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Everything posted by FastFreddy2

  1. As expected, went to the British Museum today, wearing heels of course. Took some pictures and video intending to include them, but not sure I'm going to. Was a great afternoon, with waay too much to see. I would think it might take a good week to just eyeball what is there, much less take in what there is to see. The biggest group of visitors today were Pacific rim, meaning Chinese and Japanese. Some American, some English, some Italian, some Spanish. (British tourist season.) I am too culturally ignorant to know whether this museum is unique in it's content, or whether the content is so unique people from half way around the world would visit the UK to see it. I vaguely remember (I think) reading somewhere, the UK has the largest collection of Egyptian relics outside of Egypt. If that is true, I can understand why people might travel here and take in a visit to the British Museum. Photographs don't really provide an indication of size and scale very well. An example of that, (not Egyptian specific) is the Easter Island statue. There is one, and it's reasonably large, yet smaller than I imagined. Conversely, the detail seen in some of the 3,000 year old Egyptian plates (wall plates used to depict historical events) is just incredible. Three dimensions provide a level of understanding of the skill involved, that I doubt a two dimensional image could ever do. Pictures aren't useless, but it's not hard to understand why seeing the 'real thing' face-to-face is so popular. And no entry fees for the main exhibitions!! I would recommend a visit, if the opportunity presents itself. As luck would have it, I found parking for free fairly straightforward. A short walk, and we arrived at the entrance. A couple there, sitting on a wall noticed my heels, with the woman nearly breaking her neck to stare at them as I walked past and around where she sat. They were not English, and maybe seeing a man in a heel was big news to them? They do a bag search on the way in, and this took no time at all. Once inside, I wanted to see what I think is the new(ish) main hall, that now has a stylish canopy, keeping the refreshment area light and dry. An hour or two of looking at Egyptian and Greek relics, had me quite thirsty, and just a little hungry. The 'cream tea', went for £5-50 a serving, which is a scone the size of half a house brick, jam and cream, together with coffee of tea. A bargain given hot liquid refreshment came in at £3-25. The cream tea was a no-brainer. By the time the huge cake was eaten (it really was too much), it was quite late and we only had time to visit the (closed) third floor restaurant to look down onto the main hall from a 30ft vantage point. It was impossible to ignore the grandeur of the building. (I was so proud, I nearly got a tear in my eye. ) All too soon the visit was over. Epilogue. Almost no-one had spotted my heels, though one or two inside had. No comments, no dramas, no adverse reaction I was aware of. All good. Except .... Un-bel-ievably, that couple we'd seen on the way in, were still sitting on the same wall as we left, more than 3 hours later. Yes, they looked again, and again I wondered how small their world must be, to find my footwear so interesting. I don't mind people noticing. I don't mind people looking, but staring? Just plain rude. Whenever people stare, I'm just a little embarrassed I'm not wearing prettier shoes. Ankle boots with slim heels, or some stiletto courts, rather than the sturdy and very very comfortable ankle boots I practically live in, when I'm out.
  2. Hello, and welcome. Nice boots. I was at the British Museum today ... If you'd have been free??
  3. You are being too modest. I'm sure your coat is significantly older and more worn than mine.
  4. Isn't that men with long coats looking for similarly dressed men, often if not always, some hours into the night?
  5. And so it goes on .... "A supercell thunderstorm over Orford in Suffolk last night as eerie blue-grey clouds swirl in circular shapes above a pink sky" Hastings. Southend. We are a couple of days away from "mid-summers day", that gives us the longest daytime hours, and shortest night time. Winter, is just not letting go!
  6. Worcester County Cricket Club .... Worcester Race Course. As a reminder, these images are from the third week in June, "Summer" - apparently. River burst its banks due to heavy (unseasonal) rainfall. More due Tuesday 18th June ... All copyrights acknowledged.
  7. It stopped raining for a while this afternoon, so I (we) went to London, and to the V + A. Turns out, I went to the wrong place to look at Egyptian artefacts. Ho-hum. British Museum, maybe next weekend ....
