5 things the internet is telling me to do today, that I will not be doing

Hi, everyone, it’s Saturday.

This is a list of things that I, after careful consideration, will NOT be doing today.

  1. Applying contouring makeup.

“Highlighting and contouring are two crafty li’l tricks that you can use to enhance your bone structure and make it look like you’re constantly under the most flattering movie lighting possible. Even if you’re not going to an event, it’s fun to experiment with elements of ~drama~ in your makeup.  Let’s get to it!


I mean, we all know this isn’t happening today. Or ever. Right?

2. Making miniature Eggs Benedict canapé ‘bites’ out of quails eggs.

“These impressive bites will be the talk of the party!”

Probably not, though, if we’re honest? And if this is the case, then we are really talking about a party I very much do not want to be at.

3. Embracing the hottest summer fashion trends for 2017

Including ruffles, ‘deconstructed shirts’, and all-over floral. “Basically, if you’re not wearing ruffles, you might as well stay indoors.’ says Glamour magazine (incorrectly).IMG_0925.PNG

It seems like, actually, if I AM wearing ruffles, I’ll look like I’m going to a matador-themed night at a gay club, which -sadly -is not on my agenda for today. (Oh and, I’ll save you the trouble of finding out for yourself: the head-to-toe floral looks QUITE ridiculous).

Plus, WTF dudes, it’s not summer yet! Nothing is sadder than a woman shivering at the No.36 bus stop in a ‘deconstructed’ shirt…her sad, soggy pointy sleeves losing a flappy battle against rainy gusts of wind.

Nobody wants to be that woman, right? No! Come on. Throw on some jeans and a cardigan, and stop being a dick.

4. Getting into Crossfit.

OOoh what is Crossfit, I hear literally nobody say?

CrossFit is a strength and conditioning programme that prepares you for anything that life can throw at you. It is also an incredible community of people who support each other, work hard and achieve amazing results….Routine is the enemy, every time you come to a class you will be doing something different that will test you in a way you have never been tested before says my local Crossfit club.

Gosh, wish I could. But this hot croissant with softly melting butter won’t eat itself, sadly,

gotta go


5. Recreating cinema-inspired sex positions to give my guy a thrill

For EG, to evoke Keira Knightley and James McAvoy’s sex scene in Atonement:

“Wear your finest British 1930s attire and head to your in-home library. If your library is closed for dusting or something, have your man press you fully clothed up against the kitchen counter. Hike up your gown, wrap your legs around him, and kiss like you’ve been desperate for him for years.”

Oh, shit, a GOWN you said? I was picturing myself posed seductively against our Ikea bookshelves, doing my come-hither eyes, in some tweed golfing knickerbockers, two-toned shoes and a flat cap…until you ruined it with the whole GOWN thing, jeez.

I guess I won’t bother then.


14 headlines you’ll never see at Cosmo

Get Crafty! Teach Yourself Eugenics

Ten Easy Tips To Recreate Hillary Clinton’s Look! (You Don’t Have To Break Glass Ceilings to Break Out The Pants Suits!)


Men Spill: What They’re REALLY Thinking When They’re Following You Down A Dark Alley, Carrying A Knife

It’s Winter, It’s Time for Smoky Eyes (Like You Needed Any Fucking Encouragement From Us)

“I Plumbed My Way To A Diamond Ring!” DIY Tips From Cosmo Readers That Will Hook Your Man

Ten Catholic Missionaries Tell Us Their Favourite Sex Position (Nope… It’s Not What You Think!)

5 Ways To Make Your Eyebrows Look Insane


Get Him Hot And Horny With Rhetorical Devices!

  • One Girl Spills All About Her Hot Litotes Experience: “He Was Not Fully Unerect”
  • Is Bathos Really An Anti-Climax? We Grill Our Resident Cosmo Men!
  • Quiz: What Does Your Irony Style Say About You? (MMM! Can You Say…Sar-gasm?)!

Are My Vaginal Lips Normal? (Yes, Technically, But They Look A Bit Weird To Us)

Real Life: “I Did A Poo On Canterbury High Street’

Are Multiple Orgasms A Myth? We Put It To The Test With Ten UK MPs!

Primer: How To Identify It- And How To Avoid It

Pretend To Be A Wizard Using Mascara (Why Not? It’s A Wand!)

Beyonce’s Political Stances: We Ask Her The Tough Questions (Yes- Including VPL)!

Note: my partner Dan gets due credit here for the Catholic missionaries.


