A Handy Alternative Guide to Successfully Handling Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day. It’s pretty fucking miserable, isn’t it? Name a worse holiday than Valentine’s Day. Okay, New Years Eve is a close contender. Interestingly, both have been made into films by director/ misery monopoliser Garry Marshall, wittily titled Valentine’s Day (2010) and then, controversially,  New Year’s Eve (2011).*

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My mum doesn’t even make me Valentine’s cards anymore. Not that she was any good at them, they always sort of seemed like a cruel jibe anyway.

valentines day mum

Yeah, it’s still going to be miserable, whatever you do. But here’s some stuff you could do instead if, like me, suicide is becoming more and more of a feasible option.

8 Awesome and Healthy Ways to cope on Valentine’s Day

        1.Fuck a stranger

If you can do this, definitely do it. If I knew how to successfully talk/meet/court/get naked with a someone, I’d do this too. Strangers don’t know you, and are probably just as lonely, like lonely spiders. Just as lonely as you are of them.

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“The aguey tendon, the sin, the sin.
The tinder cries.” -Sylvia Plath, Fever 103, opening a superlike notification on her phone

         2. Fuck a mate

This one’s also pretty self-explanatory really. It’s a nice surprise for them, and, more importantly, a healthy bit of closure for you. We’ve all seen Friends With Benefits, or that slightly shitter one with Natalie Portman.

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       3. Make yourself a mix tape

Who better to make a mix tape for than yourself? You can’t be disappointed with an album chock full of Damien Rice classics. You can even put a few more daring bands in there too, or Skepta.

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        4. Buy a scented candleValentines Pic 1

This one is called Lemon Lavender. Its the New Year’s Eve/Valentine’s Day combination of the candle world. It smells like lovely, pungent bleach. You can light it in the bath and enjoy the flames caressing your nasal passage, and savour the feeling of something entering you.

     5. Buy some nice Hers and His mugs, keep them both

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Score! It’s the morning after you’ve had a peaceful night of starfishing on your now seemingly cavernous double bed. You’re a strong confident woman who needs tea, and what’s better than one mug of tea? Two mugs of tea, that’s bloody what. Drink from both to create a fluid gender fusion. Go you!

       6. Go to the men’s fragrance section and smell their waresValentines pic 3.png

A bit got in my eye.

         7. Stalk an ex’s girlfriend on Instagram  

It’s just nice to see what they’re up to, isn’t it? You’re just checking in. That looks like a nice day out for them.

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         8. …Whilst wearing all his clothes.

In fact, just wear all his clothes all the time, at every social event where he might be there. Don’t take them off. It’s a strong message.  Wear them until the seams blend into your skin. Life’s a catwalk, and everything looks better on you anyway. Combine with option 6 and 3 for a multi-sensory romance casserole.

What a great holiday we’ve got coming up. I hope you’re as wet in anticipation as I am.


*I cant quite put into words how irritating it is that Marshall would make a sequel that, logistically, on a linear chronology of time, I would probably place the other way around. If you’re going to start a film series based on a calendar, does it not make sense to start with New Years Eve, notoriously the day that signifies the beginning of the year? The mind boggles.



‘Tis the Treeson

I hate this season because everywhere you go you see Ibsen-esque, dishevelled Christmas trees dumped in the streets, bedraggled and sagging. They all look like they’ve given up three Ubers into the journey home from a big Friday night at Cargo, and now lie stranded on the curb, barren of all the nights adornments, and poor because they spent £10.50 on a single vodka and cranberry.

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I like to pretend that the one outside my house has been left there by my cat as some sort of massive stick he’s found in the park.

I managed to get an upgrade on my iPhone 4, so my resolution’s gone from a measly 960×640 to a hefty 1136×640, so I’ve made about 113040 resolutions for the new year, if resolutions are the equivalent of pixels, and you’ve got to be a terrific dullard to dispute that.

My New Years was all right because I did a party, and I’ve never done a party at my house, so it was all fresh and exciting. Suddenly my house became unfamiliar territory but inside my own home, like when you pull a plaster off a damp bit of skin after you have a bath.

