Is technology driving you to distraction?


Does it buzz with the latest BBC or Sky news when you’re in an important meeting, or flash at you when you’re at dinner or the theatre?

We know Constant Communication creates stress, but how do we stop?

When my mother was 80 she had a massive heart attack. Fortunately, she was revived by the cardiac team at her local hospital, but when I finally arrived at the hospital the consultant said to me: “We had to fight to save your mother, if this happens again what should we do?” My response was: “Is her brain affected? If not, then I suggest you allow her to make the decision.” (In fact she had a “living will”, but I didn’t mention that.) Anyway I am going off-track……..She recovered, but the attack left her with heart failure and over the ensuing years she had heart attacks every couple of months. I became constantly fearful of the phone ringing, and a voice announcing, usually in the early hours of the morning, that she’d had yet another attack. I developed migraines and wouldn’t go anywhere without a fully charged mobile phone. I slept with 2 phones on my bedside table. 12 years later, my mum passed away, after a few weeks of fast-deteriorating health. I had grieved many times over those years and though of course, I was very sad, one thing immediately changed and greatly improved my own well-being: I was no longer fearful of the ringing phone.

……But I am not telling you this story because I want you to feel sorry for me, nor is it about grief; it’s about our reliance on modern technology. Where once a racing pigeon brought news and happy and sad events were shared via “snail-mail” or a telegram, now it’s emails, What’s App, Messenger, Instagram DMs, texts and mobile phones that keep us constantly in the know 24/7. And let’s face it, that’s not all good. I’m not talking about the 7 year old fixated with a games App, or a Gen Z watching Youtube Vloggers, or Millenials constantly looking at ASOS and buying stuff they don’t need, I’m talking about me, (us) – Baby Boomers, for whom digital communication could be managing us and our lives. It’s about checking your teen or twenty-something’s What’s App when they’re late home to see what time they last checked in. (Agreed! This can of course reduce your stress.) It’s about going on holiday and looking weird as you take photos with your I-Pad, or wondering why your ‘bestie’ hasn’t responded to your Message for 3 days, or why the colleague who sits across the office hasn’t replied to your email, (and when she does, she says, “Why didn’t you Skype me?”) Oh, the dilemmas of modern life! And my pet hate: people who walk along the street talking very loudly into their phones and looking as if they are talking to themselves.


So come on………Who looks at their mobile phone the second they wake up? (Guilty.) Who takes pictures of the food they cook or eat in restaurants? (Me.) Who get’s stressed when they’ve dressed up for something special and no one will take a quick picture? (Uh! That could be me too.) Who curates their life on IG (OK!) Who gets in a panic if they leave the house and forget their phone? (Confused, but not actually fearful in my case.)

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Last week on the last night of my holiday, we were in a restaurant and unusually for me, I was staring at my husband and the wall behind him, instead of the vista of the entire restaurant and the possibility of watching people, but then my husband became fixated not on me, but by a couple on the table behind us. Throughout their meal, the man was playing on his phone whilst the woman sat there, clearly bored. “Obviously married a long time,” was my husband’s theory. Where once people watched television or read a paper (both dreadful habits,) whilst eating, now they play with their phones.

These days there’s so much talk about mindfulness, purpose, living a meaningful life…. I could go on …..but just maybe, the secret to improving our lives is as simple as walking on a beach or through a wood, or even exploring a city, and seeing everything through your own eyes, not filming ourselves and sharing the experience, just listening to the sounds: be it waves, birdsong or the sounds of traffic – and appreciating what you hear. Perhaps it’s about simple conversation for conversation’s sake, listening to someone else, for no reason apart from allowing them to speak, or sitting quietly and reading a proper book with real pages to turn.  ……….All this sounds easy doesn’t it? But would you try it? Shall we give it a go?……….This, by the way, is a lesson to myself.




#communication #iphone #whatsapp #stress #technology #mindfulness #communication #babyboomers #vloggers #millenials



Ditching the alcohol and being sober by choice.

