Writing resolutions

My 2020 new years resolution is to write more blog posts.

It won’t happen obviously because you have to start new years resolutions on the WORST day of the year; 1 January.

When 31 January rolls into 1 February, no one bats an eyelid, you’re lucky if anyone even notices. It’s the same with April into May or August into September. However, when Auld Lang Syne heralds the dawning of a new year, bad things happen. Twinkly lights and brightly coloured Christmas cards containing affectionate salutations* are removed, making your lounge look as bald as a Mitchell brother.

*and also that one apathetic card that just says “To Jo. From *insert name here*” without so much as an insincerely scrawled biro kiss as the end, I mean what’s the actual point?

1 January is a shocking day for writing, I’ve usually killed at least 85,000 brain cells in December, probably due to the three bottles of Baileys that I will undoubtedly have polished off. I’m left without the faintest idea how to structure a sentence, I can’t tell my personal pronouns from my possessive pronouns and I’m worryingly uncertain about whether “stationary” refers to ‘standing still’ or ‘many notebooks’.

On 1 January, it is very rare for me not to have a motherfucker of a headache after rather too much Champagne Prosecco/Cava (I’m not made of money, especially after purchasing all those bottles of Baileys). Whilst it is mandatory to consume bubbles to hail the arrival of January, that fizzy wine does have a tendency to come with objectionable side effects; mainly the feeling that someone has stabbed you in the head with one of your empty bastarding wine bottles.

A dehydration headache is no joke when you’re trying to write. I do everything on a phone or laptop and the glow of the digital device prompts a squeal of “bright light, bright light” in the style of Gizmo from Gremlins every time a tiny glint catches my eye.

I would try writing in a notebook with an actual pen but the problem with that is that I haven’t written anything of substance since my final GCSE exam back in 1994 2004. Since then I’ve managed birthday cards, the occasional postcard and at least half a dozen “I am home, please knock loudly and don’t take my parcel away” notes for delivery drivers, but that’s about the limit of my penmanship. Even signing my name is a rarity these days, not least because I sometimes forget which signature to use. To clarify, I’m not a fraudster, I just use my maiden name for work so I have two signatures for my two names (As an aside, I do recognise that this is exactly what a fraudster would say).

When the hangover has slung it’s hook, you have to contend with all things depressingly Januaryish:

The shops are filled with soup and yoghurt and cardboardy ryvita and all-of-a-sudden skinny celebs are all over social media trying to flog exercise programmes quickly before their own inevitable weight gain ensues. Brad and I attempted dry January this month, which has been a really fucking stupid idea as it has massively added to the ghastliness of the month.

January sales start, which just gives shops an opportunity to whip out a load of old gash that didn’t sell back in the summer sales. DFS staff have a 45 minute reprieve between the end of the Christmas clearance and the launch of the new year discount extravaganza. Luckily as there are at least 14 Saturdays between December payday and January payday, chances are that you’ve fallen so far down the overdraft well that you can’t afford to climb out and buy anything, no matter how much of a bargain.

The final nail in the coffin of my writing resolution is my job; I’ve worked in HR for over 20 years which means that January is filled with the aftermath of ‘Christmas party antics’ and I’m too busy scrutinising allegations of drunken inappropriate conduct by grown ups who are old enough to know better to have time for much else.

And that, dear reader, is why I’m finally posting this blog post on 26 January: Happy ne…arly February!


Something Changed


Party time

Facebook has a feature where it will take you back in time and show you what you were posting on social media in previous years.

This weekend I was reminded that on 19 January 2011, my Facebook status said “Josiejolene is the Google Queen”.

The fact that I have referenced my Google prowess is not unusual. I use Google about half a dozen times a day. So far this weekend, I’ve googled the following: “Is Gerard Butler Scottish?” because I honestly didn’t know. “Do foxes eat cats?” because I saw a fuck off big fox in the garden and I’m worried that Mr fox might fancy turning my cat into an hor d’oeuvre. “Where is the nearest McDonalds drive through?” because I could not be bothered to put ‘outdoor’ clothes on when we decided to have a bit of Maccy Ds for Saturday night dinner and “Is Dominic Cooper married?”… asking for a friend.

On first viewing, a Facebook status about googling from seven years ago means nothing at all, until I provide some context.

In 2011, I completed the Brighton marathon with a friend (I say ‘completed’ rather than ‘ran’ because due to a terrible chest infection and an unseasonably hot April day, to describe us as having ‘run’ any more than about half of it, would be a big fat lie).

