New soles can’t take the old soul out of your shoe

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

Fans of classic comedy need no introduction to the Only Fools and Horses sketch – the one where Trigger boasts among the staying power of his broom.

Trig proudly tells Sid the café owner that he’s had his road sweeper’s broom for 20 years – but then he adds that the broom has had 17 new heads and 14 new handles.

“How can it be the same bloody broom then?” asks Sid the café owner. Trigger produces a picture of him and his broom and asks: “what more proof do you need?”

I know how he feels because I own the trousers equivalent; a pair of Levis that now has more patches than it has original material. But they are still going strong thanks to the invisible mending skills of Gina in Galway Sewing Services, up near our offices in Liosban.

The back pockets would otherwise be long gone and there’d be a gap in what we might call the gusset that would have exposed the wearer to the elements and the public to sights nobody should ever have to see.

At this stage, after four repairs, the reinforcements have cost more than half the price of the original purchase but they’re worth every penny – because the jeans fit, and good Levis aren’t cheap to find in the first place.

I also own a pair of black shoes which admittedly are only worn at weddings and the odd graduation day – in other words on those rare days when a suit is required. Fortunately, so far, they haven’t had to be worn in court.

I actually wore them for my own wedding nearly 27 years ago – and they weren’t even new then. So they’re well over 30 years old and still functioning.

The thing is though, like the jeans and Trigger’s broom, they’re not quite the original; the soles are new and less comfortable than their predecessors and we’re probably onto the fourth pair of laces by now.

But even if the sole is new, the soul is old – and that’s good enough for me.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune:

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