is a dish best served…….. with an enormous side order of abject panic.

Three weeks ago I took delivery of a tiny kitten. I rescued him from a refuge/foster home after seeing him on the Facebook page, and after some weeks deliberating the pros (and many cons) of having a pet in a small flat in the city.

Like most big decisions in my life, I stopped incessantly yacking inside my own head and pushed the button on a message I wrote in the spur of the moment, the minute I saw him. It was a bit like the time I decided to get divorced, the time I decided to buy a house in Liverpool, moving from London after eight years, and moving to Barcelona…… a random thought made actual within the space of a couple of weeks. As is my form – two weeks later Merlin, the artist formerly know as Gio/Cat, came to stay. Ok, ok, I know it’s not like having a child or getting a mortgage, but for this PANK, flying solo since 2000 – it’s a pretty big deal.

And in the first week it’s true to say, I experienced every one of the following emotions:

Profound panic. What on earth did I do? What was I thinking, taking on a living, breathing creature!? I am solely responsible for keeping him alive and happy now. My flat is small and there is no way he can go anywhere. But when I can’t find him immediately I call him, I stress that I will have to call the refuge to explain that, within only three weeks, I have indeed lost/broken/killed the cat. The first night he arrived, I panicked when I could hear him mewing from the lounge ( his sleepy time room). Resisting the urge to take him out, remembering the cross I’d made for myself with the boxer puppy my ex-husband and I took custody of a gazillion years ago, when I allowed him to sleep with me the first night he cried all night. That clingy dependency never left Chester the boxer dog. I left Merlin to cry…….. despite feeling a mountain of guilt.

Guilt. Literally every. Waking. Moment. Guilt for controlling food portions, guilt for going back to bed after rising to feed him at the weekend. Guilt for sneezing because I’m mildly allergic to him. (I am in fact allergic to most animals, so why I would do that to myself, god only knows.) Guilt for not allowing him in the bedroom – see previous. Guilt for the stern voice I apply in attempting to train him that ripping my hand to shreds when I’m stroking him, is not OK. Guilt for not stroking/petting him enough because of the hand ripping. Guilt for ignoring him while I’m working. See also: reading, cooking, painting.

Warmth of heart I’d forgotten was possible. I find myself often idly scrolling through the gazillion photos I already have of him, smiling to myself, fondly referring to him as ‘dickhead’ in my mind, while enjoying the tingly feeling I can only assume is love; looking at his daft face. And it’s just so lovely when he wakes up or comes to greet me when I arrive after work, when he’s still dozy from sleep and feeling affectionate. There are nose-boops, love-mewings (usually when it’s time for breakfast or dinner, but I’ll take what’s available), and snuggles on the sofa. All be it after a couple of hours of post dinner zoomies. That’s when he makes me laugh the most. He’s a maniac; tearing round the flat, attacking the scratch pole and falling and skidding off and along things. For a cat, he’s really not that agile.

Resignation. As Marc Maron once said: “What? Now I gotta love you too?” A cat can live for more than twenty years, and I sincerely hope Merlín does. I can imagine his sassy character developing as he grows. So he’s basically with me for the long haul, my little funny, furry partner in crime. I did it, I bit the bullet of responsibility and now need to care for something other than myself for a couple of decades. I’m resigned to that fact. In a kind of happy, ‘wouldn’t have it any other way, I’m so glad I did it’ way……

You had me at “I like David Icke”

I was excited to hear he was a David Bowie fan. Finally something we had in common we could chat about…. an hour had passed in which I had heard that the ‘actor’ didn’t accept acting work because it’s basically ‘whoring yourself’, that he ‘liked his own (one block) circle’, hadn’t been in anything I could see anywhere, was also a producer who wasn’t producing anything and who wouldn’t take any job that was in one of the numerous theatres along Paral•lel, because it’s *’too far’ and ‘it’s not about the money’. Apparently, sir, it would seem it’s not about the acting or producing either.

I asked if, as a self-confessed Bowie fan, he’d gone to the incredible David Bowie Is….. exhibition.