I scored some super-fly Grade A+ dank weed and also snacks such as Asda’s value onion rings and Asda’s value cheese balls. Everybody brought cool spirits like gin and vodka and we played games like drink it really fast and see who wins. Then I got too high because I was really excitedly talking about trading limit act Jagex instigated on Runescape in 2007 and had to lie down on my bed for a bit and not think about it. I’m also not very good at inhaling so I smoked most of it into my eyes, which as we all know are quite the responsive orifices for stimulants such as drugs and burning.

But also there were some rubbish bits like when my cat got into a decorative hamper my mum got for Christmas, mistaking it for a litter tray and then doing a wee in it, so now our carpet is dyed pink and we have to put her down. Also, I let two friends sleep in my mum’s bed and I went in the next morning and there was a cat wee on it too, so I had to hurry my friends out of the room so they didn’t see it and rightfully think that’s how I live my life.

The party made me think a lot about high school because I never went to many parties, and I didn’t go to my prom or Leaver’s Ball because I’d seen Ten Things I Hate About You and decided that I was going to refuse to go on account of feminism. I went to an all girls’ school so thinking about it now I’m not too sure of the extent to which the feminist agenda was challenged by 300 girls celebrating seven years of school together, and sometimes I go clubbing now and men rub their crotches against me and we call it dancing.

For an all girls school, prom is a mass exodus to Debenhams to buy ‘that’ navy blue dress, and I was no exception, imagining how good it would be if I put one on with all my make up and a long wig and showed up and everyone would tell me how pretty I was underneath all the facial hair and grease. What actually happened was that all my friends had quite a nice time and I sat at home playing a lesser version of Runescape, but it was all right because I was really good at that game so I bought full elegant clothing (worth almost 1mil gp) and wore it all evening.

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Just like Silver in 90210.

Also I just packed up my laptop to leave and go and write in the café, but I’ve just realised I’ve got £40 in my purse and that’s all the money I have left in the world, so I’ve just had to unpack all my stuff again and sit in the kitchen and apply for some jobs.

“Why the long face?” SHUT UP YOU HORSE RACIST

As I write this, I am sitting eating a stale muffin in Café Nero. I’m tired, and the woman working behind the counter has ascertained that I’m never going to take back a stale muffin. So I’m punishing my own shortcomings as a human by eating every bite.

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Much like the skeleton that had nobody to go with to the party, I don’t have the guts, and people can smell it on me, like cat pee on my duvet. I can’t even take back a size 20 dress in Primark that was on a size 12 hanger. Do the people who work at Primark actually look at what hangers their clothes are on before them put them on the shelves? I feel like they are too busy getting shoplifted by everybody under 18. Where else can you buy a T-shirt with every emoji on it?* The kids need the T-shirts to express how they feel in a society where language as an inherently human creation barely scratches the surface of human emotive capability

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I’m not even sure if I really like muffins, or if I just like the masochistic 300+ calories nestled in the pouch of my high-waisted skinny jeans, fermenting.

Two girls in the queue in front of me ordered hot chocolates. They are blonde, attractive, and must be about eighteen years old. This is the kind of girl that I am literally petrified of, because once in high school a girl went through my industrial-sized backpack because I carried all my books for the week everywhere and she pulled out my manky pair of emergency tights and a panty liner in case of period deployment** and held it up in front of everybody and some girls laughed and then I went to the nurse and said I didn’t feel very well and got sent home

I stood behind them at the till and one of them definitely gave me a corner of the eye look. One of those looks that appraises your whole body all the way down, then back up. The girl maintains a neutral expression, and when they finish the up-down look, they turn away. It’s a look that, I’m certain, all of us have experienced at least once. For that one look, every girl is reduced to a robot-like state, scanning for potential threat. I can say that because I definitely do it too.

Then she looked back at her friend and sighed and went “I’m supposed to go ice skating up in London tonight” OH U POOR DEAR LITTLE NYMPH IS IT TO CHILLY FOR UR LIL BOOTS


Let me paint an image for you of what I look like right now. I’m scared to brush my hair because it’s falling out because every so often I lose my shit and bleach it. I haven’t changed my pants in a while because I’m a bit sad at the moment. I’ve just had to grope my boob to check if I remembered to wear a bra today. I’ve just leant on my hand to think of another thing, and I can definitely feel some stubble growing there.

