Just as in politics the extreme Left and the extreme Right converge, in fashion the extremely cool and the extremely uncool are separated by the thickness of a page of Vogue.

Regulars probably know my dad used to be an English teacher. It is the duty of teachers everywhere to define the “square”. Teachers’ clothes, for example, are there for the kids to react against. My dad did his best to oblige, but his taste for a bargain once made him an unintentional fashion leader. He picked up a pair of strange brown shoes with deep, crenellated beige soles for next-to-nothing at a local mens’ outfitters. Bizarrely, his pupils loved them. It seemed that they somehow conformed perfectly with one of those playground crazes that sweep across schools every other year.

Today, my mother is of an age when some nice comfy shoes like these would make a great Christmas gift. Shame the prices have been elevated to absurd levels by all those photos of supermodels galumphing around in them.