Woolly Bully

The poor old Volcano-toe (or V-toe as it is now known to its intimates) is feeling the cold.  Since the nail fell off it has been particularly sensitive and whilst (after the daily salty bath) I dress it lovingly and wrap it up warm, the hole in my boot(s) doesn’t just let in the water but an icy draft that makes it sting like billy-o. The dressings keep it dry but can also have an adverse effect – last week V-Toe decided to develop an allergy to the adhesive round the edges.  I should get a Blue Peter badge for the ingenuity involved in looking after this toe.

There’s a nice girl in Boots who contacts us every time a new supply of finger (they don’t do toe) dressings arrive – we can’t order them in bulk but she puts two or three packets aside for us.  Poking forlornly out of my boots, the V-toe looks both bizarre and sinister.  It attracts a great deal of attention, but my lips have been superglued shut about how it got damaged, by what and who is responsible, so conversation with anyone other than my nearest and most dear is – difficult  – and takes on a distinctly mysterious quality.

I’ve tried a number of solutions to keep the old V-toe (and it’s companions) safe and warm in the icy and wet conditions; the right foot won’t tolerate having a different shoe/boot or even a sock on – my temperature control goes out the window and I end up with one very hot foot and the other freezing cold.  Wearing odd footwear also makes me feel lopsided and leads observers to jump to the conclusion that I was on the lash last night and can’t manage to find matching footwear.

Lovely Hub has bought me two pairs of Ugg-knock off boots with fluffy linings; combining these with my stock of ageing leg warmers from the seventies (no, I never throw anything away) my feet (except for V-toe and its immediate neighbour) are kept reasonably snug.  The leg warmers are needed to pad out the boots which have to be three sizes bigger in order for me to get V-toe and its apparel through the toe hole without it getting bashed or squashed.

Being a bit of an accessory dandy and deprived of my socks, I confess to having trawled my way through eBay in search of more interesting and festive leg warmers  recently – before the others give up the ghost (they are somewhat frayed round the edges – definitely like their owner).

It was whilst I was trawling that I hit upon an idea that might keep the V-toe a bit warmer, lighten my flagging spirits and enable me to participate – to some extent at least – in engendering some festive cheer.

The willie warmer.

A tried and trusted Secret Santa present and found in many a Christmas stocking only to be hidden rapidly before the kids see it; eBay did me proud.  I have ordered a very nice Purple Ronnie WW, a suitably festive red WW with a red ribbon – and two black knitted WWs – one with a sparkly black trim and one with sparkly black and white trim.  Ideal for our visit down South just before Christmas but hopefully unnecessary for the trip to Lanzarote.

Who would have thought it?

There was a slight problem with the two black WWs; they come in different sizes = small, medium and large.

I was reminded of an incident many years ago when, as a fairly wet-behind-the-ears drama student, I was dispatched to the local ballet shop to buy a dozen jock straps (or jazz belts as the girl in the shop called them) for a production that required the male performers to wear tights.  The tights were dense but very close-fitting and said jazz belts were a necessity if the production was not going to be closed down on the grounds of indecency.

“What size?” asked the gum-chewing assistant as she riffled though the stock of jazz-belts.

“Size?” I gulped, it had never occurred to me that they came in different sizes and the thought that I might have to go back and – measure them (!) – filled me with a mix of emotions that my eighteen-year old self found very difficult to cope with.

The assistant took pity on me; she gave me three large, three medium and three small – with the rider that she would exchange them provided they weren’t taken out of their packets.

Needless to say, the three large jazz belts were snapped up immediately, followed very quickly by three chaps who didn’t mind being mediums.  No one would admit to being a small and when I agreed to take them back to the ballet shop I was told in no uncertain terms to get three more in large size.  One bright spark asked for extra-large but was booed roundly by all who were present.

There was a temptation to sprinkle them with itching powder on the way back but I resisted.

So, with this in mind, I measured the V-toe and decided that it was definitely a small (up to 4 inches if you really need to know). I thought I ought to let the nice lady what knits WWs know what I needed them for (some of them come with two little pouches attached – not necessary for my purposes) so I sent her a message when I paid for them.

“At the risk of sounding implausible – I’ve actually bought two willy warmers for my big toe. It got badly crushed in an accident two months ago, I’ve lost the nail and can only wear boots with a hole cut out for the toe. It has a dressing on at all times – but it still gets cold and in the festive season a plain white dressing is a bit dull. Small size would do please? Thank you.”

I got this reply last night

“Oh bless you, I read your message last night when it came through and made me chuckle that you had to explain your reasons for purchase and the use they are for… well, it didn’t make me chuckle the reason.. (toe crushed) OUCH!
I think these will certainly brighten up your toe and hopefully keep it warmer than it is now. I have popped them in the post for you so hopefully they won’t take too long with the Christmas post!”

There are some very nice people about.

My breath of fresh air visited me yesterday, bringing the baby and the little star – who is a star at Maths now as well!  We had a lovely morning culminating in a well-fed baby crashing out on my shoulder.  The smell of a tiny baby’s head is so unique and innocent. College Boy stayed in bed all morning – he doesn’t do small children – they look at him in a funny way – and babies frighten the life out of him – phew!

The day continued to be special with a trip up to Crosby to watch the sun sink slowly behind the Standing Men and eat ice cream cones  with blood-red syrup, a flake and two different colours of sherbet – yes I know it was December 1st but it was nice and warm in our car.  Lovely Hub was happy because he’d just bought new tyres for the car and they were so quiet on the motorway that we could happily sing along to ‘Should I stay or should I go?’ without shouting.

Mmmmm – that song could be particularly relevant right now.

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