I woke at 2am. Harvey was breathing heavily, a kind of closed mouth pant, and although I sleep like the dead, I’ve always been in-tune with Harvey’s breath. He laid between us as he always does, and as I stroked his soft belly where the new hair grows from the shaving the vet had to give him for his scan/xray, I tried to calm him. I could feel the size of the ‘mass’. It has gone from barely there to mango sized in just a few weeks. Touching it fills me with horror.
I got out of bed and gently coaxed Harvey to come with me. Scared he was in pain, with no painkiller to give him (the vet advised that for as long as Harvey is happy, waggy and enjoying life, which he is, we avoid extra pain management for as long as possible as they have to be metabolised through the liver and the liver is where the mass is.) The only thing I could think of to help him was to cool him down on the kitchen floor. It worked.
Once calm, he surveyed his grounds, had a wee and a bark at the resident foxes. I stood at the back door looking for a black dog in the pitch dark, whisper-yelling him to ‘SSHHH you little shit’ knowing he’s as deaf as a post and won’t hear me anyway – he tottered back in, oblivious to any fuss he’d caused and got on his bed.
His new camping bed. I bought it in anticipation of our next camping trip after last season, it went straight into the loft ready for new adventures, but that adventure never came, and I couldn’t bear the thought of discovering it next year without him having used it, so I asked Lee to bring it down. It’s his favourite bed now, but we keep breaking our toes on its legs because it’s about the same size as our kitchen, and neither of us have small feet!
So, I’ve been sat here for four hours waiting for the vet to open so I can book an appointment – and I know that there is nothing I can do to stop this, I know it is inevitable – but it’s also tortuous to my broken brain. I need to feel like I’m doing something. Anything. I can’t fall into a pit of sadness, not yet.
Yesterday morning I got my head in a good place, so I put on some music to get ready to. I haven’t done that for such a long time, and that specific play-list is filled with my faves. I started dancing and Harvey wiggled his butt to tell me he wanted to dance too, he’s always loved a dance and we twirled around the kitchen together- then this came on. I’ve always known the words, i mean Stevie is my hero! ..but, in that moment, looking into my precious boy’s eyes, they became much, much more meaningful.
I took my love, I took it down
I climbed a mountain and I turned around
And I saw my reflection in the snow-covered hills
‘Til the landslide brought me down
Oh, mirror in the sky
What is love?
Can the child within my heart rise above?
Can I sail through the changin’ ocean tides?
Can I handle the seasons of my life?
Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older too
Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’
‘Cause I’ve built my life around you
But time makes you bolder
Even children get older
And I’m getting older too
Oh! I’m getting older too



It’s like my anxiety took speed then jumped out of a burning plane without a parachute into a sea of hungry crocodiles

(I know crocodiles don’t live in the sea)

This week I thought I was having to prepare myself to lose my Mum.

It all started with a standard MRI scan – her bones were hurting and we needed to find out if it was her hips or her back, or both. At the scan Mum had to change into orange scrubs – she came out of the changing room all Orange is the New Black, and I was all like Judge Judy proclaiming that I sentenced her to life for crimes against haircuts during my childhood – and she crossed her legs protectively and was all “Shut up I’m going to pee myself.” and we giggled stupidly like teenagers.

On Monday Mum went to collect her results – which revealed a lump. But the bone doctor couldn’t deal with her, she needed to go to Gynae.


In the interim Mum had blood tests and whilst there, given the card of a cancer specialist nurse. She would be seen by the doctor on Friday.



Was this really happening?

Monday night I sat in the bath and cried – of course, my poorly brain told me that my Mum was dying. My poorly brain also told me to make plans. So I did. I’d go and stay with her and I’ll care for her. She’ll never be alone again. My poorly brain also reminded me of every-single-thing I hadn’t done to make her proud. My poorly brain gave me images of her funeral, and how I’ll wake up every morning and for three seconds everything will seem perfect until I remember she’s gone. My poorly brain started to shut down.

On Tuesday morning, my Harvey dog got sick again (he’d been poorly the week before, but blood tests had told us he was OK.) Too early to call Mum to check if she was still alive, I walked Harvey, because walking is Harvey’s second most favourite thing to do.