My father’s family were Welsh Presbyterians who had all “signed the pledge” not to touch alcohol. My aunt and her husband in particular wouldn’t even have alcohol for “medicinal reasons” and when my mother once innocently added a ‘drop of Whisky’ into some hot lemon and honey, when my uncle was ill, all Hell broke loose! Whilst my father wasn’t quite so strict in his beliefs, alcohol just wasn’t on the agenda in our house, although weirdly he made parsley wine to ‘show’ in the Wine Club his office ran. In our sideboard there was a mysterious selection of never drunk bottles: Warnick’s Advocaat, De Kuyper Cherry Brandy and Harvey’s Bristol Cream Sherry. My mum had a bit of a fancy for the latter and would very occasionally have a little glass if she was feeling very daring, but I can’t remember the two of them ever sitting there of an evening with a drink. There were no beers in the fridge and the only time I ever remember having wine, was maybe for someone’s birthday or Christmas, when a bottle of sweet Sauterne would appear at the table, never, I hasten to add to be finished in one sitting!

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Being brought up in such a strict household, (I also had to be home hours earlier then my friends,) you’re going to go one of two ways – be law-abiding or rebel! By the time I was sixteen I was a member of the one and only night-club (for over18s only of course,) in Weymouth, where I lived and my ‘tipple’ was usually Cinzano & Lemonade. I was supposed to get the last bus home, but as that left the town centre at 10.20, I almost never caught it. I’d sneak home around midnight thinking my parents were asleep, but my father’s total silence the next day, assured me I was wrong. (We had a lot of quiet Sundays.)

However until I left home to go to ‘uni’ in London, I never actually got drunk.

Within months I had a rugby-playing boyfriend and was drinking pints! The only time in my life I’ve ever drunk Bitter! Student life of course, can revolve around alcohol –even when you don’t have much spare cash. My friends and flat-mates proved to have a much stronger ability to hold their liquor than me. When it was one friend’s birthday, three of us consumed a bottle of Sweet Martini, one of Dry Martini and a bottle of Reisling, plus a chocolate cake. The next morning they banged on my door, up and ready for breakfast, I’d vomited most of the night and when I woke up the thin mattress on my single, hall of residence bed, was hanging off and there was a bottle of cleanser smashed on the floor. Even worse, was the night before we were to give in our final theses, when four of us, consumed a bottle of cheap Spanish rum. The other three managed to go to hand in their theses, (though apparently smelling like petrol) and one of them took mine. I remained in bed, head spinning and puking all day.



I have various other tales to tell of equal horror and I’m not proud. A lost day in Amsterdam, after drinking beer and one Bailey’s, (I couldn’t even eat Bailey’s ice-cream for years,) drunk dancing in ski boots in a mountain bar and not remembering how I got back to my hotel, even breaking a bone in my foot in a Portuguese bar on a girly trip (only a few years ago). But when I found out I was pregnant, I gave up drinking, not just for nine months, but three years, apart from a very occasional glass of wine with dinner. My theory was that if my child was ill or had an accident I wanted to be able to drive to A&E. Eventually I gave up worrying and a few glasses of Champagne at a dinner, gave me a hangover to be reckoned with, and resulted in my three year old picking up the phone to her grandmother the next morning and announcing that neither of her parents could come to the phone because they’d got drunk!

In the 90s, like many people in that decade, business was done over long lunches always with wine and I would regularly share a bottle of wine with a beauty editor or advertising manager. Over the years however, I’ve learnt I don’t need alcohol to join in the party. I’ve also mainly lived ‘off the grid’ – always an expensive taxi ride away from nightlife and offering to be the ‘designated driver’ is a good get out clause to keep sober.

And, over the last year or so I’ve found myself drinking less and less. I partly blame Prosecco. I used to travel to Italy a lot and I remember Prosecco as an almost colourless liquid with a clean, beautiful taste, totally unlike the yellowy fizz sold in supermarkets for six or seven quid. Half a bottle and I wake up in a hot sweat with palpitations and the next morning, a raging headache. My daughter’s actually allergic to the stuff and that doesn’t surprise me one bit.

