Hey baby, is this a bad connection or are you just blurry to see me?

I watch a lot of daytime TV and I don’t know what that says about me, but it’s something about the comforting nature of eating toast with marmite, flicking on This Morning and watching people smile while telling me the world is burning and then going straight into a segment about gourmet dog treats is extremely comforting to me. 

I love it all. Antiques Roadshow, Escape to the Country, Homes under the Hammer, Dickinson’s Real Deal, Animal Park (if I get up early enough. Animal Park is the McDonalds breakfast of daytime TV) and also, in particular, Flog It. 

If you’re not familiar with Flog It (you should be) it’s basically where weirdos and old people bring some junk to an antiques fair and get it valued by a professional, who tells them how much it’s worth. 

I have recently noticed that this is a lot like going to therapy.

Every Thursday at 4pm I click onto the zoom chat (it’s lockdown as i’m writing this and I have therapy over zoom). My therapist appears on the screen, smiling, poorly framed, in a stripey top, with several plants behind her. Sometimes she has building works which means that my stories occasionally are punctuated by relentless drilling, and sometimes she’s sat outside which means it’s underscored by pigeons.

Each session I sit down, and begin to empty out the big sack of junk that is my brain. And she then takes each piece, looks at it, and then tells me how much it’s worth. 

Sometimes I arrive ready to talk about a really good bit – like when an old person comes on with some jewellery with a big fat diamond in it that their great grandmother prized off a drowning woman on the Titanic. That stuff is never worth as much as you think it’s going to be.

Sometimes it’s one of those really good episodes where I arrive with something I think is worthless and shit, like a postcard where the writing is illegible and I’ve spilled a bit of jam on it, only to find out it’s actually worth thousands of pounds (in therapy). Wow, so unexpected. If I’d have known, I wouldn’t have taken better care of it. I think she likes those ones the best, cos I think it’s funding half the building work I mentioned earlier. 

Sometimes she’ll pick out something from the bag herself, from a secret pocket which I didn’t even realise was in there. Um, hello? At least buy me dinner first. 

Those are quite intrusive days. After all, I’m a woman, not a lucky dip. She’ll make a big deal about whenever she’s retrieved – asking all sorts of questions. 

I start feeling private. I’d rather have her look at all the big, obvious stuff in the bag. Stop digging around at the bottom. There’s lots of stuff with sentimental value in there I’m not ready to give up yet. God, why are you so obsessed with me? All you’re doing is picking at the stupid fucking lint at the bottom of the bag. Are you like some lint pervert? What, you got a fetish for dust, or something mate?  

Well bad luck, cos that’s my lint, and I’m keeping it.

Anyway, so this week she’s put her prices up now that lockdown’s eased and I can’t afford her anymore, which is bullshit. I really thought I was making her feel like she was doing good work on the bits I already know about myself. 

So off I go, back out into the world with my sack of useless junk for a brain, on my own again, off to try my chances at the auction. At least I have a free hour back. I wonder what I’m going to watch?

This is me giving you permission to run through the airport for love

I told my friend a couple of days ago that I was horny for spooning and she said the word I’m looking for is “lonely”.

Here’s something I wish someone had said to me 10 years ago: never be ashamed of the stuff you do for love.

So here’s some of the cringe-tastic stuff I have done over the years.

Rocked up unannounced after a 20hr long Megabus to Paris to meet someone I’d met ONCE. Didn’t tell him til I got there. Didn’t book back-up accommodation if it didn’t work out. 

told the first girl I ever loved how I really felt about her, got rejected and then let her use me as an excuse so she could meet up with a guy she liked. This involved waving at her parents every morning when they dropped her off at the station… 

…then sitting in a costa by myself for 7 hours until she got back from seeing her boyfriend. Then waving at her parents again as though she’d been with me the entire time.

cried so hard about a break up I was sick in a public toilet in a shopping centre on Sutton high street. 

