Domino went on a sleepover to Ruby’s house. She packed her bag with sensible stuff like a toothbrush and toothpaste, PJ’s, bunny, a clean set of clothes and……. her great-grandmother’s red high-heeled shoes.
When I told my mother she reminded me that before the war my grandmother, Edwina Mountbatten, had always bought her shoes in Paris – one pair in every color, because you never knew when you might want that color – they were hand-made by a little man called Monsieur Tetreau in a tiny cobbler’s workroom.
After the war my grandmother returned to Paris to stay at the Embassy, long before any other English visitors returned, with an unusual spare hour she decided to see if Monsieur Tetreau and his cobbler’s shop had survived more than five years of German occupation.
The cobbler and his workroom were indeed still there, and as my grandmother walked in Monsieur Tetreau looked up and said, “Alors, Lady Mountbatten, your shoes are ready,” taking up from exactly where they had left off before that horrible interruption.
I could only imagine where these shoes had been as my grandmother emerged from London society to devoting her energy and intelligence to the service of others, and of course as Vicereine of India.
Now these shoes were on a sleepover at Ruby’s, in the little wooden house by the bay.
To see my grandmother wearing these shoes and others like them have a look at my Pinterest board.