When you train for a marathon, your entire world is focussed on running, you can’t eat without thinking about the impact your meal will have on your next run. You don’t drink much alcohol on a Saturday because you’re doing a long run on a Sunday.  You don’t watch telly because you’re running four nights a week and you generally become a running bore. Your yawn inducing conversations revolve around running schedules, trainers and injury avoidance.

My friend and I were fully aware of how dull we’d become. We had animated discussions about foam rolling, interval training and rehydration. We’d lived and breathed running for the past twelve months and we wanted a break.

We decided that after our marathon we would throw a party, with cocktails and cake and general merriment. Many of the things that had been lacking from our lives for the previous year. We’d visited a couple of venues in which to hold our party and we’d fallen in love with one in particular. Unfortunately the venue fell through. Because of this, my friend was despondent and lost her party enthusiasm. She suggested that we sack off the party and just go out for a few drinks instead.

Now, I like a party VERY MUCH and I was not happy that the fabulous event I had envisaged was being turned into a run of the mill night out. No! I was completing a 26.2 mile marathon goddam it. I wanted recognition and, more importantly, I wanted cake.

So, using my trusty Google search skills, on 19 January 2011, because I wasn’t giving up without a fight, I found an alternative venue.

This Google search has incredible significance in my life. This Google search was momentous. Due to this Google search, in the words of the magnificent Jarvis Cocker, lead singer of Pulp; Something Changed.

This Google search took us to a little bar that we could hire out for a party and invite all our friends and family to attend. This little bar had an Assistant Manager who helped us to create ‘running themed’ cocktails and allowed us to bring along a mahossive cake for everyone to eat. As an aside, if you think it’s a really good idea to get a cake with a picture on; in our case, a picture of me and my fellow marathon buddy showcasing our medals at the end of the race, remember that someone has to eat a piece of cake with your face on. No-one wants to eat a piece of cake with your face on so after the party you’re left with a bit of cake with your faces on. It’s a very sad sight.

Most importantly, this Google search introduced me to this little bar’s Assistant Manager. His name was Brad.

Brad is now my husband.

19 January 2011’s Google search, I salute you.

The Grand Marathon Party

Colo[u]r me happy

Three years ago, List 34 was created. One year ago, I ticked “Participate in Colour Run” off the list but didn’t get a chance to write about it, I was just too damn busy with a minor life event. Fortunately, I enjoyed the run so much that I did it again yesterday so here’s the de-brief; a mere 8760 hours late…

The Color Run, with it’s dodgy American spelling, claims to be the “happiest 5k on the planet”. Until someone devises a run that incorporates cake eating, then I’m going to let the Color Run hold that title; it is an enjoyable and entertaining fun run. Everyone is smiling, there are participants of all ages and it has a great atmosphere. That said, on both occasions that I’ve run, it’s been a dry and relatively warm day. If it had been blowing a hoolie and chucking it down with rain I suspect that the experience would have been significantly less enjoyable and I may well have unexpectedly taken ill and been unable to participate.

At the beginning of the course is a hill. Last year, I was considerably fitter than I am this year. I had been running with a personal trainer on a regular basis and so I ran the whole 5k without hesitation. Last year, myself and a friend smugly whizzed past everyone who was walking up the hill, whilst yelling ‘eat my dust, suckers’*. This year, when two of my friends said that they would be walking the course, I didn’t argue and happily meandered up the hill whilst runners sped past me yelling ‘eat my dust, suckers’**.

*not actually out loud, just in my head

**not actually out loud, just in their heads

The colour stations are dotted throughout the course and involve volunteers, with slightly evil glints in their eyes, throwing coloured powder in your direction as you pass. However, I would recommend trying not to breathe too much as you run through the brightly coloured dust as it’s not the most fun breathing experience you’ll ever have. Inhaling the powder is a little unpleasant, but you might get an exciting bright purple bogie when you blow your nose later in the day, so it’s not all bad.

This year there was the addition of a foam station, a much more family friendly version of the 1990’s style nightclub foam party, without dance music or some creepy dude trying to surreptitiously touch you up through the foam. I should point out that at no point during my misspent youth did I actually go to a foam party.  I did once go to a custard pie throwing party which had similar principles but after a while everyone started to smell of sour milk and look a bit jaundiced so it didn’t catch on as a pastime.