It wasn’t long ago; we’d have a glass of wine or two mid-week and the same at weekends and maybe ‘go out for a drink’. These days I’m more likely to choose a non-alcoholic cocktail or tonic water. Talking of which, let’s mention Gin! I’ve missed out on the whole Gin obsession. I might have one, very occasionally, but I’m unlikely to go through all the flavours on the shelf!

So it seems I’m joining Generation Z, who reportedly drink little or no alcohol, and an increasing number of celebs. Waking up with a clear head is great, having clear skin is a bonus and from a health perspective I feel little or no alcohol is good for me. So as with my eating, I’m definitely a “flexitarian”, with sobriety my choice, and I’m not quite ready to call myself a non-drinker.

So these days, giving up alcohol for Dry January isn’t an issue for me at all. In fact there are really only two issues. Firstly I don’t like many soft drinks. I’ve never favoured fruit juices or Coca-Cola or Sprite, maybe occasionally a Ginger Beer and you can’t drink fizzy water all night. Secondly it’s peer pressure. Friends just don’t like it. But I don’t want to change my friends for a load of tee-totallers……they might end up being like my aunt and uncle and that, I’m sure, would turn me back on the ‘hard stuff’!


#alcohol #sobriety #sober #soberlife #soberliving #love #alcoholfree #onedayatatime #sobermovement #fitness #inspiration #happiness #thehappyplace #cleanandsober #motivation #steps








Will Cupid fire an arrow your way on Valentine’s Day?

“All you need is love,” sang The Beatles and of course, it is a very precious thing to fall in love, be in love and be loved, but am I the only one who is turned cold by Valentine’s Day and chubby little Cupid with his bow and arrow?


Firstly let’s get things straight; I do not like red roses. Pink Roses, white roses, even yellow roses, but not red. They do nothing for me; in fact more than that, I associate them with death, horror movies and Dracula!


Secondly I do not want to go out to dinner at an inflated price, where I have to eat the ‘Valentine’s special’ meal with a cheap glass of Prosecco included and be showy about the love I feel for my husband. Yes restaurateurs, I realise this isn’t the busy season and you have to do promotions, but please, promote new menus, new ideas, your new house wine, not love!


Thirdly, it isn’t inclusive and surely with everyone focused on equality, that makes Valentine’s Day very wrong in today’s society.

The office chat involving plans for Valentine’s special events, boasting about getting breakfast in bed, fabulous presents, amazing floral bouquets and a surprise trip away, are all very well if you’re the one receiving these fabulous things, but what about the poor ‘sod’ in the corner whose boyfriend or husband forgot, who just got separated, divorced, or worse, or whose partner just doesn’t ‘do’ Valentine’s… I say, give these people a break. Keep quiet with your boasting just enjoy the moments in private.


Then there are the Valentine’s cards! Have you ever sent or received one that was actually tasteful? They’re either so sickly you want to vomit or contain a totally ‘not funny’ at all message. Cards of course, aren’t just for us grown-ups, they start being sent between kids at an early age and I clearly remember not getting one, when my best friend did, and consequently feeling very unloved and ugly. Surely that’s not right? Worse still of course, is the awful occasion when your dad sends you a card. And, you open it, signed with just a ‘?’, and feel joyous and popular and then the next day he admits it was him, not the captain of the football team as you had imagined. Major fail!


Today with social media, communication has no boundaries, and I for one, think Valentine’s messaging could be on the verge of dangerous! So many people are lonely, fragile; suffer from depression, eating disorders and insecurity, that over-flowing demonstrations of false love can never be a good thing.

So by all means indulge in the Marks & Spencer Love Sausage, and tell your partner you love them, but it doesn’t have to be special, because your Valentine should be the love of your love everyday, not just on February 14th.



                                              HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY! 




#Love #ValentinesDay #SaintValentine #Cupid #Februaryfourteenth #14thFebruary #Valentinescard #lovesausage

Have you beaten the blues?

January has almost ended….

It seems to have drifted by me without inspiring so much as a thought of participation in any kind of “-uary”. …..and I’ve also had to admit to myself that I’d become the blogger who doesn’t blog …But I’m back!

