I always suspected that given the chance my second toe would betray me. You see, it is longer than my big toe and as teenager that represented a major deformity which stopped me wearing sandals. These days I don’t mind it so much, it’s a very visible reminder of my late dad – he gave me that toe along with a love of crime fiction and Turkish Delight, but the damage was done.
The toe has been looking for payback for all those years that it was hated and unloved and finally it found it in the shape Jane Sheehan, who describes herself as the UK’s leading foot reader.
Sheehan, who pops up on the likes of Strictly’s It Takes Two and This Morning, claims to not only be able to read your personality through the soles of your feet, but to use what they say to help you improve your life.
“Most tips of toes are on an even diagonal line which means you are fairly methodical in your approach to life and you also have strong leadership skills,” she says, having studied photographs of my feet. “You lead by example. However, because the second toe is over the line it means that if you’re not in a leadership role then you will become bossy.”
Bossy. My own toe said that. As I said, it has an inferiority complex, but my feet as a whole were, according to Jane, who is runing a workshop in Harrogate this weekend, even more revealing.
“The first thing that strikes me when I look at your feet is that you were born to live a narrow-footed lifestyle, but have instead been living a wide-footed lifestyle. By that I mean you were born to have a love of aesthetics with an emphasis on stopping to appreciate the beauty and to allow yourself to be pampered.
“Instead, you’ve been having to live a very hard-working life, always on the go, not sitting still, having to be doing something all the time. You don’t much get the chance to stop and appreciate, nor to be pampered.”
Oh she is so right. I have known for some time that I was born for another life and it turns out my feet knew it too. Jane says it’s to do with the shape and angle of my feet, but I think the chipped nail varnish may have also given her a clue that I haven’t spent much time recently admiring beauty. And there’s more.
“The big toe is wide at the pad but narrow at the neck,” she says. “On two of your toes your nail is not wide enough. Emotionally you are sensitive. You don’t just hear what’s said, you hear what’s not said. You listen behind the lines. You pick up more than people want you to. It’s a blessing and a curse! You think a lot but you don’t say everything you are thinking. Your short little toe means you have a great sense of fun, a joie de vivre, an appreciation of the simple things in life.”
My husband thinks that might refer to him. He could be right.
“Yout second and third toes are very slightly webbed,” says Jane breezily pointing out a defect I have been blissfully unaware of but now can’t help looking at. All the time. “That indicates that you are motivated by how you feel. If you don’t feel like doing something, hell and high water won’t make you do it because you are motivated by how you feel. If you do feel like doing it, you’ll move mountains, we just don’t know what day it’s going to be. When you go on holiday, you’ll have the biggest suitcase because you’ll pack according to how you feel when you get up, rather than how many days you are going for.”
It’s pretty accurate, but then how many other people would recognise themselves in the exact same description? A lot I reckon. But then Jane has saved the best until last.
“A shelf has been created on the outside edge of your foot which suggests you’ve been thinking for rather a long time now about your plans for the future. You know you want to make big changes and when you do it will impact your working life.”
She’s not a million miles away from the truth, and my feet have one last thing they want to say.
“Finally, can you see that hard skin on the heel area?” I can, but it doesn’t stop me being embarrassed that a stranger has pointed it out. “You are feeling insecure about your plans for the future. It seems to be stemming from a lack of self-belief. You need to start seriously addressing those plans, and try to carve out more time to stop and appreciate your surroundings.”
So there it is. I’m not sure I’m convinced of the science or whether I’d risk it all on one reading. But maybe, just maybe it is time to put best foot forward – including that second toe – and take a brave next step