Thursday, 25 September 2014

A morning person

the alarm clock bell
it stings your ears 
it hurts like hell! 
Quickly quickly! Hit the snooze!
Quick, stop it now before you lose
       the plot-

GOOD GOD- the story was just getting good
          and lord knows you could
          totally sleep just a little bit longer 

        MAKE IT STOP

It's just gone seven thirty-five
you know if you strive
you can still be on time and get up at eight.
          (Sure, maybe you'll have to skip a shower
          but you washed your hair just yesterday)
and the flesh-eating creature is about to devour
your mother. And really you ought to step in.


Just hit the button, don't look at the clock.
Can you do it without opening your eyes?
          That would be best-
Because daylight has a horrible power over the imagination I find
it opens the senses and closes the mind
and if you seriously want to get to the end
you have to fend it off.

          MAKE IT STOP

Yes I know you've been late already this week-
yes I know that you're weak and you just want to please everyone.
          “Be at work on time, Justine!”
God, I hate Nick; he's a prick.
                     HOLY SHIT IT'S GROWN LEGS! 
See, isn't this great? Just hit the snooze
you've got nothing to lose-
           -Oh, don't think like that they can't fire you for being late. 
                   Can they...?
           No. So just let it go. 

          MAKE IT STOP

Thursday, 18 September 2014


A couple wade into the coffee shop,

Each with a mug with a paper.

The woman: all those pound coins

Rolled over her face leave lines.

Granules stored in sacks beneath

The strained pools. Prop up her glasses.

The man: drowning.



Days doled dusky fingers

Caffeine: divine…delicious…

Bromide leaves one’s

Teeth stained.

Have you seen ...?



Man swallows the air.

Woman swallows the coffee.

Pages rustle; register


Politics These Days…

Jabber and jazz settle

And smother. (pleasant)

Their eye-lids wilt.

Friday, 29 August 2014

Alas to be a teenage girl

Aware we are wilting but forced to wait
Wake up each day and trust in fate?

Pah! This is a modern era and fate died
Long ago.

We must prune and pluck and pinch.
Bra to lift and belt cinch.

I shall be fat when I am married.
And ladies shall cry, “Oh!
Is not it shocking how she has let herself go?”

And as they snicker I shall smile;
Eat a cake once in a while
(or perhaps oftener than that)
And I shall enjoy being fat
And going without brushing my hair
And seeming not to care.

But for now I must watch what I eat
I must wear shoes that hurt my feet.
I must prune and pluck and pinch,
My waist gain not a single inch,
I must draw lines beneath my eyes
And when in bed suppress the sighs

Of inevitable disappointment-
Not when I am married! Oh, no!

But oh,
When I am married I shall be fat-

And where shall be the shame in that?


It is a truth universally acknowledged
That it was the best of times, and the
Worst of times and there was
Much ado about nothing.
Nobody knew whether to be
Or not and all children grew up, except one.

Wednesday, 30 July 2014

Happily Ever After Daisy

Despite her best efforts, for her entire life, everything had been just perfect. Daisy was painfully happy. 

For as long as she could remember, she'd felt this powerful niggle in the back of her stomach- kill the joy it said, do your best, kill the joy. 

She started small. At the age of four she scribbled all over Mum’s brand new white sofa with a metallic purple felt-tipped blow-pen. She’d hated that the living room looked so sickeningly pristine. White walls. Cream carpet. Luxurious. Inviting. And ohsosoft.

At ten she tried to put the cat in the washing machine. Of course, she didn’t know how the washing machine worked. But when she asked Mum, Mum said, “Really precious, that’s not for you to worry about. If you need something washing just give it to Vanessa, the Filipino.”

Aged fourteen she at last managed to set the house on fire. The crème brulee blow torch finally came in handy. Her parents sobbed and the fire engines howled. But then the insurance money came in and they moved from the suburbs to the city. Everything there was even more luxurious. Pristine. More inviting and ohsosoft than it had been before.

17 and a half she learnt to drive and tried to run away. She drove all the way to Bude in the rain and took a room in a dodgy downtrodden motel. The morning after she arrived she received an envelope full of money in the post. Love ma & pa, have a safe trip. She ripped it to shreds and drove straight back home.