I’m out of money too, and I don’t care what anybody says, happiness definitely comes a little bit from money. Okay, a lot. Okay, my happiness hinges on whether I have the money to do anything. So anyway that reached a new low last week, because I tried to sell pictures of my feet online. I can tell you now: nobody wants a picture of my feet. My feet are literally hooves. In fact, I should charge people for not having to see them. It’s just ankles, and then hoof. Mum got me these adorable bunny socks that I love, but when I wear them, my bunion fills out the face of the bunny so it looks like it has a massive tumour growing out of its face. It’s something out of a David Lynch film.

Anyway, so I made a tweet about it and some guy replied saying he would offer ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS for a picture of my feet. I did that thing where I blinked and the traditional dollar signs appeared in place of my eyeballs. So, I messaged him.

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1 pic, no problem, I can do that. I’ll get on the phone to my neighbourhood blacksmith for a fitting. 5 pics? That might take some storyboarding.  Does he want one singular pic of each toe? Is the baby toe paedophilia? Do I split my toes apart, revealing the inner crotch of each toe?Can I charge extra for the bunion as a sort of meat quid-pro-quo scenario? It was all too much.

Sorry Omar, I’m out. All my toes are seductively crossed for you in all your other romantic endeavours.

If you’re pleased you didn’t have to see a picture of my feet today, then transfer money into my account. I’m going to set up a kick-starter fund with sexy pics of my foot kicking stuff. I may or may not be desperate.

*what’s up with the spectrum of shades of person u get on the emoji sticker packs? I’m so confused this is just like what happened in The Simpsons like they made them yellow so its universal but then made like Apu have a realistic skin tone so then by default it meant everyone else that’s yellow is white its so perplexing

**periods always happen like the thumbs up on Facebook it’s always inappropriate when they happen why is that sort it out Zuck I know u got a kid but this is important***

***also I just had to delete several pics of my dead cat so I could download the elf sticker pack sort it out I need the packs

Squidward is my Spirit Animal

I have the kind of face where people are always asking me what’s wrong. I have a perpetual sadness that is so ingrained into my face what whenever I have to leave a room, people always make an extra effort to say goodbye to me in case that’s the last chance they’ll ever get to say it.

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But then they always seem to be slightly disappointed when I show up again.

I know that look because it’s the same one that I give to my grandma every time she leaves. She wants me to teach her how to use Skype soon, but there’s only so many nice ways of saying that there’s no point, because she’ll probably be dead soon. She asked Lizzie once to help her out with sorting out her clothes, and Lizzie said, “Well, how long were you planning on being around?”

Having depression is kind of like that, because it’s impending. All the lights go out in your brain and you’re left shamelessly groping around in the dark. It feels like everybody is staring at you like you don’t have eyes, they’re just black holes which show that everything through them doesn’t have any light anymore.

It doesn’t get light again until you find the fuse switch, which can take months, depending on how hard you look for it and how much you really want to look for it.

squidward 2

I did a couple of lines the other week and about half an hour later when it started to kick in, my friend goes “so, how do you feel?” I analyse my body internally and conclude, “Yep, I feel okay”.

She looked at me with sudden pity and goes “wow, you must be really sad”.

It’s ugly. It’s very difficult to describe. The closest feeling I can align it to is guilt, it’s that kind of consuming emotional dread. In my final year, dappling with antidepressants, I got myself down to a size 6, and terrified a boy I was sleeping with when he ran his hand up my thigh and felt the cuts.

That’s what depression is. It’s not changing your underwear for days, to the point where they probably don’t need the elastic to stay on your body anymore. It’s not eating, even though that’s literally your favourite thing to do. It’s waking up, then shutting your eyes tight again so nothing becomes real yet. It’s going into public toilets and standing with your face against the bathroom door, trying to make yourself want to breathe, whilst a demon consumes every internal part of your body.

It’s listening to Damien Rice and thinking he ‘gets’ you. (what the actual fuck?)

I did my first five minutes in a London club last night, and I died. I literally spoke for five minutes to silence. There were 20 acts in the night, they get pulled randomly to perform, and I was 18th. By the time I actually went on stage, I didn’t want to hear myself do comedy.

I was so nervous, and my opening line didn’t go well, so then I got thrown off and half-heartedly tried to carry on to an audience of tipsy men with furrowed eyebrows, who definitely didn’t want to hear about my vagina.

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Everyone’s got to die once in a while though, and as we all know from Batman Begins- notoriously the climactic triumph of the Batman trilogy- we fall to pick ourselves back up again.

