One of the worst parts of my 2013 has been comparing the amount of money that leaves my account with a significantly smaller amount of tangible goods.
Here's the thing... most people who scoff at Hull, have never even been. And I guess that's the way life works, if a bandwagon rumbles past us, we sometimes can't help but jump on it. If someone, or some place strives, we can't seem to wait to knock them.
For those of you unfamiliar with the name Luisa Zissman, you are unfamiliar with the current British celebrity hierarchy. Zissman has entered the party with immediate B/C list status. Her role as runner up on The Apprentice has effectively launched her 'it' girl status. Hardly a day passes without an update on her life by the British tabloids. And I for one- am pleased.
Although we all tell ourselves we need to address our work-life balance, have we ever thought about the effect we are having on the next generation? Careers and success will always be an important part of everyone's life, but that doesn't mean success should have to come at so high a price.
In my mind it's simple; cosmetic surgery isn't to be taken lightly, and giving it away as a prize or reward is frankly just irresponsible. I can't even begin to express my horror after reading about an American ophthalmologist who was in the news this week for offering cosmetic procedures to anyone who can set him up with his 'dream woman'.
Ask questions, see if you can speak to past or present apprentices. Gather knowledge. It is not all about the money either. Remembering that there is more to a job than salary and benefits will help you, the candidate, make the right choice. A key question to ask any potential employer is about the opportunities at the end of the training period.
Maybe the example set by Dr Leah will actually help the reputation of clinics who work hard to provide outstanding training, service, and facilities, and truly separate the wheat from the chaff- the great clinics from the dodgy salons.
If we lose Elizabeth Fry from our five pound note, we are left with the Queen as our only female representative. Are we really unable to find a single historical female figure worthy of being commemorated? Maybe we just can't collectively remember women that have done great deeds. That certainly seems to have been the trouble in sport this month.
You have to wonder what next year's Apprentice has in store for us? Badger-culling services? Assassination on-demand? If you really want to ensure that people don't get disfigured by cosmetic treatments, don't sell them, and don't promote them on taxpayer-funded TV.
In my time as a journalist, I have done some difficult things. I've flown into an active war zone dressed as Santa Claus, drove around London in a limousine while trying to handle a live turkey, and attempted to coax usable quotes out of a truculent, jet-lagged, visibly bored Chuck D. But now I am going to attempt the most difficult task of all - persuading you that Katie Hopkins is sexy.
If I don't work I don't get paid and you'd be amazed what a motivational tool that is. In my old job, my motivational tool was a picture of a willie I'd drawn on a post it note, which I used to pass to Ken when she was on the phone to a customer to put her off.
Watching the BBC's The Apprentice, I am reminded of a show in last year's series when one of the contestants endlessly repeated 'What's the strategy? ...
So, it's started again. For the next three months the viewing public will be treated to and will lap up a 'fly on the wall' vision of what makes an entrepreneur - except we won't and it isn't. But many people, who aren't in the know, will think it's meant to be this way.
Do the females competing to be Lord Sugar's business partner in Series 9 of The Apprentice think they are dressing for the boardroom or the bar? (And by "the bar", I mean the kind where they down shots rather than the kind where they would need a wig and gown).
I would argue that too many businesses are reluctant to take the risk on a young person without any experience. Turned on its head, that small risk could actually be a life-changing opportunity to set a young person on course for a truly bright future. So, I think every business needs to consider whether they are doing enough to support young people in their communities to first gain work experience, and then to move into employment. We cannot expect schools or parents alone to support a young person into work. In my view, businesses are a vital part of the equation.
I like the opening five minutes of The Apprentice the best I think. Mainly because of the contestants' VTs; which this year contained some very bold and arousing statements. "I am a great of my generation. I take inspiration from Napoleon," so says a small man wearing ladies sunglasses.