Young, single, and ready to cry the second someone asks me if I’m okay

The more I panic about jobs, the more I have to remind myself that jobs are just the thing I do in the day to pass the time until I get to eat again. A good job just means the wait between getting to eat again is less painful.

I don’t know why people think I’m bad with money when I get so many letters saying all my payments are outstanding, but unfortunately earlier on in the year I completely ran out of money.

I had an interview at a fancy London juice bar which I’m scared to name in case they track me down and juice me. I headed upstairs thinking I was super qualified and ready to shine in this interview, but to my horror I emerged into a room full of over 20 stunningly beautiful people in their 20s. I nervously stared at my phone, seeking the solace of my friends, but unfortunately they were all preoccupied giving me useless advice.

stop texting in interviews

Six interviewers came out and explained their juice story. No amount of glitter on my face could make up for the terror of having to tell a room of people what my “aesthetic” is.

They did a quick-fire round of questions. “You!” One of the employees pointed at a terrified but well styled man in the circle. “If you had to join the army tomorrow, what would you do?” The guy thought for a while and then said “…join it?”, which everyone seemed happy with.

“You!” A beautiful girl with almost crotchless dungarees pointed at me. “If you were going to make me a smoothie, what would you make me?” I thought about it for a bit. Then I said, “I’d probably ask you what you wanted and then I’d make you that?” They all looked at me like I’d shot her in the face with a gun. I made an excuse, gathered up my stuff and excused myself from the room.

It reminded me of the time in university where I thought I’d give street dance a go. I went to one class, and the girl running it made little groups of us perform the routine she’d taught us at the end. They were recording it on their phones for the street dance Facebook page. I froze. Right when it got to my turn, I legged it out of the room. To this day, when I hear the start of Beyonce’s Flawless, I fight the overwhelming urge to run away as fast as my little, rhythmless legs can carry me.

I had a counselling session in the woods with my mum’s old therapist. We walked around the fields for a while and talked about how to best work on my confidence.

A lot of this just meant shouting by feelings at some very far away, nonplussed sheep in an adjacent field. He suggested I pace up and down the stage when I perform stand up to a room of people so I occupy the space first before I say anything. I tried this out once at a gig last week and think people thought I was having a breakdown.

My dream is to live my life with the confidence of a newspaper that’s been left on a tube seat that everyone is afraid to move.

Sometimes for confidence I go to a cubicle and do a starfish inside the cubicle. This involves standing with your arms up in the air and legs splayed against the cubicle walls. I watched a TED talk which said that you can convince yourself you’re in control if you take a pose that’s dominant, so I tried to make it part of my warm up process. I starfished at a gig very early on and did not realise there was a window directly behind me. The man outside having a cigarette found thoroughly more amusing than my actual set.

I also put glitter on my face for confidence too. I feel pretty when I have sparkles on my face. I probably look like a lunatic at important meetings with a face full of majestic sparkle town, but I don’t care, cause I’m a glistening boss queen. I’m only joking, I don’t have important meetings. I literally put glitter all over my face and sit in a café until it shuts. It’s fucking pathetic.

I’m learning a lot about boys and dating. The same does not go for them. One boy I saw for a little bit asked so few questions about me, it was like someone had told him that I was in the witness protection programme and his life would be in mortal peril if he did.

“So what’s your favourite sexual position?” My friend Hollie asked me over drinks in spoons.

“Missionary and over quickly” I replied, after a long sip of my coke and a big think. She laughed for a long time, we decided that I need to go out into the world and explore myself.

I want to be a strong, confident and independent woman on dates, but also it’s difficult to hide the relief I would definitely feel if I guy actually ordered my food for me. I want to be the kind of girl that you gaze at wistfully on the opposite end of the tube platform. Not the girl whose face is currently shoved into the armpit of a commuter on her way home.

I’ve been trying to explore myself sexually. It’s a bit of worry that my sex life resembles an M&S cake.

m&s cake sexual position

It’s had its dangers – last week culminating in a boy attempting to seductively bite my T-shirt, accidentally getting my neck skin, and me crying for ten minutes.