My top 5 nightmares, ranked in order of how much of a dick my brain is for creating them

Recently, I awoke my partner in the dead of night by making a high-pitched noise, over and over directly into his ear. I was woken myself by his startled voice. “What’s wrong?! Stop it!”

What I was doing, was trying to scream, in my dream. It turns out that when you’re asleep, and in your dream you’re trying hard to scream but not making any noise except a weird high yowling noise and you can’t seem to form words- try as you might- for your information, what’s happening in real life is you are weebly-warbling like an insane baby owl.

In my defense, I was having a nightmare and was just screaming myself awake, in an attempt to get out of a trap constructed by my own brain. Nightmares, one of the drawbacks of being a sentient human.

Figure 1 shows the classic ‘screaming yourself awake’ tactic of escaping nightmares.

Here are my top 5 nightmares in order, where 1 is “unnecessarily awful” and 5  is “yeeeeeeep why the hell was that necessary brain why why why are you such a bellend now I have to put my light on and read a chapter of Winnie the Pooh”.

1. Velociraptor outside bedroom door (aged 10-12)

Standard “I went to see Jurassic Park” brain clusterfuck.

2. Wandering through darkened hallways with silent man in bowler hat lurking in shadows and general sense of threat and foreboding, before something awful happens like I’m grabbed around the ankles by skeletal hands (starting about age 15 when I used to read a lot of detective and ghost stories)

Sometimes this one starts off perfectly nicely and then turns into this. Screw you, brain.

3. Evil, blond glamorous witch woman holds me down and slices my breasts and lips off with a sharp knife, or sometimes cuts my guts open, after chasing me through my house or school or something (aged mid-twenties)

Come on. Seriously?

4. The Friendly Quinkins (aged between 5 and 10)

I grew up in Australia. The Quinkins are creatures from Aboriginal dreamtime myth, made famous in picture books which were available in my school library. The Quinkins, so legend goes, live in the trees and rocks, of the outback. There are three kinds of Quinkin. One group steals children- I think they eat them, but anyway, they aren’t nice. The other group are supposed to be friendly and helpful to people, and help protect the children, if I recall. There’s one big giant Quinkin, Turramulli, that’s basically a bloodthirsty ogre stalking the land.

My nightmares were never about the scary Quinkins. Instead, as I walked through the dried grass of my own garden, friendly Quinkins, the Timara, suddenly reached out from behind trees and touched me with their bony arms. I would turn to see their insect-blank white eyes and pinhead-faces gazing at me. I would freak the hell out and wake up panting with terror.

Although my brain is definitely a dick for presenting me with this turd of a night-time experience, its also, IMO, not entirely my idiot brain’s fault.


The Timara (good quinkins) dance as the Imjim (children stealer quinkins) watch


Note to children’s book illustrators and also Aboriginal dreamtime cave painting artists on whose work I imagine their illustrations are based: FRIENDLY MYTHICAL CREATURES SHOULD LOOK FRIENDLY, NOT LIKE HORRIFIC SKELETAL ALIENS THAT YOU CAN IMAGINE CHUCKLING QUIETLY WHILE YOU SWIVEL IN FRONT OF THEM IMPALED ON A SPIKE

5. General sense of death closing its grip around me, in the form of approaching serial killer (basically since hitting 30)

One of these little beauties is what brought on 3am crazy yowling.

They differ in setting- sometimes I’m in a house or hotel- but are always in essence the same.

I am walking through a silent underpass, concreted and industrial. There is a train track overhead but no trains in sight. I have come to find something, or someone, or to get away from a busy crowd. The world is peaceful and quiet.

Suddenly a thump in the dust. A body of a man has landed at my feet, from somewhere above. From where I stand, I can see his jaw and his closed eye clearly, his body leaning towards me. He is grey, with tinges of green on his skin, and has clearly been dead some time. As I look around for help, I notice that there are bodies everywhere, tucked into gutters or leaning on walls, just quietly. Nothing is moving. I know that they have all died from the same threat. I know it’s coming to get me. I know that in the crowd I just left behind, there’s people that can help, but they might not come fast enough.

I look up and silhouetted in the light at the other side of the underpass is a dark figure. It’s not coming for me yet, but it will. I begin to scream, because I know that screaming will wake me up and I can escape.

My point: why the actual FUCK is that necessary, brain?

I know I’m going to die, thank you soooo much. You don’t need to constantly pop up and remind me of it like Adobe Acrobat trying to get me to install software updates.

