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Puffer

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Everything posted by Puffer

  1. Puffer

    New from ASOS

    ASOS has recently introduced this leather boot into its men's range, sizes UK5-13 (although 13 currently shown as not available), price £80.00 (although discounts often available). They are certainly not something I would wear - far too chunky - but no doubt will appeal to some male heel-wearers. No details stated for heel or platform height and no reviews yet.
  2. Cult-ish? I detect a spelling error - and no need for 'almost' either!
  3. Puffer

    New from ASOS

    The ASOS Kendra thigh boots https://www.asos.com/asos-design/asos-design-kendra-stiletto-thigh-high-boots-in-black/prd/12577026?colourwayid=16519460&SearchQuery=&cid=1931 (4.5 - 4.75" heel) are now on offer in sizes up to UK13 for £27.00. Be aware that most buyers say they run small, which seems to be the case with other ASOS Design footwear in larger sizes. The wide fit equivalent is also discounted to £31.50, but only goes up to UK9. New customers can try code ASOSNEWHERE for a further 15% discount (until 15 March).
  4. Yes, that is very much what I had in mind, along with artist's impressions or retouched 'glamour' photos advertising footwear that promised much more than could be delivered. The 1950s magazine adverts for many shoes and heroines in cinema posters provide good examples.
  5. You may be right about the bottle shape - no accounting for taste! Personally, I think it is tacky and dislike anything that sends up or exaggerates a high-heeled shoe, e.g. the 'artwork' showing an Amazonian woman in impossibly high heels. We spend much of our time desiring and championing high heels - and encouraging women as well as men to wear them - that anything which tends to ridicule or detract from them merely gives ammunition to the increasing number of people who now tend to eschew them. I rather like the image of Louboutin kicking himself - particularly if wearing a pair of his Hot Chicks!
  6. For the avoidance of doubt, my career (and therefore the experiences recounted above) has been a white-collar one, spent in professional practice, manufacturing industry, small-scale retail/wholesale, financial services (in that order). I ended up, after my second redundancy, as a self-employed technical consultant for some 10 years before retiring. I cannot therefore speak in any detail about blue-collar 'manufacturing' activity as I was never a manager of such workers, apart from sharing in some very hands-on activity in the retail business (of which I was a part-owner). I will add only that ongoing training is (or should be) very important to all professional and technical people, as otherwise they cannot keep up to date with developments in their field. Indeed, 'continuous professional development' (the title varies) is invariably obligatory to retain a professional qualification, as I well know. Some of my time as both an employee and a consultant was spent in training others and in writing or editing technical matter for publication.
  7. I still think that it is too easy to be black and white here. Yes, lockdowns aside, shopping in bricks-and-mortar shops is in decline for the good (or regrettable) reasons already stated. Many people do not have much of a choice because the right shops, if they exist at all, are not within easy reach. And this is quite apart from the greater choice and probable cost-saving of doing business with an establishment that is not conveniently local, unless one is lucky. Perhaps, as suggested, the 'online' trend is indeed reversing slightly because younger people no longer feel it is as 'cool' to do so? And other (mostly older) people - particularly those less computer-savvy or distrustful of online transactions - would return to the High Street if they could, mobility etc permitting. Both these categories also traditionally enjoy (or would like to enjoy) the socialising aspect that can come with a shopping trip and include refeshments, some sight-seeing or a cinema visit etc. Indeed, which activity drives the other - visiting London primarily to see the Tower or Buckingham Palace, or going to Oxford Street? I guess that, in the middle, there are the typically cash-rich, time-poor working people who find armchair shopping increasingly advantageous and whose socialising is largely at home, especially when children and babysitters are a limiting factor. My wife has sensitive eyesight and dislikes in-store shopping of any kind as she often finds the lighting uncomfortable. But, although she does buy all sorts of things online, she says she much prefers to buy things like clothes and shoes in-store, where she can see the colour, style and quality for herself - and of course try everything for size and fit. The same applies to much of the material and wool etc that she uses for her prolific sewing and knitting activity, where in-store browsing and careful selection can be critical. She recognises that her local choices are declining and wishes that the situation was otherwise - and I very much doubt that she is a lone voice in this wilderness. Maybe views here are tinged with the nature of our 'specialist' requirements. Male shopping for female footwear, at least, is not so easy or anonymous when done in-store - and online outlets for this are a boon. But that is but one constraint.
