As my old shoes, made in january 2004, have been stepping closer to death each event, I have often thought of making myself new ones, in thicker leather, in a different model and with more correct techniques. But I think a lot, and do a whole lot less. No new shoes have been made – I have rather turned them inside out and fixed the as good as I could. But on our last event in Seeth-Ekholt it was finally time to let them go to their final rest. I ripped the leather off the soles (its not the soles that are falling apart – I’ll re-use them some other place), and buried them peacefully in a hole we dug in the ground (not for the shoes, though, but for our kitchen waste). There they await the archaeologists of the future, who will have a real hard time telling 21st century from 14th 🙂
So I really, really need new shoes. I bought the leather some time ago, but I really haven’t got around to it. You know how it is. The problem is, that Albrechts Bössor, our company, is arranging what we call En djävul i skogen, translated ”A Devil in the forest” – for short we will call it Djävulen (The Devil) henceforth. Djävulen was originally put together to test out ourselves and our equipment. It consists of one or two days march through the forests, carrying every single piece of equipment the company would need on campaign – including armour, pavise shields, weapons, cooking equipment, tents – the lot. We use a couple of sumpter horses to carry the bulkiest stuff, but otherwise, we carry our shit ourselves. And we walk. And walk. And walk. Then you’ll need a sturdy pair of boots, and as Djävulen is coming up in less than a month I thought I might have to fix me that pair of shoes.
So that’s what I am doing at the moment. The shoes are based on a London find, with details lent from similar Swedish examples. I turned the first of them yesterday night, with the help of a hammer, a broom stick, coarse language and my wife. What remains is making lace holes – no big deal. I am really, really happy with the first one – it might be one of the best things I ever made (apart from the leather just being a tiny bit too small at the instep – it leaves a small hole just above the sole – excellent for letting in water, snow and muck. Yes, I have already cut the other leather – exactly like this one. I guess I’ll just have to put a patch there). They fit better than I thought, but in spite of them being a bit small at the instep at the level of the sole, they are a bit too big farther up the shaft. I know what changes I will make when I cut my next pair, if I ever get around to it. I will post pics as soon as I get back from work, and I’ll post comments on the making of the next one, so you in your turn can comment on all the mistakes I make.