Llia: “I was so excited when the time came on Christmas Day. So excited. So excited. TOO excited. Apparently, I passed out, and it was serious enough to warrant summoning the GP for a home visit on the big day – the worst, most guilt-inducing day to have a home visit.”
Can you tell me a funny Christmas story – something that really happened and still makes you laugh?
When I was small, on Christmas Eve my mum tied my hair into loads of tiny braids. I’d like to say that I sat there patiently while she risked RSI in her wrists from the repeated plaiting, but I probably didn’t. It must have taken hours; I have pretty thick hair and it was long.
On Christmas Day, the time came to undo the braids and reveal the glorious 80s-style crimped locks. I was so excited. So EXCITED. SO EXCITED. TOO excited. Apparently, I passed out. I don’t remember what happened, but it was serious enough to warrant summoning the GP for a home visit on the big day – the worst, most guilt-inducing day to have a home visit.
She said I was just over-excited and that there was nothing wrong with me. So, that’s one of my favourite Christmas stories. For anyone who knows me, the fact that I fainted with excitement over my hair is probably not a huge surprise.
Do you – or did you – have any specific Christmas traditions?
My family is Cypriot, so we mainly just focus on eating a lot. At least every hour, no excuses – all the while bemoaning how fat we’ve all got.
My fiancé is an honorary Cypriot when it comes to food consumption, so he fits right in. We just have to make one extra thing for Christmas lunch for him: a jug of gravy. We didn’t grow up having it on our roast dinners. We had greek yoghurt instead.
Who does Christmas always remind you of? Perhaps it’s someone you miss? Can you can tell me something about that person?
I lost my grandfather in January. His birthday was a few days after Christmas, so my memories of this time of year are inextricably linked with him.
He was a British policeman in Cyprus and moved to the UK with his young family. My grandfather loved to tell us stories. Stories from when he was a policeman usually featured some form of bribery, and many of them ended with “…and then we ran away”. When he came to the UK, he worked hard to provide for his family, and over the years he became a shrewd businessman.
My grandmother passed away suddenly around the time he retired. I think it’s fair to say that his heart broke. He surprised us all though, by learning how to use a computer, then the internet, then a BlackBerry phone. He’d use the web to find photos and articles about Cyprus, he’d email and Skype his business contacts and friends, and he loved finding Greek language TV and music. He’d forever be breaking things on his PC and pretending he hadn’t played with the settings. (He always had.)
For the last ten years of his life, he lived with my parents. My father took a significant role as a carer, particularly in the last few years. My grandfather could be a bit of a handful, but we all loved him dearly.
My sister gave birth in September, bringing my wonderful niece Rose into the world. We all wish that he had got to meet her – he would have loved her sweet temperament and chubby cheeks. I got engaged in April, and the thought of him missing my wedding is already on my mind.
Our first Christmas without him is going to be sad. But we’ll have some sweet Commanderia wine, we’ll tell his stories, and we’ll remember him.
[Photo 1: Phil and Llia]
[Photo 2: Papou Andy]
Every few years when someone asks for a CV, two things occur to me:
- Shit, I haven’t updated my CV since 2008.
- I can do loads of stuff that doesn’t fit on a CV.
Therefore, I propose a new section for a standard CV template. Let’s do away with “Interests”. Truly, no-one gives even a teeny-weeny shit that you enjoy “movies, going to gigs, socialising with friends and reading”. It’s like saying you enjoy “eating, sleeping and respiration.”
BORING. BORING. BORING.
Let’s get another heading in there to better showcase your mad skills as a human being. Just a general “list of things I am good at.”
I’ll get the party started – here’s 20 things I’m quite good at and probably can’t put on my CV:
1. If someone has stirred my tea with a spoon that has been in sugary tea, I ALWAYS KNOW. And I’ll let you know that I know. Don’t bother trying to sneak it past me, it’s just unacceptable.
2. I can fall asleep within two minutes of my closing eyes. When I’m really pissed, I can fall asleep without closing my eyes. I can also dribble without being asleep. I’ve not yet figured out how to monetise these skills, but I’m sure there’s something out there.