But let’s go back a few weeks. Were you, like me, innocently thinking throughout December, with a couple of weeks off work in front of you, that you were going to be able to recharge your energies fresh for the new year? And then of course, reality struck and it never happened? This certainly happened to me and I’ve made a mental note, that I for one, should put that whole idea out of my mind in the future..

So what about you? Have you participated in some “-uary” this year? Have you joined a gym or given up your nightly glass of vino or become a vegan?

There have been years when I’ve done ‘dry January’, happily staying home and refusing social invites. There have been other years when I’ve done a January Detox….most famously giving up: dairy, sugar, alcohol, coffee, tea, and gluten all in one go. After a couple of days I had a raging headache and felt so terrible, I completely missed driving into a supermarket parking space, crashing into the wing of another car, and making my daughter fear I was having a stroke! I waited by the other car until the owner appeared, and luckily for me, she smiled and said: “Don’t worry at all, it’s just an f-ing Skoda!!” The detox did work though,  I lost 14lbs in 4 weeks, and once my body got used to being ‘deprived’, I went into a super-energy, fast-brain few weeks…..But it was impossible to keep up-unless I wanted to become a hermit – or find myself a new group of friends equally happy to deprive themselves!

So what should we be doing at this time of year? I think it’s a time to plan your year:, get your budgets in order, search for holidays, de-clutter your home, go through your wardrobe, watch box-sets, have the odd chocolate, and glass of wine… and revive yourself…..Spring is around the corner. Happy days!


#Januaryblues / #Veganuary /#alcoholfree /#dryjanuary /#detox /#blues



The thrill of Christmas brings with it the excitement and anticipation, the planning and organization, the parties and the family gatherings, and sometimes also the fear and loneliness sparkling lights and gaudy shop windows can’t eradicate.

Every year, as Christmas approaches I have very mixed feelings. The excitement I get each November when I see the ice rink and Christmas lights appear outside the Natural History Museum in London, the beautiful windows of Fortnum & Mason and the stunning lights in Regent Street and Piccadilly, are sometimes overshadowed by memories of Christmases past when all wasn’t as I’d hoped and dreamed.

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It all started when I was a small child – I had a distinct fear of Father Christmas coming into my house! In fact, it was the only day of the year I liked my bedroom door to be firmly shut. In the end, whilst still quite young, my mum told me he wasn’t real! Can you imagine? Then, I had a few years when illness struck me as soon as the school holidays began, and there were several Christmases spent with a strict aunt and uncle who had an Oxfam box on the mantelpiece and if I didn’t say “please” and “thank you” I was reprimanded and had to put some of my pocket-money in the box. I was an only child and hanging out with distinctly un-fun family members left me dreading the whole concept of “festivities”.



This all changed when I had my own daughter and made every effort to have the house over-flowing with friends and family, good food and plenty of fizz. I can still close my eyes and see my daughter in her red Christmas dress joyously ripping the wrapping paper and climbing into boxes. Having my own family was perfect. Or was it? ……

I always recall the time when everyone I worked with was going for a drink after work, but I had to hurry to get home. As I rushed through the jostling Christmas crowds in Covent Garden I remember being struck by a distinct feeling of being alone, even though I was happy to be going home. It was just strange, not to be laughing and joking with all the people spilling out of the bars, not to be part of their celebration. It really struck me how awful it would be to truly be alone at this time of year.

However, worse was to come. One year, my much-loved father-in-law passed away in the November and a few days before Christmas my own, equally loved mum, had a massive heart attack. The family was at my house and I was juggling my time between looking after them and driving over 2 hours to visit my mother in hospital. Happily, she lived for another 12 years, but unbelievably had a heart attack on Christmas Day or Boxing Day more times than I like to recall. We tried hard to prevent it happening, aiming to make the day as stress free as possible, but it left my daughter with a massive fear of Christmas and bad memories of spending Christmas nights in A&E!

It’s not all doom and gloom! We’ve had some amazing Christmases skiing in the Alps, others filling our rambling house with friends and having impromptu disco’s in the kitchen, and last year we were in California.

