Bogs in Bogs
If you ever plan to visit Aberdeenshire, come in the autumn! It’s the one dry (ish) season and the whole countryside bursts into brilliant colour in one final blaze before winter sets in. But do remember your wellies – this is Scotland, after all, so ‘dry’ is just a relative term. And so this is the perfect time of year for Mini to test a pair of Bogs wellies!
She’s been a huge fan of purple since before she could speak (getting her dressed in the morning before she could articulate that she would only wear purple clothes was a challenge, I can tell you…) and although she now likes other colours, purple is still her favourite. So she was downright giddy on opening the big shoebox to discover that her North Hampton Bogs were a beautiful and unusual shade of purple (‘eggplant’). And even better in her eyes: they were *shiny*! They were on her feet in a flash, helped with some fantastically sturdy grab handles, and there they stayed for the rest of the day. I was a bit dubious about the big open handle-holes letting in wet and mud, though. There was only one way to check whether they would or not – go play in some mud!
Mini and Maxi took their Daddy to a small wood that some friends had discovered and introduced us to that week. Maxi was desperate to play on the rope swing over the burn again, and Mini thought she might be brave enough to give it a try. But first they had some soggy bog and mud to negotiate to get there.
Mini raced ahead, kicking orange and yellow leaves around with squeals of ‘Yoohoo! And ‘Whee!’ Although she’s used to very flat soled shoes, the base of the wellies were obviously very comfortable by all her racing around. Mini had described them as ‘cushiony’ when she’d tried them on. Then, just past the rows of purple mushrooms and carpet of tiny brown ones, came the Tractor Tyre Tracks of Deep, Dread Mud. Mini sloshed in gamely, splashing and jumping and spraying her big sister with mud. As the tracks got deeper, the Bogs sank deeper into the bog.
And that’s when Mini had an epiphany about the true use of the grab handles on the wellies – they’re for hoiking your stuck feet out of deep, thick mud! Genius!
The girls raced to the rope swing and unleashed their inner Tarzan. Even timid little Mini kicked and thrashed her legs to make the swing go higher and twist around. But with the way she was swinging her legs I was concerned that the Bogs might go flying off on a wee secondary swing of their own and go sploshing into the burn, but no: they stayed firmly in place. Mini explained later that they felt different from her usual wellies – they gripped firmly around the instep and above her heel rather than around her toes, ankles or the wide part of her foot. That sounds good to me because the most common reason for me having to reject kids’ boots and shoes is that they’re too tight on the lower foot, at the joint at the base of the little toe. Mini assured me she’d had loads of room to flex out her toes and bend her feet, but the wellies didn’t shoogle around or slip.
When they finally got home hours later, exhilarated, tired and muddy, Mini was full of tales of her incredible bravery in the face of a scary swing (!) When I asked her how comfortable her wellies had felt, she’d entirely forgotten that they were new and hadn’t thought about them the whole time she was out playing. That, I think, is telling testament to their comfort and ability to keep her feet warm without getting sweaty, and dry. Those handle-holes were absolutely fine after all. Roll on the depths of frozen Winter when she can try out their insulating soles on ice, then!
About the Author
About Me & Mine
Hello! I’m Jay, married to Jon, living in North East Scotland with our 3 daughters: Maxi (10), Midi (8) and Mini Minx (6).
Favourite place in the world:
It’s hard to choose between the stretch of Moray Firth coast between Findhorn and Cullen, and Westray (a northerly Orkney island). Both have an amazing diversity of beautiful coastlines in a small space (empty, clean, sandy beaches; crystal-clear rockpools; crags, cliffs and stacks), fascinating wildlife, friendly people and endlessly interesting weather. Bar visits to friends and relatives, we’ve taken all our holidays in Scotland, north of where we live, for many years. We’ve still barely scratched the surface of this beautiful country.
Favourite things to do outdoors:
Rock-pooling and scrambling on local beaches; camping; walking in the gentler local hills; foraging for fruit and jam-making ingredients; and growing our own fruit and vegetables against the combined deterring efforts of our cat and the weather.