  8. Most of my photography action recently, has been in selling equipment. Lumix G80 - Gone. Mamiya medium format kit - Gone. 4 off smaller strobes - Gone. I've also sold off some seriously expensive medium format gear for a family friend. I have bought some extra batteries for the M50, and a 22mm lens (bargain!) I finally got around to buying a couple of filters for the 22mm too. I'm thinking about a third lens .... There might be a new member of the Canon M range announced later this year, that might provide some of the functionality I'm missing with the Lumix. Having spent a reasonable amount of time watching You Tube video's, doing small bits or research, it rather looks like the world (certainly the media world) doesn't need much more than a 20/24mp image. I probably have a camera that provides all the detail publications or prints, will need. I've no need to upgrade to the Sony at this time. I still have more pressing DIY work. (Like changing the boiler, if it gets warm enough this year to do without one for a week or two. ) At least now I have modern kit, with reasonable quality output. And no need for a darkroom.
  9. This time last year (IIRC) we were enjoying one of the best summers we'd had for quite a while. For the past two days, it's been so cold I've been forced to put the central heating on. This unusual situation has not been helped by the amount of rain we've had here. See this link and a couple of pictures: >> UK flooding << We have another two or three days of this, a brief respite then possibly some more the other side of next weekend. The great British Summer has returned.
  10. Well the Sunday wasn't cancelled, and the invite to the Trouping of the Colour didn't arrive (again ) so I went to London with my elderly friend. I say "elderly", that means compared to most readers. Compared to me, I suppose she's like an older sister. I wasn't sure about wearing a heel. Two of the shops we were planning to go to, know my face, and one of the two - very well. I've only been to London once in (x) years without a heel on, so a sudden change in height might be noticed immediately. I don't think my heels are a secret, but arriving 5 inches shorter might set alarm bells off. Would my 'guest' companion be bothered? As it turns out, not at all. In fact she was moderately interested in them. We did all the 'usual' things I might do, meaning coffee and cake. Walked around a bit. Got slightly wet from the odd shower. Covered a lot of ground, with neither of us bothered by my footwear. In fact the shoes my friend wore had something of a hard heel. When we synchronised our pace, it was possible for the sound of her shoe to cover the sound of mine. Bonus! We had planned to have a sandwich by the river, but the rain prevented that. It's not quite the same having a picnic in the car, but the company was pleasant, and so was the food my friend had kindly brought with her. The journey home was almost uneventful. A decision was made to buy something from John Lewis en route. I've got a clever phone, and placing an order on what was supposed to be the last item in stock (hence the need to purchase in a hurry), failed. On concluding the purchase procedure, something that was quite time consuming in itself, Mr Lewis said "Sorry, out of stock." Was quite frustrating .... By the time we got out of London, the rain had settled in. Luckily we had missed most of it having left early enough to avoid it. This was the second time I had promised my lady friend a view of the Thames in the first person, and for the second time I was foiled by time. I hope there's a third chance, and if there is perhaps I need to concentrate on that, rather than try to do other things first. (Which includes, coffee, cake, and people watching.) As far as heel wearing was concerned, a good day out, with camouflage heel tapping from a companion.
  11. There was a plan for me and an elderly friend to visit London this weekend. Weather promises to be wet for the next week or so, and this isn't exactly encouraging. My elderly friend hasn't been very well recently, and although this trip has been planned for some time, it looks like it might be postponed. I am fresh out of 'company' to go with me instead. Mrs F is out on a jaunt with a friend who is leaving the Home Counties for good. A second friend, (heels aware) is out of the country from Saturday. While some will be thinking 'why don't I go alone', the answer is the visits out in London are for as much social activity as anything else. If I was that keen for a walk in heels, I would walk out alone in desolate places much closer to home. Part of the 'usual' procedure, is to go into one of the big stores for coffee and a snack. (Okay, coffee and a cake. ) Then people watch. I make some sport from this by creating stories about the other people seated or walking past. You'd be surprised how many dodgy folk I tumble up to no good. If my visit is postponed, I might have to go out on my bike instead. That'll be novel, getting a bike dirty. Haven't done that for nearly 20 years.