His opening gambit was a mind-blowingly inspirational, ‘I don’t like to travel. Well I do, but I don’t… I mean I have travelled, but not too much. I love my little circle.’ No shit. ‘I don’t need to go anywhere really, I can just read about it. I get all I need from books. I read about everything.’ At least he reads, I suppose. Small mercies. He said he was part Argentinian, I wanted to know more. Of course I did! Who in his family was from there? Which part of Argentina? Did he tango? Well, he is a creative after all – I figured I might meet his inner song and dance man.

About five percent Argentinian, but no one in his family is actually from there (?) Eh? As for the Tango: computer says no.

There was an enormous amount of head-scratching.

“I can dance. Like in the disco. I don’t need classes.” M’kay…… he can also sing, but doesn’t. I was becoming increasingly exasperated (read also; confused), we were rapidly running out of the usual first date chat, that honestly, usually comes a damn sight easier than it did in El Cafe Rock and Roll. It might have been easier to hack my own arm off without anaesthetic, armed only with a bar-supplied pork scratching. I hopefully asked what creative project he was working on at the moment.


I supposed that maybe he taught, given that he didn’t seem do anything else that he claimed to do and asked if he was passing on his knowledge to the next generation, at the family theatre.

Also: “No.”

Another day, another date. ^le siggghhh^. Friday night at least led me to a superb blues band playing in a cool little bar, on the way into Gràcia. Thank all the heavens for that gem, otherwise someone might have found me stuck between the prison bars on the toilet window, trying to escape. The night was as good as a write-off. I don’t think I’ve ever met anyone I had less in common with, in my whole entire life…..

I met with the ‘actor/producer’ at his family’s art centre, which was a beautiful space and made me nostalgic for my festival days. I couldn’t see him anywhere. He was a handsome chap with a touch of the cavalier about him. It appears that I’m not very good at hiding my disappointment…… I walked right past him, and then exclaimed, “YOU?” when he made himself known. I was visibly shocked. He noticed. Credit where it’s due though, the chap takes a bloody good photo. In reality, he was neither handsome nor cavalier. He was also my height (5’1″) and half my weight. A delicate flower of a hippy dude. A delicate flower of a hippy dude who stank of fags.

That’s no criticism of peace-loving individuals by the way – I’m a bit of a hippy myself. But I consider myself to be a pretty tolerable sort. I’m constantly looking for inner calm, I wish on stars, stare at and speak to the full moon, occasionally read my horoscopes and hope for world peace in my lifetime. What I do not do, however, is think that Queen Elizabeth is a lizard masquerading as a human. He was spiritual, he meditated – now here was something to chat about. Yay! Fill ‘er up bar tender, and make it a large one. I’ve been meditating since last summer, let’s go, dude!

“Have you heard of David Icke?”

I gave up trying to look/appear/be tolerant. I slumped onto the bar where we were sitting on tall stools, and then poured the large glass of red down my neck. I explained that I had, and that he was, quite frankly, demented.

I tentatively asked, “You don’t believe the lizard stuff, do you?”

But of course he did. Probably the Bourbons and Windsors; but that was another story for another day.

…………and another woman.

*a kilometre

2018 End of Year Review

BY ALL THE POWERS OF GRAYSKULL!!! What a year it’s been…..

Firstly and most significantly – maybe – this is the year I became a born-again virgin. What?! It’s a thing, alright. And guess what I didn’t do. That’s right, rampage around trying to shoot/mow down groups of men, because I felt rejected and impotent. Yes. I’m looking at you INCELS. Having broken up with the most significant relationship I’ve had in seven years in 2017, I took a little break from dating until the spring, where a couple of lovely chaps restored my faith in – well, the existence of lovely chaps. Always a good thing. This was also the year that I signed into the app again in the autumn and had a couple of dates with not so lovely chaps and then a lovely one and another not lovely one and….. the circle became complete. Wait! What’s that I hear? ^Elton John’s dulcet tones drift over^.

Trump continued to be a dick. The UK continued to be a dick.

