paisley boots

We went to the Columbia outlet store the other day. Columbia makes outdoor apparel and Louise wanted a pair of boots—mud-certified, tromp-around-the-back-forty, muck-up-to-your-knees boots. She is convinced that our upcoming three months in France will be essentially an immersion in ooze, punctuated by emancipating forays to the Champs-Élysées in Paris. Parisian shoes she has plenty of. Mud boots, not so many.

Really? Are we about to embark on a cruise in the Sea of Slop?

 River La Claise

River La Claise

She may be confused by the river. The River La Claise flows across the back of the property and riverbanks can be muddy. But pictures from John and Jackie depict an idyllic waterfront—populated, no doubt, by cavorting faeries and mischievous gnomes—with not a splat of mud in sight.

No, it’s not the river. It’s not history either. The city of Châtellerault, near where we will be staying, receives 2.7 inches of rain in January, 2.0 inches in February, and 1.8 inches in March. By comparison, Portland averages 6.5 inches in January alone, roughly equal to what Châtellerault gets for the three months combined.

The boots that Louise bought

The boots that Louise bought

So what did provoke Louise to visit the Columbia outlet? Faithful readers know the answer: She’s a varsity-level shopper, and a pair of boots is merely a catalyst, as if a catalyst is required at all, for another heroic plundering of les galeries des supermachés.

Yes, she’s incorrigible. But did I mention? I bought a pair too.


Credit for photo at top:

Weather data from