It is with some sadness that I write of the death of my work boots on July 11th 2013, around noon:


They came to me some years ago from English mafia Mandy. Not quite my size, very well worn and missing a hook and half a lace, but they still had plenty of life in them.

They accompanied me almost daily in the woods and fields ever since, occasionally eating through another piece of cord that I used instead of laces – largely because I had 30 metres or so sitting in the lean-to. But I didn’t begrudge this negligible running cost. That was those boots. They were as hard working and hard wearing in Winter as every other season and – given the choice between steel-toe wellies and those boots, I went for the boots almost every time. I began to think they’d go on forever.

But yesterday, while I was strimming on a particularly steep incline, I felt a pinching under my right foot. When I stopped, I looked and found this:

boots 1

Now, I know what you’re thinking: That’s an equipment failure and I should send the boots back to the manufacturer with a strongly worded letter. The evidence that it is a design flaw is all-too obvious from the other boot, which has failed in exactly the same place:

boots 2

But complaining about a second-hand pair of boots that have served me so well would seem, well, churlish. So I have decided to retire the boots and have spent actual money on a new pair. These boots will be unceremonially dumped when I get round to it. It’s just what they would have expected.

May they rest in pieces.