But in recent years, the wool has compressed and the level of comfort has fallen. Sadly, I became aware of a tiny hole developing where there was most pressure from the right big toe nail; a hole which increased in size as the months – yea, the years – went by. Occasionally a visitor called, and there I would be, half my big toenail visible against the black of the shoe. It's not a pretty sight, as you can see from my illustration. I'm very proud of that toe drawing, so appreciate it. Hell, it took me half the morning.
"Maybe I could paint my big toe-nail black," I said to Tracey.
She failed to show any enthusiasm for the idea, but I think she does have some black nail polish. In any case, I abandoned the option. After all, I'd have to paint a fair part of the whole top of the toe, and feared that should I be whisked suddenly into hospital for some reason, they might think I had leprosy or severe frostbite or had been smoking forty a day, and amputate without further ado.
It occurred to me not long ago that the shoe fabric had stretched to the point where it could be time to wear a pair of socks inside the uggs. As it happened, the first pair of socks I tried were black. This isn't surprising given that practically all my socks are black.
I suppose I should add that putting on any pair of socks is quite a challenge to me. My right arm quickly develops a tremor even when it's working at its best, and has little strength. I have to sit down on the bed, draw the foot to be socked as far up on the other leg as possible, and with luck and more effort than you would be likely to expect, the sock might just go on, with the heel in the right place. A variation on Murphy's Law usually places the heel of the sock at 180 degrees to where it should be, i.e., on top of the foot, but it sometimes goes right first time.
The right foot is trickier because it won't stay up on the left knee by itself. A third hand would be ummm... handy.
Anyway, I got the socks on, and then the uggs. And wullah! as smooth-talking French-speaking Johnny says - my white but now besocked sticking-out toenail became invisible, as did the hole itself. Almost. This pleased me.
So, this morning, I got out a fresh pair of socks and carried out my usual battle with each to get them on. Then I had the next struggle, namely, to put on the uggs. This involves a peculiar form of gymnastics akin to wrestling with two fairy penguins who are engaged in a battle with my besocked feet, in both vertical and horizontal positions on the bed, but don't push that analogy too far. Please.
I stood up. Only then did I realise something. The heels of these socks were bright orange in colour. Well, I knew that already. That didn't matter. But I had forgotten one detail, seemingly irrelevant in my battle to get the socks on.
The tips of the socks were very, very orange. As was my vibrantly orange big toe, now poking jauntily through the hole in my uggs.
**le sigh** Some days, you just can't win.