Then this year, my daughter had a health scare and I found I was falling into my ‘fear of Christmas’ head-space, but last week she had good news and this weekend I was finally able to decorate my home feeling hopeful and happy, have close friends round for a Christmas celebration and rather late in the day, write some Christmas cards.


Why am I telling all this? I guess because I want you to stop for a moment and think of others, who perhaps cannot afford to have a fantastic Christmas, who are homeless or sick, but also to know if you are not a Christmas lover, it’s OK. Not everyone in the world is celebrating, some people are working, and others are just ignoring the day. The most important thing is to be happy knowing in just over a week’s time we can get back to normal!!!




#Christmas #Christmastime #festivities #Christmasparty #friends #family #loneliness

Does your hair texture need updating?

Choosing the right hair products can make your hair style a winner! Whether you want to be sleek and smooth, have sexy waves or added volume, there’s a product out there that’s right for you.

Hair is on my mind! Actually hair is on my mind most days, as I’m PR to a professional hair product company. I also know just how important hair is to most women (and men) and, when it doesn’t look right you can end up feeling thoroughly miserable. My misery comes from my roots, which are definitely not the beautiful auburn of my past and annoyingly appear within 3 weeks of my last colour.

But then there’s hair texture to contend with. But what exactly is “texture” ? It’s a word hairdressers tend to use a lot. Firstly there’s your natural texture. This is more about the state of your hair, which might, for example, be fine, coarse, smooth, frizzy or limp, then add this to straight, curly, dry and oily and you can see that understanding texture can be problematic!

Beyond this there are actually “fashions” in hair texture. And, when it comes to trends they often have descriptives such as “beachy waves” or “bed head hair” in addition to adjectives such as “smooth”, “soft”, “sleek”, “glamorous” or “loose”. Your desired texture will govern your choice of styling and finishing products, enabling you to adapt your hair’s natural texture to current hair trends……. Believe me, this is important and can update your favourite hairstyle and rejuvenate your look!

During my adult life I’ve gone from 70s Farrah Fawcett flicks to 80s curly bobs, 90s Toni&Guy favourite “transient bob” and in every decade different variations of a mid-length and long-layered “Shaggy Look” usually with a heavy fringe – as well as layered bobs, and in between, just long hair.



For me, the important thing that finishes my style and makes it “of the moment” has always been changing the products I use to get different looks on very similar cuts. In the 70s and 80s I’d be reaching for mousse to give my hair a strong hold and firm finish. In the 90s I used gels and serums for sleeker looks and lots of leave in conditioner to stop fly-aways.


Today I tend to use much lighter products, such as Bed Head After Party, a smoothing cream, and Bed Head Headrush Shine Spray for smoothness, frizz control shine and separation. If I want more volume and hold I reach for Bed Head Superstar Queen for a Day, which is a product every hairdresser seems to love, adding volume and root lift and generally making hair styling easier.


Recently I’ve discovered Living Proof hair products. So far I’ve tried the Instant De-Frizzer, which is great for this time of year when damp weather and central heating can play havoc with hair. It’s really good as a second day styler as well as a post-conditioning spray and I love the soft, smooth effect it creates. I’ve also tired the award-winning Living Proof Perfect Day Dry Shampoo, which is amazing! It smells divine and makes your hair look and feel great between washes.

(Look below for stockists.)

There are SO many hair products available and it’s really easy to buy something and then find it doesn’t do what you want or often, you can’t fathom out how to use it. I’d always advise you to talk to your hairdresser. Ask for styling tips, which type of product to use, how to use it and why. And remember, a good haircut can become a great haircut with the right products.

Want to find out more about hair styling and finishing products?

Bed Head Products available from professional salons globally.

For further information on Living Proof go to:

Available in the UK from:

Available in the USA from:   (Also in Canada and Asia.)



texture / hair texture / smooth hair / sleek hair / frizzy hair / bed head hair / beachy waves / layered hair / layered hair cut /volume / hair goals








What’s on your Christmas List?

