Have Shoes, Can Travel

I don’t get out enough. ‘Tis true.

So it’s become second nature: when I leave the back door I put on the rubber clogs that serve as my summer gardening shoes. Sunday morning there was a plant fair at RHS Rosemoor. We were half way up the 84 steps to the garage when I heard Mike chuckling. “Did you mean to wear those shoes?” Yes, I had to go back. I could probably have got away with it for Rosemoor. Turning up at a plant fair straight from the garden.. maybe I’d have even earned a few nods of respect. In a “there goes a true gardening eccentric” sort of way.

But it was yesterday that the funniest thing happened.

We were due to go to the hairdressers. One of the downsides of living in the sticks is the distance from the nearest hairdresser-sized town. For convenience and to save on petrol we’ve recently got into the habit of arranging an appointment at the same time. Same salon, different stylist. It’s a similar set up for the optician, but that’s an eight hour round trip and a whole different story.

Mike was determined to make sure that this time I left the house appropriately shod. “Ah, just think. There you’ll be. Reclined at the basin with your feet stuck out, dirty gardening shoes on show for all to see.”

All I can say is, his obvious enjoyment in teasing me must have led to his temporary distraction.

For halfway up the 84 steps.. “Oh B*gger!”

I looked round to see him running back down to the house. And what was he wearing on his feet?

Yep, you’ve guessed it.




2018-04-17T16:26:29+00:00September 3rd, 2014|Tags: |


  1. Jane and Lance Hattatt September 3, 2014 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Hello Jessica:

    Such is country living!!

    During all of our years in Herefordshire we had much the same hairdressing arrangement as you and Mike and this has continued to our lives in Budapest. But same salon, same stylist!!

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 7:30 pm - Reply

      I’ve always been a bit concerned that my stylist could be ‘nobbled’ so to speak. Mike prefers my hair long, I like it short. So far us girls have stuck together.

  2. Marigold Jam September 3, 2014 at 11:19 am - Reply

    I once went to work wearing my slippers well kind of houseshoe clogs actually but they didn’t go with my office outfit!

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 7:35 pm - Reply

      Oh no!
      I used to drive a lot for my job and had a pair of battered old shoes in the car. Flat heels and with the backs all rubbed shiny.. more than once I walked round the office a good part of the day in those..

  3. Pauline September 3, 2014 at 11:24 am - Reply

    I cut the undergardener’s and my own with the undergardener cutting the back of mine, that is what living in the countryside has done for us!

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 7:40 pm - Reply

      I have had a go at my own on several occasions but it never seems to work particularly well. I should persevere though, it would save a lot of time.. and money!

  4. Marian St.Clair September 3, 2014 at 11:41 am - Reply

    Cute wellibobs! My most recent pair are about done for…time for another trip to England. (I could probably get them on the internet, but what’s the fun in that?) Hope to hear what you found at Rosemoor.

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 7:44 pm - Reply

      You should be able to get them on the internet, they are made by Hunter and there are lots of different designs. But I’d be the same, nothing like buying locally!

  5. islandthreads September 3, 2014 at 11:47 am - Reply

    Jessica thank you for my smile of the day 🙂 Frances

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 7:45 pm - Reply

      You’re welcome Frances!

  6. Mark and Gaz September 3, 2014 at 12:22 pm - Reply

    Funny! It’s amazing how comfy we can all get with our gardening shoes, which apart from my work shoes is the one I spend most of the time wearing. And yes, I’ve been out and about wearing them so many times, couldn’t care less anymore 🙂

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 7:59 pm - Reply

      I’m getting to that point. People walk round supermarkets in green wellies here so what the heck?

  7. Cathy September 3, 2014 at 12:43 pm - Reply

    Tee hee! I have exactly the same ritual but haven’t managed to wear them beyond the house – oh, except for going to the skip sometimes, I suppose – but I have been known to go out with mud up my legs and bits in my hair though…. ps desperately need new gardening clogs but garden centre ones have stupid low backs which just won’t do at all….

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 8:41 pm - Reply

      Those low backed clogs are just ridiculous, especially if you are trying to keep upright on a slope. The clogs, on their grips, stay put and my feet fall out the back!