But my usually boisterous crazy cocker spaniel didn’t want to walk. He shlopped along beside me like a 20 year old dog, and my poorly brain told me that this was it, everything’s fucked – all the living breathing things I love most dearly are going to die at the same time. I broke down in tears again, and to add to the awkward – this time publicly. People walked passed me staring – the crazy woman speaking out loud to her dog telling him he had to walk and can’t die because right now is not convenient…not now and not ever.

The crazy woman in her wellies and morning hair and I don’t blame them for walking past me either.

I called Bernard because when it gets bad, that’s what I do. I told him that I hated my brain and how it makes me think of every worst case scenario in every situation and I wanted it to stop. He told me that everything was OK and it wasn’t my fault, that my brain is poorly and when he gets home he’ll unscrew my brain and make the bad go, and I was happy with that. Bernard knows how to snap me out of terror and make me smile.

But Harvey got more poorly. And I was still convinced that Mum was dying.

Tuesday turned to Wednesday and I tried to keep it light with Mum. She was scared too. I called her lump Tarquin. I told her that we were going to make Tarquin fuck right off – that he wasn’t invited to this party and how bloody dare he show his face around here. She smiled and that’s all that mattered. I never told Mum I could see her funeral in my head in graphic detail. She didn’t need to be worrying about my poorly brain too.

Harvey wouldn’t poo though. He’d had blood tests, he’d had injections – he just wouldn’t poo. I began endless loops of dragging him around the block and cooking and feeding him chicken breast willing him to poo. The vet told me to give it another day. My poorly brain told me that he had a blockage in his intestine and if I kept feeding him and he didn’t poo his intestine would burst and he’d die and oh yeah, my Mum’s got a lump called Tarquin that’s killing her.

Friday morning came around. 4am I was wide awake. Mum’s appointment was at 11am – I drank 4 coffees and waited until it was 6:30am to walk Harvey again whilst willing him to “do a fucking poo for Mummy PLEASE.”

At 6:45am Harvey did a poo. I rejoiced. I sang to him, and skipped and he wagged his tail and trotted beside me and the relief poured through me from the top of my head to the tips of my toes and my poorly brain told me that maybe he wasn’t going to die after all, but don’t forget – Tarquin’s still gatecrashing the party. Filing that thought until the end of my walk,  I saw my friend with her two dogs, and swang the precious poo in it’s bag around my head in a circle of victory and she whooped in celebration too because she knew that Harvey wasn’t right and how badly my poorly brain had been treating me.

At 10:50am Mum and I entered the gynae department. We sat waiting for the doctor. In front of us a rack of pamphlets, every single one documenting information about every kind of female cancer there is. Mum grabbed my hand, I squeezed it and smiled at her. “Either way Mum, it’s all going to be OK, I’ll make sure of it, don’t you worry.” I had no idea how I was going to fulfill that promise, but at that point – I could have fought a lion and won.

The cancer specialist nurse called us in. The doctor, a handsome chap of around 12 years old it seemed told Mum he was going to examine her – she asked if I could be with her – I, in my nervousness blurted “Yeah, as long as I don’t have to see her foomph.” Mortified I closed my eyes and heard my Mum snort and the doctor laugh telling me there was no need for me to be at the ‘business end’ if I didn’t want to be – the tension broke. Mum prepared to be probed by a 12 year old.

Turned out Tarquin is 98% probably a cyst, the horrid little bastard. If I thought that nothing could top the relief of seeing poo come out of my dog’s bum I was totally wrong – for I could have squeezed that doctor until he squeaked for the comfort he gave us. We got Mum back in her undies and skinny jeans before you could say “speculum” and out of there.

She’s booked for an op to remove her ovaries and I shall be there to nurse her afterwards. I’m pretty sure she’s going to ground me for sharing stuff about the innards of her va-jay-jay but I shall take the hit and surely she’s used to me and my ways by now?

Happy Mother’s Day my lovely Mum – here’s to at least 50 more!

The thing about Lent

Today is Wednesday, or as any ex-good-little-Catholic girl would know Ash Wednesday. It is also Valentine’s Day.

