Walking boots

My friend bought a £200 pair of walking boots that don’t fit him. They’re size nine. My feet are bigger than that. I usually buy size ten. But I’m also a ridiculous optimist. So I’ve been walking around wearing them for the last hour or two hoping they’ll magically start fitting.


Because I’ll need good boots for this 600 mile walk I’m doing in less then a month. Eek.

My feet already hurt from these boots and there’s a blister developing on my ankle. I’ve walked no distance at all. My rational brain knows that there’s no way in hell I’m walking 15 to 20 miles a day for over a month wearing these. It would be insanity, I tell you! But the little bit of my brain that keeps me as an actor is squealing “Maybe they’ll magically change! Everything is going to be okay! Just stick it out. It’ll be fine.”

Sometimes I need to learn how to admit defeat.

I might have an old Halloween advert repeating, and if I do then I can certainly afford to buy a good pair that won’t make me feel like an ugly sister. That’s not set in stone either though. The ad agency were trying to weasel their way into giving me magic beans for the usage and now my agent has told them that they’re being naughty and she has insisted on me getting a proper usage fee. I reckon they’re going to see if it’ll be cheaper to edit me out. I’m strangely okay with that. Better to have no money in this case than to sell myself cheap, and continue to backslide the value of skill in this industry. I’ve been at this too long to let myself be undercut. Even on that shoot last year I noticed how nobody’s time was wasted on my account. Time is very actively money on set. You don’t fuck around with “What’s my motivation?”

I gave back the boots. It was worth a try but I’d probably have to cut my feet off halfway through the walk. I am allowing myself not to get too freaked out by the distance I’ve chosen to cover. But good boots – and quickly – are one of the few bits of preparation that I’m filing under indispensable.

And then my practical friend mucks in. “Bed bug spray,” she mentions immediately. “Those alberges will be full of them.” Ugh. I hadn’t even thought of that. Bed bugs. I was given a bed frame full of them once. I slept being eaten alive for about six months. Then I was woken from a deep sleep by Nathan asking for change for the parking meter. They were everywhere. I took some in a tupperware to the Natural History Museum, and my brother proudly said “That’s a good specimen of Cimex Lectularis.” It at least means that now I totally understand that the creatures are visible and actually quite large. I can look for them and find them. I won’t get that psychological crawling sensation at the idea of invisible beasties. I’ll look for them as I go and maybe sleep in a chemically treated sleeping bag it’s necessary. We can get hung up on that sort of thing though. And I suspect I’ll have bigger things to worry about. Like my knees exploding.


Author: albarclay

This blog is a work of creative writing. Do not mistake it for truth. All opinions are mine and not that of my numerous employers.

One thought on “Walking boots”

  1. Those boots were not made for walking. Boots are for mountaineering. You need proper Reebok or Nike gymbos, made for the purpose, lots of give and lots of support.


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