If you could JUST POSSIBLY spend a LITTLE BIT more time on the ‘Jake Gyllenhaal’s naked back and shoulder muscles rippling as he towels dry after a shower’ aspect of dream-making, and a LITTLE LESS time manufacturing hellish visions and unspeakable feelings of terror, to try and make me have an actual wheezing heart attack in bed, I think we’d all be a LOT happier, don’t you?


How to read a Jonathan Franzen novel, stage by stage

Characters are being described in detail over the course of several pages. You can’t quite picture their faces, but you feel as if you definitely empathise with the overwhelming emotions they are experiencing as they perform small and mundane household tasks. As they watch a kettle come to the boil (800 words) you feel your face settle into an expression of restrained despair.

A character in the book feels very uncomfortable with their expensive, liberal arts college education. They take a horrible job to feel better about it.

You quite enjoy a scene tinged with humour, centring around two old people performing a mundane household task (something like cleaning a bath or replacing a tyre on a car). The scene is witnessed blankly and unemotionally by the younger person with the expensive liberal arts college education, who is picturing having sex with someone inappropriate. By the end of the scene, at least one character will have privately and violently pictured causing serious physical harm to one of the other characters. You check your emotions and find that you don’t really care.

There is an excellent, soul-wrenching passage examining some emotions experienced by a character having a solitary bowel movement. Continue reading

Life changing advice (and DCI Barnaby)

*spoiler alert: formatting is f**ked up in this post, but you don’t care, and neither do I.


I loved this post at Knowable which gathered up 21 Reddit users’ contributions on the theme ‘things people said to me that changed your way of thinking’.

My favourites from the list include:

“Next year, you’ll wish you had started today.” – so true! And in five years time, you’ll wish you started ten years ago.

“You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep other people warm”. – yes, especially when those people probably need more fire than you can ever provide and you’ll just end up burning out. I think this one applies equally well in toxic workplaces AND relationships.

Continue reading

5 steps for saying no to ‘life-suck’ invitations

I belong to a group of women that regularly get together to discuss our life goals and share personal achievements, drink wine, and give each other advice on stuff we’re struggling with. (I know, that’s quite the opener, right? Try to remember that at least I don’t belong to a local branch of an anarchist network, or regularly knock on doors to ask people if they’ve found Jesus yet, and you might hate me a little less. I promise I’m only telling you because it’s relevant.)

Since it’s January, we spent our last evening together reflecting on 2015 and trying to devise our 2016 goals by working out what  uses of our time we’d got the most and least out of last year.

As we went around the room, I noticed a pattern in what was being said. Essentially, all of us wanted more time to do the stuff that mattered, like spending time with children or significant other, learning something,  growing our own businesses, fixing up our houses, getting better at our favorite sport or hobby, discovering new music, walking in the country, or hosting dinner parties for close friends.

What was getting in the way of a lot of this? Well, quite often, stuff we were doing we didn’t really want to be doing. I’ve started asking around about this, and it seems to be a common theme in our lives, particularly with women.

Examples of the stuff the women I spoke to collectively didn’t want to be doing but were nonetheless spending precious time on include:

Continue reading

Teen heart-throbs I had the hots for in the 90s, in order of how much they give me the creeps now

I went through a phase…OK, maybe more than just a phase… of putting up the posters of teen heart-throbs, from the teen magazines I used to buy.

These man-children hung on my walls, pouted benignly over every waking moment of my utterly unremarkable and unattractive adolescence… until the blu-tack dried out, and they fell face-first into my plastic model ponies. (Always a sad day). I’m not sure what made me think of it today, but I was, and then I couldn’t stop thinking about them.

Disturbingly, it seems that in my teenage years, I swung from fancying guys who looked somewhat man-like, to those who don’t actually seem to have reached puberty. It’s weird to think that adult women and men collected up some of these pictures and marketed them to me as sex symbols. I mean, I was young enough to still be attracted to someone whose voice was not yet broken, and they knew about it. Bleurgh. Imagine that being your job. Presumably, someone still does this stuff now (although I can’t imagine with smartphones and all that new-fangled whatnot, that today’s teenage girls are putting up with the rubbish quality snaps and articles we used to get our kicks to- they’re probably all watching X-rated home sex videos of the dudes, or something).

So. Anyway. We’re rating the hotties for their creeps-giving qualities in reverse order, starting with the least creepy:

Callan Mulvey (“Drazic” in Heartbreak High)

DRAZIC-heartbreak-high-3175304-218-300To be honest, after googling Callan Mulvey for about ten minutes, I have come to the conclusion that I still would.

Putting this poster on my wall might be one of the least creepy things that I did at 13, in fact.

Continue reading