Thursday, August 6, 2009

Gumboots

Gumboots, golashes, mackintoshes, topboots, gummies, wellies and "me topboots," are some of the nicknames that Wellingtons have acquired since their beginning -- 1815.

Their regal name is in reverence to the 1st Duke of Wellington, Arthur Wellesley, who had them custom made with calf skin interior to walk through the muddy spring wetness. He liked them because they sufficed for the hard-wearing battle against Napoleon, and also were comfortable enough to wear while sitting at home. His nickname was "Old Nosey," for his large hook-of-a nose.

People in Ireland call them "me topboots." Kiwis in New Zealand call them "footrot flats." North Island NZ town, Taihape, claims being the gumboot capital of the world -- they have their own Gumboot Day where they throw gumboots into the air.

In Russia, gumboots became fashionable because they became socialist style while leather boots were capitalist.

In South Africa, miners danced in their gumboots to stay alert. The squishy sound that it made moved its way into becoming a genre of music, "gumboot music."



And the Brits play a game called wellie wanging, which is just throwing your boots as far as possible!

One of my favorite albums is Paul Simon's Graceland. The fourth track on the ablum is "Gumboots," a song taken from the instrumental version of the Boyoyo boys, a Mbaqanga-style South African group.

"I was walking down the street
When I thought I heard this voice say,
Say ain't we walking down the same street together
On the very same day,
I said hey Senorita that's astute
I said, why don't we get together
And call ourselves an institute?"






















So I named my blog lucygumboots. I like wearing gumboots. As the Duke said, they're practical and comfortable. They're also fun to wear -- they make me feel like I'm a little girl, sloshing around through puddles and mud, almost invincible.

I'm going on a 5-month journey across the world starting on August 31. I am not taking gumboots because they are too bulky, and I will be in warm places for a majority of the time. lucygumboots will be my record of myself walking down streets, through mud, and in new places around the globe. I'll probably have Graceland stuck in my head.

I am going to update this more frequently when I start traveling. For now, I am going to update occasionally. I want to make the blog a working resume also. I graduated from the journalism school at the University of Colorado at Boulder 3 months ago and I plan to work in the journalism/media industry. I originally wanted to work for newspapers, unfortunately that doesn't seem like such a good idea any more. We'll see where this takes me!

-lucy

2 comments:

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  2. LUCY I LOVE THIS!!!!! Amazing title too haha. You're such an awesome writer and I miss your delightful presence. I know you're doing great things and will continue to do so. Be awesome, you are. I will continue to check this so keep me updated!

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