3. I can dispose of a cat-mauled dead mouse without screaming. In fact, I like looking at their little mousey faces before I give them a viking burial in the toilet. Bye!
4. Being able to taste the difference between diet cola and normal cola, then making you take my whiskey and normal cola back to the bar, because either they gave you the wrong drink or you asked for the wrong drink. SHAME ON YOU EITHER WAY.
5. I’m REALLY good at having a stupid name. Proud to be a gigantic typo, I wear my squiggly red Microsoft Word line with pride.
6. Frying eggs. (Look. You only need a low/medium heat, then let your dippy eggs reach peak perfection slowly, like foreplay performed by a consummate lover.)
7. Wielding hair straighteners heated to 185oC, inches away from my beautiful head and RARELY burning my ears. Rarely.
8. Knowing when I’m going throw up and making it to the loo, OR having a ‘tactical’ to ‘clear the decks’.
(The only time in recent memory that this skill has failed me was on a bus; I was coming home from the pub, pissed as a fart, when an old man shat his pants. The poo stench quickly filled the lower deck. Stuck in traffic, windows were ineffectual. A foolish teenager tried to cover the smell with Impulse body spray. I disembarked and was sick between two parked cars outside a man’s house, he offered me some water after he’d stopped laughing.)
9. I am VERY good at laughing very loudly. If you ever need a laughing voice-over (laugh-over?) then call me. Just give me a little snifter and I’ll find everything funny as this gif:
10. Making fezzes for cats.
11. Drawing cocks everywhere.
12. Knowing more about 80s trivia than someone born in ‘85 should. I don’t remember what I wore yesterday but thanks to working for Absolute 80s, I do remember that Gary Numan is actually 13 days older than Gary Oldman.
13. Not being superstitious.
14. Being really, really, ridiculously good at kissing. The reviews are always spectacular.
15. Doing shitloads of fucking excellent swear words, all the fucking time.
16. Applying eyeliner without a mirror. I mainly aim to smear enough black stuff around my eyes to stop people telling me how tired I look, then job’s a good’un.
17. Making a very good slow-cooked steak hotpot. (Be a monster, always add more meat than the recipe suggests.)
18. Being louder than the karaoke machines in most karaoke venues. A privileged few have felt the full force of my Bonnie Tyler, it’s really not to be fucked with.
19. I can pack a Bag For Life perfectly, Tetris-style and at speed to avoid mangling my groceries. Do the thing properly; don’t plop your two litre vat of fizzy pop on top of your tomatoes. Don’t make me hate you. I nearly shouted at someone in Lidl for their terrible bag packing at the weekend, why would you mash the crap out of food YOU JUST BOUGHT?
20. Speaking of food, I may run out of milk. I may run out of butter, bread or eggs. I might even run out of crisps.
…But I never, ever, EVER run out of alcohol.
What CV-worthy things are you good at? Tweet me if you like: @Llia
In 2009, I saw an online conversation where someone suggested a nice thing you could do, so I thought I would give it a go. Several years on, I have done this thing every year, and I reckon more people could give it a go.
In short, I collect toiletries for a local women’s refuge. It’s really easy, it doesn’t take a vast amount of time or effort, plus you can help a charity and those in need, without troubling your dusty wallet or anyone else’s.
What’s a refuge?
Refuges provide housing and support to women, including those fleeing domestic violence, women who have been trafficked and mothers leaving prison. Refuges can range in their specific aims, but they mainly want to help women in need.
If someone flees to a refuge, often the last thing on their mind is picking up their toothbrush, tampons or mascara. They just need to get out quickly. Toiletries donated to a refuge can be used to make starter packs for new residents, or to provide a gift at Christmas.
Let’s be honest, loads of people have a surplus of toiletries lying around, thanks to unwanted presents, supermarket multibuys, Boots point splurges or beauty box subscriptions. If you don’t, then your partner does, or your Mum does, or your housemate does. I don’t want to be General McGeneralising, but I can say with some certainty that you know loads of people who have loads of toiletries. The nice thing is that people get to declutter and offload a few toiletries and someone else gets to benefit.
How do you do it?