I also attempted to 69 with a boy, which just ended up with me naked, on all fours, frozen in terror like a wild animal in the night that’s just heard a predator rustling in the bushes. I’d suggested 69ing because I’m worried about guys getting bored when they go down on me. That’s the saddest sentence I think I’ve ever typed to you, reader, and I’m sorry you had to read it.

Also to add a final dose to that humiliation, I accidentally sent a sticker to a guy I’d been on one date with and not heard back from in weeks.

cant commit sticker

The worst part was, I was only reading the chat for clues to where it all went wrong. But I think I’ve just managed to answer that myself.

Beauty is in the eyelashes of the beholder

I have so many awkward interactions in the day I’ve had to start going to bed earlier just so I’ve got enough time to lie there and relive all of them.

My anxiety is bad. I’m anxious about whether I’m anxious enough to be seeing someone about how anxious I am.

I have trouble committing to dates to meeting up with friends, because a huge part of my anxiety is simply deciding on a plan. If I got my way, every plan I had would be made on the spot, instantaneously. That way I don’t have the time to worry about every single part of the encounter in the run up to it. And I worry about everything.

Oh, everything. Having anxiety-induced IBS is a big part of this worry. You can spot one of us instantly. We already know where the toilets are in any given building, and if we’ve stayed at your house we know how well the toilet flushes – which often correlates directly with how early we leave your house in the morning. It’s a “quick like a band-aid” approach to friendship, and hugely flawed.

But lying in bed and chain-watching Riverdale, possibly the worst piece of trash that’s ever been on Netflix, then watching fan videos of the top ten kisses of two characters I’ve latched onto, I’m beginning to realise perhaps it’s my own character I need to ship with someone, and maybe its unhealthy to live vicariously through two two-dimensional characters in poorly written, thirty-minute increments. Even if that is far more convenient than my life will ever be.

So out I go into the world, with my little woolly hat, two pairs of beige pants on and a carton of Ribena for the commute home. Doing the casual thing. Literally everybody is going the casual thing. I say this because I really hope everybody is, and it’s not just me that men are doing this to as a way of keeping their options open.

The first casual date I went on was way back in April, and I handled it really badly. It was a date that came right after a break up, like, scarily close to when my break up happened, and I remember leaving the date and thinking, “oh, it’ll be okay, maybe I’ll have a new boyfriend by Sunday.”

Unfortunately, I did not have a new boyfriend by Sunday. The guy didn’t want to see me again, but did it by saying he was busy until I got the message. Totally fine – I was probably too funny for him: intimidating. But it was an introduction to this world of the casuals that I’ve not been part of before. It’s a bizarre world. Mostly because I am the least casual person on the planet. I’m formal. Would probably be a bit weird if I showed up to dates in a full suit and tie though, armed with a binding contract of all my terms and conditions (also wearing a suit and tie – it looks adorable, you should date both of us).

Every time I meet someone new, I’m surprised they can’t see my brain screaming behind my eyes. The ideal date for me would be someone patting my head and going “it’s okay”. Can I put that in my Tinder bio?

Dating is carnage for me because I play a different character in every relationship dynamic I’ve had, romantic and otherwise. As much as I want to be myself, I just don’t think a guy likes to be interrupted mid sentence with “sorry but I’ve just pulled out three eyelashes, do you want to see them?” despite how excited I am to show him my bodily harvest.

It takes a while to figure out the character, and hurts when nothing more happens romantically because it’s a rejection of my whole persona, and this entire world of myself I created for the person – rather than accepting that just they weren’t interested in seeing me again. It’s like I’m an artist holding out a piece of their work they created specifically for the beholder, and the beholder going, ‘yeah, it’s not for me actually.”

You what, mate?

I sculpted myself into this twisted Picasso mess for you, you dick. The least you could do is unquestioningly love it, even if you don’t understand it. This whole gallery is on fucking fire now and it’s your fault. Have a look at these three eyelashes and fuck off.

