Flip-Flops

 

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This oil painting is one of my own. It represents many of the things I love. The sun and the sea..books…cherries …and my Flip-flops. I cannot imagine a summer without them. Flip-flops are truly my favourite foot attire.  Their simplicity is unmatched. I love the fact that they take their name from the sound they make when walking in them.

“Flip, flop,flip,flop…”

Onomatopoeic and jolly.  I love the fact that they are probably one of the oldest designs of footwear. Ancient Egyptians wore them. So did the Japanese. I love the fact that Flip-flops are worn by all . Age, gender, social restrictions are swept aside at that magnificient sound…

“Flip,flop,flip,flop”

I love them. I have done ever since I was a kid.  I remember it well. We all wore them back then. A simple foamy rubber flat sole with a  Y-shaped strap that went around the sides of our feet and  settled between our big toe and the adjacent toe.  They did not have a wide range of colours and designs back then.  We had the blue, red, green, yellow strapped ones with the inner sole  being a plain white.  They were inexpensive and available to all of us. Even grown ups wore them..May be not as much as they do now but still having a pair of flip-flops similar to your mum and dad and even better your grown up sibling(s) must have been wonderful for us. Probably was.

Wearing them as we ran, cycled, navigated ourselves on  crooked stones and hot sand was like an inner born trait. We knew what to do. The flexible nature of the flip-flop enabled us to maneuver. We were all hyperactive then. It was the late 60s, early seventies. The streets were safe. The parks  were full of laughter and shrieks of excitement from the  young  carefree occupants of the neighbourhood. We wore them everywhere. ..On the sandy beaches of the island…at picnics…at the  mountains…visiting relatives…at home. They were as durable as they could be under the circumstances. The long summer holidays meant that we could go through several pairs. Wearing mismatched ones was like a rebellion of the norm and made us laugh until we had tears in our eyes.

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It is a very hot day in Cyprus. As I write these lines I am barefoot resting my feet on the relatively cooler tiles. Next to my feet  one of my current well worn pair of flip-flops lies in wait.  The glossy pink straps match the pink flowers and the pink flamingos depicted on the turquoise coloured inner sole. They look fancier than those childhood ones I used to wear on the narrow streets of Limassol, on the sands of Lady’s Mile, at the vineyards of Evdimiou…

Life moves on..Times change. When I look at them I  cannot help but see a  much smaller, well worn, dusty, simpler pair of flip-flops…

The innocence  of that image overwhelms me….

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Life, Memoir

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