  8. I cannot say that I have ever been in a job where there was obvious, sustained and unchecked bullying. Indeed, I can think of very few situations where I have witnessed, or experienced, anything more than a relatively mild element of irregular and unjustified harassment or criticism; perhaps I have been lucky. But what I have often experienced is the so-called 'manager' (or someone given at least a supervisory or commanding position) who was barely capable and was regularly 'carried' by his or her staff. That is particularly true of those who have essentially man-management responsibilities over a raft of skilled (often very skilled) technical or professional people. A major sub-set of this group is the person who is judged (and in turn judges) by the length of time spent at a desk, rather than the volume or quality of the work actually done; such people are often over-promoted on perceived merit and 'dedication'. As a professional who was primarily carrying out technical work, I progressed from being the underling through to senior management without having (or needing) significant 'empire-building' man-management responsibilities - but (I hope) with awareness of the need to both lead by example and get the best from my colleagues. But there were always a few exalted beings above me who could demonstrate how not to behave and the limitations of their own expertise in our work. I well recall a situation in which I ran a self-contained section of a business that was nominally answerable to a manager elsewhere in what had become our parent company following an acquisition. He was a couple of years younger than me but we got on well enough and there was never any real disharmony. My work was largely technical and my qualifications, knowledge and ability in that regard were greater than his, which he recognised and rarely challenged. However, he liked to impose his authority and what he perceived as the Group philosophy from time to time and to spend (waste) his budget on a few fancies, usually of a dubious marketing nature. On one occasion, his idea for promoting a new product seemed to me to be ill-founded and unlikely to be cost-effective and I challenged his plans. Determined to have his way, his response was 'Well, it's my train set!' to which I felt obliged to reply 'When you have a little more maturity, you will recognise it as a model railway' - meaning that this was not something to be played with but treated as serious adult activity. He had the good grace to laugh but went ahead anyway (with my supporting best-efforts); the project was not a success and time and money was wasted. On another occasion, he failed to spot a serious (and fairly obvious) technical flaw in a proposed product variant, although accepted this when I explained it. Somewhat contrite, he said 'You must think I'm a complete c**t'. The only truthful answer I could give was to say 'Oh no, I'm sure there's a bit missing' - which (perhaps fortunately) went over his head. As you might guess, my position (and therefore my job) disappeared when a Group merger in turn merged my company's activity into the parallel activity managed by matey. So, he got complete control but it wasn't long before most of the combined activity was progressively dismantled or lost to competitors - and he moved on to greater things in the wider Group (as I already had elsewhere). Happy days - but since when did politics make for a successful and profitable business?
  9. I think you have read far too much into my last. I was not (and am not) championing personal shopping in the high street over mail/internet ordering. I too find remote purchasing very convenient (and usually cheaper or at least more competitive) for almost everything I buy apart from food, newspapers and (heavier/bulkier) building materials and the like. And this despite being an easy 10-minute walk from such of the principal (and other) high street shops as remain. But clothes/shoes do present a different situation if one wants to be sure of style and fit. Which is more convenient will surely depend on the purchaser's attitude and whatever the competing outlets offer. In the case of Evans, I was suggesting that its main clientele (ladies of a 'certain age' - and 'certain size') would probably prefer to shop in person, especially for the items hard to get elsewhere - but that luxury is increasingly denied them. And had my 'Next jacket' been in stock at the shop ten minutes away, I would have strolled down there to buy it, with less trouble than the (admittedly easy) internet job - which still involved in-store return to avoid cost. (It wasn't in stock because it was a limited-stock item, I think discounted on clearance.)
