Notes to self

This month, things get personal for Sophie Goodwin and Annabel Rivkin

Some people find joy in sex, others in world peace or at the bottom of a tub of Viennetta. We find it in personalisation. Our names make us… us. They are magic! Personalisation makes everything nicer, see. And the proper joy of it is there isn’t much you can’t embroider, emboss, stamp or paint. Pyjamas with your name hand-embroidered on the pocket? You’ll sleep better. A toothbrush with your initials on the handle? Cleaner teeth. Your monogram spelt out in fishfingers (tricky, but persevere)? Much tastier and definitely less fattening. It’s like a constant compliment to our identity. It congratulates us on being who we are – and that can take years of therapy. So, with this wisdom to hand, consider how to elevate a gift from blah to ta-dah!

It’s easy to forget that personalisation is an opportunity. It’s a brave new world of bespoke fluoro bicycles1; rainbow-bright arse-stamped pants2 (that might act as an aide-memoire should the occasion demand it); wacca-wacca-wacca early-Eighties Anya Hindmarch bags3 for dirty weekends in Acapulco (why not?); wobblesome jelly4 with your own manifesto quivering on the top; and weird-looking dolls5 crafted from a photo of yourself or your frenemy — not remotely voodoo, that.

Knock yourselves out and feel prettier and richer and cleverer and, well, happier. Really. Because surely that’s what life is all about…

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