As I embark on the seventh year of collecting for my local refuge, here’s a step-by-step guide to doing your own collection with a few things I’ve learned along the way…
Step 1. Find a refuge local to you
There are lots of refuges out there, but for obvious reasons they usually fly under the radar – you might not know they even exist. Contact details are easily available online, even though addresses aren’t. Women’s Aid has a big list.
Step 2. Call your local refuge
Firstly, do be mindful of your approach, especially if you’re a man. Once you get in contact, spell out what you’d like to do, and if they’re down with it, find out what they need donating.
Do consider what you can feasibly collect, carry and store. I stick to toiletries as I don’t have masses of space at home and the refuge are cool with that. Just work with them to make sure you’re not collecting stuff they don’t want.
While you’re on the phone, arrange how you plan to get the donations to the refuge staff. They might offer to pick up what you collect, or you might have to drop off the donations yourself. Best to know upfront so everyone’s on the same page.
Step 3. Spread the word
Email your colleagues, friends, family, neighbours and post on social media to say that you’re collecting toiletries. Make sure you lay out any stipulations carefully – specify that you’re only collecting unused toiletries, for example. You could also list examples of things you’re collecting, as there’s always someone who timidly emails asking “I have a box of unused tampons if that’s ok?” (My answer? BRING ON THE TAMPONS.)
Also, set a deadline for the end of your collection, or you’ll be handed donations all year round. Remind people when the deadline is approaching.
Step 4. Involve the locals
In the last couple of years, I’ve posted on a local Facebook page to get donations. After one post, a local cafe offered to be a drop-off point. This was a godsend because I found it tricky to arrange collecting donations in my area, as I work office hours. If you have a community-minded cafe, shop or group, give them a tinkle to see if they want to get involved. As a bonus for them, they get more footfall to their business too.
Step 5. Collect the donations
The key here is “little and often” so you don’t slip a disc – you’ll probably be surprised by how much is donated and toiletries actually weigh LOADS. Imagine a Tesco bag rammed full of makeup – it’s pretty bloody hefty. This is why it’s a good idea to spread your collecting out over a few months – I usually do it between September/October and December. I would leave a cardboard box by my desk at work, then carry one bag of donations back to my flat each night, but whatever works really. If you’ve got a lot to carry, make use of a rucksack, wheeled suitcase or a Bag For Life. (Or gently bribe a strong mate with a pint.)
Step 6. Sort it out
Before you’re due to give your donations to the refuge, give the toiletries a bit of a tidy. You’ll find that the definition of “unused” varies, so throw out anything which looks old or skanky. People’s hearts are definitely in the right place, but I’ve found the odd shocker. Put it this way – if you wouldn’t use it yourself, bin it. Keep a cloth handy to wipe down anything which looks a bit dusty. I also sort donations into rough categories (gift sets, perfumes, soaps, moisturisers, makeup and so on), but you don’t have to. Then bag it all up again, ready to donate.
Step 7. Get it to the refuge
Arrange a time and date for them to pick up donations, or for you to drop the donations somewhere – you might need to enlist a mate or neighbour with a car.
And that’s it really.
Here’s what was collected for my local refuge last year:
Now, I know that sounds like a lot of work, but really it’s lots of little bits of effort spread out over a few months. Trust me, I am lazy and I still do it year after year. It’s a great way to do something nice to help people and you don’t have to run a marathon, bake a cake or sit in a bath of baked beans.
If you live in Central or SW London and would like to donate to the collection this year, tweet me @Llia and let’s see if we can sort something out. Or start your own collection – someone will be grateful that you thought of them.
Sometimes, even the most perfect of us can discover that suddenly there’s a particularly prevalent pus-fest on one’s face. A diabolical display of discharge. A suppurating spectacular of sebum. A vomiting volcano of vile. You get my point, right? I’m talking about a bloody great big mess on your face.
What can you do in such a situation? You could cover it with concealer, foundation, powder and whatever’s the face paint product du jour (BB cream? BBW cream? BMW cream? I don’t fucking know).
But let’s be honest, there’s no quick way to disguise that the topography of your face is screwed. Plus, you know that smearing Dulux strength make-up atop of the swollen, weeping mess will probably just aggravate the shit out of your skin, leaving you with a facial Everest to deal with tomorrow.
