Grown in Wales

Grown in WalesGrown in WalesGrown in Wales



Old friends

Charles Warner

I turned up at my first ever nursery job in a pair of trainers. the boss looked me up and down." You'll need boots " he said "with steel toecaps" That weekend I went off to Finmere market and bought my first pair of work boots. Shiny, black, all stiff and terribly heavy. I've been through a few pairs since then.

Nursery work wrecks boots. It's the constant wetting and drying I guess. A friend of mine said that despite this you should spend the most money on your work boots and he was right. The boots that you work in are the ones that you spend most time in. A good pair will slowly adapt to you. The soles wear in a particular way to match the way that you walk. the leather stretches and moulds itself to the shape of your feet. It's a process that starts the minute that you put on your new pair but it's slow and you don't realise that it's happening until the day that they start to let in water and you notice that they are so comfortable that you hardly know that you are wearing them.

These boots are my boots. They have been with me for about two years now. They had their swansong last week when they helped me to climb the Pyg track to the summit of Mount Snowdon. On the descent I noticed how wonderfully comfortable they were but also how the leather was now cracked and letting in water. It was time for these old friends to be retired.

Yesterday I went up to the army surplus store in Sarnau Ceredigion . Its one of those shops that inspires you to get some kit and get out there into the world. I don't really need a camouflage jacket or a police stab vest but they have a great selection of boots out the back and good quality work gear and outdoor stuff. I have a weakness for shops like that and I always come away with some new bit of kit that I had not intended to buy. I have been so pleased with this last pair of boots that I bought the exact same ones again. I also came away with an ultra light tent for cycling and a pair of long johns for the winter.

I can't bring myself to throw the old boots out just yet. I'm kidding myself that I might use the new ones for best until the cracks widen and the soles of the old ones start to flap but it's not going to happen. I'm just being sentimental.


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