I’m back with this month’s favourite things, including (spoiler alert) the best book I’ve read this year, a rather festive jumper and an eyeshadow palette that costs less than a tenner but will last a lifetime. Read on, my friends, read on – the video is at the bottom of the page, for those who wish to hear my dulcet tones. And see the festive jumper in real life.
My first favourite is the newest: this jumper was delivered about an hour before I filmed the video and it was instant love. I like that it’s a looser knit than most Christmassy jumpers – it doesn’t feel too chunky or restrictive beneath coats. Which is a big issue for me when it comes to chunky jumpers; they’re designed to keep you warm but then you basically have to wear them as an outer layer because if you try to put a coat over the top you can’t move your arms.
Talking of moving your arms, this Aveeno After-Shower Mist cuts out a hell of a lot of unnecessary action when it comes to post-shower body lotion application. You just lazily spray at yourself and then, if you can summon up the energy, pat in the residue. And this is powerful stuff, this mist – it almost leaves a gloss to the skin, it’s so moisturising. No flimsy old watery scented spray here, it’s as good as a cream but, er, not in a cream. It’s also only £4.99 at Boots*!
I procrastinated too much over these lamps and then they sold out and I kicked myself. Then I found them on Liberty (who now stock selected items from Soho Home, as do Amara) and that is where my happy tale ends. I have to say, the maximum bulb wattage allowed in the lamps is quite dismal, so I have to read my bedtime stories half-hanging off the side of my mattress in order to illuminate the page, but apart from the fact that the most basic functionality of the lamp is questionable, they were an excellent purchase. Next month: a chocolate fireguard.
This is one of the best books I’ve read this year and I’ve read some absolute corkers. Shuggie Bain, A Little Life, Queenie, Exciting Times; I haven’t been voracious with my reading but nearly everything I’ve read has been startlingly good and so to say that Bliss and Sorrow is one of the best is no small compliment. It’s a mighty feat of a novel. I think because it’s just so enjoyable. It’s the sort of book you want to tell everyone about when you’re only two chapters in; there’s a laugh out loud moment on nearly every page and a sort of upbeat, sing-song tempo to the narrative despite the dark, upsetting undertones.
It’s dense with humorous sorrow. Is there such a thing as humorous sorrow? There is in this book. It’s sad event after sad, destructive event, but it’s so excruciatingly witty that you can’t stop reading. And that’s what I like – books that call me to bed and make me read by the – quite frankly pathetic – light of my new lamps.
This gorgeous eyeshadow palette is nine pounds. Nine pounds! Dense pigment, soft, easy-to-blend texture and the most startling array of shades. Each one, to me, looks like the surface of a planet. It’s just beautiful. The casing isn’t anything to write home about and there’s no mirror in the lid but…it’s nine pounds. Find of the month.
OK, here I am rambling away and careering through the house with my camera at weird angles – enjoy: