My other half is really gunning for us to move to the country. Or for me to move to the country and him to come down at the weekends. He cannot understand why it would make any difference given my love of staying in. If he got me a Starbucks espresso machine and made the shed hot enough to do Bikram in, he reasons, how would I notice? He’s right, I probably wouldn’t, unless you count the month of December. Everyone goes out in December. Even I have to go out in December, though my heart fairly plummets at the thought.
My advice, then, when it comes to the party season? Prioritise, prioritise, prioritise. For example, don’t worry about what the middle of you looks like, because no one will notice as long as it is reasonably little and black and dressy. It’s the extremities, feet, hair and nails, that, in my paltry experience, is what counts for most. A festive black suede boot, for example, is key. Indeed, just the thought of the sequinned Gianvito Rossi ones I ordered online from Matches makes the idea of having to go out that much less appalling.
A good ‘comb out’ - that’s a profoundly mood-changing thing to have, too. God forbid anything should happen to Roi, my hairdresser at George Northwood who gives the best tonging in London if not the world. ‘Be careful crossing streets,’ as I always tell him.
Ditto Carrie, my favourite manicurist at Daniel Hersheson, who’s going to give me some gold leaf gels, we think, to see me through. Invest in some hard core facial massage too. I get mine from Teresa Tarmey who somehow manages to knead all that late night puffiness out of my lids and my jaw. For an extra zing she puts you under her infrared lamp for fifteen minutes and however much you’ve hammered it the night before you’re ready to do it all over again.
Well. Up to a point. If you are like me, you like a drop or two to get you through the evening. Can I suggest that you stick ferociously to either red or white and never ever mix grain and grape? I mean if you need to get out of bed the next day, or the day after that? Can I also suggest making it a rule NOT to eat the goodie bag on the car ride home? I don’t care if you don’t eat pork or battered mackerel bones and that’s all they bloody served at the dinner (as they did at a charity event I went to last week); a fudge hangover might just be worse than a class A drug hangover or so they say. (Gosh, imagine having the BOTH).
The point is to have fun but not to let it get messy. There is a distinct point in the evening when it can go either way. If you are not good at gauging it for yourself I suggest you hire a car to take you home at an appointed time - midnight, say. Even if it means pre-instructing the driver to drag you out like a dog on its worm-bottom, do it. Honestly. You’ll thank me for that in the morning, I swear.
Right. On my way out. And prepared thus, I can't bloody wait...