In the absence of sunshine, here we have shoeshine. I haven't had the need to shine shoes for a good long time, and I had rather forgotten all about it through my years of studenty throwaway canvas sandshoes, but recently I remembered.
There's something pleasing about polishing shoes, in the same way as there is with resoling them, or darning and mending, or even preserving fruit, which I'm sure sounds peculiar, but let me explain.
It's a very calm and time-worn and predictable thing, shoe polishing: you need some polish (probably the same old stuff your grandfather used in the 1940s) and two brushes (one to put the polish on, and another to work the polish in and remove the extra).
When I buy second-hand or vintage shoes I often feel quite altruistic, almost like I'm whisking them away from a certain fate in a sad old pile at a waste disposal site, and I think polishing shoes and feeding the old leather makes me feel that I'm rescuing them twice over. With new shoes (like those in the photographs, which are from Topshop) I feel like I'm putting off the old-shoe pile for them for as long as possible. It's a preservation thing I think – just like with summer fruit saved up for the winter.