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Thursday, January 19, 2006

Zen & The Art Of Boot Bulling (Back To The Future I)

Today I have mainly been bulling my boots.

There is something oddly relaxing about bulling boots.

To get a perfect shine first of all you have to add layer after layer of polish. Too much in one go and you'll never get a smooth finish. The concentration on a simple but delicate task lets part of the mind drift elsewhere.

And then once the polish is there the real relaxation begins.

A bit of water, some cotton wool and a tiny bit of polish. Tiny little circles, all over the boot.

Lots and lots of tiny circles.

Thousands of them.

And then the first sparkle appears.

Another repetitive, delicate task. It takes time and it's easy to drift off elsewhere.

The satisfaction as the shine deepens, spreading over the boot. Eventually deep enough you can see your face in it.

So what do you think? Will it catch on if I set up a evening class at the local community centre. Find your inner self and clean your shoes at the same time. It's certainly less painful than yoga.


Blogger Just Jane said...

I am forcing my lads to read this as I wish to brainwash them into believing boot bulling...or even a cursory wipe of the filthy shoes would be an a GOOD thing. (Shouting at them has so far abjectly failed to get the footware cleaned.)

8:41 pm  
Anonymous Kath said...

Royal always tells me there's two kinds of soldiers: those that can make boots shine, and those that can iron. He is one that can iron...

10:51 pm  
Blogger Katy Newton said...

US, I would be more than happy to courier my entire boot collection straight to you the next time you're feeling stressed.

Just say the word. Really. I insist.

11:18 pm  
Blogger fjl said...

You are all the same in this matter. My dada used to make a massive deal of it, polishing everyone's and lining them up by the door, it never left him. Even when he'd long been moved on from Secret Service work, where it's completely unnessecary! U have to all make this meditative art of it.
He did a bloody good job though. His tea is also amazing, and no one can find a radio station faster. :-) The world will be an emptier place soon.

11:44 pm  
Blogger fjl said...

* he was moved on from the ISRB Secret Service after the war was over. Then onto other Secret Service comissions. He'd go off to Russia- and everyone's boots were polished first. You are all bonkers in this way ;-)

11:46 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Baaah. Mini blow torch for deserts to heat the leather making it easier to shine...beware. too much heat = burnt leather... too much shine and dry leather = cracks...

laziness never wins.. (but then there is more time for beers)

12:25 am  
Blogger gonorr said...

Floor polish, the name of which escapes me....maybe "clear?" good for a swift job, but nothing beats time spent doing circles. Very relaxing as you say.

5:34 am  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Jane - you could always threaten them with military room inspections. They had to stand at the foot of their bed while you walk around with a white glove checking for dust.

Kath - I'll pop my shirts round to him next week if that's alright? ;)

FJL - yup we're madder than a box of frogs.

Lennie/Gonorr - Tornado Nose Cone paint is the stuff you need apparently. Never cracks and permanent shine. Not that I know anyone who's ever got any of the fabled stuff.

7:23 am  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Oh and Katy - one can have too much of a good thing.

8:06 am  
Blogger greavsie said...

I'm going to have the shiniest wellingtons in chritendom after this!

8:40 am  
Blogger granny p said...

Not sure if polishing my birkenstocks would improve them...My beloved doesn't wear shoes either so no hope there. But I have been around men whose shoes were a joy to behold...(not sure the smug virtue resulting on face of wearer could be called that) and I do know what you mean about the satisfaction of such tasks...even though I avoid them as far as possible.

9:15 am  
Anonymous Z said...

Well I got four pupils for your bootcamp.
My mate always used to say you could find out a lot about a man by looking at his shoes. I never got out of her, exactly what you could find out though.

11:47 am  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Greavsie - marvellous.

GrannyP - having googled Birkenstocks I can see why :)

Z - I had more of a relaxation therapy class than a bootcamp in mind but maybe I could diversify.

12:12 pm  
Anonymous Stu Savory said...

I guess you learnt about polishing when a squaddie in Germany...

So you'll surely know the German word for polisher ;-)

2:31 pm  
Blogger PI said...

When my brother married his girl friend my dad said despairingly 'Who's going to clean the shoes?'
I rub dubbin into my climbing (now more walking) boots. Does that count? I'm disillusioned! Don't you use spit?

3:15 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Stu - sorry you'll have to enlighten me.

PI - some people still insist on spit. They are generally the ones who joined up when army numbers began XIVCII.

4:29 pm  
Anonymous Stu said...

German for (boot)-polisher is "Wichser", which also happens to be the slang word for 'masturbator':-(

Which reminds me of the announcer at the regimental do, introducing everyone loudly to all and sundry as they came into the ossifer's mess.

"Lord and Lady Watsit, and their daughter Miss Watsit"

"Captain and Mrs. Whoever and their son Master Whoever"

"Sergent-major Bates and Mrs. Bates and their son,, mumble, cough, er ...

12:55 pm  
Blogger Haggiswurst said...

There is something therapeutic about bulling up boots. I fair enjoyed whiling away the hours rubbing until you 'see your face in it' (er ahem that sounds dodgy now) it sure bet cleaning the ablutions area with toothbrush!

1:47 pm  
Blogger Universal Soldier said...

Stu - that's one to remember for the future. I look fondly back at filling up with petrol at the town of Wankum on the German border.

Desk Monkey - just about everything beats cleaning the bogs with a toothbrush.

4:07 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

thanx for the tips im only a cadet but we need to have shiny boots too :D this has worked really really well for me so thank you again and i hope there are more good tips on how to keep me looking better x

10:56 pm  
Anonymous spr woods said...

struggling with mine, got a brilliant shine on the toes and sides of my parade boots, but the upperparts around the lace eyelets just will not bull!!

3:30 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

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6:13 pm  

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