We have now completed (or should that be survived) three weeks of the summer holidays! It's not been so bad as previous years either. I know we're only half way through, but so far we've not had too many sibling arguments; I think this may be down to age and the fact that Miss D now has her own friends and is a little more independent. Whatever the reason, it's making for a much easier and pleasant summer break.
That in mind, I suddenly realised at the beginning of last week that we really needed to go school shoe shopping for Miss D as she returns to school a week earlier than her sister. No need for shoes for Miss L, she had new ones at the end of the July term as she had managed to make a huge hole in the bottom of one of her Clarks shoes. It looked as though she had been pirouetting in the playground for at least a month without a break! She hasn't, I hasten to add, it just looked that way.
Anyway, back to the point. Miss D needed school shoes. Now, Clarks is clearly not cool if you're a teenage girl and to be honest, much as I love them, when we looked I wasn't impressed with the range they had for older girls, so off we trot to my favourite place to be in the whole wide world, Bluewater (ok, I loathe the place, but needs must). We were on a Kickers hunt, these are cool if you are a teenage girl; if you are a parent of a teenage girl they are sensible and look like they'll last, offering value for money, provided your child doesn't have a growth spurt; in which case be prepared to shell out another £70.00 pounds or so.
First stop, Schuh. We know they stock them, but they only have a limited range so off we go to widen the search. We went into every shoe shop in the building and every shop that might sell shoes. What we discovered? Not many shops stock Kickers. We also had to do a bit of a detour along the way to keep Miss L happy, so we had a couple of stops in Game (one visit, just wasn't enough for her), a sniff around Lush (oh how I love Lush, I could spend a whole day in there just smelling all the lovely soaps and bathbombs - although I imagine they may call security and perhaps the men in white coats if I tried) and a lot of coveting of things in Smiggle (oh my goodness, they have some amazing back to school stationery). Anyway, it was a nice distraction from the task in hand which was proving a whole lot more difficult than I had anticipated when I suggested the trip.
Long story short, we ended up back in Schuh, after walking round the upper level one and a half times and the lower level once. By this point, I have now had enough of people in general (to clarify, I like people, just not in shopping centres, it's the obligatory shopping dawdle I can't cope with) and I absolutely do not want to shoe shop again for another 365 days. so resolve to not leave until we have purchased said school shoes.
Miss D and I agree that we need to look at shoes other than Kickers. We get served by a super lovely and patient young lady. She kindly measured Miss D's feet and then went and found the shoes she liked (two pairs in a shop full of shoes, she only liked two pairs). Super lovely and patient young lady returns with shoes and kindly obliges when we decide we may need the next size up. She fits them and gets the fitting checked and yay after at least twenty minutes, we have shoes that Miss D likes and they fit! Happy days!
Now, when we left home she was adamant she wanted Kickers and they must be lace ups and not shiny. Tried them on and she looked like a pencil in a plant pot (her feet just looked too big and heavy for her long, petite frame). What did we leave with then? A very pretty feminine pair of Dr. Martens in patent leather with t-bar and buckle, the complete opposite of what she thought she wanted, but I'm happy, Miss D's happy and all we need now is a school skirt. Thankfully, I know already that one won't be a stressful shopping trip, thanks to a compulsory school skirt and a quick visit to the school uniform outfitters.