Age is just a number but when it comes to footwear, that number is really important! We enjoyed reading Sue Andrew’s latest post and feel sure you will too..
Where have all the wellies gone? Does this remind you of a sixties’ song? Not quite so poignant, but still an important question. My left boot has leaked since the beginning of January, but I can’t find any new wellies anywhere.
Dressing to go to the farm has become quite testing. Holding onto the radiator in the hall while I organise my left foot into a supermarket plastic carrier bag then into my slightly damp wellie, puts a lot of pressure on my right knee. This is the knee awaiting a replacement. Either my knee gives way or the carrier bag needs re-organising inside the boot. This often happens when I’ve just checked the cameras in the lambing shed, seen a ewe with problems and need to reach her quickly.
I popped into our local agricultural merchants, masked and social distancing, and was amazed to see so little on the Wellington boot shelf. Not to be put off, I felt sure I’d find something suitable, if not my first choice of boot. Not in size 7. In fact, unless I was looking for size 3 or 12, they had nothing. I asked when they would have more in, but the member of staff I asked looked vacant, saying she really didn’t know. I hate to say it, but the staff of this establishment rarely seem to know anything. I did mention that the winter months are when farmers generally want to keep their feet dry, so perhaps there was a call for them.
But where have they all gone? Has Covid made everyone so keen to walk along wet and muddy paths that they are buying up all the wellies? Perhaps it’s a bit like loo rolls and flour. Probably few have encountered a serious type of farmer’s wellington boot before, strong, relatively heavy with a rugged sole. I imagine most would want the fashionable pink version emblazoned with Labradors or pheasants. I wouldn’t mind these myself as long as they were the right size with some sort of grip on the sole, but most would see me dancing to Bolero on a slippery farm yard, be it icy or simply covered in mud.
If the local agricultural store doesn’t have any, then surely I can buy some online. Amazon must have some; they have everything. I got quite excited seeing the range I could choose from, berating myself for not using this option before, until I again discovered all those shown were only available in sizes 3 and 12. Whatever has happened to sizes 4 to 11? I was even prepared to treat myself to something more expensive than usual. Aigle, I was told on social media, were the best. They were the most comfortable I was reliably informed. Not in size 3 they wouldn’t be.
Are they all made in China? That’s where all the cheap dog beds come from. I’d taken the collie puppy to the vets for her vaccinations, deciding that while there I’d buy the old sheepdog two new beds, so they can be changed when one gets wet. I could then pass the old ones that I’ve managed to make go lumpy on a hot wash, to the younger sheepdog. Like the puppy, she thinks it far more fun to destroy a bed rather than sleep in it, so no new one for her. No second-hand one either, so with none in stock it looks like Jilly will still be utilising the lumpy ones.
One last search for the elusive boots. I spy some on Ebay. The expensive Aigle, but who cares about the expense now. Sadly, these are a private sale of size 6 which, with winter socks, I can’t get my foot in, but certainly a better shout than 3 or 12.
No worries. It will soon be summer and the Wellington boot shelves will be stacked again.
You can read our review of Sue’s wonderful book – “If Clouds Were Sheep” – here