Tuesday, 15 June 2010


During the weekend, we had one really strong gust of wind that lifted a few of the tents on the place slightly off the ground. Now an A-frame tent is not so very light, so it does take a strong wind to set it flying, and usually  our tents are securely anchored to the ground in addition to their structural weight. However, in Hanau, the tents we had were not fastened to the ground properly.

Why? Because the little town square where we had set up is paved with cobblestones - but the spaces between the stones are sealed with concrete. And that means most of our normal tent constructions, relying on pegs to keep the structure up, will not stand or stand badly there. Just like we had done last year, we wondered again why anybody would want to seal cobblestone paving like that, and like last year there was a lot of adjustment and make-it-work-somehow and shifting the places to set up tents because things would not work out as planned, and accordingly lots of swearwords. But this year, a nice lady that was born in Hanau told me why exactly we had all those problems: because of fashion.

In the 1950s and 60s, modern shoes for ladies featured stiletto heels. And on that cobblestone pavement of the town square, necessarily also crossed by fashionable ladies, that led to broken-off heels galore - because the heels, not fatter than the tent pegs or thick nails that we would have loved to use, would fit into the gaps between the stones. And if you wedge a stiletto heel into pavement well and tight, it will most probably break off.

The solution? Seal the gaps with concrete. Problem solved. Fashion influences even city architecture.


Harma said...

They should have placed the heel differently. Like this:
No problems with these.

a stitch in time said...

Ha, yes! Or declared it fashionable to nail some boards under the shoes.

Well, here's hoping that a different solution for next time will come up - maybe somewhere with grassy spaces where putting in pegs is no problem anymore...

Stitching Bevy said...

I miss the brick and cobblestone streets of old downtowns. They would drain better and repairs were super easy- just pull up the offending stone and replace! Now with cement, it defeats the purpose.

a stitch in time said...

Yes, brick and cobblestone are not the worst pavement... unless you wear stiletto heels, probably.

Who came up with the idea that really thin high heels would be Da Thing, anyways? I mean I can understand welt-sewn shoes and firm soles, and I can understand adding a small heel; I can even understand that some folks might find higher heels a good idea, but stiletto heels? Beats me.