  10. I assume that is 'dress' sizes, not shoes! As to potential reluctance of larger (etc) people to shop instore at specialist retailers, is it not the case that many of them either have little choice in the matter and/or require certainty because of their particular size/shape/fit requirements? The very reason for bricks-and-mortar Evans shops. That said, I suppose that the ease of buying online and returning unsuitable items encourages that shopping process, but it doesn't suit everyone. Some 15 months ago, I wanted a men's jacket of a particular style and colour and found just the one in Next, at a good price too. None seemed to be in branch stock within reach, if anywhere, which would have been my preferred way to try and buy. Mail order was the only solution and, being wary of sizing, I bought my usual size and (just in case) the next larger. Just as well I did - the larger one was a much better fit, so the smaller went back (via local branch). A painless exercise, as it happened, but not as easy as buying from my local branch stock.
  11. I've never been sure of what to make of Evans, having bought a couple of items there in person, and a couple more online. The business seems to have contracted steadily for several years (long before the current Arcadia problems started to bite), with most local branches closing, although 'Evans' sometimes maintained a presence elsewhere as an in-store concession, with limited stock. It always seemed to me that what was available instore was often different from that sold online. Some years ago, it did sell some footwear in UK11 wide/extra wide, although the items I tried (with one bought) ran small. Conversely, its UK10 wide/extra wide boots I tried usually ran large, but were not my style. And the one pair of loafers I bought in UK10 extra wide, although of a good style, were certainly not a fit either. There has seemingly been nothing larger than a (claimed) UK10 for some time now, and very little of that other than frumpy. Unless in a sale, prices always seemed high for the quality on offer. As to staff and service, the majority of the customers were (unsurprisingly) middle-aged or older and with little interest in style. The staff appeared cut from the same cloth - a few bored-looking younger women excepted. It never seemed to me to be welcoming to men, but not overtly hostile either. I suppose that, if one was after a 'safe' style of female footwear in a UK 9 or 10 wide that was rarely available elsewhere, Evans had some merit. But whether its new owners will maintain (and even expand) such a range remains to be seen. The Aussie boots (leather??) on sale at around £28 are not bad - but at the original price of double that, hardly good value. My money is on ASOS for now in terms of its recent/current offerings of larger sizes of fair quality at a modest price.
  12. I'm not intending to comment further regarding Trump or the situation in the US. I really have little interest in US politics aside from my recognition, as an overseas lay observer, that there is, regrettably, a lot wrong with (or in) the US and that Trump is so obviously deranged. The saddest thing is that he has (or has had) so much support from people whose mentality and values are questionable. Worldwide energy now needs to be focussed on tackling Covid-19.
  13. The UK TV News tonight is suggesting that there is quite a strong possibility of Trump being impeached or otherwise removed from office - there seems to be more than one way of doing this, depending upon who initiates it. As I read it, Amendment 25 deals with succession (i.e. that Pence as VP will assume the full mantle of President if Trump goes) rather than providing a mechanism for removal. But let us wait and see. I rather doubt that 'American pride' will prevent any attempt to remove Trump. He seems to have so embarrassed the country that 'American pride' now almost obliges such firm action to be taken. 'You may be the President but you're not going to foul up the US democracy and standing any longer'. Again, we shall see. I wonder whether Trump will still be attempting to issue pardons to all and sundry (including possibly himself) as a final act of defiance in whatever short time he remains in office? This likely irrational conduct is another good reason for swift removal.
