Been feeling a little odd since some lockdown restrictions were lifted? Me, too.
And it’s not remotely surprising. All five of our precious human senses have been massively curtailed for well over a year as we’ve been held hostage in our homes with little or nothing new to see, hear, smell, taste or touch.
No fresh experiences to broaden our minds, to ravish our imaginations, to bring a magical glow to our cheeks.
The human touch was more or less outlawed. So it’s natural that many of us have been left feeling wobbly and off-balance.
I had an hour-long massage this week and, to my surprise, it made me well up with tears.
Not tears of sadness or trepidation – there have been enough of those – but with the pure, unbridled joy of having a professional’s hands on my neck and shoulders, rubbing and pummelling an entire year of pent-up anxiety out of my body.
I closed my eyes and melted deliriously away, listening to lapping waves – the closest I, like you, have got to real ones in a very long time. That hour was the most relaxed I have felt for more than 12 months.
In pre-Covid life I was more of a lone shopper, quietly enjoying doing my own thing. Suddenly I’m a chatty customer, making excited declarations of love about a new-season caramel sweater from Joseph (see below, which I couldn’t stop touching) and sharing my delight at how the clean line of the polo shirt – the long-sleeve ones are much more flattering, by the way – has been reinvented and embraced by the fashion world.
I even found myself touching the four small walls of a dressing room – not even a terribly attractive one – as if they were some sort of miraculous mirage. Online shopping is a convenient beast, but it doesn’t replace the thrill of the touch.
My favourite dress-up combinations for eating outdoors have been knitted dresses (so joyous to be back in a frock!) layered with a coat, and teamed with a piece of statement jewellery and heels. Alfresco dining has made me relish the oversized wool or cashmere knit all over again. And I have been wearing them over favourite dresses to keep out the chills.
When the novelty of the dress reunion wears off, I am planning to lean on chic trouser, blazer or cosy long cardigan combinations.
Follow me on Instagram @thestylistandthewardrobe.