The foam provides a lovely damp layer enabling the coloured powder to stick to you so I feel it was a positive addition to the course. You want to finish looking mucky and colourful otherwise just how happy can you possibly be?

Bring on Color Run 2018! (Weather conditions permitting).

Color Run – 2016:

Color Run – 2017

There’s literally no place like home

In February, I wrote about house-hunting and my addiction to rightmove.

Six months ago we were unsuspecting, innocent, trusting, property hunting virgins. Wide eyed and bushy tailed, we were excited about our grand home-buying quest.

Fast forward half a year and our arduous search has almost destroyed us; we are broken shadows of our former selves. Weak from smiling politely at ugly houses, tiny houses, next to a dual carriageway houses, no central heating because “we really love night storage heaters” houses. Exhausted from meeting hundreds of besuited, smarmy Estate Agents who are almost young enough to be our children and think that 1997 was the ‘olden days’. We are so over moving and we haven’t even moved yet.

We have encountered melamine kitchen cabinets circa 1982, yellowing tobacco stained paintwork and gardens covered in dog poo. We have seen houses with grass growing in the lounge (and not even the grass that would chill us out enough to ignore trippy swirly brown carpets). We have been deceived by sneaky photography and imaginative property descriptions. Yes, every property has ‘potential to improve’, but I’ll be honest, if it’s got no sodding roof, I’m not going to buy it.

Estate Agents are persistent little rascals*. I swear to God, I had a borderline stalker ex-boyfriend who called me less frequently. They are so bloody needy, constantly looking for feedback which is ‘invaluable to the vendor’. Poppycock! All the vendor wants to know is “Do you want to buy my house because I’m sick and tired of cleaning every bastard room and having to hide my freshly washed pants that were happily drying on the radiator”

*apparently I’m not allowed to call them c***s (Mum or Dad if you’re reading this, the hidden word is ‘clowns’).

What is the point of telling someone that I don’t want to buy their house because of their ‘intimate and cosy’ (Estate Agent Translation guide: Teeny tiny) garden? What are they going to do about it? Seller: “I know that the garden is a bit on the poky side, but if you buy my house, I’ll chuck in the garden next door for free”.

Or how about a scenario when the house is great but we’re not sure about location. Will the vendor pick the house up and move it two miles down the road? Of course not! I live in one of the most expensive locations to buy property in England, moving a house two miles down the road has the potential to add about £50k to the asking price. Do you not think if they could move the house, they’d have done it before putting it on the market?

We have discovered that by far the worst thing about house-hunting is the one that got away. There have been three properties that we could picture ourselves living in (despite the fact that we’ve viewed about 73 of the suckers) but only one that we actually put an offer in on.

Just like the time I innocently wrote my first love letter to a boy at school, it has all gone spectacularly wrong.  The boy broke my heart dramatically (I can’t speak for 11 year old boys nowadays but back in the eighties, they were bloody ruthless. The object of my affection mercilessly rebuffed my advances and then showed the entire class my handwritten declaration of affection). 27 years later, in similar style to the great love letter debacle of 1989, I naively trusted an Estate Agent and have ended up with a house shaped hole in my heart.

Rather like my schoolgirl crush, despite the devastating rejection, I am absolutely convinced that I can never give my heart to another. I’ve tried looking but nothing compares. It feels like I was promised a date with Matthew McConaughey but following a last minute change of plan I had to go out with Steve Buscemi instead. I mean I’m sure Steve’s a perfectly good egg but he just doesn’t have the “immaculately presented” “abundance of individual features” “warm and welcoming feel” that Matthew does…

The search continues.


The one where the wedding is only three months away and at this rate there’ll be no guests and my groom will be naked


Almost two months have passed since I last wrote. Wedding plans are coming along nicely… Except that they are not and that last statement was a big fat porky pie. We’re in exactly the same position as we were back in May, apart from the fact that we’ve started to have conversations that end with “Yeah, we really should do something about that…” before we start watching the next episode of *insert generic box set title*.

Our next challenge is to get invitations sent out. This is taxing because it involves concentrated and continuous use of a pen, and a fancy pen at that. We’re not talking bog standard Bic, we’ve got the big guns out; italic nib, swanky case, ritzy ink. The Prince of pens.

Considering we live in a technological age, I don’t think I’ve properly used a pen since the millennium. God forbid someone even asks me to sign my name these days; I stare at them distastefully “Can’t I just press a button or something?”. Sadly, it turns out that Facebook event wedding invites are just not the done thing, so we’re going to have to start practicing our penmanship post haste.

