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Puffer

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Puffer last won the day on May 23

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About Puffer

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  1. Then ask the seller to investigate with Royal Mail! And notify eBay of the non-receipt, which should in turn also tackle the seller. You should at least get your money back. Someone (possibly the postman) has apparently signed for the shoes - and you should be able to show that it wasn't you. If they were intercepted or stolen, it seems unlikely that whoever has (or had) them knew what the package contained until it was opened, so if useless they might have been dumped.
  2. If this was a tracked postal delivery (letter post or parcel??), you should be able to find the delivery details without delay. If letter post and you have a regular postman, he might be able to remember details if you ask him - but maybe too long ago for easy recall. Good luck.
  3. Can't you establish with the carrier the address to which the parcel was delivered? Or maybe it was 'diverted' in transit (dishonest delivery man?) and the signature is a fabrication.
  4. Very nice! What size and heel height are they?
  5. This pic has been on the internet for some time, but is worth another airing. The boots are, I believe, from the erstwhile Omano range and have a heel of around 5.5". In my opinion, the overall look is well-coordinated, relaxed and masculine - although the straw hat might not appeal to all!
  6. I bow to your superior (and possibly intimate) knowledge of such activity!
  7. There's always the Treasures of Tooting Common.
  8. As a matter of interest, what footwear were you wearing, and did your trousers provide cover or not? Having just returned from my own modest European holiday, I'm increasingly sympathetic to your disenchantment with overseas travel. Quite apart from having mediocre weather (mostly better at home last week, I understand), the aggravation and delay endemic in any air travel is no encouragement. I hate getting up at around 3am to go to the airport, endure all manner of inconveniences and then fly back over my own house some four hours later whilst crammed into a too-small seat. Whilst my break (weather aside) was fairly relaxing and enjoyable, I too can think of better ways to deplete my sons' inheritance.
  9. Chapter 4 – From school to work A notable event that I failed to mention in the last chapter was the demise of the London trolleybus. I had grown up with trolleybuses, which predominated the bus routes in my home area and further afield too. Despite their ‘green’ credentials (which today would have been a big ‘plus’), trolleybuses were seen as inflexible and inferior to a diesel bus such as the ‘Routemaster’. As nearly all of them still in use in London at the end of the 1950s were regarded as life-expired, the decision was taken to scrap them. Ironically, my area had been the first to get trolleybuses (replacing trams in 1931) and became the last to lose them – on 8 May 1962. The event was marked by a large local turn-out to welcome in the last bus in the early hours of 9 May; I was present with my father – we are somewhere in the crowd pictured below: It was some years before I saw ‘1521’ (or any other London trolleybus) again, until I enjoyed riding on one at the East Anglia Transport Museum, Carlton Colville (near Lowestoft, Suffolk) – well worth a visit! My schooldays continued, with O-Levels sat in 1964 and then A-Levels in 1966. I had intended to go on to university to obtain a degree in engineering, but alas it was increasingly obvious to me that my mastery of the necessary school subjects was not going to be to a good enough standard. I therefore decided instead to embark on a professional career, for which I could study by correspondence course whilst being ‘gainfully employed’. A few years later, I realised that this was probably a wise move, as many of my contemporaries at school had got their university degrees but not necessarily any worthwhile employment. (Ultimately, I ended up with two professional qualifications, each the equivalent of an honours degree, so I felt that I could hold my own despite never attending university.) As the 1960s progressed, life in England underwent significant change, to which no-one was immune. The period of often drab austerity which dominated the 1950s was replaced by one of growing wealth and opportunity – ‘You’ve never had it so good’ – and technological advance. But morals, fashions and music underwent much change too – and not in my opinion always for the best, as the ‘Swinging Sixties’ took hold, displacing the ‘Rock-and-Roll’ era. Women’s hemlines went up and their heels and hair went down, with tights replacing stockings, whilst many of both sexes began to follow a hippy or flower-power ‘free love’ lifestyle, with an increasingly colourful and often bizarre appearance. Mini-skirts and go-go boots on ‘dolly birds’ were all very well, but I much preferred the look of the early 60s that combined elegance with femininity. The pics below illustrate this contrast. Of course, the situation got even worse (in my view) when we entered the 1970s – but that is for later. I left school in the summer of 1966 and had a break of several weeks before I started work in a professional office a couple of miles from home. My father had shown a rare instance of generosity in not only ‘keeping’ me during that break period but also buying me my first ‘office suit’. My work was by no means all office-based as I had to visit clients in and around most of Greater London, and sometimes beyond, travelling by public transport. I was already familiar with most parts of London so this posed no problems for me, but it did open my eyes to much of the wider world, especially in the City and what is now Docklands. I soon found that I much preferred the environment of the City to that of the West End, which I have always found a somewhat uncomfortable mix of pretension and hustling, overlaid with an element of sleaze. The City seemed more civilised and respectable, with the women in particular dressed more to my liking. Certainly, there were many in the late 60s who still preferred to wear suits or separates with pencil skirts (usually just above the knee) and pointed stiletto courts, often 4” or higher. Most of the men however dressed a tad too conservatively for my taste. An acquaintance in a City office told me that there was a recently-dated notice stating: ‘Male staff are reminded that it is ungentlemanly to be seen in the street without a hat’. Bowler hats