Big Friendly hates it when I buy cheap shoes. This last pair was the worst because they were fake Doc Martens and they only cost R129. I was flippen delighted. They had red and black tartan lining and four red eyelets at the top of the boot. They also had laces and zips. They were to be my overseas walking winter boots.

Everything started off well when I started wearing them in Cape Town and they were really comfortable, but then I went to summer in New York and they stayed at home. I started wearing them in freezing Canberra and they were great – warm, comfortable and fashionably retro-goth, going with all my black that I had packed.

And then came wet Melbourne and something happened when water got somewhere. The boots started smelling funny. And they got worse. I couldn’t understand where the smell of cat wee was coming from, pretty much wherever I went. By the end of week Melbourne I had established that my boots were a little stinky. A lot stinky. Cat wee stinky. I resolved to try and deal with it in Sydney. I tried. I sprayed, powdered and dusted. I left them in my cousin’s garage, with vanilla pods in them for a whole day. I aired them, wore them, smelled them from my feet when I was on the bus.

And finally last night I couldn’t take it any more. We had just been to the Celebrity Theatresports fundraiser at The Enmore Theatre and I had gotten whiffs of my boots throughout the show. I had first tried to hide my feet under the seat in front of me. It helped not one ounce. I covered them with my jacket. Nada. And when the damn boots ended up distracting me from the show I had a brain wave.

As we got into the car to go back to my cousin’s house I unzipped the boots like Speedy Gonzales. I left them standing on the very busy pavement of the trendy Sydney suburb like little stinky soldiers, and I slammed the car door shut, shouting, “drive, drive, drive!” We made our getaway in total hysterics, looking back to see the reactions of passing strangers.

Boots, I loved you while it lasted. Thanks, but no thanks to cat wee feet.