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The Red Boots

Updated: Jul 18, 2022

I love red shoes and have owned quite a few pairs. The first picture shows my favourite boots on the shingle beach at Lynmouth in Devon. It was a day filled with emotion as I visited the town where some of my father’s family lived, three generations ago before migrating to Australia. There are still relatives there but I didn’t get to meet any on that trip. Those boots walked many miles around the UK and they are still going strong. It was a lovely autumn day, fresh but not cold. The previous day I’d trekked around Dartmoor and towns in the south and it was cold, wet and windy. Delicious. Just what I expected.

I didn’t get to Hoar Oak cottage which had been my main destination as recent severe storms had turned the small streams into raging torrents. I didn’t like my chances of jumping lightly over them on the hike. There will be another visit and I’ll get to visit the little house that has sheltered several families of farmers, mainly shepherds. My great-great grandfather Josiah was the last of my family to live there.

The next red boots are my current gumboots, and they have been well-used lately. It’s been wet in this part of Australia. My home town has been cut off several times by floodwaters but unlike many areas, no dwellings have been inundated. It’s a lesson that we should be taking better care of this beautiful planet.

The cottage is in the valley behind me in the last photo. I imagined the roaming sheep and farm workers toiling up and down the hills.

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