I don’t tend to make many purchases, what with being funemployed and all, but with talk of a small book royalty cheque in the air, I decided I deserved an ‘I published a book and a few people (suckers) bought it’ present. I love receiving gifts from me. I’m always so impressed with how kind I am, plus I always seem to get exactly what I want.

This particular cadeau was inspired by two things. One: the women of Europe. God love them, each and every one. What I’ve learned from over two years of watching them is how they refuse to let their age define anything about them, particularly how they dress. Sure, when I see a gal in her 70’s sporting red leather pants, obvious breast implants and waist-length blonde hair extensions (true story), I admit something has gone amiss.

But in general, the European/Swiss ladies of my generation (and beyond) rock styles that would look perhaps a little unusual in Canada. Somehow they make what might considered the exclusive domain of the under 30 set work, and I mean really work. I have to say it’s made an impression on me.

Now I’m clueless when it comes to fashion, so several times I’ve asked saleswomen in boutiques if a particular item is “too young” for me. Honestly, they look at me as if I’ve suddenly gone insane, the same look I get from Neil whenever I stop talking for more than 3 minutes straight. The concept is completely foreign to them.

The second point of inspiration: clearly boots are all the rage chez nous. My neighbour continues with her parade of heels, although at least she now waits until exactly 7 a.m. to put them on, as required by Swiss noise law. From then on it’s Riverdance up there. So, if you can’t beat ’em…

Note the oh-so-practical non-slip rubber sole for those prone to crashing to the ground like a saw-severed sequoia (me), and adjustable straps for those blessed with bandy chicken legs (me). Sensible, yet edgy, with just a whiff of the ‘kickin’ arse and takin’ names’ aesthetic I am seeking at this stage of my life.

Of course, they don’t make me any younger, and here’s the good news: I don’t want to be. The comfort in my skin that comes with grey hair far outweighs the buoyancy of body parts connected to my younger self. My middle-aged sisters of chic are trying to tell me something, and I’m listening: time is on my side.

ps Clearly, too much time on my side—enough to drag a poor man out into the cold to take pictures of my feet. Merci to Neil for the photo. Yes, yes, he’s a saint, blah, blah blah.