  12. Shoes you have seen (avatar) and long jeans that covered my heel. Typically, I get noticed from the front. Noise from my shoes can be heard (although not a stiletto), but the small toe shown, might be something of a giveaway? I'm not sure if I have mentioned it here before, but in a restaurant not too long ago, a waitress remarked at how small my feet were. (Even though I'd just given her a decent tip. ) She was on the way around the table for another look, when I managed to dodge her getting that second look. I've also noticed, my fluidity in a heel, (hip sway, ankle bend) suffers with absence. I am trying to get out more in a heel, especially since longer/warmer days are supposed to be here. Forecast for today was "dry". Well it rained on the way in, while there, and tried most of all the way back, succeeding on arrival home. A neighbour has just returned from a holiday similar to yours I think. Apparently weather while away, was surprisingly dull for the first 4 days? We have friends who returned from a Mediterranean island holiday a couple of weeks ago, where it rained most days. Crete or Corfu, I can't remember. The "weather" has been doing some odd things this year. In London today, I didn't notice anyone noticing me. I'm sure they did, but anyone who did was very discreet about it. Even while in House of Fraser, where I tried on some Carvela courts, and two pairs of ALDO shoes, shop assistants kept away. While sitting for the second time, having tried on some shoes a size too small, I didn't notice a lady had sat down next to me (behind me) until I got up and walked away. It was obvious I was trying on womens (court) shoes, but I was ignored. Suits me. Today was a completely different experience from Friday evening.
  13. Back into the big city later today, (Sunday) all being well. The weather here in the UK has not been very good recently, for the time of year. This time last year, we had a summer that really was a summer. This year it's been dry, but cool. Today was noticeably warmer, tomorrow not quite so warm, but it'll be warm and dry. Good walking in a heel weather. The plan at the moment is to visit a single store in the West End, then drive down to the river for a small lunch watching river traffic. Mrs Freddy has a new camera, and I'm hoping she will get a little practice in with it before she has to use 'in earnest' while away on one of her many holidays. (I will be home, looking after the cat.) My days of international travel are over. So over, I've let my passport lapse. I can't be doing with the B/S that is recognised as "airport security" for starters. Then I think of what I could do with the £1000 a modest holiday would cost. Like spend it on something I could enjoy every day of the year. Ultimately, the cat is the critical issue. He doesn't know what it's like, for me to be absent. I'm not sure I want him to find out. Besides which, I should be concentrating on getting fit with my new bike. Not gallivanting around Europe getting myself into mischief.
  14. So far, best plan is to borrow Mrs Freddy's petrol engined car, which avoids the ULEZ charge, and for me to drive into the Congestion zone after 6pm which avoids the weekday Congestion charge too. £24 "tax" saved. Yay! Next problem .... Shoes.