However, there were some things to rejoice. A few. Mostly concerning women. But then I would say that – I have a vagina……… #TimesUp launched on the first of January in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal and the #MeToo movement. A record number of women stormed the midterms in the US, Michelle Obama became the first person of colour to top the Christmas bestsellers list, and Beyoncé headlined Coachella. I don’t know what happened with the Kardashians, but that’s largely because I couldn’t give two hoots. Other historic events around the world included women given permission to drive in Saudi Arabia, Ireland voting to repeal its abortion ban, the “Year of the Woman swept the globe, Africa saw a really significant decline in female genital mutilation and Scotland became the first country to back teaching LGBTI issues in school. For the first time in Iran, women were allowed to attend men’s sporting events and India‘s Supreme Court decriminalised consensual gay sex. I mean, it is 2018.

There was that royal wedding. Don’t pretend you didn’t totally love it, because you totally did. And baby news swiftly followed. All together now, ‘aaaaaaawwww‘. ^Does cute love eyes here^. Also whispers out of corner of mouth, behind hand, “Blimey! They don’t muck about this lot, do they?” There apparently was another royal wedding but I don’t know which one it was, who it was, where it was or when it was…… because: NOT Prince Harry.

There were some record-breaking firsts: Black Panther raked in $25.2 million in the US box office in February not only doubling Deadpool’s previous February preview record of $12.7 million but also becoming one of the highest – grossing previews ever, for a superhero movie. Along with Crazy Rich Asians, they together kicked the lack of Hollywood diversity square in the nuts, paving the way for the future of diverse film making. Finally! Again: Well, it is 2018.

Then there was the downright weird. It wouldn’t be a decent end of year round up without the weird, would it now? Kanye West sporting a Chinese-produced MAGA cap in the Oval Office, telling journalists that Trump made him feel ‘like a superhero’, has got to be the most surreal thing we’ve seen yet (until next week, when I believe Trump has an appointment with a re-animated John Lennon), Roseanne Barr claiming antihistamines made her racist and Trump’s propaganda video in the style of a North Korean dictator, to highlight his meeting with…….. a North Korean dictator. You couldn’t make it up.

• Oversized clothing – check

• Tiny, shouty mouth – check

• fire and brimstone graphics – check

• Dubious hair choices – check

Trump to chief of communications, “Hey man, we’re good to go!”

Chief of communications to self ^repeated punching in own throat^.

There was a mountain more of crazy from across the Atlantic, but we haven’t got the time or space to look at it here – I try to keep these reviews shortish and sweetish.

And so here we are at the end of another year, full of mince pies, port and Quality Streets. It seems then only right to reflect on what has passed (me falling in love just a little bit more with Bradley Cooper, in A Star Is Born), and what we want to achieve in 2019 (the first successful unicorn breeding program and failing that; worry-free happiness). And with that in mind it’s time for me to sign out with this:

I hope you enjoyed the festivities, I hope your New Year’s Eve shenanigans fulfill your wildest expectations and most importantly – that 2019 delivers something positive and beautiful to your door….

Much love and affection

Your, Annie P


You know I said….

…. a couple of weeks ago over at Twittersville, “I just fell in love”? Yeah, well – I already lost my erection.

I was finishing up the latest batch of four Tinder contacts (romantic I know, but years of singledom and dating’ll do that to a woman), when I met with a man from out of town. Let’s call him Hottie McHotface. A year older than me, a foot taller and devastingly handsome, in that Charles Manson murdery, brooding kind of way (*what is wrong with me!?). A mature model amongst a few other things, I enjoyed his company for a couple of hours on a Friday afternoon over only my third glass of red wine since June. ^insert polite nodding and a smattering of light applause here^. He of course doesn’t resemble Manson, much, that’s just for comedic effect – but his stock in trade was very much enigmatic broodiness.

Interesting, the little he shared with me, relaxed chat, a little kiss and BOOM! – the touch paper was lit. Chemistry. That kind of reaction in me hasn’t happened since approximately 1876, so I was a bit blown away by it, as you can probably imagine. I honestly thought I was just full of dust and spiders. I decided to walk home to enjoy the moment, and not let myself get bogged down by the dark cloud that swoops in with the knowledge that it will inevitably be a disappointment. I chatted to people, laughed at – with – (with, Pank, with) children on their scooters and appreciated the festive atmosphere…….