The last date I went on, during the approach to the boy who was waiting on the other side of the road, I fell over on the curb. I got back up, tried to laugh it off, ended up inhaling several strands of my own hair and choking on it, then having to fishing the damp clump of hairs out of my mouth.

Then when I sat down I hit my head on one of the light bulbs above the table in the cool bar I definitely did not belong inside. Like I was being punished by a cartoonish representation of what a bad idea it was to go on a date and leave my house. I hate those fucking light bulbs. Who on earth thought the light bulb should be the universal sign of a good idea? Put a fucking lampshade on, you luminous hussy. Also, where are the toilets please?

I don’t tell him how early I was going to have to go to bed the next few days. I’m going to have to go to bed at bloody 4pm to get a full screening of this monstrosity.

They say you are what you eat, and I’ve been eating a lot of my feelings this week.

I’ve eaten so much that I have created a comfort blanket’s worth of junk food under my skin, and I’m uncharacteristically warm for October. Which is a relief, because I can’t fit into any of my jeans.

Most of this week has been spent conflicted about the downfall of Uber. I’m viewing its collapse as another blow to mental health services. Now who am I going to drunkenly discuss getting back in contact with my estranged father with at 4am? I really felt like I was getting somewhere with Georgios. And not just because we’d arrived outside my house and he was telling me to get out of his car.

I like to think of myself as a Fold Digger, which is my word for still living with my mother at 23 because she’s the only person I know who knows how to fold a bed sheet.

I’ve been using a lot of dating apps recently, particularly Bumble. It’s a great app if you really want to want to find out which pictures you took of your ex they’re now using to attract other people. I don’t feel so bad though because I know you can’t crop memories out of a picture. Unlike my face, which you absolutely can.

I freaked another guy out this week, in the middle of trying to decide whether we wanted to use a condom. We’d debated for a while until he said, “Kat, no offence, but I don’t want you to have my baby”

Which, in hindsight, is a very fair thing to say. However, at the time, oh you bet I was offended. In my head I started justifying why he should absolutely want me to have his baby. I’m maternal, fun and I make great toast. In fact, I was kind of offended he hadn’t asked me yet to have his baby yet. What an idiot.

I haven’t seen him since, so I’m guessing he found another person to not bear his child. Meanwhile I’m being ghosted so hard my phone’s getting featured on Most Haunted.

I got stopped in the street by a guy who asked me for my number. I’ve not once been able to remember my mobile number, but if you ever need to contact Lombard Direct in 2002 for an unsecure personal loan, it’s 0800 215 000.

I asked him if he had Facebook, because he could add me on there. Then he said, “no thanks, I don’t add strangers on Facebook” and walked away. Men are going out of their way to reject me on the streets of London.

The thing is, my relationships usually last somewhere between the three day wait for him to call you after the first date, and the five second rule when you drop food.

I’ve started trying to work on myself a little bit, get some of my self esteem back. Trying to live my best life.

baby boy edit 3

Been thinking about squatting so condom guy might notice me, but him asking me to get off his property probably isn’t the Say Anything boombox moment it is inside my head.

I’ve also started getting my eyebrows done a little bit too often because I like the feeling of her cradling my head and I’ve been craving the soft warmth of human contact.

Last night I only remembered to shave one leg. Shaving is a stressful process because I always do it in a hurry and sometimes the razor blade squeaks like its actually screaming, like its in physical pain and disgust. I’ve started calling my razor my Babe Blade, so it makes shaving seem like a fun game instead of just a constant unending battle I will never win. Having only one leg shaved actually turned out to be quite nice because I sleep on my side and it kind of felt like I was being spooned by someone else.

I read a lot of the rush hour crush messages in The Metro. It’s becoming one of my favourite things to do. A little while ago, a tiny part of me thought one might be about me.

This turned out to actually be quite stressful to deal with because then I spent the rest of the train journey thinking about how I would reject the person who wrote it because I would never go out with someone who would write a rush hour crush, they’re fucking sad.

On closer inspection, I realised it didn’t actually say “to the weeping girl with work trousers tucked into her fluffy bed socks” so crisis averted, phew. I’ll still give him my number. He might need a personal loan from 2002.

