Just when you think Richard Dawkins has got it all sewn up, life has a habit of throwing you a curve ball and providing you with irrefutable evidence of God's existence. In the past twenty-four hours, two things have occurred which make it impossible for me to deny the existence of a higher power.
The first is that Lisa's started eating cat biscuits. No, really. Whilst filling up Chloe's bowl yesterday, I inadvertently spilt a nugget of pure feline goodness onto the kitchen work surface, before leaving for work in a hurry. Lisa then came along, saw it there, and mistook it for a piece of Lotus biscuit. It was only as she crunched into it and got a strong taste of gizzard that she realised something was up.
It goes without saying that if we'd been evolving as a species for millions of years, we'd have reached the point by now where we could tell the difference between caramel cookies and chicken cat treats, so the fact that Lisa even exists is a good argument for creationism. Only a supreme being could have dreamt her up. She's generally an accident waiting to happen, and if left to natural selection, she'd be extinct by now.
Only the other day, she burnt a couple of croissants beyond all recognition, which resulted in her standing in the kitchen, bemoaning the fact that things couldn't possibly get any worse. At which point she fell over Toby. He was heading for the oven at the time. Possibly to stick his head into it.
But if that's not enough divine proof for you, then consider the words of Corrie ten Boom, who wrote that "If God sends us on stony paths, he provides strong shoes". Personally my life's more of a rocky road than a stony path, and I'd much rather go by car. But the analogy still applies. The plantar fasciitis which has been getting under my feet for the past three years has eased considerably since Christmas, and is now at the point where it hardly bothers me at all. I'm not putting that down to divine healing though, as the doctor said it should be gone within twelve months, so thirty-six is pushing it a bit. Frankly God's a bit slow.
For the past two and a half years though, I've been wearing MBT shoes, which provide all the comfort of walking barefoot cross the African plains, for the approximate price of a plane ticket to Nairobi. They cost upwards of a hundred pounds a pair, and closer to two hundred for some styles, and I've managed to hobble my way through two lots of shoes and one pair of trainers over the past couple of years. They've all been second-hand, and the last pair came from eBay for forty-eight quid.
Unfortunately, having worn them day in, day out, for the past year, they're in urgent need of replacement. As are my MBT trainers, which are now so tatty, I look like a tramp from the knee down. I've been looking out for a decent second-hand pair for the past couple of months, and have bid on a few on eBay, but always without success. I can't go beyond fifty quid without visiting Wonga.com first. I've trawled a lot of charity shops, but MBTs are generally too pricey to be donated, so the chances of not only finding them, but finding them in my size, and in reasonable condition, are remote to non-existent.
At least I thought so. At the weekend I told Lisa that I was giving up, accepting that I can't afford any more MBT shoes, and would be buying some cheaper footwear. Whilst crossing my fingers that my plantar fasciitis wouldn't return. I was planning to go out at the weekend to scour the local shoe shops for something cheap and cheerful, but I was working in Crawley today, so at lunchtime I thought I'd pop to the nearest charity shops on the offchance. The first one I visited was 'Save the Children'. Where I found a pair of these...
... and a pair of these...
... in good condition, and in my exact size. Which, if you want to buy me socks for Christmas, is 9½.
They'd go for about sixty quid each on eBay. I got them for £5 and £4 respectively. Never mind 'Save the Children', they've saved me an absolute fortune.
Praise the Lord.