I am not a skillful bargain hunter. In fact, I have a useless, if not detrimental talent for looking at a group of fairly similar objects and picking the most expensive one as my favourite. I call it "a great appreciation for the finer things in life." My dad calls it "being a slave to material possessions." In Barcelona, my talent was tested when the Husband and I wandered by the window of a beautiful shop called Lotusse. Even through the glare of the afternoon sun on the window, I could spot the buttery soft leather that only graces the dearest of shoes, and I knew I shouldn't go in. It had been a very extravagant day of shopping (and a few moments of concern that my suitcase would be overweight), and I'd just vowed not to buy any more stuff. But then the shoes sang their siren song; I was rendered helpless. Here are the enchanting, wee Spanish brogues:
Lotusse has gorgeous shoes, handmade in Spain, and I wish they had an online store, or even just a website, so I could fall in love with more of their shoes and give them more of my money.
The careful hand stitching and lovely craftsmanship makes me imagine an old Spanish shoemaker with a round belly, bent over a long wooden bench in a little village workshop. Most of the day he perches on a stool, working smooth, perfect leather around lasts. Maybe he has a small team of elves to assist, and he passes the shoes off to them to do all the delicate stitching. At lunchtime, when it's too hot to work, they retire to the cool kitchen of the main house, where the the shoemaker's wife has laid out a merienda of crusty bread, a rainbow of olives, mild sheep's milk cheese, a few links of sausage and a hearty red wine. After lunch, they go for siesta, each finding a solitary spot in in the house, and there they nap until the day cools down and it's time to resume the shoemaking.
Elves and a round-bellied old Spanish man. Those are definitely the people who made my shoes.
Alas, I can't claim credit for these very clever photos. They're the handiwork of my lovely friend Xanthe, who is eternally in my good book for helping me organise my apartment last month and more recently, for showing me that the zoom on my camera is not the same thing as the focus. Go figure.