As the socks and sandals season draws to a close, I wish to announce the retirement of my favourite footwear of several years passing.
My sandals always put practicality ahead of vanity, comfort ahead of fashion.
We walked in each other's footsteps for five seasons, the many hundreds of miles that we shared during that sojourn of pounding lanes and rambling fields, finally taking its toll as uppers split and buckles ceased to function on Monday's journey home.
They will remain in occasional service around the house, fulfilling the role of an easy, comfy slip-on, a characteristic of every middle-aged man's dream footwear, but will in the main, be put out to grass.
It will take some big boots to fill the void. To this end, I have already employed some sturdy and quite unstylish Dr Marten Boots, which will continue in service until the start of the next socks and sandals season early in the Spring.
Although a little saddened by their passing, my relacement footwear will open up a new world of adventure, boots rush in where sandals fear to tread.
Henceforth, as I walk through the valley of mud, I shall fear no puddles.
Here, documented for posterity, is a short film of one of the last journeys my sandals made.
May their soles rest in peace - in my shoe rack.