were still quite common, although seldom worn by those under 30 or so. But at least long hair and patterned shirts were rare east of Temple Bar. When not at work, I had to keep up with my correspondence course studies, with an initial exam in 1968, in which I did quite well. Time for significant social activity was still limited but I joined a local school of ballroom dancing which became my regular entertainment venue. I made a number of friends there of both sexes and went out elsewhere with a few of the girls I met. Several of the girls favoured stilettos, for dancing and otherwise, but alas they were increasingly considered unfashionable by many – and notable public sightings were becoming fewer. I do however recall several which made a lasting impression. One in 1968 was a tall slim brunette in Clapham making easy progress in pointed white sling-backs with a full 5” stiletto – a style I really like and similar to the pic below. Others from the same period included an older woman making her way cautiously down the exit ramp at Kingston station (which could be slippery when wet) in striking blue courts with contrasting red heels that were close to 5.5”, much the same as those below. And a young office-worker in Liverpool Street Arcade who was having difficulty in her 5” black patent courts; I wonder if she persevered and with what result?
  10. My reaction to dww's comment was one of sorrow. I invited comment at the outset but (Freddy excepted) have had none. There must be something to say that is not necessarily 'off-thread', especially given the broad coverage of my exploits? I had thought that dww in particular (who must be a close contemporary in age) would have something to say, given his recent brief account of his own 'formative years'. As to the content of my Chronicle, there is not much of substance that I could add; my other sightings and experiences, if remembered, would be little more than repetition. But the later accounts, yet to appear, may be more detailed as more happened and more is remembered. One more chapter may be expected before I take a brief holiday. Yes, I could find some illustrations - but they would be library items rather than my own and you, dear reader, can find them as readily as I can, if interested! But here are a few pics of women in 'smart' fashion typical of the period around 1960, as worn for more formal business or social activity. The accompanying stiletto heels were often rather higher than those shown - anything from 3 - 4" was commonplace and 4 - 5" favoured by some women, of all ages. Perhaps surprisingly, women quite often dressed formally within the home, or outdoors for local shopping etc - in dresses and stilettos and sometimes with a hat.
  11. Chapter 3 - At grammar school In September 1960, I started at an all-boys’ grammar school in West London. I travelled there by train, with one change in the morning and two going home, taking about half-an-hour. (My free season ticket proved very useful as it could be used at weekends too and got me most of the way into central London.) I soon got to recognise a number of regular travellers, either on my trains or waiting at the stations I used. A number of women whom I saw regularly were dressed smartly ‘for the office’ and usually in stiletto heels. One I well remember seeing most days when I changed trains was around 50, had ginger hair and invariably wore high black patent stiletto courts – at least 4.5” – although her gait was not very elegant. The many students at any of the several colleges along my line generally followed the prevailing fashion, albeit often not quite so elegantly as those commuters in employment. The girls favoured pencil skirts and the boys narrow trousers, in both cases usually teamed with winkle-picker shoes. My school, although fairly relaxed in terms of ‘rules’, had a compulsory uniform and forbade the wearing such trousers or shoes. But a number of the boys did so and generally got away with it – a particularly popular style was the pointed Chelsea boot, typically with a high zipped or elastic shaft. The Beatle-inspired boots with Cuban heels (typically 2.5 – 3” high) appeared a little later, around 1965. One of my classmates wore a very pointed pair – but it was to be another 45 years before I got some for myself! I did however get some chisel-toed flat boots and side-buckled shoes, after I overcame parental objections, and wore them regularly to school. Many pupils from several other schools I saw frequently broke wholeheartedly whatever uniform rules applied – especially those requiring caps or hats to be worn. Some girls in particular endeavoured to wear tighter skirts, discreet make-up and jewellery, along with kitten heels – or anything but the prescribed flat ‘school’ shoes (with ankle socks for the younger ones). I got to know most of West London well, as various school trips (and the weekly journey to the hated sports ground for an afternoon’s purgatory) took me to most parts. The sights and sounds of this cosmopolitan area made quite an impression, particularly that of the growing immigrant West Indian population. But this was not long after the Notting Hill race riots and discrimination was common and quite blatant. A number of the rather run-down tenements along Shepherds Bush Road, for example, clearly displayed notices declaring ‘No blacks; no Irish; no dogs’ to deter potential tenants. But those who had found a home there seemed generally colourful and cheerful, even if their houses and jobs were not. In the warmer weather, the women typically wore brightly-coloured dresses, teamed with hats and white stiletto courts, and their children usually looked very smart when in their best clothes for church or outings at the weekend. In my view, they set a good example which was not easy to beat. School work took up much of my time, along with my essentially indoor hobbies - particularly model making and stamp collecting. There was limited opportunity for socialising outside my immediate family group, and both that and leisure trips were somewhat restricted in scope as we never had a car. However, public transport links were quite good and I made much use of them for weekend jaunts, by myself or with the family. We joined regular summer Sunday excursions by train to the Sussex coast and our annual fortnight’s holiday in an English or Welsh destination was invariably reached by train. Although these expeditions permitted some ‘girl spotting’ (and discreet heel appraisal), there were few opportunities to meet the girls themselves That situation prevailed, alas, until after I had left school, as I shall touch upon in the next chapter.