So here we are two weeks later, with a WhatsApp chat as long as your freaking two arms, full of heart eyes and kissy lips and little else. Do me a favour, mate. Oh, and the patter! The patter is smooooth, don’t get me wrong. While I was in Portugal and not in contact much, I received a delightfully animated message saying ‘hurry back, I can’t wait to see you again.’ Apparently, I ‘enchant‘ him and am ‘so beautiful‘……… In the words of Phoebe Buffay, ‘well, yeah‘. Then a return to ‘Bon dia ^insert heart eyes here.’^ and not much else. When we finally got down to chatting about meeting again, he started to hint at sexy time. Being very careful not to actually say, ‘so, is sexy time on the cards or what, Pank?’ Now, I’m almost certain that as attractive as he is, he is very much used to simply flashing one of his intense, modelly scowls and women’s knickers literally explode off their undercarriages. And that there are limp, lifeless bodies scattered all over the bloody place that have swooned themselves half to death – but me, well I need a little more than a handsome face, two hours of your time and more emojis than my fifteen year old niece uses. That my friend, is not seduction. I refer you, lovely readers, once again back to my earlier post – the delightful French boy.

So, with a slowly fading hope that HMcHF will get his shit together and organise another date any time soon, and all my current dates done and dusted – I look forward to the festive season, with him on the back burner….. you just never know. I suppose.

*makes note to speak to therapist about this. No, really.

International Men’s Day

Hey guys! Look, you’ve got a day! You’ve had a celebratory day since 1992! Isn’t that something? If you type ‘International Men’s Day‘ into Google (or any other popular search engine), it’s like, right there. As quick and easy as typing the same thing on Twitter on International Women’s Day on March 8th, if not quicker – because you don’t need to add the words, ‘urgh, why haven’t we got a……..’

So, thank you for all that you’ve done: hunting the animals to feed the village, for navigating the high seas to other countries to pillage and maraud and kill and maim and conquer. But at least you took the good stuff and brought it back home. For all the wars – they were fucking awesome. For keeping us troublesome women in hand since time immemorial (because lord knows we need it, with our fangled ideas and opinions and stuff), for being in charge of more or less everything, leaders of armies and of countries, monarchs,

for leading trade and industry and letting us paint pretty pictures back at home and practise needlepoint and sing like a lark for your blokey cigar-smoking, brandy-drinking mates before being sent away with the other wimmin, so you can discuss the serious matters of the day; like politics, sport and our arses, boobs and angelic voices. We loved that, we did. For handing us menial tasks, for finally permitting us the vote, and to have our own bank accounts (1975 Spain: abolition of the permiso marital – which required married women to have their husbands’ consent for nearly all economic activities, including employment, ownership of property and traveling away from home). NINETEEN SEVENTY-FIVE.

For keeping us a secret when we did make groundbreaking discoveries and great steps forward in science and medicine. Limited recognition until more recently. For all the art you brought to the world and were rightfully recognized for, for all the literature you’ve written and rightly been recognized for – of which I am a great fan – but also for allowing us to work under masculine pseudonyms in the early days. I mean come on, who wants to read a book by Elizabeth or look at a painting by Florence. For dominating cinema, politics, education (Cambridge University, UK: the first women students were examined in 1882 but the first attempts to make women full members of the university did not succeed until 1948). NINETEEN FORTY-EIGHT. For bringing us comedy and television and theatre and tech – the performing of and managing of.

You have your special day too, it’s right here, right now. If March 8th sticks in your craw so much, organise a bloody gathering/march/celebration/party/a naked protest – whatever you want. Do it, we’re right behind you. Both literally and metaphorically…… things are changing chaps and we’ve all got to learn to live with the changes, and each other. It’s inevitable and no amount of keyboard warrior action is going to stop progress.

As the old saying goes: ‘if you can’t beat ’em, join ’em’….. and you can’t win this one, you can’t beat it. Or us. Because that means continuing to keep us down. And there are laws against that now. As Hillary Rodham Clinton said on 5th September 1995, at the United NationsFourth World Conference on Women in Beijing, “human rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights.”

Let us celebrate with you on 19th November. Let us celebrate your achievements, which are boundless. Alongside that, give us a reason to celebrate you listening to us, welcoming us on board and by your side, let us celebrate your embracing of equality as much as your contribution to everything listed above.

We really, really (like really, really) want to do that.

Happy International Men’s Day.