  8. Sue September 3, 2014 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Well I HAD indoor and outdoor Crocs, but you can imagine …… I never had the right pair on in the right place, and the day when I looked down and found I had a brown one on one foot and a navy blue one on the other foot I knew it was time to stop that!!

    Unfortunately I chose to wear out the blue pair first and Lovely Hubby also has a blue pair, so now we still occasionally have the wrong Crocs on …. his are size 10 and mine size 7 …. it doesn’t take him long to work it out but I’ve been known to slop around for far too long in his.

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 8:47 pm - Reply

      I can easily imagine..
      I have indoor deck type shoes (not being a fan of slippers), but as they are meant as outdoor shoes that does of course happen and then dirt comes indoors. Only when it’s dry though.. waterproof rubber clogs were one of the first things I had to buy when we got here!

  9. Denise September 3, 2014 at 2:48 pm - Reply

    Are you married to a giant, Jess? Or are you a teeny pixie person? Or is it all camera perspective?

    Love the idea of double hair appointments but it is not a habit I shall adopt as I do not wish to have my ears set on fire by Andy’s Albanian pyromaniac barber.

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 8:56 pm - Reply

      I had the same thought when I looked at the picture!
      I am a teeny pixie person, size 3 shoes. Mike is no giant though, we’ll put it down to perspective. I think Andy’s barber needs to feature in a blog post.

  10. Chloris September 3, 2014 at 3:19 pm - Reply

    I have done a similar thing on one of the days in London which the Pianist insists on. I got into the car in a rush because we hadn’ t long to get to the station. I realised I had Crocs on and rushed back in to change them. It wasn’ t until I was sitting in the tube and noticed someone staring at my feet that I realised that I had odd shoes on. I think Crocs would have looked more stylish than that. Imagine spending a day in London in odd shoes. You’ d have longed for some nice matching crocs.

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 8:58 pm - Reply

      Eeek.. I think I’d have been paying an early visit to a shoe shop (any excuse).

  11. Sigrun September 3, 2014 at 4:23 pm - Reply

    Ha ha, Country living! I have dirty trousers from the cat’s hear and also dirty shoes.


    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:03 pm - Reply

      It is my excuse Sigrun. It is very hard to keep clean in the country.

  12. Alison September 3, 2014 at 4:57 pm - Reply

    Hah! Glad to hear karma got your husband. I’ve gardened in shorts in the past and once went for coffee with dirty knees.

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:06 pm - Reply

      So embarrassing isn’t it? Lots of dabbing with handkerchiefs to remove the worst of the evidence.

  13. Amy at love made my home September 3, 2014 at 5:19 pm - Reply

    Oh this is so hilarious!!!!! I think that you should wear the clog thingys out and about and just gain a reputation as a mad eccentric. Far more interesting than being normal like everyone else. Yesterday, no actually, Monday, I wore jeans and birkenstocks – and a top of course!! – to the supermarket and got some funny looks, but I don’t care! Unless of course it turns out I had a bit of twig or something sticking out of my hair, I don’t really want to get a reputation for dressing like a tree. Your clogy things are very nice by the way, much nicer than the plain green ones! xx

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      I usually have two pairs of cloggy things. One covered in mud for gardening and a ‘decent’ pair for going up and getting the post, shopping deliveries etc. At the moment there’s only one pair.. the former. Bring on the sales.

  14. Vera September 3, 2014 at 5:22 pm - Reply

    I have a pair of bright pink crocs which act as my slippers and farm shoes, and yes, I have found myself in the local supermarket several times with them still on my feet!

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:10 pm - Reply

      When in France?

  15. Sue Garrett September 3, 2014 at 6:16 pm - Reply

    Can you arrange for a mobile hairdresser that way you can wear anything you want.

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:13 pm - Reply

      I like your thinking Sue..

  16. starproms September 3, 2014 at 6:54 pm - Reply

    Funny! At least you had the same shoes on each foot!

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:14 pm - Reply

      This time..

  17. wherefivevalleysmeet September 3, 2014 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    I always cut H’s hair – it is surprising that he lets me, as my only other experience is cutting box balls!

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:16 pm - Reply

      Rosemary, having seen a photo of your box balls, H is in very safe hands.

  18. Antoinette September 3, 2014 at 7:53 pm - Reply

    snap 🙂 Mine are white with multi-colored polka dots — summer; dusky pink with furry liners — winter. ‘C’est du rigeur’ here in rural France. One day I’ll no doubt be teaching and find I’ve forgotten to put on ‘city’ shoes.

