by Annina Melliger
In Switzerland I was told I would need “Wellies” for my trip to England. All my friends obsessed with the country said so. I didn’t listen, and now I wish I had.
My problem began with the name: What on earth is a Wellie? A mix of an Orca whale and Willy Wonka? Apparently not. Short for Wellington boots, the name comes from when the first Duke of Wellington donned such footwear, thus popularizing the accessory. Lacking such historically relevant and uber-exciting background knowledge, however, I could not guess that it meant a type of rubber boot to protect the wearer from bad weather. And in Plymouth, specifically, also from the sea. I would just have called them rain boots. Unfortunately, the OED does not even list that as a possible option. How could the English not think of the most obvious name? They’re boots, and they are worn in the rain. Thus, rain boots. Flawless logic.
I realize now that I need rain boots. Here in Plymouth, it rains as if the sky was falling. (And now that I have safely led you through this awkward transition, I may confidently comment on Skyfall.)
So. Much. Pathos. Especially in the scene where M turns to the crying windowpane after Bond dies (WHAT?! HOW COULD YOU SPOIL IT?! – Calm yourself; Bond’s hobby is resurrection. And really, if you haven’t seen it yet, trust me, you never will. Les Mis, I hear, is coming out in Switzerland very soon.)
I am quite miserable myself: my umbrella is completely useless in England. In fact, I have gone through three of them in the past 3 months. My newest acquisition is frilly. Her flirtatious attitude positively begs for a Marilyn Monroe moment. And the winds oblige. Often. I do have a wind coat, but I don’t have a raincoat – they’re not called Wellington coats here, are they?
And I still do not have a pair of Wellies. Too bad; I would have really liked to see, and ideally, survive, a lightning storm in Plymouth. On the water’s edge.