As an ex-good-little-Catholic-girl, I still have a certain amount of inner guilt to push me into giving Lent more than just a fleeting thought each year. So today after taking Harvey for his castration injection (what every male wants on Valentine’s Day) Mum and I did a chat about it – Lent that is, not Harvey’s castration jab, although we did talk a bit about how tiny Harvey’s balls have become and what a shame that is because they were TRULY MAGNIFICENT before his first injection. But that’s the kind of detail we don’t need to get into right now.

Mum likes to observe Lent – and whilst I dislike the Catholic religion more than just a little for what it did to me, I fully respect her want to do so. I don’t understand it but I do get the need to focus on, and give time to, something greater than ourselves and I want to support her too. But, as I’m not of the faith, I’m going to do things a little differently, I’m setting myself a task.

Several moons ago I was asked to write something. This something was to help a small but significant part of the wider community. Lack of confidence stopped me though. My lack of confidence manifested from an inability to write under pressure. I wobbled, the piece never got written. I never got the chance to maybe help even one person by completing the project.

Writing means focusing the brain, and focusing the brain is a bit like starting a workout regime.

You start doing rounds of squats and it hurts.  After ten squats you stop – you’ve just strain-farted in your personal trainer’s face and you could die of embarrassment and leg ache. But your personal trainer doesn’t bat an eyelid; what’s a strain-fart when trying to achieve the perfect thigh? He tells you to come back tomorrow so you can do 15 more squats and you really want to wear those sassy shorts this Summer, so you go back and do 15, but you didn’t wear your big girl knickers, you wear a thong cos your ten squats yesterday made you feel all athletic and cut and stuff, but your thong is actually cutting you a new arse with Every. Single. Squat.

Every day you do more. You have embarrassing moments, because you don’t really know what you’re doing, and you get stronger and all of a sudden you’re squatting 200 squats, whilst holding weights wearing nothing but a leotard, a pair of sweatbands and a smile on your face.

Believe it or not it’s the same for your brain (stick with me). The more you use it, the fitter it becomes. With writing, putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) every day over a period of time only strengthens your ability to write with discipline – and this is what I need. If I am going to write the piece to help even just one person, I need confidence in my writing under pressure, that means I have to do it daily and…DA-DAAAAA! that’s where Lent comes in.

40 days of writing.

(see what I did there?)

I will write for 40 days. I will discipline myself and learn, I will no doubt embarrass myself with the content of my writing (after all you’ve just read an example of that and this is but Day one of 40). I will refrain from farting in anyone’s face. I might write whilst wearing just a leotard – don’t judge. And then I will write the piece I was supposed to write all that time ago.


Some Things that happened this week

1. For the love of all known gods don’t brush your teeth with turmeric.


I read somewhere that brushing your teeth with a mix of turmeric and coconut oil makes your teeth whiter. So, as I take turmeric paste daily anyway (it’s a long story, but now I can’t stop taking it because my brain thinks I have to – so I continue to, even though I probably don’t have to and maybe that’s a whole other blog) I thought I’d give it a go.

It’s nasty. Proper nasty. Not only will you look like poo is coming out of the wrong orifice, it tastes like the devil’s balls. Your toothbrush will turn yellow and (even though you’ve bleached every square inch of it) you’ll find splats of turmeric in your bathroom for days  – just like you’ve had an explosion of the toilet sort EVERYWHERE and you won’t be able to explain it to visitors or anything because if you try to, they’ll look at you like you’ve gone stark-staring-bonkers – and nothing’s worth that.

2. In other news – I tried really hard with the I Refuse To Be A Fat Bride thing this week. As it stands, I will indeed be a fat bride if I don’t stop eating as if I’m never going to eat anything ever again. It’s difficult though. At weekends we ‘snack’ – it’s a thing. And I tell Bernard every Sunday night to take with him anything that’s going to make me snack during the week whilst he’s away. Sometimes he forgets. Like this week, he left half a lemon drizzle cake.

On Wednesday I asked Harvey if I should have some. He was all like:

dog judging

So I ignored him and ate the cake.

That broke the diet seal though and for the rest of the week and I continued to eat as if I’d never eat anything again.

Tomorrow I start the diet again proper.

3. The Viking thing happened too. But we won’t speak of that again. I’m still trying to assemble some kind of hope-slushie from my CRUSHED DREAMS.

