Monday, 6 December 2010

Wellies and slippers

At this time of year, living in the country, my feet are either in wellies or slippers. I am fully aware that some people rarely wear either, which I find hard to comprehend; they must only walk on clean pavements and have very warm houses.

My slippers are especially stupendous being the pink ‘Bo’ pair from They were last year’s Christmas present from my beloved and have survived the washing machine twice. What makes them especially useful is that because they have rubber soles, I can wear them on the vegetable patch when I need to dash out to pull a leek or do a spot of driving and dropping off of teenage daughter.

I realise that neither of these items of footwear are remotely cool or sophisticated, although my eldest daughter has a photo of Kate Moss, at Glastonbury, looking both in her wellies (she was looking particularly naffed-off with my daughter incidentally), but I am psychologically and emotionally attached to both pairs. Wearing them is quite ‘self nuturing’. Wellies enable me to go anywhere (along the coastpath, through snow drifts, muddy fields and streams) and slippers mean once they are on my feet I am truly home. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact I have been wearing wellies and slippers since toddlerhood (woolly tights and cardigans have a similar effect on me). Wilf is delighted by both pairs; wellies mean walks and slippers either smell wonderful or he just enjoys seeing my searching for the one he has stolen.

When I used to read the News for Bath FM, I often had to do a Saturday shift on my own (well with the DJ too). Slippers on my feet meant that the 6am bulletin was slightly more bearable and I could almost convince myself that it was a day off.  Similarly, the fact I always had wellies in the boot of my car meant I was able to clamber across field gates and get to the scene of a farm fire and interview the fire-officers way before the BBC got there!

 I am fully aware that women all over the British Isles love shoes; they collect them. They all look impossible to walk in and desperately painful but I am in awe of their grace as they totter about. The last time I wore anything remotely glamorous was to a party, however this was in a marquee in a field. Before I could greet my hosts I was wiping my heels with tufts of grass and looking longingly at someone else dancing in a shift dress with wellies.

This reminds me, you can now buy white wellies for brides, for when they go stomping across the grass or beach for photoshoots. I think that is quite a positive indication of a bride’s character – it means she is prepared for better and worse.

I am intrigued if anyone else has similar attachments to items of clothing?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Something and nothing

For those who have been eager to know the outcome of the abandoned car in the village, it was a bit of 'something and nothing' I'm afraid. I am reliably informed that the driver was spotted driving away, but we don't know who they were as the eye-witness, behind the post office counter, was serving a customer at the time.  They weren't 'local' (which was said with a slight sniff) and all that was seen was a mysterious shoulder.

It rather reminds me of another 'something and nothing' time when the burglar alarm in the post office went off in the early hours of the morning. I jumped out of bed in order to spy on the dastardly culprits from behind a crack in the curtain (I could see myself being quoted on Crimewatch) only to watch a completely deserted lane and then the alarm stopped. Apparently, it was a large spider that triggered the alarm off!

The whole village is turning out for  bit of 'something and nothing' tomorrow evening. We all gather for the Christmas tree lights to be turned on. The sea scouts are selling hotdogs, the hardware store offers free sausage rolls and mince pies (next to the bird food and pet food) someone heats up the mulled wine and we sort of warble a few carols along with the brass band. The smithy fires up his furnace and the potter and printmaker open their doors. The main excitement is that Cornwall's very own Father Christmas lives in the village (in a bungalow). He looks and sounds exactly like Captain Birdseye and each year grooms his super white beard and does the whole 'ho, ho' act.

I am just a little sad that this is the first year that I have no children (grown-up ones even) to share in general lighting-up jollity. The pull of a free ticket to see Pixie Lott in Plymouth is rather stronger than Father Christmas. Oh well, we have our twinkle lights ready on the tree outside the cottage and the Parish Church has set up the stable scene on the green next to us (Wilf will have to wee somewhere else for a month). I daresay we will squeeze into the Red Lion and strike up a chat and join in the banter.

My Christmas tree this year is a branch from Sancreed (from my three weeks on the moor). A farmer was cutting down a dangerous overhang, in the wind, so I stuffed a bit into the Landrover. It has lots of lovely lichen on it and with some lights and creative sparkly things will satisfy my 'child within'. If it was in an art gallery I would entitle it a 'bit of something and nothing'.