The holiday season is moving upon us again, like a fat black lady easing into a booth at Denny's.
You will no doubt understand when I tell you that as a quasi-stray I find it is an occasion to be endured rather than enjoyed. Time to consider alternative methods of distraction. More on those later.
So in an effort to smother unpleasant memories my thoughts often turn at this time of year to Jesuit boarding school days and Christmas Mass. The sublime ritual! Preceded by mandatory confession: awkward, embarrassing, rejuvenating, life-giving.
Why do I bring up confession? Well, as you are probably aware, I am not in the business of receiving confessions--except from exceptionally naughty women. (Please take note and contact me at once if you qualify). But I am in the market of giving them and that is what I want to do now.
Do you recall? A few years ago, in the grip of Barker Black fever, I asked the readers of this column to pray for me. But it was of no use: I succumbed anyway.
I can disclose now in this exclusive report that in recent weeks I have acquired several pair of Barker Black shoes, including four pair of the quintessential Barker Black model known as the Archdale, pictured in the photographic image (above). I own the Archdale brogue proper in two colours, chestnut and chocolate, and two copies of the Archdale brogued loafer in a burnished almond tone.
The Archdale appeals to me. The brogueing on these shoes is particularly strong and assertive, as you can see, which complements my senatorial, diplomatic demeanour. At the same time, the soft chisel-toed curves speak to me in the manner of a beautiful young Italian woman wanting to embrace and kiss behind the Palazzo Mocenigo.
As you will discover, I do not take on sartorial projects in a half-arsed manner and my fondness for Barker Black brogues is no exception.