4. My other cocker wanted to kill me.

cocker spaniel

He’s all eyelashes and attitude is Jasper. Bastard.

5. Facebook told me that Harvey looked like this eight years ago:

cocker spaniel puppy

And I died a bit inside because eight years has gone so quickly.

6. I worked shit loads and I sold a record number of these:

Paw print heart necklace

6. Then it was Saturday and I woke up to Bernard being all ‘househusbandy’ writing shopping lists and washing up and stuff and I realised just why I’m marrying him – we’re both the same kind of touched.



list 3

The Day I nearly Became A Legit Viking

It happened.

My life calling. My dream. The number one item on my one item bucket list.

The ghost of 20 year old me spun in her office chair and roared a fitting roar – for the day had finally come.

Viking extras needed

If ever there were a more perfect candidate for this plea, it would be me surely? I am all the stereotypes mashed up together. I have the long hair. I look decidedly Nordic. I am a ‘Vikingly’ 6 feet tall and, last time I looked, definitely a female. Furthermore, since my enormous girl-crush on Lucy Lawless in the nineties, I had a feeling that one day I’d make an excellent She Warrior on the big screen just like her. I just had to bide my time.

Step aside Princess Xena, I thought to myself with fire in my belly. Make way for the Empress (age, I feel, rendered this title appropriate). She shall wear (fake) furs and brandish her sword whilst back-flipping (or walking, walking will do) through ancient villages of wood and wattle, acting up a storm and gaining a rabid fan base who will dedicate whole Cosplay costumes to her. She will be a hero…not one of them dastardly Vikings – a good one, an honourable one, who definitely doesn’t pillage and stuff – and  I lived the dream of 1990s me for a whole three seconds.

Then I read the rest of it.

Hi folks! Looking for long haired females for scenes coming very shortly.
The main requirements are:
HEIGHT 5 foot 5 to 5 foot 9 inches.
DRESS SIZE 8 to 10.

It may as well have said. ‘Definitely not you though Cora – there’s not enough fake fur in the world to cover that arse.’

So, that’s that then.

Conversations with my Mum

About the incredible woman that this incredible woman created.

This is my Nan

This is my Nan

It must be terribly hard being my Mum. She never complains though.

We’re best friends and I’d be screamingly lost without her. We talk a lot Mum and I – and mainly when I talk the only sense I’m making is to myself because invariably I just vocalise the gumf my brain won’t stop chaffing on about. I can see Mum looking at me with a mix of ‘did I really birth this/OhMyGod she needs professional help…again/I have zero clues about what she’s trying to say so I’ll  just nod when she takes a breath.’ on her face.

For example:

“Mum, you know that time when there was a gorilla on the loose and I hid behind the sofa because I saw him walk down the street?”

“Darling, there never was a gorilla on the loose, it was your Dad dressed as a gorilla for a fancy dress party when you were about three. I think your memory just got a bit squiffy.”


“OK darling.”


“Mum, your dog has taught my dog how to eat other dog’s poo and now I can’t let him into the house because all I can imagine are intestinal worms wriggling around his tongue and they’re obviously going to burrow into my skin and I’m going to wake up one day with intestinal worms spewing out of my eyes and Bernard will leave me and it’ll be all YOUR dog’s fault. You have to make it better because I don’t want intestinal worms spewing out of my eyes.”

“Can intestinal worms spew out of your eyes darling?”


Or (when she’s 25 minutes drive from me and probably doing something really important at the time, and I was 43 years old and really should have known better.)

“Mum, the new fridge freezer came but I asked the delivery men to leave it in the garden cos I wasn’t finished moving the old one out of the way. But when I was moving the old one it started raining really hard so I had to move the new one, and it fell on me, and I’m trapped and think I’m dying.”

“Darling. Shit. Wait there, don’t move, I’m coming.”


“Mum, is that a cockroach? That’s a cockroach isn’t it? For actual fuck sake it’s an actual cockroach and now I’m going to have to burn the whole garden down or move.”

“No darling, it’s a tiny black stone, look, it’s a stone darling.”

Mum is the only person who truly gets me, and by truly gets me, I mean, doesn’t get me at all but lets me soak in all my gumf without shame. Bernard’s* not doing bad at it, but it’s only been eleven years, he’s just at the sapling stage. Bless.