I’m here to help. You need a small number of craft supplies and some superglue.
Be confident. Live it up. You got this.
You’re fucking welcome. xx
I’m channelling my inner Judith Chalmers to tell you about my summer’s little holiday jaunts, except with infinitely less charm and infinitely more rum.
I went to the Isles of Scilly twice this year, therefore I am an expert on the place, in as much as I am an expert about anything. In other words, not at all. But still, here you are, so let’s just get on with it.
My Top [arbitrary number of] Pieces Of Information About Scilly!
1. Where the fuck are you talking about?
The Isles of Scilly are a small collection of islands off Land’s End – that’s the pointy bit at the bottom of England. Don’t front like you knew.
Scilly is not to be confused with Sicily, that’s somewhere else. Scilly is also not to be confused with islands up near Scotland somewhere. Or those other islands where people regularly squabble over who owns them, or whatever.
2. Getting there is interesting
There’s no two ways about it, it can be a ballache getting to Scilly from the mainland. There is one ferry to and from Penzance each day. It only goes to the biggest island, and only for half the year.
You can also fly several times a day from Land’s End, Newquay and Exeter. I should warn you that the aeroplanes are so small, a decent fart would blow them off course. And fart you probably will, because flying in the tiny Cola-can aeroplanes is not something for the faint of heart. Or arse.
In fact, the plane is so teeny, you could lean forward and flick the pilot’s ear. Sadly he had headphones on, the party pooper:
Having said all that, neck a few beers and make yourself get the plane if you can, because it’s actually quite fun. Plus the view will blow your knickers off:
On our second visit, rather than driving the first leg of the journey and leaving the car in Penzance, we opted to take the glamourously-named Night Riviera – a sleeper train. I particularly wanted to dress up as Poirot for the occasion, but couldn’t face waking up with a Sharpie-moustache and a hangover the next day.
Be careful booking tickets, it’s really easy to only reserve a seat when you actually wanted a bed. Here we are, looking smug that we’d managed to book the right thing:
The Night Riviera journey starts in Paddington late at night and gets you to Penzance the next morning with a slight headache and a croissant, ready to get the ferry over to the islands. Or, in our case, it didn’t. The train broke down in the middle of nowhere – Bodmin, for fuck’s sake. The train company are well-versed with such shenanigans and sorted taxis and flights, so it was actually all fine. I generously began drinking at 11am, just to help things along.
3. Don’t be a dick
The Isles of Scilly are SMALL. Very small. Five of the islands have people living on them and the biggest one, St Mary’s, has a population of 1,700. As a result, you’d best not be rude to anyone, because you bump into the same people repeatedly. (I was only rude to one person in Co-Op, but he totally deserved it. We didn’t see him again.)
4. Sea, sand and Instagram like your life depends on it
There are many beaches, many boats and when the sun shines, everything looks like a holiday brochure. With the islands being so miniature, there are small and perfectly formed beaches all over the place. In other words, lots of opportunities to have a beach ALL to yourself – living the dream, for real.
I’m usually horrendously lazy, but even I could force my fat arse outdoors for a daily romp around islands in the blazing sun. I took about 500 photos mainly which look like these, because HOW COULD I NOT?
5. Feel young and sexy
Scilly during the holiday season is like a great big summer camp for the middle-aged and olds. Admittedly, we missed the school holidays by gracing the islands with our presence in July and September, but the point still stands – if you want to feel young, sexy and taut, visit Scilly.
Just try not to be too embarrassed when the oldies overtake your sweaty and hungover form on steep coastal walks, because they inevitably will.
6. There is a lot of nature
The nature on the islands is nothing short of amazing, even if you don’t usually give a shit about that kind of thing. We saw butterflies, seals, dolphins, beetles, moths, jellyfish, eels, and most importantly, BEES HAVING SEX:
Due to Scilly being a microclimate (that’s science, look it up) interesting plants grow everywhere, from tiny crevices in chimneys and out of vertical walls. They are mean chunky bastard plants and I love them:
A quick mention for the night sky. Obviously there’s very little light pollution, so the stars are stunning, enough to leave you sounding like a complete stoner:
“Woooahhh look so many staaaars… blows my miiiind. Doesn’t it make you feel so tiny and insignificant? Wait, am I insignificant? Hahahaha, naaah, I’m brill.”
