“My wellies and I seldom part company, to the deep embarrassment of my daughter.” The moment I read these words in a delightful new blog called Charwood Farm (the tale of a family who’ve swapped life in London for a leaky caravan and a three-acre field in Devon), they struck a chord with me. Why? Because for the last six months I’ve worn the sparkly black Rocket Dog plimsolls I bought for £5 at TK Maxx virtually everyday.
After years of tottering about in high heels and wedges I’ve suddenly discovered the bliss of wearing flat shoes. I’d even go so far as to say they’ve transformed my life. I can whizz down the steps to the tube at Marylebone Station, instead of gingerly feeling my way at a snail’s pace, and I can keep up with my long-legged son when we walk into Oxford (well, I have to do an ungainly sort of half-run, half-walk, but it’s fine).
The only trouble is that after a lifetime of heels I worry that I’m choosing speed over style. My ultra-glam mother would have been horrified. She always wore sky-high heels to the office, although admittedly she drove her car in bare feet and never wore shoes when she walked round the garden in Dorset. “The soles of my feet are like cast iron,” she used to tell my children as they wandered round the wood picking up fir cones together. “Wow,” they said, taking her words completely literally.
Actually, I think my daughter has inherited the high heel gene. Even though she spends most of her time in biker boots and pumps, she’s got an impressive collection of teetering heels. When she got her first Saturday job in a shop she coolly blew the whole of her first month’s pay cheque on a pair of blue velvet Vivienne Westwood shoes with tiny gold crowns on the sides. She wore them devotedly till they fell to bits and even now reckons it was the best money she’s ever spent.