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And I will pick myself back up. But first, I need to get into bed, and not get out for a really long time.



Special K

Although it’s unspoken, I can tell I’ve been identified as “odd” in several public places now. Harrowingly, I don’t think it’s the kind of odd that Hello Giggles might refer to as “quirky” or “snowflake-like” even if they did reply to my emails.

Growing up, I was desperate to be different. But it never panned out the way I intended it to- I wanted to be the girl that boys looked at from afar in the library and secretly fancied, but were far too intimidated to approach, lest they die of erection overdose. For this to actually happen in reality, I would have needed to know real life boys. I was far too invested in my long-term-long-distance relationship with Hunter, an overweight Alaskan boy I met on Runescape for that. If you’ve got the time, online gaming can profoundly fill the void where self esteem or a personality might go in your formative years.

In actively trying hard to be “different” I just became weird, which even in itself sounds self-congratulatory, so I’ll go with odd. This was confirmed by my family this summer, when we went on an activities weekend and all had to wear helmets, but for some reason it looked like I’d arrived already in the helmet. The helmet looked as though it was integral to my survival as a human being. In fact, I struggle to think of another instance where a specific garment that has suited me quite as well as a helmet did.

kat is quirky
Maybe this.

Don’t get me wrong; this ‘odd’ assumption has some benefits. People tend to give me a wide birth in queues, which is pretty handy, especially when I’m rehearsing my order before it’s time to shine, or counting my change out loud.

People also speak slowly to me, which is nice because it eradicates the stress from the all too allegro pacing of most conversations. Similarly, the surprise on people’s faces when I prove myself capable of responding in full sentences often feels quite nice, like I’m being praised for skills often overlooked by the general public.

But I’m often left wondering; what are people seeing in me that suggests this? Clues today, for example, that suggest I might not be entirely socially capable:

  • Walking around with the flashlight on my phone switched on all day in broad daylight because I’ve been too eager to reply to a text and mashed all the keys with my hands
  • The shaky way I hand hot, sweaty change over to the person behind the till in Cancer Research as I buy a tie-dye throw to wear in Nero because I have to get a plug socket which is always by the door and subsequently, a bit nippy
  • The fact I’ve been watching a video about a braless woman desperately looking for a lost ferret, and keep looking around to see if anyone else is watching my screen from afar and laughing too, and maybe whether we could talk about it later
  • The way I’m not really sure how to laugh where it’s like I’m always the last one laughing and it doesn’t even sound like a laugh it sounds like a moan and my expression looks like I know I should be responding to something witty someone has said and I’m trying really hard to do it and I’m copying how most people are meant to laugh but the way my eyes manically dart from person to person to check if it’s time to stop laughing gives away my secret
  • The fact I was just midway through a conversation with my boss for work and then all of a sudden it got too stressful so I just hung up when she was in the middle of speaking and then blamed it on the heavy traffic
  • The way I ordered a tea and she asked what size and I said regular even though it’s the same price for a regular and a large
  • The very short, thin strand of hair that is hanging down my forehead that looks like I gelled it to look that way
  • I’ve just smiled at a stranger and in doing so split the spot on my lip open like a cork popping out of a bottle of foamy champagne and now I can feel pus on my chin
  • D) A combination of all of the above

I’m not offended, but having this “weirdo” look about me can sometimes be rather cumbersome. The actual weirdos in the street tend to seek me out- I’m not sure whether they’re testing me or want to initiate me into their club. I had a man approach me whilst I was waiting for the bus, getting right up in my face and screaming at me if I’d “seen his girls” and when I said no he said “are you afraid of me?” but I felt embarrassed that I was afraid of the man for shouting at me so I sort of apologised and asked if he needed help looking, before realising my flashlight was still on and then realised that I must have looked like a really sarcastic Nancy Drew.

I also seem to have developed an unintentional camaraderie with our mascot, the Wizard Man of Sutton, who does this nod when I walk past him, like we have a profound unspoken connection between us that not even me trying to avoid eye contact for the past year can sever.

There is also a man in a wheelchair who wears leopard print leggings and blue brothel creepers who stops me when I’m walking and asks me to help him get up the hill to Sutton, as he keeps rolling back, but I know he can do it and he’s just pretending because I’ve seen him go up the hill on his own.

