Sunday, February 07, 2010


I'm not quite sure what it is about gumboots that makes me feel they are a necessity, I just know that for some reason I have to have them and not just one pair, I'd like a few!

This is not a new compulsion; it has been with me for a while. It's one of those things that pops into your head every now and then but is cast aside as a whim that will surely weaken with time. You see, I don't actually need them for any real purpose; I would just like to have them.

There is something oddly enthralling about a designer boot that can be worn in almost any repugnant weather condition and returned to its original pristine state with nothing more than a baby wipe or a wet cloth.

While scoping out high-end boutiques in Hawaii on a recent shopping vacation I came across the Burberry contribution and threw out the line of possibility to my shopping counterpart to gain some feedback on the potential procurement of such fabulous specimens. I am in search of validation or justification not permission but it doesn't go well. The rebuke being something along the line of 'That is ridiculous, where the heck would you wear them?’

As extraneous as this question is, I humour them with possibilities. All true shoe addicts know it's not about where you will wear them, it's about having them in your portfolio should the appropriate circumstance present itself.

Following several scoffs and a head shake the purchase is muted, for the moment, it is 1 / Love with them in front and I have some ground to regain.

You see, although I travel to our southern regions regularly, fundamentally I spend the majority of my time in Queensland and up until recently we haven’t had a scrap of rain. I don't live on a property that would require them and I most certainly don't have to scarper out to the front lawn in the snow. All flawlessly valid reasons for the procurement of such an item.

On the return flight all I can think about is those wretched gumboots. Preposterous if you knew how much clothing miraculously found its way into my suitcase. I should be well and truly content with my acquisitions over the past week but something is missing.

I begin to dig deeper in a desperate attempt to rationalize my superfluous thoughts. It is merely that they were the only thing I didn't purchase and I am merely replicating the poor behaviour of a small child that is refused a treat at the supermarket?

Comfort with style is a much sought after but rarely found commodity. Let's face it; comfort is usually secondary when the stilt is to-die-for hot. We've all met those women who scan the length of our leg from the bottom of our mini shift to the tip of our fabulous footwear of choice only to exclaim at top volume 'oh, they can't be comfortable'.

As ludicrous as the statement is, the last proclamation any one of us wants to make is to apologize for the lack of glamour on the end of our feet by justifying it as 'comfortable'.

A few short weeks following plane touchdown I find myself in Melbourne for a whirlwind visit to the Polo. Wheels down at the Airport reveal a drizzly and windy Melbourne day. Mentally hi-5'ing myself for the savvy choice of packing wedges so as not to fall through the grass, I am pleased to have gone for the cream and gold dress I will glam up with for the after party by adding new Louis Vuitton cream canvas LOVE heels.

I can’t help but think what would have been perfect for today? Those Burberry gumboots. Damn justifying the purchase to myself or anyone else, why didn’t I listen to my inner shoe connoisseur? They would have been stylish, chic and most importantly they would have totally preserved my pedicure for those canvas peeps later in the day.

A matter of weeks later, Queensland had the largest deluge of rain in ten years and summer strappy sandals seemed an intolerable choice.

Cheers of joy erupt from my little girl’s room as she gleefully slides on her pink leopard print gumboots to jump in puddles on the way to school. With the drop off traffic too much to cope with in this weather, much to the delight of my daughter, we walk in the rain. Ten puddles, a few hellos to other mothers and a devastatingly soggy pair of Chloe ballet flats later and I am back in my office to work. Damn gumboots.

I can't take it anymore. Feverishly clicking the keys of my laptop and asking Google to do the walking, the Burberry gumboots are on their way.

Of course, the day they arrive is a scorching 36 degrees and the mere thought of anything remotely plastic near the feet is enough to make you pass out, but rest assured Fox weather says it will rain for days towards the end of the week.

Rainy day after rainy day, my new friends and I have helped each other through some precarious situations. Trudging to do the groceries or wearing them to a meeting in the rain, making way for the stiletto swap on arrival, I thought we had been through it all.

Then fate steps in and hands me the trump card.

My parents are buying a property. I am so excited I can hardly contain myself. A rural retreat sounds like a nice getaway. The cool weather in winter would provide a lovely atmosphere for such a place. I am not crazy about snakes and much prefer the ones locked in a fish tank at my friend's house than finding them slithering around in the grass, but I think I can do this. Sounds just about perfect.

Besides, I will most definitely need at least two more pairs of gumboots for this one!

© 2010 Tracey Gillinder

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