I fell off the…..

date wagon ….. and I feel as guilty as if I’d got back on the crack after successfully completing rehab. It’s like I signed an invisible agreement with the dating police and made a promise to the people I love, that I’d never do it again – and now they’re all ‘very disappointed’ by my actions this week. Curiosity they say, killed the cat – and it has almost killed my recent positive, zen-like self in less than seventy-two hours. Buzz kill central.

I don’t know why I do it. Maybe I expect to log into a dating app, and be greeted by the handsome mush of the man of my dreams surrounded by a golden glow akin to the Ark of the Covenant scene in the Indiana Jones movie (before the face melting begins).

Accompanied by maybe a choir of angels – or at the very least a harp player materialising. That. Has. Not. Happened. Now listen, we all like to put our best face on our profiles, it’s our fluffing of feathers, puffing of chest, beating of drums, our courtship dance. ^hears Sir David Attenborough’s dulcet tones somewhere in the distance^….. But Sunday date looked like a worn-out, perpetually henpecked, heavy-smoking, grey version of his online self; and it made me cross. Now I’ll admit, my profile photos are full-on face full of natural daylight (and matching ‘no make-up’ makeup) – excellent for your best glowy self – fresh out of Sunday morning bed and shower. They are also mostly my ‘good side’. A good night’s sleep and mascara will work wonders for your chops. Also, there’s a photo of me and the sibs arseing around a couple of weeks ago. Natch. But, but – they’re all the last two months. With the exception of the one where I’m absorbing the vibrations of a didgeridoo into my chest. That was last summer. (Kinda liked it.)

Today I have had a really cool date with a doctor of medieval history WITH A BEARD AND TATTOOS, which was sssoooo good, and ssssooooo interesting and sooooo easy – but with no ‘spark’. Sod’s. Fucking. Law. What is the ‘x-factor’? And no, I refuse to ask Simon Cowell. He knows absolutely nothing. Do you know where any of his ‘stars’ are now? Exactly.

So, back on the wagon it is, and further down the road of animal adoption. Although the shine is even wearing off that now, the more I think of the compromises I’ll have to make. I’ve already run out of this rotor of potential dates – after only two. So, roll on Portugal, Germany and Christmas. And let’s see where the new year takes us.

Man? Or dog? Or just me.

Reasons why I don’t have kids #71

They are little fun-stuff-queue-jumpers, and there’s nothing more annoying than that combination……. *harumphs a little*.

Last weekend saw a visit from my brother and sister to celebrate a significant birthday. My sister and I planned and connived and successfully filled a weekend with fun and shenanigans for our brother, which included a visit to CosmoCaixa, for the *Robots exhibition. (Highly recommended if you’re planning a trip to Barcelona in the not too distant future). The museum is fantastic, with or without an installation full of Terminator precursors, and well known for its interactivity. Hence our trip. After saying how heartening it was to see so many children there with their parents or school trips, and **lauding the teenage volunteer who talked us around the communal insect feature; I noted with interest the people who were indeed not there with kids. We were few and far between and also the majority of us without children were loved-up couples – who I had an enormous urge to shove in the piranha tank. Not because they were so in love (well maybe a little bit), but because they were doing most of the love in front of the interesting stuff I was trying to see and read about. ^stands up a states^ ‘I’m Anne, and I’m a geek.’ #sorrynotsorry. Time and a place, people; and in front of the Flooded Forest ain’t it if you want to avoid the wrath of an irritated Pank and value your limbs. But it wasn’t just this, it was the curious glances from parents, seeing/hearing us (me) squeal with joy as the pendulum almost knocked over a pin, and our collective oohs and aaahhhs at the various exhibits around the five floors. Joy and wonder is for adults too, people! It’s a sad state of affairs if you think it strange that adults can enjoy these things without the excuse of taking the kids, to be honest. Okay, yeah granted, I’d be suspicious if an adult turned up to a ball pit, kicked off their shoes and enthusiastically launched themselves in or went to a park and took to the tiny slide or went bonkers on the chicken on a spring (although it has been done. Natch). But come on! The place is amazing and the interactive displays are awesome. Let me have my fun! I paid my ticket price. More curious still were the looks, when it didn’t actually occur to me to get off the things, when groups of small people started gathering. I want to finish whatever it is I’ve started, goddam it. But the disapproval was palpable and my sister and I buckled under the pressure of a dozen hard stares and moved along from the robots with which we were playing pairs and tic tac toe. Albeit reluctantly. I was not hogging the only swing in the park, yaknowwadamsaying?

