Last night I was looking at my shoes, which are less than 10 months old, and noticed that the sole on both of them was split. My trainers, which are 7 months old, are coming apart on the top where the eyelet holes are. 10 months ago, to my delight, I found a shop that sells shoes made in England – as opposed to Thailand, China etc. I’m a big believer in supporting British made goods where I can, but is this the price for buying British, shoes that only last 10 months? They weren’t cheap, not in my opinion anyway and at £69 for a pair of shoes, am I asking too much to expect them to last at least a year? I know I have a dog, but I feel that I don’t walk THAT much!

Many years ago I used to buy Ecco shoes that were made in Portugal, and they lasted years. Now though they’re made in Thailand and the quality just isn’t there. They now feel cheap yet the price hasn’t come down for the consumer.

I often envy men the choice of shoes that they have and wouldn’t balk at wearing men’s shoes if I could get them small enough. I don’t wear ‘girly’ shoes. I like a comfortable yet smart shoe with very little heel. I’ll pay for quality, yet feel very disgruntled when shoes don’t last. Do any of you, particularly those in the UK, know a good brand to recommend?

On the subject of value for money I read today, with some disgust, that the VC of Sheffield University has accepted a pay rise of £105,000. That’s not his annual salary, that’s a pay rise! His salary ‘rose to £374,000 last year, up from £269,000 in 2011 12, an increase of 39 per cent.’ (Taken from the Times Higher Education.) How they can justify this kind of pay rise when rank and file staff are only being allowed 1% is quite beyond me. This same university are not even paying lower grade staff a ‘liveable’ wage. But hey, we’re not called Rip Off Britain for nothing!

I recently took my son to an Open Evening at a local college. We had a good look around, and I told him I’d let him look around on his own and ask questions on his own. He agreed. Come the evening though, he stuck to me like glue and wouldn’t talk to one of the lecturers, he made me do it. It’s a good course that he’s interested in, but I seriously wonder if he’s too shy to cope with it all. On the other hand, college may be just what he needs to help him overcome his shyness. Time will tell.

Locally we’ve had yet more rain. We’ve had just one day of sunshine in ages and it gets me down. I know it’s winter, but does it have to rain so much? Even snow would be better than this miserable rain, though rest assured I’d complain about the snow too! Lol