Something to do and Somewhere to be This December

Don’t wait until the new year. Why not use December as a new beginning and do something you have been meaning to get around to all year: something for you

December can be cold, wet, miserable, dreich, dark. It can make you feel like you want to steal a bit of warmth and wait for the another year to roll around so you can start over again. But starting again is an everyday opportunity. And when better than late winter to shake off the ennui and step into your trusted (vegan) boots, slip into a thermal T-shirt and slide out the door to your current favourite song (Venice Bitch) on the way to see a long-time favourite artist, Cat Power.

Where to go: The Cat Power tour

Back in a city near you – with a guitar and child if the new album cover for Wanderer is anything to go by – the wanderer is here and ready to show you her show. Cat fans were treated to a more nostalgic sound than previous effort Sun, with more guitar and an early 00’s Covers feel. A closer listen to lead single ‘Woman’ tells us she is feeling free and lays to rest concerns on how she is coping in her personal life: “The doctorsaid I was better than ever. The doctor said I was not my past.” Tickets on sale now

What to listen to: Joan and Jericha

These are the agony aunts you certainly must not take advice from but 100% should listen to. An improvised parody on anachronistic misogyny (one hopes), this podcast goes from woman to woman telling them what they’ve been doing wrong to please their man, how to appreciate infidelity and for goodness sake fix that shamelessly sagging neck. Have a giggle and get an earful of advice you will never, ever – not even a little bit – have to put into practice. Apart from the one about cooking your way to sex. That one is spot on.

What to wear: Sensibly stylish boots

Boots that can be worn on any day of the week and tied into any look, Dr. Martens are eternal. Tracksuit bottoms, jeans, shorts, skirts, nothing at all. Timeless and built to last, my favourite pair are going into their seventh winter. Don’t waste money dabbling with inferiority: when the viscera aligns with the cerebra, it is time to make an investment and keep those calluses at bay. Browse the ever-expanding vegan line-up here:

What to read: My Thoughts Exactly by Lily Allen

You may think you are not interested in Lily Allen; You’ve seen her in the paper, read it online: she’s a mess. But I never thought so, and now there is evidence. Lily has had her demons come out to play over the years and dealt with sexual assault, a psychologically isolating experience with a stalker, a dreadful miscarriage along with maintaining a career in a fast moving and superficial world. Lily has been going through her life and rationalising her experiences while also allowing us as observers the chance to reflect and, if we wish, move forward with a more compassionate disposition. More reviews here:

Tip of the month: Freeze those chickpeas

The presence of a chickpea enhances the enjoyment of any and every dish, obviously. But what if you forgot to soak them last night and now are left with an old tin of kidney beans from the back of the shelf? Distraught is what you are. So from today, pour the largest volume of chickpeas you canfit into your largest pot and fill nearly to the top with water. Leave overnight, sprinkle with salt and boil until soft. When cool, transfer into your nicest reusable container and store in the freezer to be called upon in your moment of need. Crisis averted.

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