A thing worth knowing: cashmere headbands make your head look 60% bigger

I’m 43 now. Middle-aged really. It’s a good age. Builders tend to take you more seriously; you know how to cook at least five decent dishes and you tend to give less of a damn about the small things like nipple hair and wearing a jumper long enough to cover your bum.

You are however at an age when people expect you to know things. Not stuff like what will happen if I dye my own eyebrows white, because we have the Internet for that. I’m talking about the important bits. The emotional stuff that helps us through tricky times. A different, considered perspective when we’re caught in a mental maze. Wise words that you seldom find in the pages of a magazine or self help book. 

I spent over twenty years working on women’s magazines. They were some of the best years of my life, but we rarely tackled this stuff. I suppose it wasn’t seen as aspirational. Glossy magazines, after all, are in the business of gloss. But neither have I found this stuff on social media or in books or on television shows that purport to be about the important things in life . Instead, I have found it out at dinner, when seated next to a stranger, who, often after a few glasses of wine, will open up. I’ve found it at the end of interviews too, when the dictaphone is switched off and the subject is perhaps walking you to the door. Because the things that are really worth knowing about, are seldom the things we broadcast. They are the secret things. The things often left unsaid. But they are also the stuff we need to hear. That’s why I’m starting this newsletter.

So every week I’m going to write you a letter with this things I think are worth knowing about. And if you like, you can write back. In fact, I’d like that very much. There will be other things too, of course. Some audio, video, giveaways, writing courses, perhaps some fun stuff like cocktail hour with me and my dogs. (I’m joking, but you never know…) The point is, this will be the home of my thoughts and writing from now on. And I’d love it if you would come along for the ride. We’ll work stuff out together. We’ll be curious together. We’ll agree and disagree and be messy and human and hopefully come out of the other side with different perspectives. And hopefully, just maybe, a few things learned along the way.


It’s easy to miss things. When I edited magazines like Cosmopolitan and ELLE, I put some of my thoughts on my editor’s letter page. But if you were away, or they didn’t have the issue in your local supermarket, you missed it. And I’ve experimented with putting some of my ideas and thoughts on social media, but algorithms now make the call on whether you get to read those thoughts or not. So an email, from me to you, that drops directly into your inbox or on the Substack app (you can download that here if you’d prefer me not to live in your exhausted email inbox)seems the simplest way to talk. If you think that too, you can subscribe by clicking on the below.


The truth is, I’ve always though that people’s words should be worth something. If someone cleans your windows, you pay them. If someone fixes your bike, you (hopefully) pay them too. Writers should be no different.

I publish my column every Sunday, come rain, shine or holiday. It takes me all week to think about what to write, and then all weekend to write it. Because writing takes time. It takes imagination. But most of all it takes commitment. It takes a writer deciding to give up time they would spend with friends, family, or in my case, sleeping (!) to instead write things for you. I’d like to think that’s worth paying for. If you feel that way too, you can become a paying subscriber by adding your email address right here.

£6 a month OR £50 a year for access to my courses, Ask Me Anything and the entire archive and community

That said, times are hard, and so I’m going to try and make as much of my writing as I can, available to you all. There will be some things behind a paywall, some writing for sure, but also the interactive stuff, like community get-togethers, my weekly Private Hour, where we all get together over a drink or two to discuss our weeks. (Or to simply ask me anything you want). And of course, I offer regular writing courses, feedback sessions and more, because I’ve alway felt expertise should be shared.

Of course I understand that a paying subscription is not for everyone, and that for some people any additional payment being taken out of their bank account at the end of the month will be a struggle. That’s okay. If you don’t have any discretionary income let me know. You don’t have to go into detail. Just ask me.  You can support in lots of other ways. Like sharing this newsletter with people you think would like to hear about it. And here’s how you do just that…

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And if you do have a little extra to spare you can gift or donate a subscription to someone by clicking here.

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So now that’s all out of the way…

We can begin.