Orange and pink together

How to mix orange, pink and red in your interior

Browsing in a florist’s shop, my friend picked up a bunch of pink tulips and was looking for something to go with them. Without a second thought I pointed to a bucket of the same flowers – in dark red… My friend was appalled. ‘No, no, no!’ she said, sending a shiver of embarrassment through me. As a young child …

Where can you find the perfect decorative teapot?

I adore this teapot – a gift from my husband. It is part of the Astier de Villatte collection. We are huge fans of their beautiful quirky shop in the rue St Honoré in Paris. I think it would be sacrilege to fill it with hot water and tea. I fear it would snap, because it looks so delicate and …

Restoring a chandelier

Where can I get a chandelier restored?

We love the boho elegance of chandeliers – even though they gather dust, and the bulbs always seem to wear out at different rates. Over the years we’ve bought three chandeliers in need of rewiring. We took two of them to Christopher Wray in Chelsea. They offer a complete restoration service.  The third was restored by the amazing Classical Chandeliers …

Do you need to use a ghostwriter?

You are an expert in your field – but are you an expert at writing about your subject for the consumer market? Do you really want to spend hours at your desk putting your thoughts into words? Do you even have the time to do that? And, if you do make the time, will you be capable of writing an …

Health, Wellbeing & medcine

Could you spot the signs of a heart attack?

It may seem impossible that you could have a heart attack and not know it. Yet a disturbing study recently found that early warning signs had been missed in one in six people who later died in English hospitals. This blog is adapted from an article I wrote for Yours magazine, and the shocking news is that just being a …

fitness walking

Is walking the best exercise you can do?

Walk the dog, jump off your bus two stops early, and leg it up the stairs instead of taking the lift… We’re all being urged to get to our feet to boost our health and work off excess pounds – but does any old walking style have the same impact, or should we be dressing up in lycra and pounding …

Health, Wellbeing & medcine

How do you know if you have a thyroid problem?

You’re probably not that familiar with your thyroid gland. But, behind the scenes, this is the little powerhouse that controls your metabolism, regulating your energy, body temperature and weight among other things. When it stops working the way it should it can trigger a range of symptoms – but unfortunately the list is so random that many of the things …

Being a vegan

Is veganism really good for your health?

There are many reasons to turn vegan – but is better health really one of them? Giving up animal produce and loading up on plant-based foods… It’s good for the planet and great for your conscience. You may think it’ll also do your health the world of good… And, yes, if you’re prepared to put in the work and cook …

Kangaroo care baby skin to skin contact

What is Kangaroo Care for your baby?

Kangaroo care or Skin to Skin Contact is one of the best things you can give your newborn… This blog is taken from a piece I wrote for Water Wipes… Baby love… Skin-to-skin contact will help you bond with your newborn – but there are other benefits too, says midwife Jenny Lord. Gone are the Call the Midwife days when …

Are you thinking of giving up gluten?

Gluten-free is all the rage – but is it a food fad that you really need to follow? This blog is adapted from a feature I wrote for Woman’s Own magazine. Know your enemy Think back to the last time you made pastry or dough…That sticky elasticity was gluten at work. It’s a protein – found in wheat, rye, spelt …

Health, Wellbeing & medcine

What’s causing your high blood pressure?

Hypertension – high blood pressure – is a subject that I often find myself writing about.  It raises our risk of stroke, heart disease, and dementia and is something we should all be taking seriously. (If you’re due your NHS Health Check – book it now. It could save your life!). In this feature (see below) I look at what …

Is it better to sleep naked?

Ditch the winter wynceyette – you’ll sleep better in the buff… That was the argument I made in this feature for My Weekly (link to pdf) – but, of course, the truth, as was soon to be established, is that it’s all about keeping your cool. Whether in light nightclothes, or none at all, we sleep better in a room …

Signs of a stroke

What happens when you have a stroke?

Of all the health conditions I’ve covered, I think stroke has got to be the most terrifying. The prospect of being left permanently paralysed, disfigured, or unable to communicate is mind bogglingly scary. The effects of a stroke vary considerably from one person to another – and that’s because a stroke can occur anywhere in the brain. Therefore the symptoms …

life hacks

When is the best time of day to moisturise your skin?