Christmas is such an indulgent time of year for many people. I don’t believe in buying presents for the sake of it, but it’s a wonderful cheery feeling as you undo ribbons, rip off glittered paper and tissue and reveal your gift. I don’t think it should be about cost, (the tiniest and cheapest gift can hold the most value) and I much prefer a surprise, (the concept of wrapping a gift that is already known seems pointless to me,) but I very much like the idea that it’s been bought with thought and love.

…….Only I know gift buying can be stressful for a lot of people who worry their present won’t be well-received, or just find the whole process of shopping, both online or on the high street, totally painful.

So what’s on your own Christmas list this year?

One of the first places I look for gifts is Not on the High Street,

I love their scarves, such as this gold detailed, water colour one, which can be personalised and is currently £13.56.


Customisation is so big now, so a bespoke birthflower bracelet would also make a nice gift and at £21.00 would be perfect as a Secret Santa gift as would this gin lovers personalised glass at £15.20. Both from Not on the High Street.

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The White Company is another favourite of mine (not only at this time of year, it has to be said.) The White Company shops ooze femininity and luxury and smells amazing, and it’s a place where everything you buy feels like a gift. I love their Seychelles bath foam glass decanter £20.00 –in fact,  that’s a present I often buy for myself.



Women love candles don’t they? (They are, let’s be honest, a bit like cushions in the world of men, and in my case, where years ago I might have bought a house plant, I now buy a candle.) One of my favourite candle companies is St Eval, based in Cornwall where I live.

Their Christmas selection of candles is fantastic, Inspiritus and Fig being two of my favourites.




But over and over again I buy Sea Salt, which comes in various sizes from tealights at £5.68 to Tuscan scented bowls at £28.98 with over 45 burning hours.



Then there’s products for the body…..Don’t you love luxury skincare products? A company I adore, but you might not of heard of, is Temple Spa:

A sheer indulgent gift any woman would love is their Absolute Truffle Collection, £75.00. Untitled.png

The Truffle range actually contains gold and summer truffles and having used the award winning Skin Truffle Total Facial Radiance (£90.00) I can confirm it really does give skin a great lustre.

The Temple Spa, spa collection ‘Wherever You Are” is another lovely gift set and at £25.00 is a great gift for any woman who likes to have her own ‘at home’ spa day, or as it comes with a free bad and mask, perfect for a holiday or weekend away.


Or how about some products to bring back memories of tropical holidays?  You may remember India Hicks, grand-daughter of Lord Mountbatten, as being one of Princess Diana’s bridesmaids. She has lived for many years in the Bahamas and has a wonderful US based website: (Have a look – you can order for the UK,) but she also had a delightful shower and hand gel and body fragrance, Island Living Spyder Lilly via Crabtree & Evelyn, available at:


IMPORTANTLY, all these gifts will fit anyone, so you don’t need worry about ‘returns’ and they’re all about the receiver – presents to please and personal to them…..And I, for one, would be happy to receive any of the above, (should you think of buying me a gift!)

Happy Christmas Shopping!




#Christmas #Christmaswishlist #gift #Christmasgift #Christmaspresent #present #indulgemce #skincare #candles #whitecompany #women #notonthehighstreet #steval #templespa #scarves #gin #ginglass #jewellry #IndiaHicks


Do you know how many lipsticks you own? 10? 15? More? Here’s a few I’ve just pulled out of a drawer in the bathroom, and I am very aware there are others – lingering in handbags and various makeup bags, stuffed in jacket pockets or left in the car.

Some are glossier than others, some have a sheen, others are more creamy or matte…..but overall have you noticed one thing about my “palette”? Yep, they are all VERY similar in tone. That’s because I keep buying the same colour lipstick! It doesn’t matter if it’s MAC or Chanel, Max Factor or Revlon, I have a definite “penchant” for peachy-beigey lipsticks. Occasionally I’ll go a bit redder or even a bit pinker, but overall, I have to confess I keep buying the same colour ……and you know what – you probably do too! Most of us have a “lippy comfort zone”, it’s about what makes us feel good and confident and it’s our personal style. That’s OK by the way. Don’t feel bad if you own 20 red lipsticks or 10 pastel lip-glosses. (I won’t tell.)