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      Wow, they sound the bees knees. Furry liners! I must definitely find some of those. Academics are allowed a few eccentricities.

      • Antoinette September 6, 2014 at 1:31 pm - Reply

        and you can remove the liners to put them in the wash –they work with poppers. If you want a pair email me with your size and I’ll pick up a pair [one buys them at the hypermarché] and mail them to you [they’re wanna be Crocs ]

        • Jessica September 6, 2014 at 8:12 pm - Reply

          Oh they sound very posh. Do you have an internet link for the product?

          • Antoinette September 7, 2014 at 10:37 am

            Sadly not. I bought ours at the local super store and they were really cheap. But I’ll have a look if one of the garden centers do something similar online.

          • Jessica September 7, 2014 at 6:27 pm

            Thanks. No rush, I won’t be replacing them until Spring.. welly season fast approaching!

  19. hoehoegrow September 3, 2014 at 8:50 pm - Reply

    Ah, the joys of comfortable footwear! I too have a penchant for the gardening clog, despite the derision of my husband – who, I have to say, once drove to London and back in his slippers, so he has little room to poke shoe-related fun!

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:23 pm - Reply

      It’s so reassuring when the man in your life does something like that. It makes it so much easier to cope with when you do exactly the same.

  20. Freda September 3, 2014 at 8:58 pm - Reply

    So lucky here in the wilds of Scotland now. A hairdresser, trained at Vidal Sassoon, comes every 6 weeks or so to stay with a local friend and cuts her customers’ hair while she is here! Brilliant. I still cut my husbands though..

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:27 pm - Reply

      Hi Freda! Welcome back.
      It’s not the first time I’ve felt that in the wilds of Scotland you have far better facilities than I do. Always knew I should have moved there..

  21. snowbird September 3, 2014 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    Goodness, sounds like you are miles from everywhere. This had me smiling, I’ve done this FAR too often.xxx

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:28 pm - Reply

      Easily done huh?

  22. CJ September 3, 2014 at 9:40 pm - Reply

    I remember a couple of years ago going out with my friend who was here from abroad. We were going for a nice meal, and I’d tried hard to look nice. Most of the way there in her car and I realised I was wearing my gardening Birkenstocks, that were slightly falling apart and had paint splashes across them. I stuck it out anyway. Not everyone could carry that off… CJ xx

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:51 pm - Reply

      Respect CJ..
      At least they were comfortable. So many posh shoes are not!

  23. Donna@GardensEyeView September 3, 2014 at 9:45 pm - Reply

    My that is a long way to go for appointments. Here I wear my garden boots, clogs or slides…and i don’t care as they are my everyday and garden shoes…comfort. I say wear the clogs and promote gardening too!

    • Jessica September 3, 2014 at 9:58 pm - Reply

      I certainly manage that. The clogs would have had a flowery pattern on once (I got them cheap), if you could see it through the dirt..

  24. Anna September 3, 2014 at 10:09 pm - Reply

    Well done on getting Mike to a hairdressing establishment. Himself still visits barber whose styling skills are most lacking – think pudding basin. Smiled at your shoe stories – I’ve not done that yet but once went to work with my dress inside out and did not realise until somebody kindly told me.

    • Jessica September 4, 2014 at 11:28 am - Reply

      He has always been to a hairdresser but there is not much scope for artistic styling. He’s had the same cut for the last 30 years plus.

  25. Linda September 4, 2014 at 12:08 am - Reply

    Country bumpkins!
    You write the funniest posts, Jessica…something everyone can relate to!
    My clogs reappear in the Fall….summer is for flip flops….but….than again…
    I do not live in a forest….like you…lucky duck!
    And….a Rusty Duck at that!
    Linda :o)

    • Jessica September 4, 2014 at 11:34 am - Reply

      It used to be flip flops for me too, but I spend so much time wandering over bare earth… not a good look!

  26. elaine September 4, 2014 at 7:04 am - Reply

    You know what this is a sign of don’t you – yes, it’s old age – it makes us do strange and weird things – I went shopping the other day wearing my reading glasses – one pair on my nose and the other pair on top of my head – talk about forgetful.

