I'm thrilled to be welcoming Annie McDonald-Johnston as a regular contributor. She'll be here once a month with her own original take on what's happening out there in the fields of food, interiors and fashion. Annie has a way of seeing right to the heart of something and then being able to put those thoughts into words. I've always enjoyed her insights. I hope you will too. - Emma There is something about the beginning of a new year that makes even me want to strip things down to their essence.
I know I'm not alone: I have been surrounded - bombarded even - by exhortations to consider a January detox (you can read my thoughts on that here and everyone I know is refining and reducing their belongings, purging their closets and refrigerators, working towards mindful serenity both in their things and in their lives.
This is the one time of year that I pine (however briefly) for spare, white, Scandinavian surroundings; that I daydream about a wardrobe in feathery pale hues, like these and seriously consider a nude lip.
Of course these feelings never last long.
It's been so fiercely cold here (everywhere) that the promise of a starchy meal and a robust glass of wine are occasionally the only things that get me through the day; and since I prefer to confine myself to the indoors in bad weather, my moody, rococo surroundings, my red lipsticks and my black sweaters, are infinitely more comforting than those of my Scandinavian daydream.
Still, I am happy to give January its due, at least in theory - to wipe the slate clean, strip the table bare, and start fresh. I love basking in the reflected glow of others' enthusiastic abstemiousness: resolution or no, it's not the worst thing to be mindful of excess.
It's nice to have a little extra room in my closet and on my plate.
But don't think for a moment that I'm not counting the days until Mardi Gras -Annie.Images via - Light Locations