It’s nice to be different but I’m scared that without having to abide by social norms I’m becoming lazy. I’m torn between trying not to care what people think, and caring a significant amount about how people think I think. I’m finding myself trying to prove something to everyone- talking about Celebrity In the Jungle a lot even though it’s already finished and I had no idea, asking a friend loudly on the tube which stop was the one where someone got stabbed there, going into Poundland and pointing out that the deal on three Mars bars for a pound is actually a swizz as they’re only the fun sized ones because I heard my mum say that once, and crowbarring big words into unnecessary public repartee.


But in doing all of these normal things normal people do, I think I might be making myself seem like I have something to prove. Do I? Do you? Does anybody? Should I accept that bit of hair that is hanging down my face as a new fringe? Will it make me look like Zooey Deschanel?

“You have to be odd to be number one” Dr Seuss

“Don’t get mad, get even” – Kennedy (!?)

“Thank you for making me realise I was gay” –Hunter (aka Shadowhut), in a hate email he sent after we broke up

The Impending Doom of The Hamster Trade

As long as the pet trade has existed, there has been hamsters. And as long as there has been hamsters, there has been Syria.

Syria- what does it make you think of? No, not their firm family favourite type of curd cheese served with cookies called Ka’ak. Or their traditional sword dance. It’s hamsters, probably.

How it used to be:

You (going into your local pet store): Hello sir, I would like to buy a hamster please.

Pet store owner: Hello nice lady, of course you can. May I recommend a Syrian hamster, or as they are more commonly known, the ‘golden hamster’? Their name in the local Arabic dialect where they were found roughly translates to “mister saddlebags” They are very active with great personalities. Let me show you to the exercise wheels. For the hamster, I mean. You actually look very trim.

How it will be now:

You (going into your local pet store): Hello sir, I would like to buy a hamster please.

Pet store owner: Djungarian or Roborovski?

You (a bit hard of hearing): Ovski?

Pet store owner: No, Roborovski.

You: What about Syrian?

Pet store owner: No chance mate.


Do you see? In the wild, these hamsters are now considered vulnerable.


Why should I care?

1) They are just like humans.

“Hamsters are very territorial and intolerant of each other, with attacks against each other being ubiquitous”

sound familiar?


“the female may attack the male after mating.”

God, don’t they bloody all? Bloody women.


“they may kill and eat healthy young”

And the list goes on.


2) They are used lots in scientific research.

This is a whole different kettle of fish. Which, interestingly, are not usually tested on, nor is their frequent counterpart; the kettle.


The sickening facts:

In 2014, there were 400,000 hamsters as pets across the UK. In 2013, there were half a million. What happened to 100,000 hamsters in that time, did they die? Will more die because of the actions that took place in parliament yesterday? What will happen to the otherwise roaring sawdust trade? I don’t know, but I’m worried, and so should you be.


Obviously, this is written in jest. I’m upset and scared about the decisions made last night. Please give anything you can to help.


“Toughen Up, Princess.”

“Well, that depends. How big is it?”

I’m standing in the Apple store, cradling my dying laptop, asking a genius which external memory hard drive I should buy.

“I think its about seventeen inches” I say back.

I have never seen a man more erect with laughter. He laughed so hard he had to bring his co-worker over to carry out the purchase.  I realise now he was asking about the capacity of my laptop, not its physical size.

The next day, I waited for four hours alone in Westfield for an emergency appointment in Apple.

“So there’s a hardware problem?” He asks. It’s the same guy.

I yank my laptop it out of its Hello Kitty case, along with several stale Frazzles and a tampon that’s come out of its packet. He puts his finger in the charger socket and pulls out a piece of pencil lead that was lodged inside.

There are no words.

I’m wet.

“I’m just going to do a restart on your laptop to make sure everything works now”

We wait a few minutes. I tell him he’s really good at technology. Several times.

“Sorry, these models keep freezing” He says.

“That’s ironic because of all the overheating they do” I say, excited for what potentially might have been the most cleverest collection words that have ever connected as an impulse inside my brain and then shortly afterwards ejaculated from my mouth.

“There are people waiting” He says.

