Skipping through the Leaves

Today the streets were full of people in summer clothes – sleeveless dresses, shorts, t-shirts with every sort of sandal and flip-flop.  I was hot in my lightweight jumper, denim jacket, scarf and jeans with socks and trainers, having dressed appropriately for the slightly chilly autumn morning.  That’s the trouble with autumn;  you think it has arrived, time to put the heating on and switch the duvets to a higher tog level.  I have even put my sandals and summer shoes away to make way for my boots.  I love boots – buying them, wearing them, stroking them (just weird, mother, according to elder daughter) and admiring them when I stretch my legs out in front of me.  This year I began my boot research early, probably at the end of July.  Magazines have been leading us towards Autumn/Winter for a while and shops have been filling their displays with boots of every kind.  This is good, because some years there are gaps – no ankle boots, no knee boots, no casual boots.  My research suggested that the knee boot was definitely in (I wrote about my first fruitless attempt at boot shopping in Having a Nice Day, 1st September) and that became my focus.  I really like boots – from my white Courreges style ankle boots in the 60’s through black patent lace-up platforms when 7 months pregnant to a fabulous red calf-length pair with heels, worn when I danced on a table in a London cafe at an age when I should have known better.  This is my current collection, missing only my Converse Hollis and silver Nike hi-tops, my Ecco walking boots and my navy and white striped wellies.  That’s 10 pairs.  Is that a lot? I don’t know.  I do wear them all.

my boot collection (new pair third from left)

This season’s had to be leather, black and flat, comfortable and practical.  I have to admit here to buying, on impulse a few years back, a beautiful pair of long purple suede boots with a wedge heel and lovely patterned fabric lining.  I couldn’t walk in them and they needed a whole ‘look’ to be created around them.  I kept them on the top shelf of the wardrobe, occasionally taking them out to feel, admire and feel guilty about.  I did think about selling them on ebay but didn’t get round to it.  I could have taken them to a charity shop, but I didn’t really want anyone else to have them.  In the end, my husband was looking for footwear to take to some event for a good cause, so I said, ‘Take them, I won’t wear them again.’  They were apparently being sent abroad.  I hope someone, somewhere is enjoying them. Of course, once they were gone, I could allow myself to consider buying a new pair.  Which I have done.  They are lovely soft black leather with nice fabric linings and sensible soles.

As far as I am concerned, summer is over.  It’s getting dark at 7pm, the swallows have gone, I’ve heard some migrating geese and I’ve swapped my bare legs for thick black tights, meaning  I can stop getting up 5 minutes early to put on the fake tan.  I like the idea of cosy nights in front of the fire, the final cut of the grass and even Hallowe’en, now we have a grandchild to dress up. There is, I understand, a pumpkin costume. Shops are full of spooky themed decorations and sweets.  I’ve just looked on-line and there is so much you can buy – from really horrible ‘bloody body parts’ to ‘skeleton hand lawn stakes’ (glow in the dark)  which would terrify me any time I went outside.   I quite fancy a rather tasteful ‘bat string’ or some ‘family friendly’ pumpkin decorations.

Blebo apples

 By then, it will be winter and these Indian summer days will be over.  Till then, I’ll enjoy skipping and scuffing through leaves in my new boots, going back to my weekly art class, picking the last of our tomatoes, cooking apples from a friend’s trees and getting back to my knitting, like a proper grandma.  Currently I’m finishing off a baby hat, having given up on a patchwork blanket knitted on very small needles in sock wool after my friends pointed out that I’d be 90 by the time I finished it!

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