QuarterTone honoured me by asking me to be a Guest of Honour, and thanks to the generous sponsorship of the UK Filk Fund they're even flying me out to England. I am, as you can imagine, pretty excited about this. And since I'm going to be in England already I decided to stay an extra week and see (a tiny fraction of) the sights.
I had some Amazon christmas money from kind relatives, and some visa gift cards that went for food and such so I could transfer some funds to this project, so to prepare for this trip I bought a few things I thought I might need. I started with an anti-theft bag, because I had read that there are pickpockets in London (no more than in any big city I'm sure, but I don't live in the big city so I thought I would take extra precautions to make up for my possible lack of situational awareness.) It's a packsafe metrosafe, with steel mesh in the body that makes it hard to cut into, special snaps for the zippers that make them hard to open surreptitiously, and even an anti-RFID pocket, though as far as I can tell I don't own any credit cards or passport or anything that can be queried by radio. I do wonder if my cell phone would ring if I put it in that pocket, now that I think about it. It turns out that the snaps are going to take some practice so I'm going to use the bag this week to haul things around.
But my big find was cute boots. Okay, perhaps my idea of cute is not everyone's--they have fur trim, and what looks like a flap that buckles (it's a sham--you actually get in via a zipper on the other side--but the fact that its a sham is probably a good thing because drafts don't get in that way) and some stitching details on the body that liven them up a bit. When I look at them, I think "dieselpunk wolfrider." As in, they might go with my con outfit too. I wanted them from the moment I saw them. The manufacturer says they're waterproof, and they were supposed to be warm, and that sounded like just the ticket for sightseeing in England. Ordinarily I would have looked at the price and said no, but the combination of the christmas money and the England trip left me prepared to throw caution to the wind (well, to agonize over it for a day and then throw caution to the wind, which is about par for the course for me in the throwing caution to the wind department.)
Waiting for them to arrive so I could try them on was hard. I can't remember the last time I obsessed on a delivery like that. My first Kindle, maybe. I was afraid they wouldn't come until next week. Kip watched in bemusement; he doesn't usually get to see me unleash my girly side. He sympathized with the terrible danger that the boots wouldn't fit, and would have to be sent back.
The boots arrived yesterday afternoon. Carefully I cut the tape on the outer cardboard box and eased the shoebox out. I raised the lid on the shoebox and reverently drew back the veil of tissue paper and saw the first boot. It was the right one. My big foot. If the right boot fits the left one will almost certainly be okay.*
I hastily stripped off the right sneaker and unzipped the boot. I drew it on--and it fit! Much encouraged I tried the left boot. I zipped them up and stood. I walked around. They fit, but the soles felt odd--not like a regular shoe under my feet. I walked around a bit more. Not that odd, actually; I was getting used to it. My foot was slipping a bit in the left boot. Would that raise blisters? The reviews had said the boots ran small, but perhaps I should try my thick warm smartwool socks. Yes, that was the ticket. These were going to work.
In person they are cutest from the side, where the fur trim, flap and buckles are most visible. From the top they look a bit like wellies, which is not as cute, but I think I'm okay with that. I wore them until bedtime--at which point I noticed something else.
We keep it fairly cold in the house (by US standards) in winter. Cold enough that I normally make a practice of soaking my feet in hot water before bed so my husband doesn't scream when I climb in beside him with what he lovingly refers to as my cold vampire feet of doom. But tonight...my feet were already warm. I wondered if I had suffered nerve damage or something, and stripped off a boot to check with my fingers. Warm. My feet were actually warm. What a nice sensation.
Today I will try them outside the house. It might rain which would be a good chance to test the waterproofness. They won't be wading-waterproof--I can't see how you could do that with a zipper. But waterproof to where the zipper starts will probably do the trick.
*Most people have one foot slightly bigger than the other. For most of us it's the right foot. The difference is usually about half a size in USA sizes.