In this mammoth game of ‘wedding planning’ that we are playing right now (less fun than Trivial Pursuit, I’ll be honest), Brad has one job. His job is to pick a suit, so that we can order more suits for the rest of the men in the wedding party. I tricked him into Marks and Spencer recently with the promise of Percy Pigs and encouraged him to look around at the suits whilst he was there. I received a similar response to the time I’d asked him to unblock the kitchen sink because it wasn’t draining and it smelled like a sweaty, farty gym. In fact I think he’d take smelly sink unblocking over suit shopping any day of the week.

In other news, my weight loss is continuing which has brought me both great joy and immense sadness.

On the plus side I can buy smaller clothes and fit into some of the clothes from my “Hmmm, it doesn’t strictly fit me now (circa 1997) but I’m sure I will lose weight soon so it would be wrong to return it to the store in exchange for replacement money” clothes drawer. So if you see me wandering around looking like some sort of ancient spice girl, you’ll understand why.

Weight loss negatives are that I have suffered a catastrophic bereavement; RIP boobs. You were so loved and gave so much joy to so many. Who knew that you were actually 50% cake?

I am also discovering how much more uncomfortable the world is without a bouncy layer of fat to protect you. There is a lump in my car seat, it’s always been there, I’ve never paid it much attention, suddenly it’s started impertinently digging into my arse. The fat soldier is no longer on duty to protect me from such rascals.

And now for my most significant achievement since my last post. It is one that I hardly dared dream about. It just goes to show that wishes can come true…. I am delighted to announce that I have gone down another setting on my Fitbit wrist band.

Screw the wedding, weight loss: Nailed it.

I don’t want to sound ungrateful, but…

47423Wedding season is upon us and with it comes the wedding gift debate. Do you have a wedding gift list? Do you wing it and hope not to receive three toasters and an egg poacher. How do you sensitively ask for money instead? What about gift vouchers?

Once upon a time, the wedding gift debate was mine, and in my case certainly the question was how do you convince your new husband that spending your Marks and Spencer wedding gift vouchers on a dress rather than some saucepans is a perfectly reasonable request?

Help on this front came in the form of two of our wedding guests. These were two people that I hardly knew. My husband-to-be had been to the pub one night, probably drunk until he couldn’t remember his own name or who on earth he was marrying and promptly invited a bunch of people to our wedding claiming that they were his ‘friends’. To put this into perspective, this is the man who got in a temper and nearly missed his own wedding rehearsal for absolutely no reason. I now know him to have been suffering from a chronic condition known as ‘beingatosseritis’. Honestly, I can’t think why the marriage didn’t last. Anyway, I digress. The wedding went without a hitch. We were on a budget so it was a relatively low key affair with about 60 guests, but the sun shone and I managed to justly avoid the personae non gratae.

No-one gets married in order to receive wedding presents. Based on the average price of a wedding these days, £18,244 according to the Telegraph; you can skip the wedding, buy yourself a rotary toaster and employ an egg poaching breakfast chef for the eleven and a half years that the average British marriage lasts. However, there is a certain etiquette regarding wedding presents. If the bride and groom have a wedding list, buy something from it. If there is nothing on the wedding list that you want to buy, you can’t go wrong with a gift voucher from Marks and Spencer so the bride can buy a new dress a sensible grown up home store like Ikea or Debenhams and worst case scenario, if you are having a personal financial crisis, don’t buy a gift, just send a card with lovely words or buy something small and thoughtful.

Two of the pub guests obviously were unaware of this wedding present protocol, although, this was not clear at first. At the wedding, they presented us with a beautifully wrapped box. ‘How wonderful’, I thought, berating myself for giving my new husband a hard time. They were his friends, he wanted them there, they’d obviously been out and bought us something special to celebrate our big day and I was touched by this.

When we opened our wedding presents the day after the wedding, the pub guest present was one of the last gifts to be opened. We shook the box. It rattled. Bemused, we wondered what was inside. We ripped open the wrapping paper to reveal…

…A 500g box of Shredded Wheat.

And that’s the story of how I ended up with a very nice Marks and Spencer dress to wear on my honeymoon.

No muse is good news


I haven’t had time to write for a while because the irritating realities of life have been getting in the way; employment, household chores, battles with my ex-husband, the usual. I mean figurative battles through polite conversations and emails with my solicitor, not actual combat. I’m not She-Ra, princess of power.

