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Oh what an exciting week I've had. Christmas shopping has to be done sooner or later and what better place to do it than the Big Apple? New York is chaotic at this time of year, of course, and if you are like me you end up running around like a raving loony buying anything you can get your mitts on, just because it's cheap. Calvin Klein undies are two a penny - there's an extensive range in most local corner shops - and the big stores tend to sell the same labels throughout. So clothes shopping can be a bit dull unless you can afford to pay designer prices at Barneys. What I found most fascinating though were the drug stores - Duane Reade being my favourite, purely because of the name. We have Boots and Superdrug, they have a pharmacy named after some hillbilly from Texas. OK, he could well be some smart chap from New York City, but I feel sure he's from Texas. Anyway, don't you just pity all my family and friends, who will receive Blistex lip balms, Revlon lipsticks and Advil in their Christmas stockings this year. Another shop which I'm still laughing about is an electrical store named Nobody Beats The Wiz - can you believe that a shop can be called such a daft name? Still that's America for you.

Speaking of daft things, check out the cover of December's Harpers Bazaar: the beautiful Gywneth Paltrow in a Calvin Klein swimsuit, having a little dip in the pool! Is December not a time to celebrate Christmas and the season of goodwill to all men? So is it not a wee bit cold to be wearing the latest in bathing suits? Not at all festive. I must say, I think HB got their months mixed up, or is that Miss Paltrow will be spending the Christmas holidays on St Barts - I wonder if she'll be staying at the same resort as me.

There is one thing that I really like about Christmas and that's the adverts on TV. Not the toys or perfume but the choccy ads. There's one in particular that even though it's aired year after goddam year (I can say goddam because I've just been to the States) it never fails to make me sing along and think, "I must have a Ferrero Rocher chocolate this instant". I love the way the lady tells the Ambassador what fantastic receptions he throws. The problem is this year, hot on the Ferrero Rocher heels is Guylain chocs, the milk and white shell and mermaid shapes that you can buy from most petrol stations. Their new ad is meant to be bit arty, I think. Only problem is, it's lacking in full chocolate frontals.

That's enough of Christmas for one week. Something to look forward to in the new year is Anglomania, a new collection from Vivienne Westwood. The range of casual clothing for men and women is geared towards a slightly younger market. The collection includes many of Vivienne's favourite designs, which have been re-worked, including stretch and printed denim, linen and cotton dresses and skirts and a range of cotton knitwear. Not forgetting shoes, hats, bags, belts and jewellery. Vivienne Westwood, 44 Conduit Street, London W1.

Something else I quite fancy to spice up my 30 year old life are these rather funky nail messages. E-nail icons can be attached to finger nails and toes, you just cut out the desired icon, soak in water for 20 seconds and apply, sealing it with the "command save sealer". The sets of transfers are packaged like a CD and can be identified by a keyword to help you choose the right set. At pounds 12.95 they make a rather stupendous pressie - available from Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge and Leeds.

Whilst celebrating my birthday last week at a very exclusive place, the exact whereabouts of which I couldn't possibly disclose, I spotted squeaky clean Irish group Boyzone, who were politely shifted from one table to a less prominent position, supposedly making way for the gorgeous Janet, Miss Jackson if you must know. Unfortunately Miss Jackson didn't show her pretty little face, as she was far to knackered, having just filmed her TOTP performance. Ahhh, my heart bleeds.

I do like to keep my non-London based readers happy, so to all of you who live in the Windsor and surrounding areas, it is essential that you pay a visit to the Windsor Royal Station, a massive retail complex housing Jaeger, Hobbs, Liberty and Paul Costelloe to name but a few...