HAPPY NEW YEAR. A week or so ago I wrote in my column that we were only allowed to say this for a certain time period towards the start of January and then it was forbidden, otherwise you get emails still banging on about the new year well into February. But I just squeak into the time frame, so that’s lucky.

I’m now in Cape Town, working on my new book here for a few weeks. They’re dubbed swallows, the Brits who come down here for January and February to escape the miserable UK winter. It sounds very spoiled, I know, but I’m working **extremely hard** during the week and having lunches at vineyards and walks along Table Mountain on the weekends. I’m staying in this funny little cottage, surrounded by blue hydrangeas and baboons that come inside and pinch your fruit if you’re not careful. Although as my friend Holly (also out here) and I keep saying to one another, we’ve both woken up next to worse. Ho ho ho…

Yesterday, the wonderful writer Emma Hughes tweeted a link to a podcast I did recently which reminded me I hadn’t stuck it up on this site. So HERE you go. It’s called You’re Booked, and the host is writer/book-obsessive/incredible book champion and all round excellent egg, Daisy Buchanan. It’s one of the loveliest book podcasts out there, in which a writer discusses all the books that have had an impact on his/her life, so we had a very happy time sitting in my flat, in front of the fire, wittering on about them. Brilliantly, Daisy always compiles a list of all the books mentioned in the podcast afterwards, so if you click on that link above, then click on ‘Episode Details’, they’re all under there.

OH also The Wish List has just come out in Germany so if you’re visiting me having recently picked up a copy of that, danke, and I hope it’s made you laugh. Thank you to all those who have tagged me in pictures of it. I love knowing that Florence is bravely making her way out into foreign territories. It’s very good for her. She needed to branch out from London.

What else can I update you on? I think that’s everything and it’s nearly drinks time here. Having never been to South Africa before, I’m very up for recommendations. Do email/message if you have any. Much love from me and the baboons X