Garbed in wellies, I feel a certain sense of invincibility. I can stride out, confident that my feet will step sure and stay dry throughout the day’s adventure. Wellies open up new routes. A treasured memory from recent years is of a low-tide adventure at Emsworth. It’s a place that we normally experience from the water, joining the hoards sailing on Chichester harbour. This time however, the water had receded with the tide and we were armed not with deck shoes but with wellies. Standing in the mud that we normally we sail over was wonderfully surreal; an experience heightened by the setting sun, made possible through the humble welly.
Wellies have become a symbol of green living. They evoke a sense of the practical, of being not just engaged with nature but part of it. It’s not surprising, therefore, that Anna Shepherd titled her sustainable living book, ‘How Green Are My Wellies?’. The book is full of insight into the impact of modern living on the planet, honesty about missed marks, and signposts to sustainable options. And it’s funny. Shepherd recognises her foibles and the alternative perspective of her (long-suffering) partner on her (at times) overly optimistic efforts to make changes.
The book is structured by the months of the year, meaning it can be read straight through, or dipped into for seasonal inspiration and direction. It’s a book that I’ve returned to over the years. Sometimes it’s just to read a chapter or two to engage with someone else’s exploration of a life consciously and sustainably lived. At other times, I’m seeking something specific – a section of advice, a recipe for natural cleaning, a new insight as I look at a different area of life… The book is a resource, a nudge forwards, a bit of lightness in this weighty area. I whole-heartedly recommend it for your reading list.
And in case you were wondering, the more literal answer to the title question is that they’re more mud-caked than green. Just as they should be in my opinion.
Today’s soundtrack: Planet Earth II Soundtrack