In recent Book Club event for my English cozy mystery “The Domino Deaths”, someone asked, “What are Wellies?” and another reader answered for me: “Wellington boots.”
Anyone who has spent any time in England (or any other soggy climate) remembers the tall rubber boots that slip on and off easily. Named for the Duke of Wellington in honor of his face-off with Napoleon, I’ve always felt there’s something stoic and valiant about Wellies. No matter how ungainly you feel wearing them, they protect you wonderfully from the slosh and mud, and you emerge from your encounter with Mother Nature dry-shod, which helps warm the rest of you.
The thing I like about Wellies, now the rest of the world has adopted them, is they are no longer just plain black. I saw a kid with fluorescent green ones in the park, delightedly sloshing through the run-off. Wellies have become a fashion statement.
Where else do Wellies appear? Let’s start with Winnie the Pooh, The House at Pooh Corner and all the wonderful illustrations therein. The books form the foundation from which several generations of English offspring are sprung. Mention Winnie the Pooh and Christopher Robin anywhere in the erstwhile British Empire, and you’ll get a twinkle of recognition.
If you live a life of books, as I clearly do, things like Wellies are part of the world inside my head, which I try to share with my readers. So Welcome to Wellington Boots.
What special things from your childhood appeal to you? Leave a word or two about why in the comments below.