• The Gumboot Dilemma

    by  •  • London, Travel

    If one is to properly attempt mushrooming whilst in Sweden, one is going to need some gumboots.

    Whilst recently in Sweden, I purchased said gumboots from the Swedish equivalent of Walmart. I think this should be called Svalmart, but they went with Coop.

    Whatevs. Bygones.

    Anyway, so I sunk thirty quid (on sale, of course) into some gumboots and went mushrooming in the Swedish woods. First let me say that I am shit at mushrooming. This could be because I am easily distracted. So now I have a bunch of photos of the Swedish woodland, some gumboots and no mushrooms.

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    The thing about spending thirty quid on gumboots for an unsuccessful mushrooming attempt is that you don’t really feel you’ve got your money’s worth. I wore them around town (Gothenburg) a bit, as this is normal behaviour in Sweden when it’s wet -which it almost always is.

    I also happened to see some impossibly glamorous Italian women sporting gumboots in Rome the other week -where it is rarely wet but was for almost the entire holiday.

    Putting these two pieces together with the fact I walk to work through three parks each day in London, I decided to bring them home via some extreme suitcase stuffing.

    So, for this entire week I have woken up, leaped to the window and pulled back the curtains like a child on Christmas morning (somewhere in the northern hemisphere unless the child is retarded). Unfortunately it has been dry each morning in London -which is almost never is at any time of the year.

    But today… Today was my day! It was pouring. AND James and I were going out for morning coffee because he had to buy some desk bells for work because his new job is really weird. (PS James got a new job.)

    On went the gumboots and into a plastic bag went my white leather shoes. Off we went.

    Stomp stomp. Suck it, late autumn leaves! Suck it, disgusting polluted puddles! Suck it, pile of unidentifiable garbage!

    It was only at the cafe -which is about half way to work- that I realised something was wrong. Terribly wrong. These gumboots weren’t as comfortable as I remember them being in the squishy green undergrowth of a cool Swedish forest. In fact, could these roomy, fleece-lined, awesome shoes be giving me… Blisters?

    After coffee I half limped to the office and got changed. Still wanting to celebrate the footwear choice I messaged Ellen, my Swedish connection. She messaged right back: “blisters?”

    Hell to the yeah. Was this something that only the Swedes know about or is this because my knowledge of gumboots doesn’t extend beyond Paddington Bear (red boots) or Wal Footrot (black boots)?

    So they’ll be sitting under my desk all weekend because I couldn’t bear the extra weight as I limped slowly home tonight in my -now muddy- white leather shoes.

    Suck it, feet.

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