My last attempt to get a pair of shoe laces were met with some difficulties. It was, therefore, a source of distress to find that both of them broke, one after the other, in the same shoe, in a little more than a week; Timpson’s have fallen of my Christmas card list as a result. So I then tried a second set. Four shoe shops before I finally found a set. These have now broken also.

So, today, I went out again. Schuh had only one pair for boots (thick as a phone cable, long enough to garotte an elephant) and one pair for formal wear (2 individual strands of polyester, topped with a bit of plastic). Clarks had only brown laces. The guy in John Lewis’ shoe department said "well, I’d expect them to be around here". An older and wiser member of staff directed me downstairs, where a third pointed out the laces — "on the right, in the last fixture, just after the ironing boards".

I am now a proud owner of two pairs of black shoe laces, cost £1.20. Apparently, the manufacturers have been "in shoe care since 1911". I will report back; if this pair fails, I have decided, despite being a veggie, to go onto the town moor, slaughter one of the cattle and tan it’s hide, from which I will fashion leather laces. I’ve now spent five quid on shoes laces for one shoe which is pretty old anyway. I realise this is taking the disposable society a little far, but perhaps they sell shoes for less than this.

Originally published on my old blog site.