went full manic pixie for one exhausting month. fully revised for a party. Walked up to him and said “oh, I love Belle and Sebastian! Colour my life with the chaos of trouble!” Then cocked my head like a dog and said “what’s that?” when someone asked me if I’d seen 500 days of summer 

got so many Ubers to try to save a relationship my bank called me because they thought my card had been hacked. If you think that’s embarrassing, try imagining me crying down the phone and telling that story to the representative at Santander. 

listened to an entire, 12+ episode long podcast about the Manson killings cos she mentioned it ONCE in passing 

went to a street dance class that I knew she’d be at. the class was so hard they made us learn a routine to Beyoncé’s Flawless and we each had to perform it in small groups – I sprinted out before she even finished saying “it’s that Yoncé” 

went to Anne Summers and told the attendant I needed help with a “hot date tonight”, proceeded to try on different bits of lace before deciding on a hot red push up bra. date cancelled before i got home

hid behind a bin outside my house 

actually used the phrase “do you fancy going outside so we can kiss?”  

hour minute long bus ride to the other side of London cos I thought they might be there. Didn’t have much of a plan for beyond this when i got off the bus. London’s massive 

Dressed as a sexy cat on halloween one year despite being invited to absolutely ZERO parties. Pretended to be super put out about the whole thing so I could send him a pic of me wearing it 

had a New Years party where I smoked a fat fucking joint to impress him, got paranoid there were old lady feet underneath my bedroom door, was found crying in my bed an hour, face drained, clutching an oversized teddy bear 

after a gig I walked to the station with a guy who offered me a cigarette. I said yes, despite having never smoked one. I inhaled once – almost directly into my eyelids –  and then when he wasn’t looking I shoved it, STILL LIT, into my pocket 

In a nervous haze on a date once referred to “my late father”. I don’t know my dad but I don’t think he’s dead. For final year at uni had to work out where the chain had got to to keep up the lie of his untimely demise 

went out of my way to say hi to a guy I fancied at the edinburgh fringe on the royal mile, who then ACTUALLY PUSHED ME away so he could keep flyering 

secretly got my belly-button pierced cos a girl I fancied had hers done so we had something to talk about. I am incredibly squeamish about my belly button. It has been perpetually infected since I am too scared to clean it 

let a guy swing a punching bag at me at the gym “as a joke to see how hard it was” I went flying across the room and pretended like it was hilarious when oh my god, it really fucking hurt 

dropped a gram of MDMA to impress a guy, ended up getting taken out of the club by a bouncer whilst I screamed “PLEASE, JUST LET ME BE SICK IN THE TOILET” 

(also this is an aside but people don’t warn you how much of the gay dating scene is just you paying £25 for two drinks for in a bar so a bi-curious girl can tick you off her list)

tried to steal a guys t-shirt so I had an excuse to text him the next day, forgot to wait until he wasn’t in the room to do it though. had to pretend like I thought it was mine. Also this technique has literally not worked once and I’ve ended up with a perfectly curated museum of people’s clothes they’d rather sacrifice than text me back 

listened to a boy recite his entire book of rap poetry to me while I sat there smiling and saying things like “wow, great enjambment”

Why do I do this stuff? Cos in 2009, my mum sat me down after my first sort of break-up-ish and said “as you get older, each time you’ll learn love with a little bit less of your heart.” I decided that day that my purpose was to disprove this by making myself look as stupid as possible all in the name of love. 

obviously I don’t endorse people harassing someone / Nice GuysTM / being creepy. I’m talkin about genuine attempts at putting your heart on the line for someone. Those moments of sheer, unbridled vulnerability that make your body fold in on itself like a parasol on a windy beach.  

Cos I know who I want to be friends with, and it’s the person running through the airport, deep down knowing they’re probably gonna get their heart smashed into a million awkward pieces.  

It’s the person with their hazard lights on, with their head in their hands, wishing they weren’t so stupid, wondering if the guy at the drive thru can tell they’ve been crying.  

Love is messy, it’s emotional, and when you’re 90 years old or whatever, you’ll be glad you have those moments, rather than the ones where you’re sat at home, staring at their name go online and offline, letting that moment fade away, wishing you had.