I haven’t got any photos of the stars on account of it being really dark and generally being a few rums down by nightfall.
7. There are lots of dogs and boats
If you hate dogs, don’t bother going to Scilly, they’re everywhere. This man was trying to feed the dog a boiled sweet, I could only assume that he hates dogs:
It probably goes without saying, but if you hate boats, then really don’t bother going to Scilly. You’ll get boats most days. Sit in the middle if you value your hairstyle.
8. You find weird things
Who put those rocks there?
This is bleak:
A serious boner for crayons:
Just kidding, it’s obviously a daymark. In case you didn’t know, a daymark is a thing they put at one end of a small island so you walk all the way out just to gawp at it, and the locals laugh at you stupid tourists.
9. PUBS PUBS PUBS PUBS PUBS PUBS PUBS PUBS PUBS PUBS PUBS and food
Despite the size of the inhabited islands, they all have a decent pub or bar, with food generally being very good too. There are lots of Cornish beers and ciders, with local seafood, meat, dairy, vegetables, ice cream and paaaasties. Sadly, we didn’t get to eat this pub garden invader, but the dog pictured above had a really good go on our behalf.
We forgave the chips being presented in a cup.
10. Coming home is hard
This is where I get all whimsical and heartfelt. I loved the Isles of Scilly and the charm of island life won’t leave my head. We booked our second visit when we’d only been home for a few days from our first. Thinking practically, I couldn’t really live there as it’s quite isolated, too far from my family, the winter months sound rough and the internet connection is probably crap. However, it’s still very tempting to say FUCK LONDON, I AM GOING TO THE LAND OF BOATS AND PASTIES.
I love Gimme Gimme Gimme. Linda La Hughes is a rampant, gobby slag; loutish and completely convinced of her own beauty. In other words, she’s a girl after my own heart. Here’s ten of my favourite Lindy bits.
1. Linda on pets:
“Tom, I ain’t a pussy person. When people look at me, they don’t think ‘cat’, they think ‘dog’.”
2. This lime green PVC catsuit is to die for:
3. She’s very honest:
“Oh my God, who’s that gorgeous creature? Oh my God it’s me!”
4. Her flirting technique is masterful:
“I’ll just straighten this rug out. I’m quite anal like that.”
5. This exchange.
Tom: “I’m in distress.”
Linda: “I’m in THIS dress.”
6. When asked what she does:
“I chew corn for gummy parrots.”
7. She knew:
“I haven’t been this excited since Jimmy Savile came to our opening day at school and sat on my face.”
8. Her honesty about her sex life:
“I’ve had more pricks than Kerplunk.”
9. Her love of theatre:
Linda: “Should have taken in a show. I love a good play.”
Tom: “You? The last play you went to see was The Chippendales; which, incidentally, is not a play.”
Linda: “It was in a theatre. It had an interval. I had ice cream.”
Tom: “The theatre should be exciting!”
Linda: “I was stuck to my seat.”
10. She’s a responsible, caring adult.
In summary: Linda is my Queen. Filthy bitch.
I’m actually writing a blog containing USEFUL INFORMATION.
Obviously, How To Make A Fez For Your Cat was crammed with useful information too, but I’m guessing it was a bit niche. (I can’t confirm for sure, as I don’t know how many people are sexually active in London vs. how many people own cats AND are stupid enough to make a fez for them.)
In 2014, a really useful walk-in clinic opened in Soho – the Dean Street Express. They do fast and free STD/STI testing 6 days a week. The results are ready within a few hours and are delivered via text message.
You can turn up to the place on Dean Street whenever you like. It looks a bit like a eurodisco-themed cocktail bar – lots of bright colours and neon, two of my favourite things. They don’t offer glow sticks, but you could probably bring your own and they wouldn’t mind. The staff are very friendly and welcoming.
Note – If you’ve picked up an STD/STI, you have to wait for it to brew before the tests will pick it up – you can’t test the day after a dodgy encounter. Best read up on their website about it.
