I still miss you so very much, Dad.
The online home and (not so) alter(ed)-ego of Ann McMeekin Carrier. New Mum, Photographer, Knitter, Petrolhead, Shoe and Stationery Obsessive and User Experience Consultant at Lab49.
I still miss you so very much, Dad.
When I got pregnant last year, my feet did the pregnant thing of growing, unexpectedly, almost overnight. I went from a size 5 to a size 7 in quite a short space of time, leaving me irritatingly and uncomfortably shoeless (at possibly the worst possible time to be uncomfortable and unshod).
In desperation, just before I was due to give birth, I bought a pair of knitted Ugg style boots, which, though not the foxiest of footwear, were at least comfortable enough that I could walk in them, and wide enough that my newly boatlike feet could fit in them.
Fast forward to January and the wind is blowing a gale through the (synthetic) knitted ankle and they’re battered and collapsing and generally in that baggy ugly state that everyone associates with this style of boot, and often mocks. Not good. So I’m in York at the end of January, and it’s freezing, and I’m thinking that I should really get a pair of proper Ugg type boots, maybe even bite the bullet and buy UGG brand boots, but the cost stops me in my tracks. They might be warm, but I don’t love them nearly enough to pay that much for them. So I don’t, and I go home, with cold feet and consider wearing two pairs of socks for the next couple of months.
Then a couple of days later I get an email, asking if I’ve got cold feet, and do I want to try a pair of Ugg style boots and do a review on my blog.
Yes. I have cold feet.
Yes, I was going to buy a new pair of boots, but didn’t think my maternity pay would stretch to UGGs (I firmly believe that if you’re going to cough up a lot of money for shoes that they should make you happy).
No, I don’t usually do blog reviews of products because there’s usually strings attached, or the products offered are things I wouldn’t normally buy.
So I email back, somewhat disbelieving, and long story short, there were no strings attached. I was allowed to choose any boots I wanted, and have been free to wear them, keep them and write what I want about them.
So here’s my review:
I love these and will not be parted from them. They are like walking in clouds. I may buy another pair in a different colour. Especially because there’s a sale on right now making them less than half the price of their equivalent UGG brethren
Working in UX I’m all about the customer experience, and although I didn’t use the website to order, because they were ordered for me, I got all the steps from the point of order onwards, and I was very impressed.
I did check out the site though, and was really pleased to see detailed information on how to make sure you get the right size, as well as information about the materials used and how to wear (and care for) them, and after a bit of consideration, I chose the Classic Short Boots in Black.
I got a confirmation email as soon as the order was placed, with all the order details.
A day later I got another email to let me know that they had shipped, complete with tracking details.
A day later, they were delivered. Brilliant.
I did get an email that day saying that there’d been an attempted delivery (which was in reality successful, but I’d rather have an extra email in error than nothing at all), and three days later, a final email following up to make sure I’d received them, asking me to fill out a customer survey and giving returns information.
Cool. Never had that before.
But on to the important bit.
The Box. I’m a sucker for packaging, and though this was a nice try, it didn’t entirely get me going.
The Boots. Nice subtle label. Reinforced heel, to avoid that collapsing thing that makes UGG boots look so sloppy.
The Boots. On.
The View from The Top.
I’m happy to report that despite my slight apprehension, the boots are a perfect fit. They’re neat around my calf, which is great but I can still get my trousers into them, but does make them a wee bit more challenging to put on (these are not shove your feet into them and go boots – you have to put them on properly). They’re also not too long or wide in the foot, which avoids the “swimming” feeling I’ve had with other similar style boots – and which has resulted in the most impressive blisters you’ve ever seen.
I went with the website’s suggestion of wearing them barefoot and they were incredibly comfortable and warm. The only downside being the black colour, which transferred to my feet by the time I took them off. Still, a small price to pay for comfort, and not something I imagine that happens with the natural colour ones.
I’ve worn these to walk some fairly long distances (around RHS Wisley, around Dulwich Park with the local mums, etc. etc. etc.) for the last three weeks and they’ve been great. They’ve stood up to accidental mud (RHS Wisley + Mud + Pram Wheels = Woe), light rain, bitter cold wind and bright, warm sunshine. The inner pile has compressed a bit, but not too much, and my feet haven’t felt hideously overheated at any point. I’ve worn them barefoot (and washed my feet a lot after), with thin socks and with thicker socks. If you were going to wear them with thicker socks a lot it might make sense to buy a size bigger, but it was doable.
As I said in the tl;dr version, I really love these. They’re comfortable, warm and have withstood everything I’ve thrown at them. In the time I’ve had them I’ve only worn other shoes twice, and both times I’ve been less comfortable – make of that what you will.
That even if you want to be pregnant and have actively been trying to get pregnant, there will still be a moment when you look at the positive test and think “Holy SHIT! I’m pregnant!” and your knees will go weak and you’ll panic a bit.
That my body, which has failed me so much and so often in the past, can conceive, carry to term and nourish a child. Not effortlessly, by any stretch of the imagination, but it worked, and it is continuing to work, and this astonishes me daily.
That really good friends can be found in places you don’t expect, and that people you thought were friends can disappear from your life with very little warning.
That everything washes.
That making pastry isn’t as scary as it seems.
That there’s a very good reason that pregnancy takes so damn long, and even then, it isn’t nearly long enough to adjust to the culture shock that is being a first-time parent.
That quality really is better than quantity in almost everything.
On Thursday 6th October at 9.57am, our son was born by emergency caesarean section weighing 4kg (8lbs 14oz) and measuring 54cm (21.25″) long.
We spent a few days in hospital while I recovered enough to be allowed home. Being able to get up, get dressed and hug my baby was a very good day.
The first day at home, together, as a family, was even better.
Though I’m exhausted from lack of sleep and still recovering from surgery, each day brings a new joy and though I know there will be challenges ahead, I can’t help but feel that the best days are yet to come.
The lovely Natalie at The Yarn Yard started a bloggy thing called “Making Monday” a couple of weeks ago, to encourage folk to share what they make. I wanted to join in before, but various things have got in my way.
This week, however, I actually managed to make stuff, despite the best attempts of my physiology to get in the way.
Yesterday, I finished making a hat that I started (for the first time) several weeks ago, and screwed up several times, before finally getting it near enough right. It’s for the first of the babies born to our antenatal group, and it felt like a huge achievement to finally get it done.
The Pattern is Poppy by Justine Turner (Ravelry Link – requires login), and it charms me so much I have no problem with the idea of repeating it several times, in different colourways, for several babies.
Today, breaking from the (recent) norm, was a good day. Not brilliant, but better than I’ve had in a couple of weeks, and it was very welcome.
madefinished two things.
I made pizza, using a chunk more of the home-made pizza dough (Jamie Oliver’s recipe) that I made a couple of weeks ago. It was really good.
I also managed to start and finish another hat. I’m now only one hat behind for the antenatal group. Hopefully, I should be able to finish the third before Saturday, when I’ll hopefully get to see everyone (and the newest addition to the group) and hand them over.
Mostly, however, I’ve been working on something much bigger.
Mostly, today, I’ve been working on growing a person.