  15. Went to Brent Cross and Westfield tonight. Got 'noticed so many times, I might as well have worn a skirt too. Soon after I got out of my car, and before I got into BX, my heels had been spotted by a foreign worker (this is pertinent as he wasn't as disinterested as a Brit might be), and unknown to him, I watched him stare at my feet using his reflection in a shop window to see him doing what I thought he might after I passed him. By way of stopping him announce my shoes to his 3 buddies, I stared backwards as I continued into the centre. The last bod in the troupe also noticed how small my feet were, but fortunately I walked into the mall before he had a chance for a second glance. Not a great start to my evening, but fairly typical of it. The stay at Brent X was short, but I got spotted by a couple of women, each shopping alone so not distracted by mutual conversation. At Westfield, my first 'stare', was as I stood on the escalator that took me into the mall. To be honest, that may have been a general thing, (might have been where she was looking as she went down an escalator) but it didn't encourage. In M+S, I got spotted multiple times. Always by people who were not obviously British. W/F is something of a tourist trap for people shopping for bargains to take home I suppose. Staff at M+S were much more discreet if they noticed, and I'm sure they did. Not one person took amusement at my expense, nor made a critical remark that I heard. Even though I was spotted, I got a 'free pass' and was allowed to go on my way without hindrance or harm. In many ways things could have been worse. Schools are out, so many more young people were walking around W/F. They tend to be more interested in anomalous situations, and less likely to be discreet having spotted them. I seldom let young folk walk behind me for more than a couple of paces for that reason. Conversely, people walking past me don't get much time to take in what they may or may not have seen. Those keeping pace behind me, would otherwise get all the time they need to understand what they think they could be looking at. I always have my 'radar' switched to active, and I like to think paranoia plays no part in my seeing people notice my heels. Consequently, if one or more people are behind me and walking at the same speed, I almost always stop to look in a shop window and let them pass. In a store I will slip between isles, and suddenly become very interested in whatever is in front of me. Doesn't always work, as I found out in John Lewis. Must had had the same woman pass me at least 3 times in ten minutes. Every time, her eyes would linger at my feet as she passed. The last time, I nearly offered her a good look at my footwear, as to satisfy her curiosity. I suppose a man wearing a heel is no surprise to me, but seems to surprise middle-aged people who you might expect to have previous knowledge of this. Maybe my life hasn't been as 'sheltered' as it feels to me.
  16. Expensive, well made shoes? Maybe even made-for-them shoes. I understand Botox injections in the foot, has been quite popular in the past. I vaguely remember reading somewhere, a long time wearer of heels said she had avoided problems by wearing shoes that fitted. Seems obvious, but I doubt cheap shoes are made with keeping feet healthy. With almost every shoe available in the high street being made in China (or Vietnam), I imagine these narrower styles are going to produce longterm problems. In my youth, all but the very cheapest shoes were made of leather. These days, leather shoes cost a lot of money and are seldom seen in the high street. They are there, but with sticker prices around £200.
  17. I've mentioned this several times before, and included pictures too. But two girls/women I know who wore heels regularly, have cripple feet now, and have had for some time. Even Mrs Freddy, a moderate but enthusiastic high heel wearer, has had a number of problems over the (recent) years. While it isn't unknown, I would suggest MOST women have had to give up on heels (except for bedroom time maybe) around 45 years of age. Even if they are able to wear a heel socially, there may no longer be the will to wear one socially. As Mrs Freddy has said (too) many times; "Why am I going to go out in an uncomfortable shoe?" Though 20 years previously, she would go out in a very uncomfortable shoe, and think nothing of it. (Heightened sense of fashion in the young, mutes pain I suppose.)
  18. As dww will confirm (if necessary) I have apologised quite sincerely in a PM over any incursion regarding posting. I'm not sure why there need be any reluctance? As you are a relatively 'young and exuberant' (naive but enthusiastic) author, let me pass you a bit of golden advice: You have never once read a story where pictures could easily be included regarding social or anthropological history, and the author has omitted the opportunity to include images to demonstrate a viewpoint or experience. And you certainly have never read same, with comments suggesting the reader find their own references. Tut tut young Puffer, take 50 lines .... I for one am not going to spoil or ruin the flow of your story by 'wandering off' to find images of the time you mention while reading the article. Surely you must be the arbiter of the images your memory offers? And from that you are the only person qualified to support the narrative with images of things as you saw then. (So images through your eyes, not mine or anyone elses.) They don't have to be exact replica's, but like the maroon court shoe I used to illustrate the FHW shoe I first owned, it was good enough to convey what I was trying to describe. (In fact the resemblance was uncanny. I just had to wait almost 50 years to see a copy.) An example might be a comment along the lone of "she wore a leather skirt". Without some further detail, (or a picture) I would be disappointed if I couldn't find at least 5 different styles, and likely 10 at a push. A picture helps people with little imagination (could be me) and those with an over-active imagination (more likely me). This is a request of course, not an order.