It’s been 135 days since I graduated from university, and I’m starting to think that maybe unemployment might just be my “thing”. Everybody has to have “a thing”, and unfortunately “having a job” was already taken by, it seems, every other graduate.

arthur matt damon

Me, trying to fit in with other, more capable graduates

What’s your secret, graduates? Are you all saying no when they offer you a glass of water? Is that what you’re all doing? Is that some kind of test? If you say yes when they offer you water are you suggesting you’re not thirsty for a career with their company?

Every job application I do is like the start of a Tinder relationship. You start to get your hopes up, and then they decide to send you a picture of a massive, turgid, veiny penis. I start out with promise, get maybe a little overconfident, feel ready to send them my CV, and end up violating another human being. I have yet to entice one single employer with my dick pic of a CV.

How many stand up gigs have I done in those 135 days? One. Were the executives of the NBC sitting in the audience? Maybe, I don’t know what they look like.

I get up at about 10, ferment a teabag in a cup of sugar water, watch three episodes of Bojack Horseman, make another cup of sugar, open up a word document harbouring a number of shitty sitcom ideas that I’ll never pursue far enough to actually write, and bash my hairy forehead against the keys. If I’m feeling particularly brave, I’ll open Outlook and have a look at my emails. And then the junk folder. And then I check my drafts just in case I forgot to send any of my applications. And then my sent folder, just to check the applications did actually did send.

If my life were a movie, right about now the montage sequence would start.

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I didn’t write a 5000 word essay on Battleship Potemkin for this shit. What the hell, Eistenstein?

I’m going stir crazy.  I’m starting to have inside jokes with my cat. And I think he’s a little too into it.


Naturally, I turn to the comments section of my blog for encouragement.

david horne comment

Thank you, kind sir. I feel much better for your warm, nurturing words. You see, if you take the time to actually decode the multiple layers of his encrypted message, what he actually means to say is:

“Life is not yet begun its up. Even you, princess toughen; hard to fuck in the arse”

He’s right. Maybe I should be less frigid. But also, life might seem pretty shitty right now, but it will get better. Soon, it will begin its up. Maybe.

Goodbye Jekyll

Our cat died yesterday and it’s been pretty sad for my family, so naturally I’ve been trying to get some material out of it. The situation, I mean, not the carcass of my cat.

I’ve turned to literature to console me through the pain, so I’ve started off with classic children’s horror and traumatisation fest Goodbye Mog. It’s a book designed to give to kids to warn them about pet’s death. It’s a bit like The Fault in Our Stars, but instead of cancer it’s euthanasia, and instead of love-struck teenagers, its Debbie and Nicky; two children who manage to milk the death of their pet into over ten pages of literature. Milking the death, I mean, not their cat.

She was so lovely Mog

This was a bit like what happened to us, except my cat died at the vets under heavy sedatives, and not because he was quite nice. Also we don’t have a basket because he preferred to sleep in my dressing gown, usually after having vigorous, juicy sex with it.

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Here, Judith Kerr is portraying Mog as a spirit hovering above the dead Mog, to further illustrate the inevitability of death looming over each and every one of us. Good one, Judith.

Mog 3

The book is about Mog’s spirit watching over the family, making sure they can cope without her now that she has gone. When she is satisfied that they will be alright, she then returns to space, like the little furry dead astronaut she always was.


I’m sure all these thoughts occurred to Jekyll at some point, but probably not before a massive blood clot dislodged itself in his spine and paralysed his back legs.

MOG 6                                                         I have a pre-existing blood clot

We are all gutted, particularly George, who, in a grief-stricken state, hastily consumed a whole sachet of As Good as it Looks before almost immediately vomiting it back up again in Jekyll’s favourite spot on mum’s bed.


Much like most other cats, George actively chooses not to believe in the concept of an afterlife, as he feels that the idea of heaven is futile if man is predetermined to live their lives a certain way before finding out that way was potentially wrong and thus is forced to spend an eternity in hell.

You were more than just a cat, you were a puma.

A big, snuggly puma.



Taking Waterstock

I went into the office at Waterstones yesterday morning, with a view to hand in my notice. I remember sitting in my student living room with Joanne, prophesising that this bit of life, the bit where it actually starts, was going to terrible.

“It’s going to be terrible” – said Joanne, thinking it is going to be terrible.

“Yeah”- me, agreeing, but secretly thinking it maybe won’t be, because I’ll be famous by then.