Still, there is something psychologically fascinating about lipstick. It’s a well-known fact that in times of economic uncertainty, the sales of lipstick rise. Whether this is, as some scientists believe, to do with a female mating gene, (I have no idea what that has to do with the economy by the way,) or, my theory, that we need to cheer ourselves up and a lipstick, even a designer one, is affordable and does the trick…. however I really don’t have the answer, but anyway, it’s a fact. Only, there is another thing about lipstick, it always “fits”, so who cares if you’ve put on a few pounds, pull out your Chanel lippy and make a big demonstration of sweeping it across your lips as you peer into a shiny compact and you will be fabulous!

Lipstick can totally change your look, making you softer, stronger, more dramatic or pretty and girly. Apply carefully, use a primer and ensure you keep your lips soft and free of dry skin and you will be totally lip-tastic!


#lipstick  /  #lippy  / #makeup  / #colour /  #lipcolour /  #shinylips  /  #glossylips /   #lipgloss




I recently saw a post on Facebook from Cancer Research UK inviting people to go vegetarian or vegan for November as a fund-raising activity. Having spent the previous weekend helping to raise money for children with blood cancer I felt I ought to help, plus, for some time I’ve been feeling I would be happier eating less meat, partly for environmental reasons and partly from health reasons, so I relished the challenge. Anyway, I thought, I often have vegetable stir-fries so going vegetarian should be super-easy and vegan wouldn’t be an issue either. Hmm! 10 days in I’m finding it’s not quite as easy as I imagined.


I was working from home all last week, so I decided to start the 4 week challenge early. Out went my favourite breakfast of smashed avocado and poached egg on toast. (Somehow, minus the egg, even with added spices and coriander, avocado is just not quite so appealing.) My weekend visit to the local fishmongers and the thrill of seeing what the local fishermen have caught is now an activity I can’t enjoy. I’ve been dreaming about my favourite salt and pepper squid. My daily cappuccino is also falling off my radar. I’ve tried it with almond milk and coconut milk, both of which taste OK, but there’s an unpleasant curdling appearance that’s rather off-putting. Oat milk is better, but gives my coffee a breakfast taste that I don’t really want for my mid-afternoon pick up, and I’m not keen on the whole GM modification aspect of soya.


On the plus side, I’ve made some great Asian-inspired dinners, have been experimental with salad ingredients, over-dosed on pulses and have generally enjoyed what I’ve cooked. I’ve noticed how colourful my food looks too. I love all nuts, so they’ve been added to lots of things as well as being my go-to snack and I’ve realised it’s not just dairy and meat I’ve cut out, but I’m also consuming less sugar, so I’m hopeful after a month I might even lose some weight. Cooking and eating differently is an inspiration and I have to say I’m feeling pretty good and a couple of people have commented on how bright my skin looks. I do miss cheese and biscuits with a glass of red wine after dinner and a generous portion of grated cheese on pasta and risotto, but I can cope!


However, I’ve realised, that being a vegan in particular is a huge commitment to a whole lifestyle and my whole being has gone beyond just eating to thinking about what I own, what I wear and what I do…… I have several leather jackets and umpteen pairs of shoes, not to mention handbags. Then there’s the leather sofa and a stool and a tub chair….. I guess I already have them, so there’s no use feeling guilty now, but could I go the whole way and never buy anything in suede or leather again, (especially as a Stella McCartney wardrobe is out of my league?) I’m not sure, but it has made me worry about my whole moral stance. Of course I care about animal welfare and I truly respect people who choose not to eat animals on moral grounds, sleep under micro-fibre duvets and avoid down-filled parkas (with real fur round the hoods.) And like most people today, I don’t approve of animal-testing when it comes to cosmetics, but my ‘moral stance’ for the testing of medicine has always been at a slightly different level. I applaud a lot of the work carried out by PETA, and the changes they have achieved in the respect and positive treatment of animals, but I have to admit I’m clearly not a warrior.