  19. Well..... The theme for this years MET, was "camp" and I'd say Harry carried it off quite well, as did some others. The reporters trousers are shorter than Harry's if I remember, so plainly the reporter was looking to get noticed. From the report written up in the Sun, I'd say the reaction wasn't quite what was hoped for. Basically, no-one really cared. As I've mentioned quite a few times, I get spotted in a heel fairly frequently. As long as I'm left alone to get on with it, I don't mind being noticed, I only get annoyed if the person staring is rude about it. (I got this too, when I had a temporary facial disfigurement. One or two, and thankfully there were VERY few, who looked, and looked, and looked. Usually, women.) I don't have many, but I do have some "stand out" images of people going about their business in London, that should have had every head turned they passed, but generally, not one head turned. I don't know if it's respectful, people accommodating individualists, maybe a bit scared (in case a comment created a scene)? You've got to go some in London to get "noticed" enough to stop people indulging in their own lives and get them looking.
  20. That's a bit unkind. I know for fact, Puffer is looking for some appraisal. I'm the one who is touchy about off--thread wandering.... My comment? More detail please. (You are going too quickly.) And a shame there are no photo samples to illustrate looks and shoes. A picture worth a 1000 words, innit. You know its a unfortunate (a real loss) we didn't have the ease of image capture back then, that we have now. This won't be a problem in 50 years time, with FB and Instagram now detailing lives on a daily basis. But imagine the value of capturing the scene in Shepherds Bush back in the early 60's as described in the Chronicle. A social anthropologists gold mine. I'm enjoying the Chronicles, but at this speed there's no room for Season 2.
  21. Just finished watching the Second Semi-Final, and thank goodness, there are some great songs and performances. Looking forward to Saturday. France looks good, so can't wait!!
  22. As some (old hands) here might remember, one of the highlights of my year, is the Eurovision Song Contest. It's a bit of a 'camp fest' this year, with single sex relationships being promoted. Not sure why. Promoting the 'scene' in Tel Aviv maybe, for tourism? I watched bits from all 17 of the first round Semi-Finals. "Dire" doesn't quite describe how awful they were. While one or two of the costumes were 'entertaining' in a goth/fetish way, the songs and presentations were awful. Of the 17 there was one stand out song, and maybe two also-rans. Australia is proving to be popular, but that too has a chorus/hook that was stolen from Kate Bush. I should look at the 10 who got through, but I've no interest. Thursday will see the second round of the Semi-Finals. I have my fingers crossed there will be something more interesting there. The original 6 or 7 countries that took part in the competition get an automatic 'pass' to the final, which includes the UK. It shouldn't. The singer can sing, but the song is very very poor, and the singer inanimate when the dirge is sung. I would pay NOT to have to listen. I don't know why the BBC is so keen to give the voting public a small quantity of songs, usually written by people no-one has heard of, and sung by adequate singers (also unheard of) with no stage presence at all. Back in the days we used to win the competition, we employed singers who were regularly in the charts (as do other competitors still do). We'd use songs that would get into the charts, because the songs could stand by themselves. I've read several times, the UK can't afford to win, it can't afford to host the competition. Maybe it's true? So we go out to lose....
  23. I've been luckier. I used to have a size 7 foot, right up until I "settled down" and my waistline spread. I can still get into most styles, though the Chinese manufacturers tend to be less generous on sizing. I have slim feet, but I wouldn't mind if my feet were half an inch shorter. Ho-hum. I too started of trying some of my mothers shoes, one pair being some white open toe mules. Not unlike these: When walking in them, the wearer could enjoy the 'flip-flap' of the insole striking the heels with every stride. Very attractive sound I still enjoy.