What do I have to celebrate at the end of this month? Well, I’m not pregnant. I guess that’s something I can celebrate about. I think my pants had a party about it anyway, if you pretend that confetti looks quite a lot like blood. I bought a pregnancy test anyway, just to make extra sure I could celebrate.*

Grasping at straws like a hungry teenage mother in McDonalds, I have fallen into a depression that has left me crying every day.** Unlike the dog-eared pages of the books I am forcing back into random areas on shelves, I am dog eyed. Everything is grey. And like the books that undergo my shelving technique, I am equally as identity confused.

In the heavy rain yesterday morning, my mother and I decided in the car to make the final decision to hand in my notice at work. Actually I think it was raining, but it might have just been the fact that my eyeballs were clogged with tears.

I sprung it on the manager I like yesterday. Handing me a tissue, she said that I need to think long and hard about whether I want to quit. So let me explain to you a bit about why I want to quit Waterstones.

I’m not good at my job.  

I’m just not. I’ll compare myself to my co-worker, and high school friend who got me the job in the first place; Bronwen. Bronwen is really good at customer service. Also, she is incredibly intelligent, and can suggest any book under the sun if someone asked, particularly something really hard, like a book on post war minimalism or something. I can’t seem to recommend anything more complicated than Flat Stanley. Which, by the way, is an excellent read if you’re into protagonists like you’re into coffee- flat and white.

Bronwen has a charm about her which means she can talk to anybody at the till, even the cunts. Believe me, there are some, pardon my French, cunts, who seem to come into Waterstones with a personal vendetta against literature, me, the shop, Wimbledon as a general area, growing old, waiting in a queue that they’ve joined at the moment that someone else has gotten in the queue, and the fact I am the only person on the till, struggling with a refund on a receipt that expired several months ago for an elderly woman with a face that harbours the arthritic verve of someone applying mascara on Nemesis Inferno.

Meanwhile, I’m writing poorly crafted jokes into my phone about how Donna Tartt sounds like the name of a slutty kebab. Bronwen knows she can rise through the ranks and become a manager one day. I’m hiding books behind each other and mixing Sardinia in with Sudan because I don’t know where the fuck Sardinia is on a map- because it’s an island, is it its own country? I don’t know, which is why I probably shouldn’t be working at Waterstones.

And all the while I’ve been left with one harrowing realisation:

Nobody wants to hear my jokes.

There was a spider in my bedroom about two weeks ago, and Mark asked me to go and find something heavy to kill it with, and I must have scrabbled around for about two minutes desperately trying to find Hanya Yanagihara’s A Little Life, the flavour of a hilarious prop joke on the tip of my moistened tongue. He’s going to laugh at me being all witty, oh god it’s going to feel so good, and I then I’m going to laugh because he’s laughing but mostly because I’m so funny, and then we’ll both laugh so hard the spider will start laughing, laughing his little eight socks off. Except it won’t be an actual laugh, he’ll just sort of wiggle his pincers around, as is commonly accepted amongst spiders as a physical representation of the human act of laughter.

We’ll all laugh so hard tears will stream down our faces, well maybe just mine, because what am I like, honestly***, you couldn’t write it, and can you see the spider anymore no okay we’ll just sleep in the garden tonight

*Also, on that note, I’m beginning to assume hymens grow back, like that filmy layer you get on stale gravy. I’m not even sure if mine actually is still there or not anyway, or whether every time I have sex, it’s like someone poking their finger into one of those plastic packets with cling film used to cover raw chicken in tesco- like not actively piercing it but leaving a severe indentation?

**I realise this bit is quite sad, sorry about that. Perhaps some comedy might help you out here. I was mulling this over lunch and thought that you might like to hear some tweets that never made the cut for the twitter I don’t actually have:

-Do you like these buns? They’re like me; hot and cross.

-Brits aren’t really fans of ventriloquism, on account of being so tight lipped.

-Keep your cards close to your chest, unless its your community chest, and if so then place them back at the bottom of the pile.

-Donna Tartt? More like DONNA KEBAB (somewhere a spider excitedly flaps its pincers)

***Sad again, sorry. See above tweets for comedy relief.

Am I tired? Yes. A latte.

So here’s a quick update on my first week working full time.

I am tired. I am really, really tired. I have friends in the real world who talk about how tired they are but I sort of only half believed them, thinking that a full time job can only be so draining. Is a 9-5 job really that tiring?