  14. The broadcast comments (from Biden and others) concerning the alarming and disgraceful scenes in Washington included references to several actions with which most of us in the civilised world are unfamiliar - and hope to remain so. They are described using somewhat arcane terminology that has a specific legal meaning which is not always quite the same in the US as it is in the UK. In the loosest sense, the scenes in and around the Capitol could be described as a 'riot' but they were, more specifically, an insurrection (i.e. a violent uprising against an authority or government) prompted by Trump's inflammatory outpourings amounting to sedition (i.e. conduct or speech inciting people to rebel against the authority of the state) because of his refusal to accept the result of the Presidential election. As I understand it, the Insurrection Act of 1807 is a United States federal law that empowers the President of the United States to deploy U.S. military and federalized National Guard troops within the United States in particular circumstances, such as to suppress civil disorder, insurrection, and rebellion. [Emphasis added] I am no constitutional lawyer (nor, thank goodness, an American citizen) but it seems to me that the US is now in the somewhat strange (if totally predictable) position of being subject to insurrection at the hands of the President, who is the very person empowered to suppress it! He will doubtless fail to fulfill his duty in this regard and I would have thought that he is now even more open to impeachment than before - for what that is worth given the very short remaining term of his office. Maybe this is all ascademic - particularly if the Washington situation is now under control - but yet again we see the weakness of a world power because of the utter failings of its elected but unhinged leader, supported by a bunch of violent rednecks.
  15. I can't offhand recall the names, but there were several other businesses offering fetish and more exotic footwear 10 - 20 years ago, most of which seem to have fallen by the wayside. 5" and higher stiletto heels seemed to be commonplace and the styles were quite varied. I believe that the actual manufacturers of these shoes (including LSB) were a small bunch and supplied several retailers as well as selling direct. Heels's shoes look to be a more modern and more restrained design than most of the 'traditional' courts and possibly were intended for a showgirl (or boy!) - the Mary Jane style and fairly rounded toe suggests such use for dancing etc.
  16. I haven't seen up-to-date figures. If, as you say, excess deaths are greater than Covid-specific deaths, I can only assume that (in the absence of another new virus or other emergent cause - and none has been publicised) many or most of these excess deaths arise as the result of NHS facilities being denied to people with other treatable conditions - notably including cancer. I find it worrying that the NHS is, in effect, deciding who shall live and who shall die when there is competition for beds and treatment. Of course, such difficult decisions do have to be made, but the emphasis does seem to have been on treating Covid patients (many of whom are in poor health anyway and potentially in terminal decline) at the expense of others, many of whom would certainly regain their health and survive. There is no magic answer and the situation is certainly serious. But, with the benefit of hindsight, I suggest that there will be recognition that a number of mistakes have been made already. We can only hope for improvement.
  17. Lets not get bogged-down with specific examples. I'm neither a medical man nor a coroner, but the proximate cause of someone dying because of over-stretched (or no) medical facilities remains the heart attack (or other sudden medical problem) - not the novus actus interveniens of the poor treatment (or of possibly being infected by Covid whilst awaiting treatment etc.) My cousin's widow died a few months ago at 94. She had underlying (but not I believe terminal) health issues including dementia, and was infected by Covid during her final hospitalisation. Her death certificate mentioned all of these 'issues', which together so weakened her that her death came earlier than otherwise expected. The true cause was organ failure or somesuch. Whichever way one looks at it, we have a serious (and growing) problem - and I certainly do not make light of it. But including as a 'Covid' death everyone who had (recently) been infected does exaggerate the effect of the virus, when many (perhaps most) of those people would not have died at that time if they had not been infected, but would have died anyway within a shortish period. Covid accelerated their demise; it did not cause it.
  18. And it's 'good buy' from him and 'good buy' from me!
  19. Not quite right. In law, one has to establish the 'proximate cause' of some event. There may be one or more 'side acts' that possibly intervene, influence or interract but are not themselves causative of death. Yes, the dying cancer patient who is shot dead is a victim of murder or manslaughter (the immediate cause of his death) but if he instead was infected with Covid, that would not necessarily be the proximate cause of his ultimate death, despite it weakening his immune system etc with an accelerating effect. What worries me about the statistics is that anyone who has had Covid within the 28 days preceding death is counted as a Covid victim, however incidental that infection might have been. With many people having underlying health issues, Covid infection is of course potentially lethal for them but is not in itself likely to be the immediate cause of their deaths. As most of these people would, alas, have died anyway (but probably a little later), it is misleading to treat them as Covid victims.
