Walking into a Dolgellau cafe I recognised a neighbour from the Vale of Ffestiniog and joined him and his wife with my latte. There was plenty to chat about and eventually the conversation got around to the tale of him losing his shoes the previous day. Taking his granddaughter across the estuary near Portmeirion, at low tide, he had left his shoes, and she her little red wellies, at the high water mark. By the time they came back the water was too deep and the footwear marooned until the next day. But seeing as he was busy, they’d have to wait.
Unbeknown to any of us, about an hour later, the abandoned footwear was discovered by someone who, thinking the items and location a bit suspicious, raised the alarm. The police helicopter was flying and the coastguard were out. Even search and rescue dogs were called into action. All the while my neighbour, the grandfather, was going about his business oblivious to the chaos of his shoes.
Much later, after finishing my chores, I slumped in an armchair to catch the tail end of the 10 o’clock news and second item on Wales was the search for missing persons following the discovery of shoes on the shoreline near Talsarnau. A quick Google for the phone number and a few minutes later I was speaking to the much relieved but annoyed coastguard at Holyhead. I could only be 99.9% certain that the two stories were the same.
In true Cinderella style the police knocked on his door the following morning and the shoes were a perfect fit!
Huw29th September 2010