Reasons to be cheerful – January edition

Oh January!  We’ve been together for two and a half weeks now and it’s really not working for me. I’m sorry, really I am. I’ve thought about this a lot and I’ve come to the sad conclusion: it’s not me, it’s you. A bit of feedback for you – you just might want to think about how you come across, because, man, do you ever put the ‘bleak’ in mid-Winter!  Dry this… vegan that…detox the other… And this “a whole new you” business, nagging me to learn Spanish or get down to the gym. Honestly, I’m getting the impression you’re not all that into the ‘old’ me!  But since we’re stuck with each other for another ten days, here’s a heads up on how I’m going to spend that time.

I’m going to be wearing some nice bright colours.

Not those rich Christmassy colours because I don’t want to be one of those people who has a Santa on the front of their house until May. Not bright Summer colours because they seem too shrill and acidic in this wintery light. No, I’m after something I can wear with my winter coats: like a nice cheerful red hat (like the one my brother-in-law nicked by mistake on Boxing Day, still not returned, hem, hem); that lovely alpaca scarf I have in rose pink offset with wine; my red Blundstone boots (below). You see, you don’t really do colour, do you? But it makes me look and feel less cold and much less miserable.

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Blundstone Dress Boots, Unisex £109.90 (discounted) @

I’m going to be healthy…ish

You know all those things you do when you’re really looking after yourself? Well I’m trying to do my favourites. If there was ever a time to be kind to yourself it’s this time of the year. So while I’m not going on a health kick or anything dramatic, I’m doing the things I usually do, but less intermittently. I’m taking my vitamins: a couple of fish oil capsules, curcumin, vitamin B and probiotics. I’m getting my beauty sleep, aided by taking magnesium tablets just before bed (I take 3); my Votary pillow spray and the wonderful This Works, Sleep + Hair Elixir (you spray it on your hair before you sleep. It smells wonderful and conditions your hair at the same time). This combination gives me the deepest, most restful sleep I’ve had in years.

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Solgar Magnesium Citrate, around £10. I buy mine from the wonderful The Lifehouse Lytham

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Votary Pillow Spray £30 @

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Sleep Plus Hair Elixir £25 @ This

As a result I’m getting up earlier and preparing my new, healthy collagen coffee. I got this idea from a book I read last year which was on a subject very close to my heart, how to slow down ageing.

In this book, the implausibly youthful looking doctor cum author Sara Gottfried, talks about the science of ageing. She takes collagen in her morning coffee for skin, joints etc. as do apparently, half of China and Japan. I tried it for a while last year but of course let it drift, so I’m back on it again, this time making oat milk cappuccinos with added collagen. When you dig into it, collagen is really quite repulsive, but the brand I use is organic and, interestingly, kosher which I suppose mitigates the revoltingness of boiled up cows in your coffee. It doesn’t alter the taste and if you mix it up properly it makes the coffee creamy in rather a pleasant way. I’ll keep you posted on its effects for my arthritic knee and crepey skin.

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Great Lakes hydrolysed collagen £27.62 @

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“Younger”, £10.60 @

I’m not giving up booze, heaven forbid, but I am cutting down a little bit because even a good time, old ad-gal like me realises that a regular 11am tipple is neither sustainable nor effective. I have taken up the not particularly healthy but very delicious Fever-Tree clementine tonic water with Seedlip non alcoholic spirit as an occasional replacement when the craving for the gin comes upon me.

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Seedlip non-alcoholic spirit £19.95 @ 31

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Fever-tree tonic water £1.69 @  

Finally, I’ve given myself a treat. I’m not buying lots of new clothes (though I can’t resist a SALE NOW ON sign or a FINAL REDUCTIONS email), but I did find a special way to spend my Christmas money.

These J W Anderson x Converse retro trainers are my new absolute favourites. They are ticking a lot of boxes: bright, sparkly, great for dancing and they make me smile every time I see them. This whole collaboration was brilliant – Jonathan Anderson is definitely having a moment.  The classic converse Chuck Taylor’s were wonderful but sold out in seconds. Thankfully these “Thunderbolts” are still available in two colourways: red (below) and green.  Be warned, the sizing of this style is very generous so for once the US sizing is exactly the same as your usual UK size.

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J W Anderson x Converse £110 @ Dover Street Market e-Shop

So you know what January? Consider yourself dumped. Until next year, that is.

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