Shower Business

In early May this year my friends and I filmed a silly sketch called Shower Business and put it on YouTube for a laugh. The premise of the sketch is that I get my best ideas in the shower, so I decide to run a business from there.

In the recent few months, this sketch has gone from having under 500 views to 17k views and we have no idea why.

“People are researching you!” said my optimistic best mate Sara, who plays my assistant in the video. “They want to know who you are!”

Well, I am doing a three-hander at the fringe this year.

Maybe someone, one person in the eight people that have come to see the show, had been a comedy bigwig. Maybe they searched me on YouTube, found this nugget of comedy gold and shared it to their thousands of followers.

A little part of me thought, this is it. This is the video that’s cracked show business.

Until the last few days. When some confusing comments started trickling in.

shower business commentsI don’t own tall boots. I wear trainers with orthopaedic insoles because I have hooves instead of feet.

I began to think that perhaps that I’ve been mixed up with some sort of heel-wearing comedy actor, or model. Had I worn tall boots to a recent comedy gig? Does the comedy industry want me to dress more sexy? Perhaps taller? Do I mention mud in my comedy set? I don’t recall doing that, but sometimes I improvise riffs and it’s anyone’s guess what can happen when Kat gets on a roll. But this sketch is set in a shower, and the shower environment is integral to the joke.

To clarify where my fans were coming from, I decided to check YouTube analytics.

shower comments 2.png

Minxmovies sounds like an odd name for a comedy-sharing platform, but I suppose can be a bit of a minx sometimes when it comes to my sassy personality and fierce quips. So I Google it.

shower comment 3.png

My heart has just dropped into my clothing, dresses, jeans, knickers and panties.

“You have no idea what you’re doing, do you?”

“You have no idea what you’re doing, do you?” says a boy, pausing mid kiss to ask.

He’s talking about tongue, and he’s absolutely right, because I’m not very good at tongue. I often get it wrong because I’m a bit scared my tongue might be weirdly big for some reason, but everyone’s too embarrassed to tell me and the shock of its girth might make him recoil and dump me on the spot and then tell all my friends.

You’re expected to do what feels natural when being physical with another person. This is bullshit. What feels natural in a physical encounter with another person is to put all my clothes back on, eat some snacks and then leave.

I am cripplingly aware of every physical part of myself, hate all of it and really I just want to ask whether the other person has noticed my flaws yet too, like the fact one of my ear lobes is detached and the other one isn’t and frankly its thrown my entire body symmetry off and I’m so sorry, I’ll be going now, where do you keep your snacks?

But he’s also right in a wider sense of not knowing what I’m doing. I am absolutely, entirely clueless.

I quit my job again. I buy diaries, write important dates in them and then lose them instantly. I don’t think I’ve ever opened a bank statement since I opened a student account, but the font on them is red and in all capitals, which I assume means everything’s absolutely fine.

Every time my debit card gets approved for something I watch the word ‘approval’ come up and think, someone at Santander is definitely not doing their job thoroughly.

I tried to top up my oyster card from a ticket machine when my debit card was declined.

“Maybe it’s just not recognising your card, give the chip a wipe” A helpful bystander chirps.

“Oh yeah, I’ll try that!” I say, politely wiping my debit card against my thigh, knowing full well that unless leg friction puts £50 in my account, increasing the clarity on my debit card chip is probably going to cause the ticket machine to implode.

I can’t even look after my own health. I’ve had a buzz all hayfever season and I’ve only just realised it’s because of this:

expired inhaler

I’m wearing two pairs of pants because I forgot to take off the pair from the day before. There are cups of tea in my bedroom so old they’ve formed entire ecosystems with political structures not unlike our own. I’m scared to listen to my own voicemails. The closest I think I’ll ever come to owning a car is making one out a packet of Transform-A-Snack crisps. Which technically I don’t even own because I nabbed them from a boy’s house.

Time is treading on and I’m watching people starting to get their shit together. It makes me feel scared. I’m feeling pressure to get my skates on. And then take them off again, because life is barely manageable with regular shoes on.

