful beaches here … can you imagine vacationing at Bluff Cottage, Sandy Lane, in the buff?!? It would be exhilarating, liberating and fascinating (to some).

​​Lovely time

​​Before I go, I must mention the well-heeled folk encountered at Champers on Monday evening to celebrate the presence of a dignified director. There he was, with shoes on and fully-clothed – David Noel, head of Scotiabank in these parts.

It was a lovely time, where conversations ranged from the height of Roberta Dowell’s heels to the length of time it takes Richard Hoad to come from St Andrew.

But then as the hors d’oeuvres started to settle, conversations became more serious. The Ebola isolation centre, chikungunya, robbers at mini-mart . . ..

My shoes started pinching my feet so I took a seat. Thankfully, it was next to a lady who had no appetisers but apparently too many aperitifs. She was as effervescent as her bubbly drinks. She would have been the envy of Joan Rivers, with a loud mouth and funny antics.

I chose to sit there a little longer, feeling so relaxed that I even took off my shoes. Bad idea. Ten minutes later, I couldn’t get them back on. Feet were swollen like soursops.

So, I decided to stay and listen to more stoned speech from the funny lady while trying to figure out how I would walk shoeless onto the stony street.

Well, I just called the inimitable Cheryl Newman. She always has a solution. I then saw she was busy, so I didn’t reveal too much of my predicament. With her perpetually exquisite hospitality, Cheryl handed me a glass of wine. The vintage was divine. I didn’t get the opportunity to ask about its appellation.

Cheryl, was it Barefoot?


*Veoma Ali is an author, actor, broadcaster, advertising exec, and most important, a karaoke lover.


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