    • Jessica September 4, 2014 at 11:37 am - Reply

      Ha Ha! You remind me I must get a second pair, I’m totally reliant on them now. I was having to give all the small print on the packaging to Mike in the supermarket the other day. Oh dear.

  27. sustainablemum September 4, 2014 at 8:10 am - Reply

    I thought I lived in the sticks but I don’t have an eight hour journey for an opticians appointment! Perhaps you should relocate your shoe rack to the garage, I don’t think I would want to negotiate 84 steps in anything other than the most comfy practical shoes!

    • Jessica September 4, 2014 at 11:41 am - Reply

      The eight hour round trip is self inflicted, long story. At least I can catch up on blogs in the car.. But on the rare occasions we go somewhere requiring posh shoes I wear the gardening clogs up the steps and carry the shoes! There are far too many scuff hazards apart from anything else.

  28. Jo September 4, 2014 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    That’s so funny. I remember a work colleague once turning up to work in odd shoes.

    • Jessica September 4, 2014 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      I’ve not done it yet. But there’s a first time for everything.

  29. frayed at the edge September 4, 2014 at 4:48 pm - Reply

    Hooray for someone else with small feet – I’m a half size bigger. Your post has reminded me that I have a pair of pink gardening clogs somewhere in the garage – I must clean them up and give them to a charity shop, now that I have retired from gardening!

    • Jessica September 4, 2014 at 10:00 pm - Reply

      I used to be 3 1/2, I’ve shrunk!

  30. Rosie September 4, 2014 at 7:07 pm - Reply

    Ha Ha better sturdy gardening clogs than soft slippers! Someone I used to work with once came into work with odd shoes on she notced on the bus into work – too late to do anything about it then:)

    • Jessica September 4, 2014 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      Nightmare. I’d have been thinking everyone was looking at me, even if they weren’t.

  31. Willow September 5, 2014 at 12:37 am - Reply

    That’s s so funny . The first thing I was thinking whilst looking at the picture before I read the post was
    “Well I sure do like those cute little flowered clogs ” :))

    • Jessica September 5, 2014 at 9:27 am - Reply

      I noticed a split in them yesterday. Eek. I must get another pair, they are the shoes I wear most. By far.

  32. Paula@BloomsnSpades September 5, 2014 at 2:05 pm - Reply

    Your clogs are much more fetching than my bright blue ones, I’m sure you’d have blended in beautifully 😉

    • Jessica September 5, 2014 at 6:28 pm - Reply

      It’s the general scruffiness and dirt that worried me most.. it doesn’t look half as bad in the photo!

  33. Benjamin September 5, 2014 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    You could start a new fashion trend…gardener-chic! Rubber gardening clogs or wellies, sun hats, pruners protruding proudly from one back pocket gardening gloves from the other…I’m on board! Watch for it on Milan runways next year… 😉

    • Jessica September 5, 2014 at 6:55 pm - Reply

      Hi Benjamin and welcome to rusty duck.
      Not far off actually.. apart from the sunhat, not often needed in the south west of England, sadly. Mixed feelings about Milan though, if they get hold of it my faithful old rubber clogs will suddenly be ten times the price!

  34. angiesgardendiaries September 5, 2014 at 3:25 pm - Reply

    I thought it was only me that left the house in inappropriate footwear – at least you remembered before you got on your way. I’ve tripped up many a place with my slippers on!
    Quite a journey for a haircut and the opticians – in my opinion, worth every mile for the ideal living you’ve opted for Jessica.

    • Jessica September 5, 2014 at 7:01 pm - Reply

      I just hope we don’t have a bad winter, I can see us getting snowed in. Rural living gets a bit trickier then. We found a very good optician whilst in our old house so once a year do a trip back. I’m sure there are many, as good, much nearer!

  35. Isabelle September 6, 2014 at 7:40 pm - Reply

    Brilliant, haha! In recalcitrant moods I’ve sometimes considered wearing my gardening clogs to school. I haven’t actually done it, but love fantasising about it 🙂

    • Jessica September 6, 2014 at 8:50 pm - Reply

      In the rain it would be eminently practical. You could just ‘forget’ to take them off…

  36. CherryPie September 9, 2014 at 12:47 am - Reply


    • Jessica September 9, 2014 at 9:42 am - Reply


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