“So why did you leave your last job?” Potential employers will ask.

“Because I was too comfortable” I’ll say, which is true. By too comfortable I mean I arrived 40 minutes late almost every day and cried at my desk until my boss offered me a tissue and a Werther’s original.

For my next job I think I’ll be the person who keeps inexplicably approving my debit card. They seem to be the only person more clueless than me.

I am so far from my sexual peak I am in a sexual trough. And if that image doesn’t turn you on then I don’t know what will.

“Look, the thing is, you’ve just got to make yourself less available”

Lizzie says, sat opposite me, taking a leisurely sip of her mocha frappucchino.

In the time she takes to have a sip, several texts have come through on her phone. I watch her read them, the glow lighting up her face. I sit glaring at her in the dark.

“Be casual.” She concludes.

One of my eyelids is twitching and both my thumbs are bleeding because I’ve peeled the skin clean off.

“Ah, right” I say, like I know how to do that.

Yesterday I was so desperate for something to do with my hands that I actually shaved my entire vagina – the whole thing – for literally no reason other than in the vain hope that it might bring me good fortune, like a rain dance before a bountiful harvest.

The harvest is over now. I’ve got a clogged razor and a barren wasteland.

I will launch myself on anything shiny or a bit reflective, in the hope that it might be a text. I am a magpie on a mission. Yesterday I caught myself trying to press the unlock button on a particularly shiny bit of crisp packet.

I just have no idea what I’m doing when it comes to men. Which is frustrating, because all men seem to have the same, profound understanding of the exact move that works on me – complete indifference.

i guess you'll do

Tell me more

I don’t have a move. I wish I did. Unless a move counts as providing a semi-ironic commentary through out sex. In which case, I have one move.

The closest thing I’ve had to flirting this week is with my cross trainer.

cross trainer flirting

I have attachment issues when it comes to boys. I’m not sure where it comes from, but once when a boy was all the way inside me he paused to say “sorry, I just really don’t want to lead you on” and I reckon that might have something to do with it.

If I do meet someone I fancy though, and I’m not sure when I’ll see them again, I’ll sneakily obtain an item of clothing they own. Then I get home all like, “oh no, I’ve got your jumper, sorry!!! I’ll give it back – when are you free??” and then they have to meet up with me again.

This technique has not worked once and I now have a sad museum of items men have decided they were better off sacrificing to avoid spending any more time with me.

It spectacularly backfired last week when a boy was particularly determined to locate his hoodie. I was fully aware I had it in my bag.

“Have you seen my hoodie?” He asks.

“No!” I say back. Of course I had. I had seen it inside my bag.

“Can you just check you’ve not packed it?”

“Well, yes, I can check, but I don’t know what that’s going to achieve!!!” I say, knowing full well it would achieve. It would achieve lots because it was inside my bag.

After pretending to look in several different bags for a very long time, I retrieved his hoodie and handed it back to him. I hold out his jumper. My thumbs were bleeding, but I might as well have been handing him back my still bleeding heart.

Lizzie said be casual, and this is me flirting, through casual theft. I am a lovesick house elf, and this hoodie was the sock I needed to be freed from terminal singledom.

“Were you trying to steal my hoodie?” He asks, half jokingly.

“NO!” I say, very quickly.

I’m assuming he needed my dignity for his museum.

The course of true love never did run smooth, but I’ve always preferred my orange juice with bits in

“I think I might go home,” I say to Tori and Lizzie. We’re in the queue for the toilets in Fever, a nightclub in Epsom where the boys are fresh out of upper sixth with three A-Levels in Lynx Africa and the superhuman ability to push past you in a nightclub using just your arse for leverage.

I don’t often go clubbing with my younger sister and her best friend, but desperate times call for desperate measures. I look like an intolerant chaperone, batting away men that amble up towards them, like I’m protecting precious stock at basecamp from a hoard of approaching zombies.