  24. I remember one or two of my teachers creating something of an impression, but not until I was into my senior years. The music teacher was one of the prettiest women I'd ever seen in real life - at that time. My math teacher.... Not a stunner by any means, but the look of a woman who promised much. Strangely, more than a lifetime later, I am in touch with the Math teacher again. I fixed the door handle on her lounge door toward the end of last year. Sad tale, I shall keep to myself. There were no women in heels at any school I ever attended, for any reason, and I think I've mentioned the only two young ones at the school when I was. All the rest had been there since the Neolithic age. Honestly, either impending pensioners, or those well past pension age. My first recollection of heels and an interest in them (as we understand 'an interest') would be when Freeman Hardy and Willis brought out a girls high heeled loafer with what I think was a 4 inch block heel. Fortunately for me, no-one in my class wore them. Thankful for small mercy's. I've looked many times, but tonight I found something that's a "dead ringer" for the style: Same colour, (ish), but without the patent. Heel height about right, and claimed for these Calvin Klein "Retro" shoes, at 4½ inches. I'm liking this Chronicle thing. As I've said many times, we might think we live dull lives, but they are generally interesting to other folk. If they weren't "soaps" wouldn't be a 'thing'.
  25. I've no idea if anyone from 'foreign climes' will be reading this, but we in the UK have a peculiar tendency to charge for anything and everything to do with travel. We also seem to be world-leaders in punishing drivers for doing what has been recommended by way of government policy. Some ten years ago, the UK government wanted us drivers to buy diesel vehicles. They produce less CO2 than petrol engined vehicles, and often go further on the same volume of fuel. We drivers did as the government recommended. 10 years later, diesels are now worse than petrol engined vehicles unless they use ultra-modern technology (which is not retro-fittable) although the new technology now makes them 'cleaner' than petrol engines once again. The bogeyman of older diesels "particulates". There has been a "Congestion Zone" in the Westminster/West End of London for some years. To the occasional visitor, that charge has been avoidable, since it only operated during 'weekday working hours'. The current charge is £11-50 and that charge is made between 7am and 6pm Monday to Friday. Secure parking is expensive too, at circa £10 an hour. On street parking not much cheaper, if cheaper at all and usually comes with a 4 hour maximum stay. Who would WANT to drive into the West End? Transport for London (TfL) would say this works well keeping the street open enough for buses and taxi's to navigate the busiest areas, and encourages people to use public transport. Having used London Underground, and been completely confounded by the London bus system, no-one will be surprised I would not use it, and that's before costs are brought into the equation. Circa £12 for a daily ticket, and an inclusive ticket that includes overground travel being closer to £24. For two people using public transport, it can still be more expensive than a short car trip into the West End, and a lot slower if you are going to one place. With the news "particulates" from diesel powered vehicles are more dangerous than CO2 emissions, the London mayor and TfL have introduced a new charge for vehicles that produce particulates, the very engine type the UK government encouraged people to buy claiming they were more 'environment friendly'. And unsurprisingly, this new charge is applied around the clock, so no escape from it - other than staying away or even more expensive public transport. As some are saying, this is not much more than a local tax, and not a cheap one at £12-50 per day for a smaller vehicle. Visitors to the West End using diesel vehicles that don't have new technology engine management systems (with additives injected into the fuel system to prevent particulates being formed), are being charged £ 24 per vehicle per day (unless exempt from the £11-50 Congestion Charge). I drive an older diesel, as recommended by the government of the day. How is this pertinent on the Outing V thread? Not only do I not plan to walk through London's public transport system to get to the venue wearing a court shoe (which might ruin them anyway), I do plan to drive there. My journey might be late enough to avoid the Congestion Charge, but I won't be able to avoid the Emission Zone charge of £12-50. I might be more inclined to use public transport if the each way journey didn't add up to £12 each (there will be two of us travelling) and there is car parking at the Underground Station to add to the £24 (total) transport cost. And add to the the two lots of costs, a fair bit of walking too. Paying the ULEZ charge is more economic, saves time, and a lot of energy. So has the 'charge' actually done anything to reduce the particulates from my vehicle? Will that charge/money do anything about reducing the particulates from any vehicle? So it's not a charge, it's a fine. I get fined for driving a vehicle that uses an engine the government told me they wanted me to drive. Rant over...
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