Today, I have been suffering from a rather middle-class injury.
I've been breaking in a new pair of festival boots, you see. I've long since rejected wellington boots as practical footwear at a festival as large as Glastonbury. They're all very well in principle, and obviously they're pretty handy in the muddy conditions that are often found at Worthy Farm, but they're just not designed for wearing all day or for walking the miles and miles you do as you trudge around from stage to stage. Not to put too fine a point on it, your feet can't breathe, and by the end of the day, you might as well have been walking around barefoot in the puddles.
The solution? Well, for me, I've found rigger boots to be perfect. They're the kind of boots that you see on building sites; they're steel toe-capped, pretty breathable with a properly shaped insole and they're more than waterproof enough to wade around a muddy farm. They're also classed as workwear, so they're sold free of VAT. My old pair cost me something less than £30, but I've upgraded to something a little bit better and, well, a little bit less bright yellow.
Like any leather shoe though, they need breaking in. Because I can't think of anything much worse than blisters at Glastonbury, I started putting in some of the hard yards over the weekend.... and now I have the scraped skin on my ankles to prove it. With hindsight, perhaps I should have worn a better pair of socks, but as there's still plenty of breaking-in ahead, I imagine I'll have other opportunities.
22 days to go. I might have to start wearing them around the house.
(Incidentally, it never fails to amaze me how people go to Glastonbury without boots. When it rains, you see people panic shopping for wellies. I once saw a delivery of boots arrive on the site under Police escort. Honestly, I just take them every year just in case, whatever the forecast. It's not like they take all that much room. Actually, I wear my rigger boots even when it's nice, because they're comfortable). Then again, you also see people with little wheelie bags every year, and then, at the first sign of a bit of mud, you see the same people totally unable to move their bags because there isn't really another way of carrying those bags and the mud has clogged the wheels. Young people, eh?)
8 hours ago