Sunday, 7 May 2017

Rubber goods

Wellington boots.

Wellies.

Call 'em what you will, I've never been a fan of the Duke's eponymous footwear.


As a lad, I could never seem to hit upon the correct number of pairs of socks to allow for a comfortable fit. Too few, and my feet would rattle around in the boots and be cold; too many, and my feet would be so tightly packed in that they were also cold, which surely contravenes some basic law of thermodynamics. Not that I was ever particularly dynamic in a pair of wellies. Then there was the ever-present threat of sock slump. Urgh, is there any sensation in life to rival the dismal sinking feeling and sheer inconvenience of the heels of your socks edging their way relentlessly towards your toes.

The only time when there was any respite from such uncomfortableness would be if it snowed. This always turned Winter walks into the sensory equivalent of a podological white-out, as my feet would be in agony from the icy temperatures, before becoming so cold that I couldn't feel them at all. Returning home meant the bittersweet experience of sitting by the warmth of a coal fire, whilst the nerve endings in my toes grumbled vociferously at their careless treatment.

So, in adult life, whilst I've always possessed a pair of wellies, they have usually been confined to a dusty corner of the garage, fit only as overspill accommodation for itinerant spiders. Over the decades, I have been happy to use hiking boots for any all-terrain activity, be it climbing Schiehallion, hunting for dragonflies or looking after the vegetable plot.

But now, settled in Orkney, a subtle change is in the air. Like many affairs of our new life at 59 degrees North, gardening is on a slightly different scale such that, of late, I have found myself mowing the lawn with my feet clad in a pair of wellies. My strimming activities and habit of cutting without a grass box fitted to the mower, mean that one's trousers tend to suffer disproportionately, so a bit more leg protection courtesy of my wellington boots is welcome. To be fair, despite the flashback memories which my toes might have, I am unlikely to be out with the mower in a snowstorm.

That's right. When it snows, our garden looks as tidy as everyone else's.

8 comments:

Mark said...

I concurr with your line of thought, we've had pairs of Wellies ( gumboots to be precise, read any Lilian Beckwith for verification) kicking around in the shed for decades but now they have found their true vocation. Paddling in the sea! Well Highland beaches are too cold for me to go barefoot, trainers or hiking boots are no good, so Wellies are perfect. The Wellies are back!

Imperfect and Tense said...

Hmmm. This going in the sea malarkey? I'm wondering whether 2017 is the year when I finally go for a swim...

Spadger said...

Mr W I loved your opening gambit on the trials and tribulations of wearing wellingtons. Much sniggering.

However, be warned - NEVER, EVER, EVER! Refer to their colloquial name electronically, particularly via email. If informing a group of people attending a guided walk or similar activity, Outlook has the embarrassing habit of auto-correct without notifying you!

We've had female office co-coordinators informing training course attendees (mostly male) to make sure they bring them and also a press release went out describing the appendage!

Excellent schoolboy comedy value though, I hasten to add!

Sian Thomas said...

I'm with Mark - excellent for paddling in the sea. Interestingly I love my wellies, worn in all weathers when South or NOrth..... Green, always.

Imperfect and Tense said...

John, I've not used Outlook for three and half years. I quite miss its misanthropic ability to change 'further' to fuhrer' and 'Regards' to 'Retards'.

Imperfect and Tense said...

Sian, a-ha, a plan reveals itself from the ethereal mists. Sandside Bay! Possible location for my inaugural Orkney swim? Would you and your wellies consider being a life guard for the day?

Mark said...

Good morning Mr Tense, I'm sending you a blog of a walk I've just done with some of my friends Sons as there is a musical reference in it! Btw are I&T readers not due a music blog, perhaps something on 'the final cut,' just as a suggestion, or would that be filed under Rant I suspect? Have a grand day, Mark. Sorry link is markedale2.blogspot.co.uk

Imperfect and Tense said...

I seem to have lost my musical muse but, oddly, I did listen to some hip hop last night. I know!