Today is the anniversary of my Nan’s death.


After my Granddad died, we three; Nan, Mum and I were close – the maiden, the mother, and the crone (but let’s just clear this up, I’d have never called my Nan a crone to her face, she’d have killed me dead.)

Then Nan got dementia.

She sometimes sounded loopy, and we’d laugh about it with her on her better days, she’d giggle her guttural 40-a-day fag giggle – the sound of which, to us, was infectious and precious.

Then she got worse, and sometimes angry, and many, many times funny because she had the funny, it was in her bones. But often she’d be like her five year old self – and, when her body gave up, she became bedbound too. Then her baby-blue-eyes lost all recognition. We were no longer her darlings. Sometimes she thought we were her enemy instead, or her long lost sister; or sometimes a stranger who’d come to say hello or steal her teabags.

And Mum nursed Nan. She held her gently like the exquisite and delicate masterpiece she was. Mum loved her and fed her, washed her and creamed her and dressed her in the funkiest of nighties you ever did see.

Nan said fuck a lot, offered the vicar a Bacardi when he came to give her communion, and in her dementia driven body, she loved and then disliked and then loved again everyone and everything with a passion. Her passion never left her.

But she was leaving us.

Slowly. Excruciatingly and painfully slowly – and she was suffering and it was horrible. And then she died and the bottom fell out of Mum’s world and I tried to hold Mum up whilst her knees buckled and I failed, but I wanted to take all the pain away – of course I couldn’t.

And last night as I was thinking of my Nan, and those early hours when she closed her baby-blues, and I was wishing my Mum a sound night’s sleep, and blocked out the reoccurring horror that one day I’ll lose her too – I distracted myself from the sad by catching up on Dooce, which normally would have worked,  but Dooce was having similar thoughts too, and shared this…and frankly, it rendered me useless for the rest of the evening: It was simply all my thoughts in one pool of beauty.



“What darling?”

“I’ve just had a dream that you died and I was clearing out your cleaning cupboard and  when I picked up the Mr Muscle I realised I’ll never see you again and it hurt so bad it made me wake up howling and I want you to know that if you ever die, then I’ll die too, and if that happens, It’ll be on your dead conscience for eternity that you murdered your own daughter in cold blood, so, in order to save your own soul and the life of your child you can’t die. Like ever. OK?”

“OK darling.”


Nan, I always did and I always will love you. Sleep softly dear lady xxx






Consuela Knobhead – or how nicotine withdrawal turned me into a monster

In the space of two months I have weened myself off of some pretty hard-core anxiety meds, I have embarked on a weight loss plan of 3 stone, planned my wedding, kept my business going without running away screaming and given up smoking.

You would be forgiven for thinking me Super Woman.

I am not of course.

Coming off the meds was difficult, the kind of difficult that rendered me senseless for at least a month. I came off them because I hated the fug in my head. Of course, my anxiety has increased tenfold, but I can think – and I like thinking.

The weight loss started OK, but I love food too much and I lose and gain half a stone sequentially – I’m scared I will look like Mr Blobby in lace on my wedding day. Speaking of which, I am so filled with wedding-planning-fear that the mere act of opening my wedding note-book sends me into a melt-down – and, I so very love my job, it is everything I ever wanted, but sometimes I get overwhelmed with all the things that come with running your own business, that I think I can’t do it all, and cry a bit – mostly on my Mum – who soothes me and makes me many cups of tea when she visits.

And finally, as we’re being brutally honest – I fucking hate not smoking.

I had smoked for thirty years. I did not give up cold turkey for I am not that brave. A friend set me up with one of those pen shaped puffy things to help me. It is a small and unobtrusive contraption, that doesn’t give off the storm clouds as some I’ve seen. My friend informed me that it was a good starter kit and I should use will power to help me get off the nicotine at a pace that suited me.

1. I know that there is an actual name for the ‘pen shaped puffy thing’, and I sound like a  moron saying ‘pen shaped puffy thing’, but I’ve spent so long calling it my ‘pen shaped puffy thing’, that the real name for it has completely deleted itself from my vocabulary.