I get up at about 6am because I’m too tired to work out how the trains function to get to work. I just don’t know which one I need to take. Time is really hard to tell. My brain is to time as what Dali is to clocks; all melty and fucked up. Often, when I think about time, I feel like I’m still in year six as little ten year old me, equipped buckteeth like grapple hooks, desperately fumbling around for a remote foothold of comprehension. A frustrated tutor looming over me whilst a little bit of pee runs down my leg as I gaze blankly at the page, a melty mushy mess of numbers slowly rotating, mocking. Even time’s embarrassed about being time, coyly covering its face with its hands BE BRAVE TIME SHOW US WHO YOU ARE.

Anyway, so I end up several hours early for work. Obviously I don’t go in early like a fucking nark (I’m not a keen pleb, get a grip) so I’m in Starbucks, every morning, when it opens, ordering a full fat latte.

Also, things have gone downhill with Jennifer and Vince. They moved in together a few months ago when things were getting pretty serious. They were still quite cautious about the prospect, tentatively rubbing along together. But now they’ve begun to suffocate each other, and they’re desperately trying to push the other one out. There’s a part of me that feels trapped in the middle, that can’t breathe. Jennifer’s even thinking about moving back in with her parents, to get a healthy distance. Is there such thing as couples counselling for thighs?

No, I’m only kidding, my body has never looked better, spackled with reptile-like scales and white confetti cellulite, like an internal piñata exploded inside me, in celebration of the stress carnival I have every morning. My jeans barely aid in constricting even the suggestion of a leg-like shape, like little conjoined overstuffed cocktail sausages. My legs look like two desperate snakes, eating parallel swollen cacti, slowly dragging their engorged carcasses into work.

I’m thinking about linking this blog to my Tinder profile.

I think that if I were to die right now, they would be able to tell how much weight I’ve gained through the curvature of my belly button piercing; slowly bending under the pressure of my stomach, being forced out of my body and over my jeans. If that doesn’t make sense, its because I don’t know how belly button piercings work- I just know its infected.

My skin is really great at the moment too, kindly adopting the texture of all the muffins I’m eating.


(Sugar packets for scale)

It’s shit. Everything is absolute shit. I’m not even funny anymore, really, I’m just annoying. Annoying with a big stupid face and a silly voice and a tubby tummy and a unibrow because I cant even afford the £5 to get them threaded by a woman in Nike Airmax.


Anyway, if I’ve gained anything aside from weight this week, it’s an immense respect for people who work in retail. The general human population has a profound absence of this. I get people come up to me and ask stuff like:

“Hi can you help me find a book? I don’t know the author. Or the name of the book. But I just know its got like a bunny that fights crime maybe or is it a goat I’m really not sure”

And I have to be like yeah, of course, let me just flip through the internal rolodex inside my brain to the section on small mammals, then to the employed civil service sector, and then combine the two to find the subsection about vigilante rabbits and maybe look in the kids section for twenty minutes before you suggest that it might have actually been Claude the Movie Star Dog.

I had one very small little girl come up to my till with her father to buy a miniature pony figurine (£5.96). She didn’t say ‘please’ when she handed it to me, and to be honest I wasn’t too fussed on the matter, but her father was furious and made me put the horse back. The little girl then threw the biggest tantrum I have ever seen in the store, at ME, screaming. I can’t describe it without getting a bit shaky but it was almost exactly like that moment in American Beauty when the mother tries to sell the house and then screams because she doesn’t like the blinds or something. But this little girl was filled with a real, crushing, trauma-fuelled suburban existential hysteria, because of me.

I would have fucking bought that pony right there if I could have done to make her stop; other employees are looking at me like I’ve just kicked a six year old girl in the vagina. But that pony is the same price as a pair of well-shaped eyebrows. Her father drags her out, and then returns to the shop ten minutes later with the little girl, in his arms, snot and tears streaming down her face. Holds her up so she’s face to face with me and she squeaks out a sorry. I tried to smile at her, but it was very difficult to, considering I had just spent the last ten minutes in the employee toilets, hysterically crying that I had ruined a little girl’s life and I am probably going to be a terrible mother and it’s probably because I’m stupid and fat and I can’t tell the time and I lied earlier and it was more like year nine.

In a job interview I had last week I actually used the phrase “I’m used to rejection” and I think it’s really working out well for me so far.