Isn't it strange how, when you have made firm plans - based on a rational and sensible assessment of how you stand - something comes along to upset the scheme and set you back? I'd looked at my post-Cottage financial situation, decided what to do to improve it, and had begun to put it into effect. Then this.
And what am I talking about? Those Dubarry boots. Here's a link to their website so that you can see what I'm fussing about: http://www.dubarryboots.com/footwear/country-boots-ladies/men-/cat_42.html. Yes, they cost around £300. And that's three months savings at the current rate.
I was down on the Dorset coast a few days ago, specifically on Foreland Point near Studland. I was there to see the Old Harry Rocks, which are big chalk stacks off the end of the Point. This is a picture I took of them:
Old Harry is I think the stack on the far right, and in the past there have been smaller stacks to keep him company, known as his wives. The main wife fell, a victim of relentless sea erosion, in 1896. He must have felt quite sad about that. He is now himself in danger of collapse. Such is the nature of chalk: it's soft, and it erodes quickly, and all chalk cliffs (notably Beachy Head) steadily recede through frost damage and the pounding they get from the sea, which undermines them and makes them unstable. These stacks off Foreland Point look very much like the stacks known as The Needles, off the western end of the Isle of Wight, a dozen miles to the east, and in fact they were once an unbroken chalk ridge; but the sea created holes in it, which became arches and caves that collapsed, and in only ten thousand years the entire length of chalk in between was broken up and vanished. It must have looked like an immensely long natural rock bridge at one point, and definitely worth a shot or two!
There are other rocks off Foreland Point, known as The Pinnacles. The sea has worn one of them down so that it looks sharpened like a pencil:
I was, by the way, standing right on the cliff edge to get these pictures, and in imminent peril of being blown into the sea. There was a strong and steady breeze that wanted to push me over the edge:
Anyway, having messed up my hairstyle and seen enough of the Rocks to last me for a long time to come, I walked back along Ballard Down towards Studland. And lo, there was a young girl. And with her a lady whom I took to be her mother, but possibly her glamorous grandmother. And this lady was wearing Dubarry boots, which are instantly recognisable (part of the whole point about them). They seemed to be blackberrying, in a genteel we'll-have-to-put-the-berries-in-our-Barbour-jacket-pockets sort of way. The path took me close to them. I wanted this lady to notice me, and say hello. Then I could say to her, at some point in the conversation, 'Aren't those Dubarry boots?' and she'd reply, 'Why yes; they're SO comfortable, and I love wearing them' and the daughter would say 'Mummy even wears them around the house!' and the heavens would rent, and a finger would point down at me, and a deep voice would say 'Lucy! I command you to buy a pair for yourself!' and the lady and daughter would say 'There! Now you simply must!' and I'd obey that divine injunction straight away.
I'm afraid none of this happened. But the seed was planted in my mind, and it grew into a fearsome temptation. As if the Devil himself were out to make me spend, and abandon my thrifty plans.
Well, 'Old Harry' is another name for the Devil. Clearly I'd invoked something with my clifftop visit!
Am I going to get these boots? I mean, am I going to spend three months savings on them, not from any supernatural prompting, but from an ice-cool and rational assessment of the situation, applying logic and wisdom and the garnered common-sense and nous of my fifty-nine years? Well, maybe. The fact is, I've got no brown knee-length boots that I like to wear. I've bought cheap ones, and they just do not satisfy, quite apart from the fact that they don't really fit well. In this case, buying cheap has been a waste of money.
I know what will happen - I was discussing this with T---, the lady who cleans my house for me - I'll look hard at the upcoming crop of cameras this autumn (notably the Fuji X10) decide that none of them is quite good enought to replace my well-used but still very functional little Leica D-Lux 4, and then go for a less expensive 'consolation prize', i.e. the Dubarry boots. Sigh.
Or I could be strong. Watch this space, as Lucy slugs it out with Old Harry.
I've decided that instead of the boots, I'll attend to a somewhat more necessary purchase. The time has come for a larger-diameter dilator. Big Jim (30mm) is no longer stretching me. So Mungo (a full 38mm) must take over. I've ordered him today from Femistent.com. I've bought their cunning thigh grip as well, which was on special offer, and pushes the total order up to a level where I get free delivery. This is a decidedly unglamorous substitute for those Dubarry boots, but medical needs have to take priority!
I expect Mungo will seem huge and impossible to get in at first, but really he's only the width of the average erect male penis, and given sufficient patience and lubrication, I'm sure I can train myself to accept him. Expect a consumer report in due course.