Morning, night, or both? Does it make any difference what time of day you apply your moisturiser? Yes! So says Dr Michaela Arens-Corell of the skin care company Sebamed. In this fun health feature on the best times of day to do everything from looking after your skin to eating carbs, Dr Arens-Corell told me that Our skin’s repair and …

Health, Wellbeing & medcine

Cancer myths – sorting fact from fiction

Can your tight bra cause cancer? Will dyeing your hair put you at risk? Is sugar really fuel for cancer cells? In this feature I explored the truths and myths about cancer. One fact is sure: 50% of us will get cancer – mainly because we’re living longer. ‘Most cancer is caused by damage to DNA that builds up over …

Health, Wellbeing & medcine

Is tiny handwriting a warning sign of Parkinson’s disease?

Take a look at your old diaries and letters… Was your handwriting once much bigger than it is now? If so, your shrinking scrawls could be an early sign of Parkinson’s disease. So I was told by Professor David Dexter of the charity Parkinson’s UK, when I interviewed him for a feature on unusual symptoms. Handwriting that’s getting progressively smaller …

Health, Wellbeing & medcine

Can diet help you reverse type 2 diabetes?

Interviewing Dr Michael Mosley recently, I was inspired to discover that he has reversed his type 2 diabetes with a fairly simple change of diet. Michael, whose best-selling book The Fast Diet (written with journalist Mimi Spencer), introduced the world to the idea of 5:2 intermittent fasting, told me: ‘To start with I was interested in the evidence that eating …

Is there a cure for ME – Chronic Fatigue Syndrome?

Over the years I’ve interviewed many people with ME or Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Usually their treatment has focused on managing their symptoms and pacing themselves to maintain their energy levels. ME can drag on for years and it is often considered a lifelong condition. But, for a feature for Candis magazine, I spoke to Liz Samber whose astounding recovery was …

Does my age affect my fertility?

When I first started writing about women with fertility problems, a quarter of a century ago, I was told by the fertility expert Professor Robert Winston that a woman’s chances of getting pregnant naturally diminished rapidly after the age of 35. That has not changed. Our most fertile years are in our 20s. From 30 our fertility is declining, though …

Health, Wellbeing & medcine

Are you at risk of hearing loss?

Six years ago I was introduced to Emma whose hearing problem went undiagnosed until her 30s. Ironically, while writing Emma’s story, I started to realise that my own hearing was not 100 per cent. Waking in the morning I would struggle to hear the radio if I was listening with my left ear. Only changing sides would bring clarity. I …

Considering becoming an organ donor?

If you live in Wales you are now considered to have agreed to donate your organs after death unless you have taken steps to opt out. In England you still have to actively opt-in – by joining the organ donor register. A change to the Welsh style opt-out system is being considered by the government but will take a long …

Health, Wellbeing & medcine

Are you at risk of osteoporosis?

Fifty is the magic number… After this age you have 50-50 chance of developing osteoporosis. Your genes, lifestyle choices, and medical history can all contribute to your risk. After your menopause, loss of oestrogen exacerbates the situation by drying your bones out and making them more susceptible to fractures. For this feature, I worked with the National Osteoporosis Society (www.nos.org.uk) …

Karen Evennett on Health, Wellbeing and Medicine

What’s causing your headaches?

It’s shocking to think that migraine – affecting one in seven people in the UK – costs the nation more than £2billion a year. But even more astounding is the realisation that many of these frequent sufferers are inadvertently causing their migraines through their own efforts to treat the problem! My feature for Prima magazine explains how taking painkillers on …

Is there a cure for your cold?

Officially there is no cure for the common cold… But I swear by the herbal remedy Echinacea. At the first sign of a tingle in my throat I will reach for A. Vogel’s Echinaforce Sore Throat Spray (£10.99 for 30ml from www.avogel.co.uk and all good health stores). It has a kick that hits the spot and seems to stop that …

What does stress do to your body?

A dry mouth, racing heart and tummy ache… They’re all signs that you’re going into fight or flight mode. There’s no saber-toothed tiger in sight – but your body doesn’t know it. That traffic jam, delayed train, or imminent deadline is enough to trigger exactly the same response in you. Stress is all too familiar to most of us – …

Are you younger than your chronological age?

I love writing about the things that age us – and those that keep us young. And it was while doing just this that I came across a brilliant little health quiz from the BBC’s How To Stay Young – it took about three minutes to complete, and told me I am biologically 20 years younger than my actual age. …

Is there a downside to combining prescription drugs?

