First February tip, dear readers: do not catch the flu. I know from painful personal experience that the virus doing the rounds at the moment is a seriously unpleasant one. Wash your hands, avoid people, do what you must – I’ve been fever-free for thee days now, but still weak and completely dehydrated. Fortunately, there’s more to February than flu and here’s some of it:
1. New books. Maybe it’s just me, but there seem to be many exciting book launches happening right now. I’m eager to read Zadie Smith’s essays collected in Feel Free, the new Julian Barnes (The Only Story) and Lisa Halliday’s Asymmetry. I have already started The Mermaid and Mrs Hancock, a historical romp that comes highly recommended by almost everybody. Then there’s Steven Pinker’s sure-to-provoke Enlightenment Now and on the more practical side, How to Break Up With Your Phone by Catherine Price.
2. Poetry. It is my firm belief that the reason I remain thoroughly uninterested in meditation is that I read. If all the talk about mindfulness makes you feel silly, but you wouldn’t mind some mental housekeepig, I highly recommend getting into reading poetry. It doesn’t take much time, it makes you concentrate and let go simultaneously and it’s of course often a huge aesthetic pleasure. Reading more poetry is one of my reading goals of the year and it’s going well. I’m currently reading Wislawa Symborska, who is a genius. The collection on the photo is from a lovely bookshop in Singapore.
3. Kate Somerville. I believe I’ve mentioned before that this is going to happen and indeed, Kate Somerville has finally landed in the UK. This means many of us will have access to it through Cult Beauty. Not everything has been cleared for the EU market yet, so more stuff is to come in spring. In other news, if you like trendy skincare in pink packaging, Saturday Skin has also launched at Cult Beauty.
4. Valentine’s Day. There is no escaping Valentine’s Day this week, although I will do my best. But I do want to remind the world that there is no UN convention that says Valentine’s gifts have to be red or pink and involve lace and/or hearts. What is wrong with giving people things they would love any time of the year, not something that only makes sense (loosely speaking) on 14 February?
5. Winter Olympics. Now, this is much better than hearts and roses! The Olympics will be somewhat difficult to follow because a) work and b) time difference, but I will find a way. It’s the best time to watch sports you don’t know much about (current favourite: short track skating), just make sure the commentators are decent. The discipline where I will not miss one single event? Biathlon, obviously. And curling is always an excellent choice.
6. Fashion weeks. If you have any time left, there are the fashion weeks. New York has just kicked off.
7. Glossier. On a more personal note, I’m pre-warning you that I have recently got my greedy paws on a nice selection of Glossier products. I know, the Internet is full of Glossier reviews, but in case you are interested in my take, it’ll be on the blog soon.
8. Being virtuous. We can all rest assured that I’ll never become a vegan minimalist. I do, however, occasionally eat vegan food and sometimes I even tidy. I also occasionally watch videos about people who own 27 things all together and prep their healthful meals seven years in advance. Two current favourites are Jenny Mustard (her life may be minimalist, but her makeup is anything but, major style points) and Pick up Limes (she is so awfully nice, just don’t listen to her on skincare).
What are you excited about this month?