IN THIS ISSUE
The other day I bumped into a friend at a party. She looked fantastic. She’d lost weight, her skin was luminous and she seemed calm and grounded. ‘What have you done?’ I asked her, angling for her to name the miracle diet she’d been following. ‘I’ve given up the booze,’ she said. ‘It’s been three months; I even managed my brother’s wedding on sparkling water. I used to have a real problem with drink, you see.’ I was amazed. Even though I’ve spent many a jolly evening in her company, I’d had no inkling that what seemed like normal socialising had masked what was – for her – a darker issue. ‘I used to be very good at hiding it,’ she said. ‘Even my husband had no idea.’ Fortunately for most women a few too many once in a while won’t land us in a humiliating or dangerous situation, but for Catherine Gray her out-of-control drinking led to blackouts, bad behaviour and broken relationships. On page 40 she tells us how she finally banished booze, and how as a result she is happier, healthier and more optimistic. On the night that many of us pledge to cut back on alcohol, Catherine’s story provides timely inspiration. As someone who is prone to cling to clutter, another promise I’ll be making tonight will be to clear out my wardrobe, shelves and kitchen of all the excess stuff that has built up during 2017. On page 30, Margareta Magnusson hand-holds us through the process of decluttering, which many of us find surprisingly emotional and difficult – though the pain is worthwhile when we can finally see what’s in our cupboards again!