Speak to the people on reception and they’ll direct you to answer some probing questions on an iPad, so you don’t have to answer them out loud. The questions may be a bit embarrassing, you see. Things like “When did you last have sex?” “How many sexual partners have you had in the last X months?” and “Has anyone you’ve had sex with in the last X months had sex with someone of the same gender?”
Obviously, no-one will judge you for any of your answers – this is Soho, silly.
You’re given a swab in a sterile tube and you go through to spacious cubicles, where you do a “self swab” – this tests for Gonorrhoea and Chlamydia.
Instructional videos are provided in the cubicles – worth a watch just to see the fleshlight they use to demonstrate the vag swab technique. Doing your own swab is not the nicest thing ever, but quite a lot better than having chlamydia run riot in your chuff.
The last time I visited, some poor chap was so nervous or pre-occupied that he forgot to lock the cubicle door behind him, and this fool here walked in on him. Top tip: Lock the fucking door behind you, unless you particularly want someone to walk in mid-self-swab. Shudder.
When I last went, you popped the swab in a tiny tube supplied, and put it inside a bigger tube… then OFF IT WENT! LIKE A (slow) ROCKET! LOOK!
That done, you go downstairs into a waiting room. You get called into an individual room with a nurse, who takes some blood, to test for syphilis and HIV. And that’s all for now.
I should point out that I’m writing this from my experience and I’m a woman – the experience is slightly different for men. You swab different bits, there may be peeing involved too, but the blood test is exactly the same.
As you’re in Soho, you may as well pop to the pub and have ten drinks while you wait for the results to come through. Your phone will trill a few hours later. WOOHOO:
If you’re not so lucky and you need further treatment, the text messages will contain information from the clinic on what to do next.
One more thing! The nice people on reception will give you a personalised card to make repeat test visits quicker and easier, which is awfully kind. (I think they should have some kind of loyalty scheme, for example 10 tests = 1 free burrito.)
In summary, the Dean Street Express is a quick, useful, sexy, free resource in Soho. Take advantage of it and make sure your friends know about it.
God bless the NHS.
God I hate this diet.
1. Split up with your long-term boyfriend.
3. Spend 6 months adjusting to living on your own.
5. Decide you need to keep busy at the weekends, because housework and cry-wanking just ain’t cutting it.
7. Decide to fill your weekends with other worthy activities like crafts. Crafts! They are fun and wholesome!
9. You could make some funny clothing for your cat? The internet is full of cats dressed like twats.
10. A bra and panties set is a terrible idea.
11. JESUS CHRIST YOU MISSED A DRINK. HAVE TWO.
12. How about a fez? Everyone loves a fez. Surely cats like fezzes?
13. Research AND drink.
14. Cats don’t like anything except death and pissing.
15. Buy red felt and a tiny tassel. eBay is usually good for picking up random craft things like tiny tassels. (Thought: Maybe people put them on their nipples? I did wonder why I could buy such a small tassel. Now I think about it, nipples is the only possible explanation. Well, I’m a renegade maverick who plays by her own rules. No nip tassels for me, HATS FOR CATS is my game.)
16. Drink while you wait for your eBay items to tun up. This could take several days so pace yourself. Don’t die for a cat fez.
17. You could also get some other things together. Thin card, like the kind from a cereal box. Glue. A needle and thread. Scissors. A healthy disregard for your sanity.
18. WOOHOO THE POST’S HERE.
19. Pizza menu.
20. WOOHOO THE POST’S HERE.
21. Jehovah’s Witnesses. Accidentally show them a nip. AGAIN. (Do they get a batsignal when I’m in the bath? I swear they’ve seen my left tit more than I have.)
22. WOOHOO THE POST’S HERE! WITH CRAFT SUPPLIES!
23. File the water bill behind the radiator.
24. Start with a nice drink.
25. Get card. Cut a shape for a wide-based cylinder. Cut a round bit for the top. Remember to add tabs to allow for gluing together. I’d draw you a template but to be honest, the less I can be held accountable for this, the better.
26. Stick all of your cardboard bits together with glue.
27. Well, this is thirsty work, isn’t it?
28. Cut your red felt in approximation of the shapes required to cover the fez you have stuck together. I can’t tell you how to do this, because fuck knows how I did it.
