It’s welly season again. Well, every season is welly season, but I’m talking about wellies for walks.
I’ve a pair designed for just that, and they’re a boon if your terrain tends to puddles. I’ll tell you something controversial about my walking wellies tae: I turn my socks over the top of them.
I hadn’t thought this practice contentious until I saw an article about a pair of designer wellies that had fake socks over the top… and that cost £695!
Socks on socks? It’s just silly
To be fair, each “sock” has the posh firm’s name written in large letters on it.
What a palaver. Apart from anything else, you’d have to wear proper socks under the fake ones. Two pairs of socks: ridiculous!
How galling, in addition, to be reminded in the tabloid’s exclusive story that having turned-over tops on your wellies is associated with yon scruffy Compo out of TV’s Last Of The Summer Wine.
I’d always associated myself more with the show’s Norman Clegg: the one in the middle between Compo and Foggy Dewhurst.
For all of you Freudians out there
Many of you, I know, are Freudian psychotherapists, so you’re aware that, in terms of human personality, Compo is the Id – all base desires (generally involving Nora Batty’s wrinkled stockings) – while Dewhurst is the moralising Superego, and Clegg the normal Ego in the middle, caught between competing forces.
That schema is the key to many stories (think Toad, Mole, Badger; Gollum, Frodo, Gandalf), and exists within us all.
So I cannot say I’m comfortable finding myself a Compo when it comes to Wellington boots.
It’s the length that counts
Meanwhile, this news just in: socks must be long if you’re going to fold them over your wellies. And here’s a shocking confession: all my socks are long, even the light ones worn to stravaig aboot toon in summer.
It’s knee-length or nothing for me.
You plead tearfully: “But why, Rab? Why go to such desperate lengths?”
Here’s why: it’s for the circulation. And also the security. In ankle-length socks, I feel half-naked and expect to be arrested by the constabulary at any moment.
It’s difficult now to find knee-length socks for wearing with shoes. I have to send off for mine, using a special password and a promise never to reveal the organisation’s name to the authorities.
The incident with the sock
Many “walking” socks are knee-length, so that’s not such a problem.
Years ago, walking the Yorkshire Dales, I came downstairs at the youth hostel to find a commotion caused by a posh walker shouting that someone had stolen one of his expensive socks. One!
All eyes turned to me. At the time I suffered from two great disadvantages: one, I’d long hippy hair; and, two, I was Scottish.
So, of course, I was prime suspect. No one said anything, but it was clear what they were thinking.
But who’d steal one sock? That’s if it was stolen. It was a sock, for pity’s sake. They go missing of their own accord – and only ever one at a time.
For my part, I never do hosiery by halves.
It’s two socks every time, folded over my wellies as I stravaig hither and – if there’s a full moon – yon. And never once do I let my head be turned by a glimpse of wrinkled stocking.