Bootie Stiletto and Bikes

It’s a shoe of many talents; the thin black piping and neatly tied bow suggest a prim Edwardian schoolmistress, the damson pink color and cute peep toe signal a high-kicking showgirl, and it’s easy to picture that spiked heel being ground into a fleshy back by a sexy dominatrix. There’s also the bling factor, as embodied in the pale gold, engraved Gucci logo. The bootie goes by the name of “Newton,” though I’m not sure what the scientist would have made of its gravity-defying 4.5″ stiletto.

But I think what I like most about it is the color, a demure rose transformed into wanton flesh thanks to the patent sheen. It’s also available in black and light grey, but why opt for dull neutral when you can have glorious Technicolor? As Nancy Sinatra might have sung: “These booties are made for walking.” They’re actually not made for walking at all—but for strutting, wiggling, shimmying, and prancing, they’ll do just fine.

Bikes-I’m cycling around town.

Environmental concerns, the price of fuel, or simply the drive to keep fit? Whatever the reason, it seems more and more people are switching to two wheels–as I can’t help noticing while I’m cycling around town. And although I’m happy enough on my trusty rusty hybrid, it’s hard to ignore that bikes are getting more and more covetable.

As a young boy, Chanel boss Karl Lagerfeld was given six bicycles by his parents. Not one after the other, mind you, but six at once. He says, “None of the other children had any because it was after the war. But I wouldn’t share, no, no, no. I would instead come to school every day on a different bike and the others would be very jealous.” Perhaps Lagerfield’s awareness of pedal-and-pump envy explains Chanel’s new $12,000 bicycle, part of its Spring/Summer ‘08 collection. With eight gears and the fashion house’s signature quilted leather touches, it rings all the right bells.

Elsewhere, design guru Paul Smith notes that, right now, many top labels are making messenger bags, even luggage deities like Louis Vuitton. He believes the move to cycling is truly global. From London, where the congestion charge on petrol vehicles is a further factor, to Japan, where riding single-speed bikes–in high heels and sunglasses, of course–is all the rage, it seems the world’s turning to the sound of chains and meshing gears. With fashion’s greatest names getting involved, even their well-heeled followers now have an incentive to leave the car at home.

Eeps and il-merrill


Eeps (apparently) are a menace to society. They have beady eyes and run with their heads down. They are really just dinosaurs in disguise. Allegedly.

Eeps sit in trees, on chimneys and television aerials, crying “eep” in a monotone. They run up (and down) Windmill Hill and “boonce” (which, it seems, is Geordie for ‘bounce’).

An eep is little more than a Tyrannosaurus Rex with good P.R. in much the same way as a squirrel is just a rat with good P.R.


It’s not just England: they have eeps in Malta, too. There, they call them il merrill, although they’re not strictly eeps as such but the blue rock thrush. For reason best known to the people of Malta, it’s the national bird…

We first became aware of it whilst staying in Sliema with my father in October 2012. We saw signs to a family-friendly restaurant in one of the side streets running away from The Strand. Its sign boasts a silhouette that looks just like an eep, but on our honeymoon, we read a beer mat showing il merrill to be the blue rock thrush. Not exactly the Maltese Falcon, but not really the Maltese Eep, either.

Dad, incidentally, never quite got to grips with eeps. Throughout our stay in Sliema, he kept referring to them as “erps”.