For anyone who was not a seven year old girl in 1985, She-Ra is He-Man’s twin sister. She had her very own television series aimed at girls which was fabulous and entertaining and *whispers* cancelled after one season.

Every day I intend to write and every day something dull gets in the way and stops me, but today I am determined to put pen to paper, well, fingers to keyboard at least.

I went to a party last weekend, which I should point out was absolutely not “something dull getting in the way” of my writing. It was great fun with lovely people, even taking into account the fact that I drove and had to drive home with a tipsy Brad passed out snoring on the back seat. As he’s nearly 6ft and my car is 5ft 3in wide, he did have to contort him himself ‘man origami’ style into a folded up version of himself in order to fall asleep, but annoyingly he managed it.

At the party I was telling my friends about my new lodger, having given washer woman Wanda the boot a few weeks ago. Someone made a comment about the fact that giving my previous lodger the heave-ho, seemed to have coincided with my blog writing dry spell and that perhaps she had been my muse. This has played on my mind all week and I desperately need to write something in order to prove that my ex-lodger was not Samson’s hair in tenant form.

Because I’m feeling under considerable pressure to come up with the goods, admittedly it’s pressure that I’ve put on myself but nevertheless, it’s still pressure, I have looked again to the daily prompt for inspiration. Today’s topic is “Community Service: Your entire community — however you define that; your hometown, your neighbourhood, your family, your colleagues — is guaranteed to read your blog tomorrow. Write the post you’d like them all to see.”

The post I should write is about helping your neighbours, forgiving people and being kind to each other and other fluffy and unrealistic goals. I’m not going to write about this because everyone knows what they should be doing. It’s not achievable. It would be like telling my cat not to catch an insect aperitif before her dinner, crunching loudly as she devours it. She’s a cat, that’s what they do.

I think it’s better to highlight something positive instead, if only to get the image of my cat chomping on a cricket out of your head.

I feel slightly uncomfortable with the term “community”. When you live in a City with 273,399 other people, it’s hard to feel like you are part of a traditional community. However, many of the other 273,399 people living in Brighton who aren’t me, are quirky and vibrant and ever so slightly odd and that’s what makes me smile about them.

After work this evening, I popped to the supermarket around the corner from where I live and there was a man walking along the road towards me eating one of those individual tiramisu pots with a plastic spoon. He had the cardboard container and the second tiramisu pot clasped tightly in one hand and a look of profound concentration on his face, possibly because of the challenge of walking and eating with a spoon at the same time. Surely it’s got to be a bit like patting your head and rubbing your belly? I struggle to eat anything out of a pot without spilling it down me, eating as well as walking is quite literally a step too far. The first thing that struck me was to think ‘wow, he must really need pudding’. The second thing that occurred to me was the fact that it was peculiar that I didn’t find it strange that tiramisu man was walking along the road in the middle of the evening eating a tasty, sponge fingery, Italian desert and no one else seemed to notice or care either.

In my community, pretty much anything goes. I once went to a fancy dress party dressed as Cleopatra with flowing robes, over the top make up, a wig and a decorative hair piece. I was driving to the party which was in Horsham and I picked up a couple of fancy dressed friends en route when suddenly my petrol light flashed on. I knew I couldn’t make it all the way to Horsham, so had to stop at the garage and fill up, in full pharaoh finery, at 7pm on a Saturday night. What I remember most about this is that no-one said a word to me, no one laughed, no-one raised an eyebrow, no-one questioned me. On another occasion a group of us dressed as Mother Christmas, Hawaiian Barbie and Pocahontas stopped at Sainsbury’s to buy alcohol and again, not an eyelid was batted. In Brighton we have a naked bike ride, a museum filled with more than half a million stuffed dead animals and an annual chocolate festival just as a starter for ten; Cleopatra filling her fiesta up at a Shell Garage and Pocahontas buying vodka is decidedly unremarkable.(For the record, I was unaware of the existence of this chocolate festival until today when I researched it and now I’m bloody furious. How do I not know about this marvellous event? Do they also have a beautiful shoe festival and a great big cake festival that they have been hiding from me?)


Selective snob


“It is impossible in our condition of society not to be sometimes a snob” – William Makepeace Thackeray.

Apparently (according to my quick and dirty Google search a few moments ago) the word snob was first recorded in the late eighteenth century as a term for a shoemaker or apprentice and although no-one seems to understand how it came to mean “stuck up, snooty, high and mighty and pretentious” as it does today (Google’s synonym search is also handy), I do like the fact that the word has a connection to shoes.

