What's got my attention this week
Want some ideas for things to read, watch and listen to this weekend? Look no further...
Jennifer Aniston covered the final print issue of Allure magazine (RIP). This is not what 53 looks like for most of us (as the comments on my Instagram prove!), but I say you do you.
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SCROLLING • To accompany the covershoot that got the internet ranting (surprise), Jennifer Aniston gave a surprisingly revealing interview about the psychological impact of constant media attrition, being judged (in the media and out) for not having children while trying (and failing) to have one and much more. • This month's bookclub author, Katherine May, writes candidly about her own personal winter. • What you can learn from going to your school/college reunion. (Personally I feel like I learnt all I needed to the first time around!) • Yes, there are more women on FTSE100 boards, but want to take a guess how many of them are actually CEOs...? • In praise of the boundless optimism of the Spice Girls. And if you missed the video of them mum-dancing to Say You'll Be There at Geri's 50th, check out David Beckham's Instagram.. • Probably the only fashion editor who influences what I buy is The Times' Anna Murphy. Here she is on finding your fashion tribe. • You're allowed to be sad if your best friend moves away – even if you are in your forties (and beyond). • Is women's intuition being suppressed? Amber Tamblyn thinks so. • I'm a fan of Alice Vincent's writing about gardening (look out for her new book, Why Women Grow, early next year) and have never knowingly let a graveyard pass me by, so I loved her recent piece about cemetries. • Carrying on the taste theme from yesterday's newsletter, this piece about life with a feeding tube is utterly fascinating. • Personally, I can't get enough of Emma Thompson. • Why millennials are addicted to magical thinking. Are Xers and boomers missing a trick? • Power can cause brain damage, apparently. Which could explain an awful lot. • The art of dividing up a marriage. (CW: A lovely piece, but maybe not if you're neck-deep in a divorce.) • Women's clothes still don't have enough pockets. This woman has your back. • These masochistic morning rituals of so-called high-achievers aren't inspirational, they're entertainment. • There's an ad on Scottish TV right now encouraging us to shower less or shorter to conserve energy, but what happens when you stop altogether?
I first read Moon Tiger by Penelope Lively way back in the late 80s. (Probably around the time it went into paperback after winning the Booker Prize in 1987.) I loved it then but TBH could hardly recall a word, so I revisited it recently to kickstart myself back into writing fiction. Talk about setting the bar high! Cantankerous Claudia Hampton is dying. After a lifetime of defiance and independence, she decides to write her life story, taking us from her first world war childhood to her experiences as a war reporter in World War II by way of lovers, brothers and daughters. It's a slight book, just over 200 pages, and not a word is wasted. Utterly gorgeous.
Miriam and Alan: Lost in Scotland and Beyond, C4, Tuesdays 9.15pm Who knew Miriam Margolies and Alan Cumming would make for such compulsively watchable telly? Potty-mouthed Miriam (as you'll know if you heard her say 'fuck you' to Jeremy Hunt on the Radio 4's Today programme when she thought she was off-air) is the real star of the show, while Alan acts as camper van driver, concierge and all-round wing man. The result is hilarious and leaves you feeling all warm and cosy. This series starts where the first left off, in Scotland, then sees them head to California. If you missed series one, you can catch it on All4.
LISTENING • I recently discovered As The Seasons Turns. Released on the 1st of each month, each episode of the podcast acts as a guide to the natural world in the month ahead. November is all about bulbs, bonfires and the dark side of the moon. • If you're having trouble sleeping, try Boring Books for Bedtime – host Sharon Handy reads something incredibly tedious in the manner of a bedtime story. Think Bertrand Russell, Marcus Aurelius and norse sagas about werewolves! • I'm still listening to – and loving – Friends, Lovers & The Big Terrible Thing, Friends' star Matthew Perry's no-holds barred memoir about his life, loves and addiction. And on The Shift with Sam Baker podcast this week... ...genius columnist, commentator and, latterly, sitcom writer, Marina Hyde – possibly the only person to have benefited from Brexit-induced political chaos! – joined me to talk about lucking into journalism (like me, she learnt to type and started as a temp), why the pram in the hall turned out to be her superpower and growing old(er) riskily.
Fancy sitting here with me in January, in the middle of the beautiful Brecon Beacons, to talk books, writing and midlife? There are still a couple of places left on the Midlife Shift with Ease weekend retreat I'm co-hosting with Ease Retreats. If you're in the market for some selfcare (or want to drop some Christmas gift hints!), you can find out more by emailing Tanya on firstname.lastname@example.org.
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