I am walking Nitro the Two Toned Cavoodle along Bondi Beach – our nightly ritual. We are returning to where I had left my sandals about twenty minutes earlier – at the bottom of the southern most ramp. They are not there. Bugger. Not again. A couple weeks earlier, on Christmas night, I returned to find only one where I had left two. After much searching, I gave up and walked up the ramp. There at the top was my missing sandal. But this time – both are missing. I search the sand. Nothing. The ramp. Nothing. Even the rubbish bins. Nothing. So I give up, rationalising that I’m due for a new pair anyway but not looking forward to walking home barefoot. As I’m washing the sand off my feet at the shower station, I see somebody walk up the ramp. In his hands are what look like a pair of sandals. Thinking it’s possible that these are his own, I look down at his feet. He is wearing sand shoes. I move in for a closer look. They are my sandals. I look up at the guy’s face for the first time. He has a scruffy grey beard and curly hair poking out from underneath a pink plastic bowler hat. He looks like a homeless derelict. For the first time I notice that he has a mate, also scruffy but much younger and considerably bigger. He is pulling a battered suit case up the ramp. I turn to the pink hatted one. “Excuse me, but I think you have my sandals.” He lifts them up. “These? I just found them.” He hands them over. But I’m still flabbergasted. “Yes – I left them there while I went for a walk on the beach. Lots of people do. But you just see them and pick them up for yourself?” By now he has gone over by the showers. He mutters, “If you know what’s good for you, you’ll just shut the fuck up.” Although I’m still pissed off, I decide to take his advice, especially now that his huge mate is checking me out. And what’s in the suitcase anyway? More sandals and other items of clothing they’ve just collected? Or maybe – body parts. Happy to have my sandals back, I quickly put them on as the odd pair shuffle off. Next beach walk – my footwear comes with me.