  12. 'The Sun' on 9 May ran a feature about one of its reporters dressing to emulate the 'Harry Styles' look - as seen recently at the Met Gala. See here: https://www.thesun.co.uk/fabulous/9033421/man-tries-harry-styles-met-look-london/ For those who can't see the article, I attach one pic below  He doesn't look too bad imho, although the mismatched nail varnish does him few favours. The boots have quite a modest cuban heel and look perfectly good for male street wear. The overall reaction (if any) from onlookers as he went around in London seemed generally positive.
  13. Chapter 2 - At junior school In the autumn of 1956, I left the infants school and moved into the adjoining ‘junior mixed’ school for the next four years. The scene was much as before – a sea of matronly frumpiness but with the addition of rather stern men in sports jackets. The deputy head, another pleasant and effective teacher in her 40s, was however an exception. She was a diminutive and neat woman who invariably wore stilettos – usually black suede ‘baby dolls’ with a heel of at least 3.5”. Her glasses were retained by a cord round her neck and perched on her fairly prominent bosom when not being worn. A never-forgotten event at the end of my third year was the retirement of the headmaster, a well-respected man whose rather formal ‘tweed suit and brogues’ appearance belied a kindly nature. During his retirement speech in front of the whole school and a number of parents (many of them former pupils), he burst into tears. He had been understandably overcome by the emotion of the moment, which we all briefly shared sympathetically with him. For the first couple of years, the secondary modern school on the same site was also ‘mixed’ and the older girls there (14 – 16) were not obliged to wear uniform and took advantage of that, with some seen in the prevailing fashions, including winklepickers and kitten or modest stiletto heels. Outside school, I had joined what was then known as the ‘Wolf Cubs’. In addition to ‘Akela’, there were two or three young women who helped with our activities from time to time. One of them, in her early twenties, was fairly tall and slim and in the summer often wore thinly-strapped slingback sandals with 3” stilettos. Not the most practical of footwear for active service but nice to look at; I have favoured them ever since. For the record, my experience of wearing any women’s footwear during this period was limited to a few attempts at trying-on a few of my mother’s shoes or sandals, out of pure curiosity. Alas, my feet were almost too big and anyway her styles were unexciting. How I envied those friends whose mothers or sisters had what was (to me at least) better and more adventurous taste – although I doubt their shoes would have fitted either. Once, during a game of hide-and-seek in a mate’s house, I found by chance a pair of his older sister’s white stiletto courts. Alas, they were just too small, despite being marked as an ‘8’ – probably American sizing but this puzzled me for years. I left the junior school in the summer of 1960 and, having passed the entrance exam, was awarded a free place at a good grammar school in West London, starting there in the September. This opened-up a whole new world for me, as I shall describe in the next part of this chronicle.
  14. Now, that loafer is a nice shoe! The loafer style (with anything from a 3" block heel to a 5" thin stack) is surely one of the best unisex styles; serviceable and sleek without being clumpy. A man's shoe purloined by the ladies and given a higher heel. About time we took it back into our wardrobes. These are well-suited to blokes:
  15. I hope that your former 'maths' teacher ['math' is purely the American version, and should stay there] discovered the peep-hole that you also drilled in her door - or is that extra mural activity the subject of your withheld 'sad tale'? I'm pleased you like the initial Chronicle offering - more to come. But I have to say that I belive that most of us really do lead dull lives - perhaps one really decent stiletto sighting per annum that comes to mind when researching my memoirs. And that is, in retrospect, a great disappointment.
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