  20. So, a pair of shoes that were initially thought to be too small and didn't fit turned out to be larger than you expected (according to the apparent size marking) and now do fit, and comfortably too! So, a result - but a strange, almost surreal, situation! Were they perhaps US11 (marked thus) and therefore more like a UK9 than the UK10 you wanted? Is that heel really 5.5"; it looks a little lower? As to source, I think you mean The Little Shoe Box (late of Holloway). I believe that the maker of LBS footwear also manufactured for Cover Girl (and others too) so, if the 'vintage' is right, you may be right about the ultimate source. But I doubt that LBS would mark its products wrongly or use US sizing.
  21. Just as I was trying to have a snooze after the hedonistic excesses of Christmas (OK - an extra mince pie), everything starts up again ... I wish.
  22. Some interesting thoughts, Freddy, and I'm sure they resonate with many of us, myself included. Yes, mules (or loose slingbacks) are fun to wear - the slapping effect and noise as one walks gives a casual effect but needs an element of skill if a trip or a lost sandal is not to result. The ubiquitous flip-flops aside, there are a number of men's as well as women's styles which can be enjoyed thus. You say that your 'interest' in heels has dwindled (because of the pandemic restricting wearing opportunity) but is still latent. We can all understand that, if only because most activity outside the home has been made difficult if not impossible. Does continuing indoor activity (whether solitary or in accepting company) compensate? Probably not, although for some it has has always been the only or principal means of enjoying our 'interest'. Perhaps ironically, my own outdoor heeling activity has increased in recent months from the negligible to the fairly regular - all courtesy of my very wearable 'Recite' boots (as recounted elsewhere) which are easy and comfortable to wear safely and confidently during local shopping trips. The anonymity of a mask is not unhelpful, but not essential either. But whether there will be 'further steps' remains to be seen ... You ask if it is healthy to want something one cannot have. I would say' yes' - unless the craving becomes an obsession. Human beings with normal thought processes and desires invariably do want something extra, something new or something that requires effort to achieve - and will strive to obtain it. Think of that better house, new car, new job (or gaining a partner or children!) and how it may be secured. But keep the means, the timescale and (however measured) the cost firmly in mind and don't allow pie-in-the-sky (or heels-in-the-sky!) to dominate your existence and threaten what you already have, or will reasonably have - including your sanity. Above all, recognise that one cannot turn the clock back and what might have been attainable by someone 20 years younger - or during the world of 20 years ago - may now be unrealistic if not impossible.
  23. As far as I can see, these boots are an isolated example of anything 'female' above size UK9. There are two other pairs of almost flat ankle boots in a 12 (but no 10 or 11 at all) - strange that. Maybe the Chinese factory made some 12s by mistake!
  24. To my surprise, New Look currently has a rather nice pair of grey suedette ankle boots (3" Cuban/block heel, almond toe) in size UK12 (limited stock) - and currently with 25% discount so £20.99 net. I don't think the back zip is functional and the 'lanyard' (at least) could be removed. https://www.newlook.com/uk/womens/footwear/boots/grey-suedette-block-heel-western-boots/p/666154704 I rather like them but I think I will resist on this occasion. A very Merry Christmas to you all, with hopes for a happier and healthier New Year. Onwards and upwards!
  25. Puffer

    New from ASOS

    I spotted that apparent error too! But there seems to be confusion between two 'Cheryl' products - here is the other one (of knee length): https://www.asos.com/asos-design/asos-design-cheryl-high-heeled-quilted-knee-boots-in-black/prd/21051055?colourwayid=60136781&SearchQuery=cheryl Nice stilettos - just the thing to wear in a padded cell!
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