29. Discover the felt doesn’t stick down very well. ACCIO STAPLER. (The cat will never know, neither will your online audience. Hide the staples at the back, you big fraud.)
30. Time for a little tipple.
31. Think of some creative swear words.
32. Use a needle and thread to attach the tassel on the top.
33. Stab your finger when you pierce the cardboard with the needle. Time to roll out those creative swear words – I suggest PISSFART, FUCKBUMBLE and SHITTOCKS as starters for ten.
34. Well, this little hat looks amazing (if you don’t look at the back). Where’s the fucking cat?
35. The cat is asleep in the lounge. Excellent. Sneak up on it.
35. Put the hat on the cat. Realise you didn’t attach elastic or anything for actually affixing to the cat. No, you can’t use the stapler, fool.
36. Steadying drink.
37. Caaaaaarefully balance the hat on the sleeping cat’s head.
38. This looks like shit, doesn’t it?
39. Hate yourself. Hate your cat. Hate fezzes. Hate crafts. Hate yourself a bit more.
40. Sign up for online dating.
I’m going to impart some fresh unasked-for life advice, because I’ve found how you can have a happier life online.
Aside from the standard advice of avoiding the Daily Mail website because it affects your mental health, there’s one particular website which should be avoided.
I am, of course, talking about Pinterest.
In essence, Pinterest’s insidious evil is virtually the same as the Daily Mail’s; it has same power to undermine your self-confidence and self-worth. Pinterest will have you sat there for hours, fermenting in your pyjamas with unwashed hair, pinning picture after picture of delicately arranged plates of food, beautiful bright airy homes, sculpted bottoms and toned midriffs, simple craft projects and no-bake cakes.
What’s running through your head as you pin? “I WILL, I CAN, I’LL USE ALL OF THIS! THIS IS AMAZING INSPIRATION! THIS WEBSITE IS THE KEY TO UNLOCKING THE REAL ME!”
It seems so good at the start- all pretty, foody and lovely. So many interesting ideas! So many projects! Soft pastel tones. Vintage. Cute handwritten fonts. Gorgeous women. Teacups. Boys who bulk in the right places (MUSCLES, you fool.) Diamonds, gems, lace. Heart-shaped marshmallows. Models strutting along grey inner-city streets in sharply tailored outfits, or posing up a tree while barefoot with a man’s white shirt, rolled up jeans and tousled bedhead hair. Embroidery. ‘Reclaimed’. Lavender Earl Grey Iced Tea Lattes. Lots of melted cheese. Mason Jars. Bunting. Chocolate. Pinecones. Typographically overwrought inspirational meme phrases, printed and framed. Cookies with cookies as an ingredient. Burlap. Celebrities laughing. AW 2015, SS 2016. Geometric jewellery. Eating clean. Cake. So much fucking cake.
You pin recipes, hairstyles, outfits, wedding cakes and wedding dresses (I’m not even getting married, where the fuck are these all wedding pins coming from?) There’s workout plans! Spiralising! Fitspiration! Easy games for my fictional, unconceived children!
After a while, you realise. Wallowing in this sea of aspirational inspirational BS doesn’t make you happy. It makes you pissed off and sad.
Pinterest is the stuff you can’t afford time or money to make. If you do try, it’s more than likely going to go wrong. Hairstyles that end up looking like an intricate pubic sculpture. Interior design that would never work in most of our homes, because we don’t live in some huge barn-like space. Oh what’s that? You can have your things custom built to fit your tiny home space? Get a fucking grip. Trim, athletic bodies you’ll never have. Clothes you’ll never buy. Food you’ll never make. I BET YOU DON’T EVEN LIKE
Pinterest breeds envy, then guilt that you’ve not tried hard enough to get all those lovely things these other people have. It hammers home, over and over, the things you could and SHOULD be doing. If only you only did a 10 minute workout every day, YOU could have a beautiful peachy backside too. It’s your fault if you don’t. See what you could be achieving, if only YOU JUST TRIED HARDER WITH YOUR PATHETIC LITTLE LIFE. If only you were just a bit better.
In summary, I don’t like Pinterest.