“I know you. I recognise those teeth.” A boy appears out of nowhere in the smoking area and says to Lizzie. I don’t know what it is about nightclubs that make boys think it’s suddenly all right to say things a murderer would say to his victim, right before he drowns them in a bath of acid and makes a shrine with the remnants.

Shakespeare said all’s fair in love and war, but I don’t think he meant terrify a woman into submission by making her stare into the unrelenting face of death.

Back in the toilets I’m beginning to think that all love is a fucking lie and I’m going to die alone as an elderly chaperone and maybe I should call the police to warn them that a man might be found a few days from now with a bag of my sisters teeth.

“No! You’re single now!” Lizzie snaps.

You don’t see the true power of feminism until you’re standing amidst a chorus of drunk women in the toilets of a club instinctively chanting “SINGLE” and aggressively performing Beyonce’s “Single Ladies” like a New Zealand Haka.

I feel bad because I only went into the toilets so I could release all the drunk texts squirming around inside me like emotional larvae. They are flies ready to hatch and propel themselves into the sky, on a mission to find some nice, horrible shit to bask in.

They will sacrifice any shred of dignity from their human host to find it.

drunk texting 2.png

I get into the cubicle and start to close the door when another girl, one from the chanting, pushes the door open and spits something disgusting into the toilet.

“Sorry, I’m not very well” She says, and then leaves.

I stand, staring into the toilet, watching the floating bit of indiscriminate fluid she’d just produced, thinking about boys.

There’s been some good bits to being single. I’ve saved a lot of money on make up wipes by just crying the make up off my face. I put a lot of make up on to hide how sad I am. I’m scared it’s actually weighing down my face and making me look sadder.

I’ve also accepted defeat and downloaded Tinder again. Boys say there’s a scale of hotness to craziness, so I’m considering setting all my Tinder pics to me in a bikini crying in the shower.

I quite enjoyed the process of getting Tinder last time, because I got to update all my profile and look at how much I’d grown since the last time I had it. But this time around when I went to update, it already had all my most recent pictures ready to go. It was pretty convenient, but also a harrowing insight into my growing inability to sustain a relationship if they cant last as long as a profile picture on Facebook.

The novelty of Tinder also wears off pretty quickly as I become more aware that I’m just soft of judging the different faces of lonely people, different manifestations of myself in different bodies, each just as sad and lonely.

But also I fucking hate travelling, puns, sports, the outdoors, gin, physical activities, wine, not having a serious thing, meeting up for a drink in a bar, seeing how things are going, having fun, and bodily contact. Which makes me think that I don’t have so much in common with them.

But I’m not giving up just yet. Shakespeare said the course of true love never did run smooth. I’m no expert on romance, but he was probably talking about the fact I haven’t shaved my legs since August 2016.

Getting around my unemployment addiction

I know I’m anxious because in my dream last night all my teeth fell out. I’ve always been sensitive about my teeth because I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth. It’s riddled with decay but I’m afraid to go to the dentist in case he insists on removing it. In the dream I ran around chasing after all the teeth and caught them all in a tiny bucket. I don’t know what I thought that would achieve, but dreams are fucking bullshit anyway and I’ve already given up on most of mine.

So many people ask “are you okay?” as I approach them that it’s becoming my new theme song. Being unemployed for the last 6 months, they want to know what I’m doing with all my time. I tell them that last week my elderly cat vomited over the top of the radiator in my house, and I had to clean steamy hot sick rising like steam from the inside of my radiator with a toothbrush and some of it flicked up in my face. I am swamped.

Yep, there’s no two ways about it; I love being unemployed. I am Kat, I’m 22, female, and an unemployment addict. I guess it all started when I began life and realised that working is hard.

I think my mum fantasises about returning me to whatever sewer I climbed out from, complaining “it’s not working”. I blame the language of a capitalist society that ‘working’ means ‘functional’ and ‘not working’ means broken and obsolete. Even though I am both of those things.

But I am working. I have very important things to do, like performing covers of classic pop songs with an imaginary band of wooden spoons.

Unemployment is my heroin. God, give me some more of that sweet unemployment. Hook it up to my veins. I belong in the corner of a squat, crouched and scrolling through Indeed, not applying for things.