I consider myself to be a bit of a snob in a number of areas.

Nightwear: Pyjamas and slippers should be worn in the house only. I might possibly concur that you could stretch the bedwear zone to the doorstep of your own home if you are waving goodbye to someone but that is it. Wearing bedtime clothes to the shop, on the school run, to the garage, is just wrong. You might as well fashion your duvet into some sort of padded frock (also wrong, don’t get any ideas). If I was king of a supermarket, I might even go so far as to implement a dress code. If you’re wearing brushed cotton tartan, anything that says ‘I don’t like mornings’ on it or trousers covered in pictures of tiny pink yawning dogs, you’re not coming in.

Cake: Victoria sponge is THE grand mistress of cakes but only when it contains buttercream icing as well as jam. Butter and sugar, so wrong but so very right. The Women’s Institute, who are advocates of the jam only, no buttercream school of Victoria sponge thinking, would be horrified at this comment, but I think I’ll live without their support. Just as an aside, I would have absolutely no idea whether they have a branch in Brighton, how you join or what they actually do apart from bake cake and sing Jerusalem. I think I’d have more luck scoring some cocaine than joining the local WI. Well, apart from the fact that I only know the term ‘score’ from Nasty Nick in Eastenders, I would have no idea if I was snorting coke or icing sugar and that I just had to Google ‘what colour is cocaine?’ to check that it was actually white for the purposes of this entry. Although I’m slightly more tempted to try it now that I’ve discovered that it’s an appetite suppressant. Could help me out on the diet front, particularly given my love of Victoria sponges.

Shoes: I am an absolute shoe snob, I could almost be talked into terminating a friendship with someone who would even consider, no matter how fleetingly, the idea of buying shoes that fasten with Velcro and don’t even get me started on Crocs. Shoe inspiration should not come from a plastic laundry basket. I have a friend who owns and has worn Crocs in public near me. I pretended that I didn’t know her. My mum has shoes that fasten with Velcro that she wears to work. It’s hard for me to make that confession but I can’t pretend that I don’t know her. Although I would rather be disclosing that she’s actually my dad and until 1988 was a civil servant called Derek, so great is my shoe snobbery.

You’re / Your: There is a sandwich shop on a main road on the way to my sister’s house and I’ve often driven past it and thought that it looked nice and clean, well presented and that if I needed to urgently buy a sandwich at a notorious traffic hotspot on the congested A27, this shop would be the one I’d choose. Well, that was until I drove past it the other day and it had a banner outside which said “You’re local sandwich shop”. I am not a local sandwich shop. I’m a person. You’re means you are. How hard is it to get that? I mean, of the six original letters in the two words, five of them are still there and the sixth has been replaced by an apostrophe. A bit like this: Local sandwich shop is completely sh’t at grammar. If Mr Sandwich shop man doesn’t know his your from his you’re, what is to say that he might not know his chicken from his mechanically separated meat? Not a risk I’m prepared to take.

Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a secret snob-free side to me. There are a number of things that I am unashamedly not a snob about.

Magazines: The cheesier the better. I want to know about the woman who had babies with a man who turned out to be her long lost brother/father/uncle/son, the toddler who can sing like Frank Sinatra and the man with the giant cock who can’t find love; he might be hung by a donkey but, bless him, he also looks like one too. I suspect that’s why he’s still single.

Ironing: I can live with the creases. Life is too short to iron.

Newspapers: I am addicted to the Daily Mail app on my iPhone and the trashy “celebrity” section. Although most of the time I genuinely don’t know who the people are that I am reading about. Some woman who dated the bass player of a mediocre mainstream band six years ago has worn the same dress three years apart. Fuck me. Why didn’t someone text me an alert about that sooner? I have also read The Sun, although not since the phone hacking scandal hit the News of the World; I’m not an animal. Plus, I wouldn’t do it in public. It’s strictly ‘at-home-behind-closed-doors-and-possibly-even-then-whilst-wearing-some-sort-of-disguise-in-case-the-postman-spots-me-through-the-letterbox’ type of reading material.

Wine: £1.99 special, with a delicate bouquet of wet dog, wellington boots and winkles? Are you kidding me? It’s £1.99. I can always top it up with lemonade.

“Wine is wonderful stuff but so many people are put off by the snobbery of it” – John Cleese

Don’t worry John, I’ve got it all under control.