Sunday Blog 110 – 12th November 2023
The scale of the task is almost hypnotising. Clearing out a family home of more than 65 years. We are so lucky we still have Mum. And that we still have some time to do the clear out, it’s not a mad rush. But still. So. Much. To. Do.
Wikipedia will tell you Ugg boots originated from Australia, they are made of sheepskin with a synthetic sole and were favoured by surfers in the 1960s. They were apparently deemed ugly by the originator’s wife, hence the name. By 1979 when I was 14, Ugg boots had reached our household too. Even though we were generally speaking an anti-surfing, anti-sports kind of family.
My pair had a fetching yellow and brown braid sewn along the back at the back and I loved them hard. Photographic documentation of every family occasion was my mother’s obsession. And so here are some of us lined up on the house’s brick driveway for the obligatory birthday shot where I modelled my Ugg boots with pride. How I loved the crisp newness of my padded waistcoat teamed with the ubiquitous jeans and now, Ugg boots.
I must have loved those Ugg boots hard, because eventually holes appeared at the big toe of each boot. While I can’t be sure now, I think Mum offered to mend them. And so they disappeared to the bottom of the cupboard, where they lay, unmolested for more than four decades.
Just when I thought I had breathed in the last of the choking dust that accompanies neglected items at the bottom of the cupboard, these emerged. Still with their holes at the toe.
Out to the brick driveway I marched, which is still there just as it was in 1979. A photo for posterity. Just for a moment I peer into the photo, trace the face of me at 14, the year I would go to Europe, have my horizons obliterated and re-made in new form.
And then, it’s back to it.