It’s the little things that get to me at the moment. I miss kind bus drivers who wait for you to leg it to their stop in the rain. I miss being awed by the coffee art skills of London baristas on a daily basis. And I really, really miss wearing boots with a heel.
High-heeled boots are up there with snow and Christmas Eve as one of the few truly glamorous things about winter. Nothing in the wardrobe holds a candle to a great heeled boot when it comes to grown-up glamour. There is something deeply satisfying about their snug solidity, which radiates confidence and competence. A woman who orders her pre-dinner cocktail without consulting the menu and would keep her cool in a crisis.
But this winter, the heeled boot has barely had a look-in. These are boots you wear when you are leaving the house in order to go indoors elsewhere: a cafe, the cinema, parents’ evening. At the moment, the only time I go out of the house to go indoors elsewhere is to go to the supermarket. (Actually, that’s not quite true – I went to the dentist, which was an exciting change of scene. But not exactly worth putting on heels for.) My local park is a mud bath, and I am way too out of practice with heels to risk them on a trek anywhere further afield. Now and again I change into a vaguely dressy outfit for a Saturday night (not a cocktail dress, just something that’s not jeans and a jumper) but that calls for a pair of slingbacks I can easily kick off in front of the TV.
Maybe I’m getting this all wrong. After all, most of the things I miss right now aren’t within my power to bring back, but there’s nothing stopping me putting on a great pair of boots with a dress. They could be just the thing to put a spring back into my step, during the one-flight-of-stairs commute to my desk. In a winter short on sparkle, a smart boot is a high-kick of glamour, and if there was ever a season to channel drinking a cocktail and staying cool in a crisis, this is surely the one.
On the other hand, a heeled boot is timeless. And there’s always next winter.
• Jess wears boots, from a selection, loefflerrandall.com. Dress, £229, allsaints.com. Earrings, her own. Styling: Melanie Wilkinson, assisted by Peter Bevan. Hair and makeup: Sophie Higginson using Ouai haircare and Nars