5 Ways to Make January Less Boring

In I tried... on January 7, 2011 at 6:38 am

I probably shouldn’t be saying this as it is my birthday month after all (happy birthday to me and my fellow Capricorns), but January could quite possibly be the least eventful month of the year. It’s taken me a whole week to come up with a reason to blog– what with the only noteworthy news stories being that birds and marine life are inexplicably dropping dead all over the world [depress me much?], a homeless man becoming rich overnight thanks to another Youtube viral sensation and a bunch of stiffs are whining
about Paris VOGUE pimping children as fashion models– I’m just spoilt for choice!

So while the rest of the media planet scrambles for headlines, I’m waving the white flag and admitting that I’m quite simply with the post-festive lull. Bring on the scandals, new controversies, fresh faces, gob-smacking new technology; we’re in a brand new decade, let’s act like it damnit!

In the meantime, I’ve come up with five things to
keep me from twiddling my thumbs this month….

Everybody’s favourite sneaker brand, Converse has launched an online and instore custom design service. If you can’t get to the New York City flagship where shoe magic becomes reality, flicking through prints, colours and fonts at the store’s iPad bank; like me, you can spend an unmentionable amount of time on the online design lab, customizing your very own sneaker! Whether you end up buying or not, it’s online gaming for shoe addicts.

Here’s some appropriately blog-themed
MessyNessyChic models I made earlier…!

Click here to start

As we enter a new decade of the future, perhaps it calls for a time to reflect on the past and indulge in the little things that remind us of the good old days.

Tombées du Camion (literally meaning “fallen off the truck”) is a secret collector’s address in Paris with a treasure trove of unusual, weird or forgotten objects. Why is this crazy blogger talking about junk that’s fallen off a truck you ask? Well you would be surprised by the overwhelming effect that an abundance of
the smallest retro treasures can have on even the most tech-minded individuals. Refresh your Steve Jobbs-saturated minds and let places like this take you for an archeological ride through your past. You might even liven up your living room with forgotten keepsakes from your childhood.

17 rue Joseph de Maistre 18th (

Food and wine tasting– a suggestion I’ve come up with at a time of year when the usual bars and restaurants feel particularly dull and uninspiring. In Paris, I came across the perfect anecdote at the FoodLab, where the star-clad chef Thierry Marx epitomises gastronomical experimentation. If he can jellify it, bubble it, emulsify it– he will. The experimental and mysterious tasting sessions are scheduled on Wednesdays and Fridays, 1-3 pm and Thursday 7-9 pm in the heart of Paris.

Le Laboratoire, 4,rue du Bouloi, 1ere

On to the wine tasting– get this. You can have a very charming French guy called Joël who shows up in the middle of your dinner party at home and teaches you the ultimate French skill: wine tasting. For Joël, it’s all about the romance of wine and from his mysterious briefcase he wafts tiny aroma bottles under your ignorant nostrils. He brings wine and cold cuts from small producers all over France and if it’s your birthday, will even find a wine with your vintage year. Now that would be an original dinner party to really kick off the social calendar.

Joël, with
the association Terra Vitis, from 30 euros per


Back in London, I can imagine most of you are stuck for original date spots but I’ve come across something truly, truly unique. The Dennis Severs House is one of London’s hidden gems, thanks to American writer Dennis Severs. In 1979, behind the doors of this East London red-brick Georgian terraced house, Severs started on a programme to transform each individual room into a story designed to draw the visitor into another world belonging to the original 18th century inhabitants, a family of French Protestant silk weavers. The rooms are arranged as if they are in use and the occupants have only just left with different props and smells to set the scene. Now belonging to the Spitalfields Trust since Severs’ death, guests can book exclusive evenings sat by the roaring fire with champagne while learning about the history of the house and its creator in an informal but magical atmosphere.

18 Folgate Street, E1, 6BX (

Boxing day is such an uncivilized day to lure half the country off the couch and away from the cosy fire
only to turn them into bargain grabbing monsters. Why do the British do it? If you opted out of the U.K sales this year in favor of mum’s leftover stuffing and good old 80s movies, perhaps you might be interested in popping over to Paris for a second chance. Indeed, the French wait until mid-January to begin their sales and don’t waste any time by going straight in with discounts of up to 70 per cent. Pourquoi pas?

MessyNessy sales tip: Learn basic fashion arithmetic – don’t hand over the cash until you can visualise the item working with at least three things in your wardrobe.

sewing machine by Urban Outfitters, £25

When boredom strikes, be productive. I have at least two pairs of earrings to glue, countless buttons to sew and several bags to de-scuff. Boys, you’ll be better than this than any of us. Think of all those D.I.Y jobs around the house that need doing– hours of fun with your screw-driver! This is by no means an attempt at a new year’s resolution but fixing stuff certainly can’t be a bad way to start the year. Get to it people, there’s no time like the present.

If you’ve just returned from a tropical location, you’re probably feeling the holiday blues more than the boredom. Here’s a blog I wrote after returning from La Isla Blanca in summer about how to beat the post-holiday blues. Most of it still applies…Click here for the article

MessyNessy’s Holiday Snaps

My excuse for not having blogged in a week: I went to Miami, Florida
and this is what I saw….


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