Welcome to the first edition of 2022. Once again we’ve based this January issue on the theme of health and wellness, coming as it does when so many of us are looking to refresh, rethink or recalibrate our lives. Few people, however, have had quite such a rethink as Tracey Emin. Eighteen months ago, one of our foremost artists was facing a gruesome cancer diagnosis and a series of operations to help prolong her life. This year we’re thrilled to find her in recovery and in Margate, the seaside town where she spent her childhood years. 

Tracey Emin’s photograph of herself with her kitten Teacup
Tracey Emin’s photograph of herself with her kitten Teacup

Emin’s homecoming is unexpected. Margate was the scene of much early trauma. But the move to an enormous new studio has been as much a holistic as a professional decision, and her home by the sea marks a more expansive chapter in her life. Emin’s new focus on legacy, and building a community around emerging artists, has found her in a far more positive state of mind. “Don’t spend it on getting angry,” she advises Louis Wise, who undertook the mission to persuade her to sit for our cover story. Emin has had a reputation as one of the more irascible artists in the business, so her newfound sanguinity makes for a fascinating change of heart. She has learnt how to spend it for the better. Although only time will tell if her zen-like calm will last. 

Have you converted to the new plant-based milk drinks yet? As I write, I am enjoying a mug of coffee and considering that I may be one of the last remaining resistants in the world (I’m full-cream all the way). But one of the main reasons I’ve stayed a naysayer on the oat and nut varieties are the conflicting reports on how much environmental good they do. Almond milk seems about as ecologically damaging as can be imagined when you consider the vast supplies of water required to industrialise the product, while oat milk is frequently stuffed full of glucose when it is commercially produced. Now a whole new generation of liquids has arrived in the barista’s arsenal, including some derived from peas and pineapples, “adaptogenic plant milks”, and even one produced from the humble spud (“No udder option – next gen plant milks”). I think most of them sound absolutely disgusting, but am intrigued to know how they work out. 

Grace Cook (front left) jogging with Your Friendly Runners in London
Grace Cook (front left) jogging with Your Friendly Runners in London

Grace Cook, meanwhile, looks at the growth in community running clubs with whom one can now do a quick 10km. I met two couples this year who got together after clocking each other on the morning circuit, so it’s clear that singles’ exercising might yet surpass traditional modes of dating. It’s also a clever way to stay safe on lonely footpaths, especially for women who might not feel comfortable running alone on winter nights. Grace, herself a recent convert, talks to other new disciples (“The Fast and the Curious”). We also asked Fergus Scholes to round up the latest high-performance trainers so that you can pull ahead the next time you’re with the pack. And look out for our fashion editor Benjamin Canares’ fashion story, a sprightly jaunt around the sports lockers to showcase the brightest, most fashionable looks for him and her (“Fashion with flexible interest”). 

Jean wears Louis Vuitton windbreaker jacket, £2,070, swimwear shorts, £640, and leather and rubber trainers, £860. Bombas cotton socks, £16. Shirt (just seen), model’s own
Jean wears Louis Vuitton windbreaker jacket, £2,070, swimwear shorts, £640, and leather and rubber trainers, £860. Bombas cotton socks, £16. Shirt (just seen), model’s own © Ivan Ruberto
The Rio Grande gorge near the Black Rock hot springs
The Rio Grande gorge near the Black Rock hot springs © Chris Wallace

Lastly, to New Mexico, a place I have been visiting for nearly 20 years. I was hugely reluctant to let Chris Wallace write about the Land of Enchantment because the thought of anyone else discovering it made me nauseous with protective jealousy. But what would How To Spend It be if we didn’t share our favourite places? Chris has explored the region’s mountain wellsprings and tramped down river gulleys in search of the healing waters that have – among other things – made it so well-known (“Hope springs eternal: the joy of New Mexico’s geothermal waters”). He leaves very clean and equally transported: it’s a landscape that never fails to grip the heart and soul.

@jellison22

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