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My feet are strong and straight and made for walking and dancing, especially on moonlit beaches and in other wild places.

The yellow bicycle has a puncture and I have plantar fasciitis of my left foot.

Between the two of us we are a pair of ‘crocs’.

I have never really considered my feet. Never paid them too much attention other than keeping my toenails trimmed and sometimes even painted.

A good dollop of moisturizer rubbed on them after my shower and I could dance the night away and walk or cycle home afterwards.

I have only occasionally worn high heels and often walk barefoot.

I shop for my shoes in the natural shoe shop and buy my lovely coloured sandals in the birkenstock shop on wicklow street.

My preference always ran to simple natural shaped flat shoes.

‘Who left these bloody great canal barges on the step’ my dad used to roar if ever he tripped over my shoes (I was not the most tidy of people) which I felt was an unfair description because though my feet were strong and large, they were also beautiful and straight, no bent toes, no callouses, no hallux valgus. Certainly not the feet you would associate with canal barges.

But my dad had a way of labelling people and things unfairly and although I’m sure he never intended it, those labels stuck for the rest of our days.

‘Don’t let stephanie pour my tea, she’ll scald me. Don’t let her touch the radio, record player, she’ll break it! Let Imelda do that, she’s good and practical! Dont give Mark the keys of your car he’ll wreck it. Let stephanie mind the little ones she’s good at that. Give that to angela she will make a better job of it. etc etc.

Maybe he was right, but I think his labelling of me as the awkward one made me only more so and to this day I never show impatience when it comes to breakages and spillages either with my own children or with my grandchildren.

But let me impart one more shoely fact:

When we were little (because there was so many of us) as our feet grew too big for our shoes, my mother would cut the toes out to form a sandal effect and then as our ever growing feet made their way over the edge of the sole, these shoes were passed along from child to child as the shoe fitted.

The result being that not only did some of us rarely get new shoes but we rarely got shoes with toes in them.

We were the epitome of recycling long before it was cool to be so.

But I will stand corrected on this fact as childhood memories can be filled with self pity and drama…

And with my father being an architect, we were not poor, so it maybe unfair of me to suggest we were.

But back to my plantar fasciitis.

A few months ago I had developed the same problem in my right foot.

My right foot/leg and I have a little thing going on, a team effort thing, a sort of non spoken agreement (it being my leg of much love and respect due to the fact it literally saved my life) that it will let me know by pain or ache or lump or bump that something is amiss and I will in turn act swiftly.

You see we are both aware that those ‘feckin’ cancer cells maybe lurking mischievously and will need to be dealt with with speed and without mercy.

So I went for an xray…

Which thankfully showed nothing sinister! just a small heel spur causing my PF, inflaming the ligaments..

So I did the exercises: the ball rolling. the tendon and ligament stretching, the toe/towel grappling, and one day I realized it was magically gone.

I patted my leg gratefully and thanked it for its hard work and apologised to it once again for what I had put it through. The necessary extensive groin dissection where all thirteen lymph nodes were yanked out and thrown away (thankfully only one was positive but its not easy or even possible yet to put back the innocent ones) and I was left with a leg who’s natural defences were at a minimum.

Yes, my Right leg has had a tough few years and needs encouragement and love and care and attention and I will do my bit and listen to it, and rest it when its tired and try to protect it from scratches and cuts which isn’t easy as I love to tramp or cycle along rough terrain and explore hills and rivers and forests.

I always carry a bottle of savlon to dab on its cuts and bruises because having no lymph nodes means its more open to infection

Since my leg dilemma and despite all my cycling, to the shops, to visit family, to work, to the cinema, to the pub, I never take for walking for granted.

That simple art of putting one foot in front of the other, pushing off alternatively(or together if you want to jump along) and propelling ones self along continues to amaze me.

Feet are an intriguing feat(pardon the pun) of engineering.

All those bones engaging with each other, twenty six of them when last counted and thats just one foot, connecting with each other and moving smoothly.

One of my favourite foot things to do is to go barefoot walking in stony places.

My favourite being the Burren.

 

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That land of smooth undulating limestone slabs especially when warmed by the sun just lends itself to such pleasures.

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I have written a post about this already (see below)

https://thewomanontheyellowbicycle.wordpress.com/2014/01/30/barefoot-in-the-burren/

Today I am still wearing my Birkenstock sandals, even though it is november, and I plan to carry on wearing them for as long as I can, hopefully into december, maybe even into the new year.

My feet are STRONG and like my right foot I expect the plantar fasciitis in my left foot will disappear soon and just as magically.

I am not so sure about the puncture of the yellow bike:(

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