Unfortunately I need money to fund my unemployment addiction, which is a sad paradox I don’t think I can sell to buy more unemployment. But on this delicious trip I think I’ve lost touch with the real world. In job interviews I have this smirk on my face that potential employers find unsettling; like I think I’m too good for the job. In reality I’m smirking at the thought of me being taken seriously – the notion is absurd.

I think I’m happiest when I’m lying in my bed in the dark at midday, staring at the ceiling. Although that’s definitely what an addict would say, isn’t it?


“A toast to myself!” I say, at midday in the dark, clinking two pieces of toast together before eating ruined toast alone in my bed and spooning the crumbs .

I don’t know what it is about delicious unemployment that means I have become its cruel mistress. I like the routine. I look forward to my scheduled ‘sit on the neighbour’s fence and cry into a bit of dusty loo roll’. Even if I do remember, moments after burying my face into it, that it’s a little bit splattered with elderly cat vomit.

Nightmares, Right Mares

One day in primary school I was off sick and ended up watching the television channel Living, presumably an ironic jibe at the viewers watching its content at 11am on a Tuesday.

“She’s FAKING” My sister shouted as mum closed the front door. I have always been the runt of the litter, despite being the older and larger sibling.

Alone, holding the remote in one hand and fishing a particularly crisp bogey out of my nostril with the other, I stumbled upon a documentary on the paranormal. Its target audience was not a nine year old with an imagination as massive and capable of expansion as her front teeth.

In the show they investigate rumours of the paranormal. A man claimed he had seen Anne Boleyn wandering around Hampton Court. The show recreated a CGI version of a ghostly old-timey woman floating through walls.  Her head was still attached, but mine had just exploded clean off my surprisingly broad shoulders.


I watched that show, fascinated, for an hour. And then the credits ran, I wiped that bogey down the side of my mattress, and kissed goodbye to my childhood.

I sat bolt upright that night for four hours, with three cushions propping up the weight of 200 years worth of ghostly history. I didn’t even play ‘Hey Ya’ on my Walkman, which previously I had been listening to every night, pausing between lines and writing all the words down in my notebook. Learning the words to a songs in the 90s was an arduous task without the internet, but thankfully Hey Ya has proved a fruitful investment that just keeps on giving in clubs up and down the country.

I wasn’t rehearsing that night though and none after that either. I was busy waiting for the paranormal to emerge through my bedroom wall and give me the fright of my life. They were on their way. I could hear the sound of a tiny little dead ghost army marching up the stairs to my bedroom, which sounded almost exactly like my heartbeat.

‘It’s okay, I’m nice’ I whispered into the room, which didn’t make any difference. I lay there with the main light on and both eyes open, Big Bird poised on the pillow next to me, ready for battle. What good could one girl and her trusty stuffed duck companion do if the paranormal came through the wall and did paranormal stuff though? Nothing. We were sitting ducks. Well one of us was, and the other one was just an inanimate stuffed animal.

I clambered into bed with my mum and dad at about 11pm. Unfortunately that’s where they both sleep, and I’m a thrasher, so moments later my dad marched, completely naked, into the spare room. Interestingly this is where he spent the rest of my adolescence, too.

“I can’t sleep because of the paranormal” I try to explain to my mum.

“They don’t exist” she snapped, trying to negotiate a spoon and a half’s worth of Calpol past my front teeth. We didn’t have sky plus at the time so I couldn’t show her the cold hard facts of life on the Living channel.

“When was this house built?” I ask my dad as he leant out of the back door, smoking.

“It’s brand new” He said dismissively, before stubbing his cigarette out on the Oriental garden rockery I lovingly built over the weekend. He was just trying to help but I knew he was lying.

I learnt to sleep upright until further notice and I lived in fear of anything ghost related.  I can’t sit through anything resembling a scary movie. I still terrified now if I’m honest, but quite recently I watched The Ring and realised that my TV is quite high up on the wall and if any paranormal creature did climb out if it, the impending fall would be pretty silly.