There's something about the cold that I just love. Going outside in the frozen air, wrapped up in a thick coat and scarf and gloves; it's bracing yet refreshing. And then, of course, you get to go back inside where it is warm and cosy. Crank up the heating and cocoon within a solid building.
So why then do so many of us still seem to be suffering? What is it about the world we live in today that causes so much stress that so many of us are depressed, suffering with anxiety issues, personality disorders, eating disorders, sleep disorders and a number of other issues all involving our mental health.
I've learned a lot about who I am, especially in the last year or so and I wanted to just be upfront about certain situations and lessons life has taught me. I am my own worst enemy and although I'm pretty confident, I struggle with acceptance and shame (I hate feeling exposed). Hindsight is a wonderful thing and upon reflection over the last few months, here are my 10 Important Life Lessons.
It seems this dismissal of male beauty issues has become so ingrained in society that we're no longer equipped to notice when a man might have a problem. Who, after all, is going to question a fervid gym junkie when there are women willingly starving themselves in their own homes?
Never has George Osborne's hypocritical catch-line "we are all in this together" sounded more hollow than with the news that 10% of the poorest areas, including my own borough of Hackney, have been hit by cuts that average over 25% of their local authority budget. Meanwhile some of the wealthiest areas have not just avoided the cuts, but have seen their grants rise under this government.
If you are already poor, like for example Liverpool with the highest deprivation score in the country, you will face the highest cuts. Hart District Council in Hampshire has the lowest deprivation score - and the lowest cuts. Let's be clear, I am not talking about a small marginal difference. Liverpool will face cuts of 27.1% in this year alone - Hart only 1.5%.
George Bernard Shaw once said, "Success does not consist in never making mistakes, but in never making the same one a second time." One year on from the horsemeat scandal and the food industry is in danger of doing exactly that.
But the anger about the death of Mark Duggan was never just about the man himself. It was about long standing issues between communities and the police. So anger about this week's verdict of "lawful killing" is about so much more than the technicalities of the case.
I hear the term "modal shift" - referring to the move of passengers from cars to public transport -- a lot, and a lot of discussion of how to achieve that. But I've now seen the answer - copy the Swiss in practically everything. And an excellent place to start would be bringing the railways back into public hands.
HS2 needs to link up to our existing high speed rail line that takes us to France. The current proposal for this would mean a link that cuts directly through the heart of Camden Town... 90% of Camden Lock market falls within 30 meters of site, as does 95% of Stables market. Hawley market would effectively be closed, with other iconic markets devastated by the project.
Russell Brand was right to assert, in effect, that the basis on which we are governed is not set in stone. We can change it if enough of us act in unison. But the fact remains that the only legitimate means to constitutional change is the ballot box. Violent revolutions inevitably result in misery for the populous and a greater centralisation of power.
This means that the company (if only using the first day trading price) was unvalued by £1.6 billion by the government. This government often likes to focus on those who claim benefits, as people who are always out to cheat the system. This undervaluation will cost the taxpayer MORE in three days than benefit fraud does in a year.
Beguiling, attractive slogans, with their wonderful certainty that there are simple answers to complex questions. What Brand says is not only daft but dangerous. It's dangerous because he is a clever man with influence, and when he says: "Apathy is a rational reaction to a system that no longer represents, hears or addresses the vast majority of people", there is a real risk that some people - especially young people - will take him seriously. The core of his message is: "I will never vote and I don't think you should, either." He presents it as a message of hope, when in fact it is precisely the opposite. It is a message of despair.
It's been a tense time in the energy sector recently, with the furore over rising energy bills and accusations of profiteering taking over national headlines.
Some blame the 'greedy profiteering energy fat cats'. Some have even blamed consumers for not helping themselves when it comes to cutting back on their energy use or finding the best energy deals that are out there. The truth of course is that no one group is right. The real truth is our energy market is fundamentally failing.
This morning the Office of National Statistics revealed the long-delayed force-by-force breakdown of taser usage for 2010 and 2011. The figures make grim reading.