Sew, sew easy

Unfortunately, my unbridled enthusiasm was dampened somewhat by the sudden realisation that I'd now have to thread a needle

Peter Edgerton

It's highly likely that my eyes were swivelling on their own axes by the time the salesman had finished his patter but I was still no nearer to being able to make a decision as to which training shoes to buy. It's a minefield. Defeated, I thanked the poor chap for his time and headed home, my head still awash with the relative merits of innumerable materials and synthetic fibres I'd never heard of before and would be quite delighted to never hear of again.

Worse still, the principal problem remained - there was a gaping hole in the left toe of my trainers and I needed a solution sharpish.

That's when Father Mackenzie came to my mind. According to the McCartney classic Eleanor Rigby, the old priest resorted to "darning his socks in the night when there's nobody there...". This was surely the solution - to sew up the offending fabric and then chuck the trainers in the washing machine as you're always told not to, for the good of the shoes and, indeed, the washing machine. No matter, Bob would most definitely soon be my uncle. This all called for a quick visit to the local Chinese shop where everything, from a bag of crisps to the latest Lamborghini costs one euro and soon I was eagerly clutching my brand new sewing kit, legging it back home to crack on with the job.

Unfortunately, my unbridled enthusiasm was dampened somewhat by the sudden realisation that I'd now have to thread a needle, something I'd not done since about 1876, with what were considerably younger eyes.

Still, undaunted, I bit the bullet and sucked on the end of the thread - if that's physically possible - squinted incredulously at what was surely the smallest eye of a needle in the whole of Andalucía, simultaneously prodding the cotton tentatively forth. Missed. And again.

Then, miraculously, at the third attempt, the needle was successfully threaded and I danced a little jig of delight, largely to celebrate still not needing to wear glasses at the age of Methuselah.

The sewing bit was easy - I don't know what my grandma was complaining about for all those years - as was the washing machine business, and the upshot of the whole affair is that I'm currently sporting what appears to be a brand, spanking new pair of training shoes at a cost of precisely one euro - eighty-six less than the ones in the shop.

Even better, there are two more pairs of trainers with a similar hole in them - I suspect my ungainly gait is the cause - that I've been keeping in a box for emergencies.

Now then, where's that needle?