A Day in my Life
love Jane x
6am We’re all early risers in my house and the first thing I do is make fresh Colombian coffee for me and my husband. He’s out of the house first as he’s a chef and has to cook breakfast the moment he arrives at his restaurant in North London. Then I make breakfast and a packed lunch for my teenage son. I’m most definitely a lark not an owl these days and find my brain is at its best early in the day. It’s all downhill from there, so don’t ask me to be remotely intelligent at night!
6.30am Is feed-the-animals time: I have a dog and 7 rabbits so they demand attention. I give the rabbits a smorgasbord of fresh vegetables and fruit – they are deeply spoilt! And Miu – my dog – might luck out with a bit of last night’s chicken. I adore my animals more and more as I age and talk to them like babies!
7am My son leaves for school and I jump in the shower then do my make up at my dressing table. I have the news on in the background so I know what’s going on in the world, if it’s all bleak news, I switch to music instead – you’ve gotta start the day the right way and music makes me so happy. I’m a total pop and hop fiend – Beyonce, Rihanna, Adele, Jay Z, Biggie Smalls and Drake feature on my playlist.
I tend to outfit plan the night before. A lifecoach once told me you should wear something each day that makes you feel proud of yourself so I try and stick to that mantra. Clothes are transformational – not only physically but in how they make you “feel”. I love clothes, shoes, bags, beauty – the works (you may have noticed) and I now mainly wardrobe shop from sample sales (luckily Marie Louise and I hear about them by word of mouth) and I never shop online – I like to touch feel and try before I buy. My latest sartorial obsession is the Belgian label Essential Antwerp – their clothes are stylish, colourful and quirky and suit my current fashion persona (this is ever evolving and experimental). I’ve definitely noted the power of colour to literally lift my mood and add a punctuation mark to an overall look. As I age I wear black outfits less and less, rarely defer to black shoes or boots and like to add a colour pop to my make up – be it a red lip, a coral nail or a metallic eye colour.
7.40am Walk Miu Miu on Hampstead Heath – breathe in some fresh air, think my thoughts and set my goals for the day ahead. I often have my best ideas at this time. Also, if something has been bothering me it’s when I articulate it to myself. So in a nutshell the Heath is my shrink!
8am Leave for work, I walk two miles to the nearest tube –that’s the time I put my headphones on and march it – it gives me 20 minutes of exercise and sets me up for the day ( I interview a lot of fitness experts in my job and they all agree 20 minutes a day is all you need to do to stay fit and help your body repair itself).
9am Arrive in my Shoreditch or Clerkenwell office – I work between the two. I consult as an editor and editorial director for two content agencies and have a mix of health, fashion and beauty clients. I love the mix and I fit in The F Club around these roles – often writing in the wee early hours of the morning and attending events at night. Marie Louise and I are always texting each other story ideas, fab outfits and what do you think? Emails.
10am I’m usually in meetings most of the morning – organising my teams’ plans for the day and the week. I like working with people and find the life of a purely home-based freelance journalist dispiriting so I aim to be office based instead and try to keep to a nine-day fortnight. I spend that tenth day writing from home. In addition to the fclub I write for lifestyle magazines, websites and newspapers.
In an office situation I would describe my style as collaborative leader. I always have a vision of how the end result should look and make you react, I write and create with one woman (it’s usually female) in mind. I’ve been a magazine editor for most of my life and all magazines are created in the image of one very particular person with a deeply distinctive voice. At the moment I’m working with a variety of terrifically inspiring creatives which in turn feeds my own creative juices.I love working with staff of varying ages at totally different stages of life – young, old and in-between – it can be a breath of fresh air taking on both nurturing and respectful roles. Having said that I can’t stand office politics and the amount of time spent on them so hallelujah for the freelance life and working only for myself! But working with Marie Louise on our passions is so much fun because we are allied in long standing friendship, love of fashion and beauty, honesty and integrity, similar lifestyles and amount of years on this earth! The F Club was born out of these truths. Although we often have opposing views. I think that’s good because that’s when you know you need each other.
11am I usually eat two pieces of fresh fruit about now, I never have breakfast because I’m never hungry but my tummy starts talking to me mid morning.
Lunch: Is either a salad prepared at home in a jar (usually salmon, avocado, and leaves with nut oil, that’s a current fave and is literally brain food as it’s dense in Omega 3’s which we can start to lack as we age) or I meet PRs or clients. Both work places are surrounded by excellent restaurants and I love Moro in Exmouth Market and Andina (Peruvian) on Redchurch Street. If by any chance I have time for a stroll I’ll check out perfumes at Le Labo, body lotions at Aesop or my current favourite shoe store Miista – all on Redchurch street.
Afternoons are generally spent writing – either on above the line campaigns, strategy and tone of voice documents, features or detail work like captioning a catalogue. A thread of excellence and consistency is vital and I’m a huge fan of a bit of honest-to-goodness fun and humour where appropriate.
6pm I try and leave work on time wherever I am – and either go home or go to an after work drinks. I love to sit in the garden with a glass of wine and catch up with my husband and sons’ days as soon as I get in.Often, after dinner (served around 7pm), we each end up in separate rooms watching different shows. Dinner is my favourite meal of the day and we go all out to make each night special. I don’t cook usually (yippeee) but my husband prepares something wonderful. A current fave is a butternut squash, quinoa, pomegranate feta confection oozing with caramel balsamic, which we’ll pair with some protein. I try and be vegan a few nights a week and have roast chicken on other nights. My boys though are major meat eaters so steak,ribs and chops are commonplace. We tend to entertain at the weekends rather than in the week as everyone is tired and it’s coming up to exams time.