Stop the clock


Based on my amazing Nostradamus impression on 20 February 2016, here’s my US election prediction:

  • HRC by a landslide (400+ EV)
  • Dems take Senate
  • Dems narrowly miss House.
  • 30% of registered Republicans stay home and don’t vote at all.

Brain science

Me: I need to nip across the road and buy some cheese.

My brain: It’s very far. You’ll have to change your shoes. The dogs will bark when you leave. It’s a waste of money as the cheese there is expensive.

Me: My dinner is literally going to be cheese on toast. I just need more cheese.

Brain: No no, just have toast. That’ll be fine. Or go to bed hungry. We’ll lose weight. That’s fine too. Look, you’re tired: don’t go out.

Me: Look, brain, you do realise that you have been in remission from all the depression and anxiety since December of last year? That means we can go out and buy things without panicking about the process.

Brain: Fucking hell. I’d forgotten. Quick: buy ALL THE CHEESE.

I love you

Whenever my husband leaves the house, I always call out “I love you!” to him. If something terrible happened, that will always be the last thing I ever said to him.

The last thing I said to my late ex was “For fuck’s sake, at least *TRY* to pull yourself together.” A week later he killed himself.

Make sure “I love you” is always what you say to people as you or they depart, even if you’ve come to hate them.

Sinking like a stone

I went to the funeral of Sarah, my friend who looked after our dogs when we were away. She’d been ill for about two years, the disease nipping at her heels at all times, making her forget to eat. Forget to feed her dogs. Forget to look after herself. Forget that she was loved. Forget that she was needed.

Her passing was too much for my friend Adam. He decided to join her on the day of her funeral and is now gone too. No more laughs. No more fun. No more jokes. No more politics. No more collies. No more vaping. No more stories. No more self harm. No more love.

I will carry on because there isn’t any other choice. But I wish carrying on meant avoiding how much this pain hurts.


Look who’s talking

Jen, aka Other Dog, is very ‘chatty’ – making sounds that approximate human speech in order to copy what she hears Chris and me doing.

Being a Border Collie, she knows a lot of English words and a fair few human concepts – for instance, smiling. On seeing someone she likes, she bares her teeth – not to snarl but to try to copy the smile reaction she sees from humans.

Her chatting has incorporated two phrases and concepts. Whenever I open the back door, I call out “peepees and poopoos!”. Now, if she wants to go outside, her chatter contains the word “reeree ah rooroo”.

She has also taken on board the most common thing she has heard Chris and I saying to each other, developing the word “ru-roo” to mean “human/person/not dog” – a corruption of “love you”.

The other day she came up with her first sentence. Chris popped out to the corner shop while she was in the back yard, so she didn’t see him leave. She was inside for his return though, and when he came through the door excitedly announced “ru-roo uh reeree ah rooroo!” – “you were outside!”

Wristbands and stars


Julia Heartless-Sewer ridicules the parallels between making refugees wear bright red wristbands and the yellow star of the Holocaust in her awful “I have controversial opinions for money” column.

What she (intentionally) misses is that the Shoah didn’t start bang on 30 January 1933. It arrived slowly, with even Jewish people thinking badges were the end, not the start.

The biggest thing I notice about this is that the people who say the wristbands are fine and dismiss the parallels with the Holocaust are more dismissing the Holocaust itself than anything else.

The foul stench of antisemitism can always be found hiding behind the polite but equally disgusting dislike of refugees.

Paint a vulgar picture

Today I have been told by various people who have views for money that publicly grieving for a dead pop star is “deeply insincere” and best left to his family and that, generally, the death of a famous person is nothing to me and I’m in someway cheapening it all by having emotions.

Well, first: fuck you. Fuck you and your life that has no magnificence in it. Fuck you and your dislike of people caring for people they haven’t met. Fuck you and fuck your belief that you can judge what others are or are not feeling – while being paid by a newspaper to do that judging in public. Fuck you, columnist. Fuck you for that.

Second: pop stars are usually the first people we fall in love with. We hit our teenage years, get all angsty and spotty and think nobody will ever love us and then – BANG – someone sings a song and it speaks to your soul and you feel loved and understood and wanted and all the things you think you’re not. So you buy the albums, put up the posters, change your hair, carry yourself differently, all to be closer to the one who understands you. Yes, they don’t know you’re alive, but that doesn’t matter. You’re in love, and there is never a deeper, more exciting, more powerful love than that you feel as a teenager. Thank you, pop star. Thank you for that.

Third: you reach adulthood and along comes stress and losing jobs and sick children and governments that hate you and love affairs that don’t work out and baldness and loud young people on trains and life and all that crap. But you can escape. You can escape into music. In go the earphones and, just for half an hour, just for the length of an album, just for that 3 minute single, you’re free. You’re floating in the love you had for the pop star. You’re crying at what you lost, hopeful at what you’ll gain, you’re back in yourself, talking to the teenage you with all their hopes and fears and life. Thank you, pop star. Thank you for that.

The feelings on the death of a pop star you loved are real. The feelings of love you had for them were real. Your grieving is real. Shame on us all for not realising that. Shame on us for thinking grief was like wallpaper, something for others to judge your taste based on where you show it. Shame on those that don’t remember being a teenager. Shame on those that judge us for not being like them.

And no shame for mourning your dead pop star. They took your heart in their hands and cradled it rather than crushed it, at a time when you were all about the crushing. Of course we mourn. Of course there’s grief. Of course there should be, for music, like love, like grief, is the stuff of life.