Of course, I am still very early into this whole process – I’ve got over 2 weeks to go to achieve my objective, so maybe I’ll change my views over the next couple of weeks. At this point I think I can say I will become more of a flexitarian, maybe even a pescatarian, but we’ll see…


But, if you are a staunch vegan, then I will say, this experience has made me re-evaluate, not just what I eat, but my lifestyle in comparison to that of a committed vegetarian and vegan and I have huge respect for you.


And if you’d like to sponsor me, here’s the link to my page:



#vegan / #vegetarian / #diet / #lifestyle / #consciouseating / #healthyeating / #warrior / #flexitarian / #pescatarian



Sorry to start off on a tangent, this is relevant!

I’m ‘eating Vegan’ for 4 weeks as a fund-raiser organized by Cancer Research. I do anyway, normally eat ‘consciously’ and have become increasingly concerned about the impact of farming methods on the environment, though it has to be said, living by the sea I love the opportunity to eat the freshest fish and seafood…..

Anyway packaging, product content and production have become an increasing concern of mine, so I was fascinated to learn about Hourglass Cosmetics.

Founded in 2004 by Carisa Janes, the products are predominantly vegan and never tested on animals, free of parabens and sulphates. Don’t be fooled into thinking these are the kind of products found on a dusty shelf in a local hippy, health-food emporium. Hourglass is a luxurious, beautifully packaged range of products with a focus on active ingredients and a price point to match. The brand crosses science, beauty and luxury and has become acclaimed for its breakthrough formulations, technological innovations and a commitment to reinvention. The products have sensorial textures, covetable colour collections, and absolutely beautiful packaging……But did I love it?

Undoubtedly, looking at a display of Hourglass Cosmetics I felt like a kid in front of a sweet counter. Without trying anything I just wanted to have the products on display in my bathroom. But, as I’ve said, these products aren’t cheap, so I had to rein myself in. In the end I bought a primer serum, mascara, a bronzer and brush, loose powder and an eyebrow sculpting eyebrow pencil.

See what I thought of HOURGLASS below:

Primer Serum £59.00

Infused with 28 beneficial ingredients, I absolutely love this product. It’s both a primer and serum and it makes your skin feel fabulous! It really helps the easy application of makeup and is silky to feel, leaving the skin hydrated. It’s got to be my number 1 primer.

Ambient Lightening Bronzer £45.00

I’m using this on my cheeks to give a sun-kissed glow. The 2 colour palette gives both depth and illumination and applies really evenly. And, the compact is gorgeous.

Ambient Powder Brush £35.00

I’ve been using this to apply the bronzer (and the powder). Firstly it’s PETA-approved, but is nevertheless ultra-soft and gives a really even application. As a former editorial makeup artist, I’m fussy about my brushes, but I love this one!

Caution Extreme Lash Mascara £25.00

 I’m adding this to my list of fav’ mascaras. This one amplifies, separates and adds maximum volume. I’ve liked it more after using it for a week as the first couple of applications felt a bit ‘gloopy’. It really coats the bottom lashes well – reaching even the smallest hairs and making them look voluminous. Just one coat is enough. I’m hooked.

Arch brow soft pencil £31.00

As you get older your eyebrow definition is really important and can lift the face and enhance your appearance hugely. I can’t impress how important it is to get your eyebrows looking good. When I say “good” I mean naturally defined, neither too thin nor too thick to frame your eyes. This product is justifiably award-winning and is a powder, pencil and wax in one. The triangular shape of the pencil allows you to create a great arch really easily, with fine, natural looking strokes. Just brush through before and after application for perfect brows. (I’m using Warm Blonde for my colouring.)

Veil translucent setting powder    £42.00

I don’t use powder everyday, but when I do, I know I should. This fine powder is just magical. It’s absolutely weightless and has light-reflecting particles that cover up imperfections such as fine lines and large pores. I wore it last weekend when I was on-stage under hot lights, working on a charity event and my makeup stayed put perfectly all night!

HOURGLASS is available from most big department stores and online. In the UK you can get it from Selfridges, John Lewis and Harvey Nichols.

Buy it online from:

#makeup /  #cosmetics / #vegan / #sulphatefree / #mascara / #primer /#hourglass /#powder /  #bronzer  /#makeupbrushes  / #primer /  #sensorial  /