Roachside Cottage

Part of the living landscape of the Roaches

Peak District National Park - Upper Hulme, Nr Leek ST13 8UB

Before the days when that greatest of all Scottish shipyard welders; Billy Connelly, became an international comedy and dramatic phenomenon, he performed as a hugely talented folk musician in the clubs of Glasgow. One of the lighter ditties he wove into his act ran something along the lines of;
                   
                     If it wasnae for your wellies
                     Where would you be?
                     You'd be in the Hospital or Infirmary
                     Cause you would have a dose of the Flu , or even Pleurisy             
                     If you didnae have your feet in your Wellies

                     Oh wellies they are wonderful, oh wellies they are swell
                     Cause they keep out the water and they keep in the smell
                     And when you’re sitting in a room
                     You can surely tell
                     When some bugger takes off his wellies
                     
                     If it Wasnae for your wellies
                     Where would you be?
                     Etc., Etc.

I know not why, but for several days last week this ancient comic number was constantly playing through my head while out walking – it had acquired “Ear Worm” status. Round and round it went, slowly driving me mad.

In an endeavour to rid my brain of the jaunty jingle, I tried to concentrate my mind on the logical pros and cons of The Iron Duke’s great gift to mankind – well, other than beating that Napoleon chappie anyhow…

I do have walking boots.

I have many pairs of walking boots – so many in fact that my late wife used to muse that I had more walking boots than the entire membership of the Ramblers Society.

However, owning a Working Cocker Spaniel requires constantly being able to quickly don suitable footwear for a walk, even when one is dressed for attendance at some other function that we are going to, or returning from. Having footwear that is equal to both upland and lowland walks, is completely waterproof even in calf-deep cow slurry and into which you can tuck the bottom of your jeans and hose the mud off at intervals is vital. Hence, about 4 years ago, I became a Green Wellie Man. I now plod about moor and valley, wood and heath in my lovely soft walking wellies.

Many walkers sniff at we Wellie people – they regard us as underdressed for potentially dangerous conditions, as they totter past muddy puddles in their Gore-tex lined, super stylish, bonded synthetic fabric creations.

Well, I say Wellies are Wonderful! – Mine were very expensive – but not nearly so expensive as some of my pairs of boots (and about half the price of some wellies in the same shop!).

I figured that for someone like me, walking over 2500 miles a year, the unit cost of wearing out an expensive pair as opposed to a cheaper, less comfortable and possibly less durable models was worth the investment. And it was.

The only annoying thing is that I seem to wear the darned things out about six weeks after the guarantee period has expired

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