Will taking medicine for one problem lead to you developing something else needing yet another drug? It’s something we all worry about when we read the litany of potential side effects on our patient information leaflets – and with good reason, it turns out. In a feature in Candis magazine, Karen explored the problem with polypharma: the domino effect of …

Could olive oil lower your blood pressure?

It’s a common belief that a Mediterranean diet rich in olive oil is good for you, but what do the experts say? Karen Evennett writes the health news pages for Candis Magazine and she has recently looked at new research from King’s College London – and the good news is that every time you dress your leaves you could also …

Sweet dreams are made of this…

Lavender in my bath, Melissa on my pillow… You can see where this is going. I – who like to think of myself as one of the world’s best sleepers – am having trouble sleeping at night. Like millions of other women my age. This weekend I have introduced the totally vile tasting Dormeasan: a tincture of hops and valerian …

The poison on your plate

Last night we tucked into a meal of fish curry with Basmati rice, ooh-ing and aah-ing because it had been two weeks since we’d last eaten rice and we’d forgotten how much we loved it. “Slimming AND healthy!” I commented. Then we settled down in front of the TV, tuned into Channel 4’s Dispatches, and discovered rice is a rich …

Have your cake – and drink it!

A large glass of wine contains the same number of calories – 200 – as a doughnut. Will this information, if displayed on our bottles, A) have more impact on reducing your alcohol consumption than the existing health warnings? Or B) surprise you that there aren’t more calories in a doughnut, so you may as well have one of those …

turning 50

Turning 50!

The Times recently reported that 50 is the age at which people start to think about their own mortality. Not really very surprising news, but someone went to the trouble of commissioning an opinion poll before reaching this conclusion. At 50, we’re on the cusp of old age – we are noticing changes in our bodies that weren’t there are …

Lent… I relent (with consequences)

As I do not have a religious bone in my body, my Lent abstinence was destined to fail. I’d embarked on it with the promise that I would make an exception for my trip to Rome (just a few days into the 40-day booze fast), and possibly also a press trip to muslim Dubai, where I correctly guessed that the …

Peel the fear…

In an excellent feature in yesterday’s Daily Telegraph – Short Cuts to Self Help – Victoria Lambert gave us a quick run through of the most enduring self help books on the market. I was pleased to see Mindfulness: A practical guide to finding peace in a frantic world was deemed the most helpful by psychologist Hilary Bruffell. I have …

So spa, so good…

My name’s Karen and I am a spa junkie. There – I’ve come clean and fessed up. I love being pummeled by jet sprays and slow cooked in saunas and steam rooms. And I have no trouble submitting to the hands of a good masseuse. So when I was asked if I’d like to sample the spa at the Conrad …

The truth about painkillers

I’m scratching my head to remember the last time I had to take a painkiller…  Oh yes – it was on holiday in August in Roquebrune Cap-Martin. We’d been on our feet all day, trying to fit in about eight Nice museums from our special Matisse pass – and now, as we walked back to our little rental flat, Steve saying how …

Portion control

In the 1960s my dad worked for BP, and a Sunday family treat was to go to the company’s sports club for lunch and a swim. I don’t remember much about the lunch’s main course – I suspect it was some form of roast – but the cheese and biscuits that followed have left an indelible mark on my memory. …

Oh I do like a little bit of butter on my bread…

I was raised on AA Milne’s The King’s Breakfast. I, like the King, preferred plain butter to marmalade on my bread. I still do… spreading it thickly on nasty old crusts to make them more palatable. Do I feel guilty about this “guilty pleasure”? Just occasionally – when friends and relatives flaunt their holier than thou healthy spreads: Flora, Benecol, …

Good night, sleep tight…

Apparently the national average of zzzzs has fallen to just 6.5 hours a night – and sleep researchers say that could be damaging our health more than if we skip a session in the gym. Getting that extra hour in bed (we need 7.5 to 8 hours a night) boosts the immune system, and may even protect against memory loss. …

Is it faux depression?

Where I live, the Thames riverside is gorgeous at the moment, lined with golden leafed trees. But let’s not forget that these are also a sign that we are in the season of melancholy – the time when, once the clocks change, next week, we will all start talking about SAD – even if we don’t actually suffer from it …

Writing for charities

Are you are a registered charity struggling to reach your target audience? I specialise in helping charities to raise awareness in relevant publications by writing features for newspapers, magazines, and online media including blogs and newsletters. If you’d like to discuss a project large or small, one off or regular, then please contact me.