2. I own no will power. Will power bypassed me for more deserving souls.

3. I also know very little about these pen shaped puffy things except that you put cherry flavoured oil in it and suck it til you pass out in the hope that it will satiate your need for nicotine. Of course it doesn’t, because in your screwed up and infinite wisdom you’ve chosen the cherry flavoured oil that is just above 0% nicotine because you refuse to have yet another substance dictate how you live your life, and as a consequence, your anxiety, which you were managing very well thank you (with the help of a slow release betablocker and 40 fags a day after taking yourself off all other anxiety medication) now has no emotional crutch and you’re crawling the ceiling with the pain of back-breaking muscle spasms triggered by an inordinate number of absolutely illogical and bastardly panic attacks.

Every. Single. Day.

But at least I’m not smoking actual cigarettes, so technically I’m winning.

Last night I ran out of cherry flavoured oil for my puffy pen thing for the first time. The mere thought of having to go into the Cherry Flavoured Oil Shop put the fear of god up me because I’m never very good in situations like these…like being in public, and talking to strangers about things I don’t know enough about, because – you know…anxiety. But I was beginning to exhibit some pretty hefty signs of nicotine withdrawal already that, what with the weight loss, the wedding planning, the business running, the lack of the hard core meds, etc (all excuses of course) started to become a little too much to bear.

Today, after much procrastination and being close to nicotine withdrawal actual explosion, I arrived at the Cherry Flavoured Oil Shop.

Me: “Hi, I’d like to buy some cherry flavoured oil please.”

So far so good. It is oil, it is cherry flavoured – this is what I want.

Man in Cherry Flavoured Oil Shop: “Yeah?” Puffing on huge great puffy thing emitting clouds that any magic dragon would be proud of whilst displaying precisely zero interest in doing his job and actually helping me. This particular absence of any kind of customer service skill managed to knock the granular sized clot of confidence I had mustered in my 10 minute pre-shop-pep-talk right off its rocker.

Me: “Yes please. I’m really sorry, I’m quite new to all this…”  *gestures around the shop with sweaty hands at a gerjillion tiny bottles of poisonous substances*  “…and not really sure what it’s called exactly but I want the one that’s two up from 0% percent nicotine, cos I’m using the one that’s one up from it now and it’s not really taking the edge off – I’m a bit stressed right now.”

MICFOS: Grimacing “I didn’t understand one word of that.”

All of a sudden I’m back in school; five year old me is out, the cool kids are mocking and pointing at me. I flinch. I might wee a bit.

Me: “Oh, sorry – like I said, I’m not really sure what all the technical terms are but I’m looking for oil, to put in my pen shaped puffy thing. Not the zero nicotine, not the next one up, but the next one up. Do you have some?”

MICFOS: “So what kind of oil do you want?”

Me: “The cherry flavoured kind please.”

MICFOS: “Yes.” Po-faced. “You’ve said that already. What kind?”

Five year old me is freaking out inside, the man with the beard in the hipster clothes hates me and wants me to die. I continue to nervous-sweat.

Me: “The kind I can put in my pen shaped puffy thing?” I question, because this man is looking at me like I’m an alien and I’m not entirely sure what language I’m speaking in right now or why I’m not already walking out the door with a bottle of cherry flavoured poisonous substance in my hands.

MICFOS: “Yes, I heard you the first, and the second time. What kind?”

I continue, slowly – five year old me knows that grown-ups rarely understand her.

Me: “I’m really not sure, I was hoping you might be able to help me with that as you are the Man who is IN the Cherry Flavoured Oil Shop and maybe you know more about this than I do?”

MICFOS: “What type have you got already?”

Me: “Well, it’s oil. Just oil. Like ALL these oils you have here. In ALL of these bottles which are on your shelves.” 

MICFOS: “Yes, but there are thick oils and thin oils and it’s all about the coils you see. The coils determine the kind of oils you need. I can’t help you if you can’t tell me what type you need. Then of course it depends on what kind of device you have, see. And because you probably can’t tell me what kind of device you have” – pulls the universal face for ‘I’m dealing with a thicko’ “I won’t be able to tell you what oil you need.”

He shrugs and turns his back to me.

He’s dismissing me! He’s actually turned his back and is dismissing me from his shop!

