Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Monday, 11 August 2008

These boots were made for...me!

Looking at these boots is like seeing my face in the mirror when I shave of a morning. A page – nah! a dozen chapters - from my personal history.

They were bought in 1952 or 1953 and cost, I think, £5. Their only defect was the laces which quickly gave up the ghost and were replaced by what you see – strangely waxed nylon. A year later they accompanied me on a month’s course at the Outward Bound Mountain School at Eskdale in the Lake District.

Their function would have been more apparent in their original form. I was besotted with rock climbing and these were – are – climbing boots. But in those days the soles were covered in nails. Hard metal tricounis round the toes, softer hobs over the rest. Nails were going out of fashion since they wore away the holds on established routes. At a later stage the nails were replaced with moulded rubber soles.

I was never a good rock climber but I loved the mountains. In any case I’d moved to London and it was harder to get to the places that matter. For various reasons ski-ing became the easier option and the boots went into the attic. We moved house several times, each time posing the question about what could be discarded. Not surprisingly the boots survived. Junking them would have been like throwing away my face.


Plutarch said...

Some time ago I came across a blog which I am afraid I have lost touch with, but which left me with a lasting image. The author of the blog, a woman, (if she is still blogging and reads this, please acknowldge compliment) hit on the brilliant idea of photographing separately all the pairs of boots and shoes which she possesed. The set of photographs was I suppose a piece of autobiography, a self-portrait - something unusual and insightful, that I wanted to immitate and may be will do some day.

Sarah Robinson said...

A friend of mine photographed all her handbags and has the photos hanging in her flat. This set of photos was much more expressive than the last exhibition I attended

marja-leena said...

Your boots have character! I suppose that comes with use and age.

Julia said...

Can you still wear your boots or are they honorably retired to a shoe pasture?

Barrett Bonden said...

Plutarch: Initially I felt I had so few items of footware that the resultant photo would be uninteresting. But that's only true day-to-day; I have one pair of trainers which I will wear until they disintegrate then replace. But then there are ski-boots, slippers, flip-flops (essential for crossing stony beaches when snorkelling), Totes, Wellington boots. It could be done!

SR: I don't feel qualified (nor is it a reputation I seek) to comment on handbags.

M-L: Age and usage are also evident on my face. As a means of self-protection I cling to the adjective "gaunt"

Julia: A shoe pasture! I feel the plot for a surreal film coming on.