Well, quite new. I bought them on 22 November, at a shop in Chichester called Rachel George. They are by a German maker called Caprice, and are made of grey leather and grey waterproof fabric, with white laces, a white fleecy lining, and a grippy black rubber sole. Here are some pix:
And here they are, in action, alongside the boots of my natal female friend E--- at Scotney Castle yesterday (of which much more in tomorrow's post):
These new Caprice boots are warm and comfortable, and they must somehow look like ski boots, because people's first reactions so far have generally included lines like 'I didn't know it was going to snow tonight!' - clearly said in comedy, but lost on me of course, not having a sense of humour (although maybe I'll get one as a surprise Christmas present, batteries included I hope). The laces are just for show. There are discreet zips up the side of each boot, so you can get them on and off very easily.
I bought them for short but regular winter afternoon walks around the village and nearby towns, with some extra exercise in mind. I wanted footwear that would laugh at a cold day. It's too easy to use the lack of proper footwear as an excuse for staying indoors with the central heating full on. I needed boots that were no bother to put on and take off, boots to lure me away from buttered toast, endless cups of tea, and the ever-open arms of Morpheus.
Although the Caprice boots will cope with wet grass, they are much too pretty to get covered in mire. So in that respect they are not so versatile in snow and slush as the brown-and-tan Dubarry boots, which (in case you can't remember) look like this:
Not that I would like to spoil the Dubarry boots either, but they can take a little more punishment. Still, one does not abuse posh boots. They are too much of an investment. For farmyards, or for walking along any Sussex path in winter, it has to be the ultra-rugged, take-no-prisoners pale blue Joules wellies:
Sussex becomes one vast Wealden swamp in the wet. That's the natural state of the county, at least when one is down off the chalky South Downs. A bit of rain on any path or track - and especially anywhere that horses can go - and deep oozy mud instantly forms. People can get sucked under. Towns sink beyond trace. You need proper wellies. So when civilisation ends, and the lights go out, and the world turns into a misty waste, and nature takes over again, and wolves howl once more, I'll be stepping out in my blue wellies with the hens on them.
Meanwhile, the new grey Caprice boots must surely represent the pinnacle of ped attire this winter!
I wonder if I should now get a ski hat to enhance my image as a girl who spends her life on the piste? Or just stick to the après-ski?