I recap quickly what MICFOS has just said, stuttering over the ‘probably can’t tell me’ bit, and the pully-face thing, and I stop five year old shouting out loud ‘ well fuck you fuck face’ cos five year old me would get told bloody off for that, and all of a sudden fight-or-flight me engages – she is called Consuela Knobhead, and I bloody hate Consuela Knobhead because she makes mountains out of molehills and totally overreacts to everything that’s ever said to her – she is powered by Anxiety Annie who gives no shits how this next bit will make ‘normal’ me feel in an hour’s time because Anxiety Annie is evil and her middle name is Misery.

Consuelo Knobhead is about to spout some shit off.

Me: “Erm, excuse me?”

MICFOS: Glances over his shoulder as if surprised I’m still there. “What?”

Me: “Look.” Consuela Knobhead’s really pissed off now. “I just need some bastarding oil to put in my bastarding pen shaped puffy thing, so I can suck it until I pass out, in the hope that it will help take away this godawful pain I’ve got in my back that happens because Every. Single. Muscle. is tense due to the enormous and inexplicable amounts of anxiety I feel on a day-to-day basis, which YOU, you jumped up CHERRY FLAVOURED PISSFLAP, are contributing to.”

He turns round and faces me.

I do wee a bit.

Shit. I said suck it until I pass out.

Shit. I called him a Cherry Flavoured Piss Flap.

MICFOS: Yes…bu…

Consuela’s on a roll.

Me: “You are the Man in the Cherry Flavoured Oil Shop aren’t you?”

MICFOS: “Yes..bu…”

Me: “And you sell oil to go in puffy things don’t you?”

MICFOS: “Vapes, they’re calle…”

Me: “And you stock the cherry flavoured one in different percentages of nicotine levels don’t you?”


Me: “Please show me where they are.”

He collects the tiny bottle and puts it on the counter without saying a word.

Me: “Is this two up from zero percent nicotine?”

MICFOS: “Yes.”

Me: “So you knew what I meant then?”

MICFOS: “Mmm-hmm.”

I slap a five pound note on the counter, grabbed the Cherry Flavoured Oil, spin round and right then, to add insult to injury, my shoe does a fart sound on the rubber floor as I make for the door.

“Bitch.” MICFOS mutters as I leave.

“Pissflap” I shout back.

10 Ways Anxiety Stole My Sleep Last Night

1) Wake to sound of rain. What if it’s like this on wedding day? Spend next thirty minutes preparing Plan B, C, D and E in case it rains on wedding day.

2) Wake with jolt. Where’s Harvey (dog) and is he suffocating under the duvet? Oh My God I’m a terrible dog mother. Grapple around under the duvet. Find Harvey. Establish breath. Fall asleep again.

3) Wake to check time – have I overslept? (it’s 1am). Find Jasper (other dog) in Willow’s (other dog) bed. Worry where Willow is. Find that thing thrust into lower back thankfully isn’t Bernard* saluting me, but Willow’s leg strategically placed to eventually kick me out of bed when I finally sleep. Cowbag.

4) Wake to Willow abandoning the kicking-me-out-of-bed scenario, but now attempting to bury her head in my hair. Turn over whilst avoiding getting dog-snotted hair in mouth. Make mental note to wash hair in the morning. Remember there is no shampoo. Note ‘buy shampoo’ on shopping list in head knowing full well that shopping list in head is highly unreliable.

5) Wake. That’s DEFINITELY the sound of a serial killer walking up the stairs. Calm down knowing all three dogs would bark so much and make serial killer’s ears bleed so bad he’d kill himself before of any of us.

6) Wake wondering what day it is and if I ordered the sterling silver bolt rings for the chain for my latest commission? I did. Sleep.

7) Wake…shit, I must have forgotten something, anything, that’s what I do…I forget things, what is it?

8) Wake. Seriously, it’s so going to rain on my wedding day and everyone will be really pissed off and leave early including Bernard, and it’ll be just me and Mum dancing to I Did It My Way whilst stuffing shed loads of fancy pastry and wedding cake in our gobs.

9) Wake. Jasper is barking…THE SERIAL KILLER IS HERE…realise it’s Bernard getting up for work and Jasper is protesting. Loosen grip on heavy lamp to fight serial killer with.

Finally relax.

Seconds later…

10) wake up. Start day.

Good Morning Gorgeous