I is useless.
‘Tell us something we don’t know’, you chorus.
The archives of this blog are awash with examples of my general ineptitude when it comes to anything practical, chronicling my various struggles with duvet covers, flat-pack furniture and many of the other benefits of modern civilisation.
However, this week I may have hit a new low. Let me explain.
In an earlier post I have shared my appreciation of Doctor Martens footwear. Currently, I am the proud owner of three pairs of their products: one for everyday wear, a black leather pair for dressing-up days and a rather sturdier pair that are reserved for outdoor activities.
This third pair came with a small pot of what the manufacturers are pleased to call ‘Wonder Balsam’ – ‘a special blend of natural waxes that restores, protects and conditions most leathers’. This is to be applied with a sponge, which is helpfully supplied inside the pot. Since I bought this third pair about eighteen months ago, I have applied this glorified polish on several occasions, both to the outdoor and the everyday shoes. It always seemed to make a difference: the footwear came up cleaner and shinier, and all was well with the world.
The only slight concern I had was that the wax seemed to be very hard. Indeed, after a year and a half, I didn’t seem to have made any impression on it; the surface was still as smooth as the first time.
Or so I thought.
Earlier this week, after a rather soggy, muddy afternoon at a display of regional apple varieties (I am not making this up), I decided that my everyday pair could do with with tarting up a bit. Accordingly, I got out the Wonder Balsam and set to. This proved to be the tipping point for my mounting suspicions about the product’s extreme durability.
I pushed my finger gently into the pot: the Balsam would not yield. I tapped it: no impression. I ran my finger round the inside of the pot. In so doing, I unscrewed the plastic cover which is the repository for the sponge, uncovering the actual Balsam which lay, untouched, beneath.
So, it would seem that since the middle of last year I have been blithely cleaning my shoes with a dry sponge – and being quite happy with the results.
Mind you, they look really good now.