When she moved out it was to go to college in the States. Harvard, of course- she had won a full scholarship. She tried to fail every assignment, but her attempts to do so were labelled ingenious and creative.

She started dating Paul. Paul was wealthiest and most attractive in a string of attractive and wealthy boyfriends. He was training to become a heart surgeon. And she started to love him. She tried not to, for she knew that love brought happiness. But she couldn't help herself. She loved him truly. Dearly. And he truly loved her back. For the first time in her life, she decided to accept her good luck.

He passed his exams and they moved to London together. They had a passion for good food and good music and they ate in gastropubs every Sunday. They took weekend trips to Kent and Cornwall. He proposed. She said yes. Mum cried at the wedding. Soon she was pregnant.

She was so very very happy. Seriously and deliriously happy. Happier than the puppy for Christmas, the Saturday lie-ins, the nightly orgasms. Happier even than the warm chocolate brownie with salted caramel sauce. She was so. Fucking. Happy.

It had to stop.

Her attempts to sabotage her adult life proved initially no more successful than her childish assays. First, she slept with her boss at The Times. She told Paul. He said he understood, it was a mistake, he still loved her and forgave her instantly. Even though she’d contracted chlamydia.

So she pushed him in front of a bus. He broke two ribs and there was some internal bruising, but within a few months he was essentially fine.

The baby was born. She was beautiful, they called her Rose and Daisy was so happy. 

So one glorious summer day she brewed herself a bubbling vat of champagne and mixed in a handful of sleeping pills and some bleach for good measure. She was dead before dusk. Finally, gloriously, gone.

Friday, 25 July 2014

"Let Them Cant About Decorum, Who Have Characters To Lose" -Robert Burns

With the Commonwealth Games underway in Glasgow and the independence poll creeping upon us, I've been thinking a lot about my Scottish roots of late. For purely selfish reasons I'll be sad if Scotland leaves. Even though nothing here in London will really change, I think we'll all feel a certain loneliness knowing that our dialectically-challenged neighbours don't want to play happy families with us anymore. Sure, it's fun to call the Scots a bit shit and yes, the Commonwealth Games opening ceremony fell significantly short of the Olympic ceremony in London (SuBo forgetting her lines and John Barroman prancing about in a tartan suit can hardly compete with the Queen jumping out of an airplane), but that was always to be expected and there is a lot to love about the country.

So without further ado, I present a list (who doesn't love a list?) of some of my favourite things about Scotland...

(Rod (the bod) Stewart. Phwoar.)

(Irvine Walsh's gloriously disgusting creations)

(Highland Coos)

(Malcolm Tucker)

(Susan Boyle - because who cares if she doesn't know the words to 'Mull of Kintyre'- what does that even mean anyway?)

(My grandpa- yes, he's reading Fifty Shades of Grey)

Sunday, 1 June 2014

It's crunch time: how Golden Wonder won me over

For many years I used to confuse Cheese & Onion with Salt & Vinegar. I would walk into newsagents, grab blue, then weep silently outside the shop, upon discovering the contents were not salty and delicious, but cheesy and awful. Recently, I had a revelation: GOLDEN WONDER. As I sat minding my own business on the tube, my train was boarded by a massive walking packet of green Cheese & Onion Golden Wonder crisps. The lively packet explained to me that back in the days before Walkers ruled, Cheese & Onion had always been green, and Salt & Vinegar, blue. Golden Wonder were on a mission to return crisps all over the world to the right coloured packets. They encouraged me to sign their online petition (evidently a crafty way to obtain my email address for future marketing ploys... nevermind) and to engage in their social media campaign wittily entitled, 'It's Crunch Time'.

I thought this was all absolute genius. The campaign absolutely caught my imagination and ingeniously relaunched Golden Wonder as a brand that can and should rival Walkers' place in the hierarchy of crispdom. Hoorah for Golden Wonder. Sign up here:

Monday, 24 February 2014

How to get up a row with your wife...

Bizarre article from 1849 giving lighthearted tips on how to bother your wife...