Tag Archives: Hunters

Things to do in the country

A common complaint about the countryside is that there’s nothing to do, so it’s been a nice surprise to find just how much is laid on. Admittedly it helps if you’re a fan of talks called things like, ‘Why Watercolour? A Personal View’ or ‘Sussex and the European Union: Should We Stay or Should We Go?’ But, to be fair, if you’ve a small child, you won’t struggle to find something to keep them occupied.

The problem is that everything seems to take place on the second Tuesday or third Thursday of every month (except half-term), which means you need Moneypenny-style organisational skills to keep track of it all (or at least a working knowledge of when the hell school holidays are).

What’s missing, of course, are the museums and galleries – the rainy-day staples of London life that let you feel like you’re on the vanguard of contemporary culture as you sit eating cake in the café and looking at the nice pencils in the shop.

The trick, I’ve decided, is not to try and recreate what I did in London, as this way depression lies. Whereas Sundays are when East London comes into its own, with Columbia Road, Spitalfields and Brick Lane markets in full swing, and cafes packed with people enjoying late brunches and boozy lunches, here we’re back in Morrissey territory, where it’s all a bit silent and grey.

So I’ve embraced the old-school Sunday – roast dinners and country walks, roaring fires and Downton on telly. It’s actually pretty nice. One week I even went to church (admittedly more out of curiosity about the neighbours than Jesus). And this too was pleasant, if exactly like The Vicar of Dibley. Not sure I’ll do it again though. Emilio, quite sweetly, danced and clapped along to the hymns, but I spent the whole time trying to keep him off the organ/pulpit, and even the vicar’s patience was tried.

Since I never once went to church in Shoreditch (that being far more Rev), I guess this all adds up to prove that a countryside move inevitably involves a massive change of life. I just can’t work out whether or not that’s a bad thing.

NB: Even the clothes have changed. This is me in my countryside get-up. I wanted to go for the whole Liberty Barbour/Hunters, look-at-me-fresh-from-the-city thing, but even I blushed at the cliché of it.

**update** I’ve had two lots of compliments on the hat. It’s Rag & Bone, for anyone who’s interested.

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Filed under General rants and moans, The bits I can't think of a category for

Rain boots

A few years ago, fed up with the British weather ruining yet another pair of shoes, I thought, ‘Kerching! I know! What the world needs now is not love sweet love, it’s fashionable rain boots.’ Then, as now, Hunters were big, and like everybody else I have a pair. But for all their Kate-at-Glastonbury connotations, Hunters make real girls look as if they’re about to muck out, which can feel a bit odd if you’re not in a Somerset field, but wandering round Boots or House of Fraser or somewhere.

Anyway, since then a trillion companies have had the rainboot idea – companies with, like, business savvy and some idea of how to produce shoes – and now there’s a massive choice. I bought this Vivienne Westwood/Melissa pair a couple of winters ago, and since it rains an average of every three days in this country (although it feels like more), my, how I’ve got my wear out of them:

But now I’m sick of the sight of them. I’m not going to replace them, because even if the economy wasn’t in the toilet, that would be silly an’ all – you need one pair of rainboots, not a wardrobeful. But if I was in the market for a new pair, I would be looking at these:

They’re from US chain LL Bean and cost $179. They’re also kind of fugly. But I think they’d look good with the right trousers and they’re fleece-lined, which, as winter stares me in the face, has its appeal.

I actually prefer these ones from Joules, which, at £29,99, are a third of the price of the Melissa/Vivienne Westwood ones, and not nearly as common popular. I sense that ribbon might get pretty manky though:

You could go the other way and spend £435 on these Valentino ones, available at Net-a-Porter, but that would be mental. Besides, then it all starts to go a bit jackboot:

These rubber Gucci Chelsea boots (£180, Net-a-Porter) are a new take on the idea. But £180 for plastic shoes? C’mon.

I also like these rubber biker boots (£30, Office). But then you’re back to the old clompy-wellies-in-urban-high-street conundrum…

Rainboots are an insanely practical purchase though. Not least because they’re wipe-clean…

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