Forgetting your own fun and not playing with the stuff that’s readily available to play with regardless of age, is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #71

*I wonder if it’s at all easy to guess our age bracket from the things we planned. Said with tongue firmly in cheek. (For the record: we drank booze too!)

**All joking aside, she was amazing. It’s a fantastic scheme that the museum operates for young people. I felt proud on behalf of her parents! She really knew her stuff and explained everything in her third language, English, for my brother and sister. No mean feat. Wonderful young lady.

The good man refuge

I’m toying with the idea of adopting an animal. I’ve been looking for a few weeks at animal rescue shelters, and all I want is a masía so I can take in the saddest dog in the world, the twelve-year old abuela Frenchie and the one-eyed cat that survived a fire, and all their mates.

But there are just two things stopping me – commitment and responsibility. Natch. As much as I would love an adorable little face greeting me upon my arrival after work, the cost, the tie and the reduced freedom to nip off for a weekend are all freaking me out. Although I have had a dog in the past, it was many moons ago and he lived with my ex-husband in Wales while I was studying in and ripping up London, so it hardly counts. Actually it doesn’t count at all, because add to that that we had a garden and a beach down the road, and it renders the whole ‘I used to have a dog’ thing completely irrelevant. Taking him for a walk consisted of letting him off the leash and watching him run.

It is true that my life here has calmed down considerably over the last two years or so, so there would be no ‘not going home at all for two days after a night out because things got a little crazy and then you met someone hot’, but it still scares the bejeezus out of me that a tiny half hour later than regular feeding time would kill my charge and I’d never be able to live with myself. I did have sole custody of a goldfish once, in Liverpool, that I rescued from a travelling fair. Pale and small and weak, Formby (named after the town I found him in), grew into a spoilt, feisty fish with his own castle. You may scoff – but he had real personality and survived for five whole years. No mean feat for a goldfish (or me keeping something other than myself alive). He swam into his castle to die which is where I found him only after thinking to myself two days later, ‘I haven’t seen Formby for two days’. Considering the tank was less than half a metre long, this was a bit lax on my part and I convinced myself I’d neglected him to death. I cried for days. And there in lies another problem. I’m not very good at goodbyes. Everything dies, so we can love something all their lives and at the end of it, they go to the big animal shelter in the sky. How do you cope with that?

Some people have said to me I should ‘get back in the dating game’, or ‘what you need is a man’. I thought that was supposed to be the other way around. No partner, get cat. And they’ve said it as if it’s as simple as adopting a four-legged friend. If it were, I would have been scrolling through portrait pictures of candidates at the good-men refuge, looking forlornly out of bars towards the sun, running excitedly towards volunteers with balls in their mouths, curled up in their fluffy beds, or peeking curiously over the top of a basket. Reading their sad profiles of how they were abandoned, lived in an industrial park and survived a fall from a balcony, gaining a severe limp in the process. I could go to a decent-chap shelter where they would excitedly run to the pen doors vying for my attention, trying to impress. And the one who wrapped himself around my legs and looked up at me with adoring eyes might have a chance at coming home with me. But unless they had a face as adorable as Domi in the photo above, I considerably doubt any would make my heart melt quite as much.

But of course it’s not that simple to find a partner (especially if you’re currently on the dating wagon), or indeed the courage to take care of something else. So for now, I think I’ll just continue to scroll and concentrate on trying to overcome my fears of commitment in the hope that at some time in the not too distant future, I’ll be able to share my time and energy with something other than myself. At this stage though, it might just have to be another fish.

Daniel Craig and *that* papoose

Right, listen up. Just because some of us don’t have the children, doesn’t mean we don’t likes the children. Some of us. And it certainly doesn’t mean we don’t likes the men who haves the children and especially those that are full on, hands-on doting papis of the children. Case in point, Daniel Craig.

A photo of James Bond carrying his new baby in a papoose last week, prompted that paragon of alpha masculinity Piers Morgan, to call the actor ’emasculated’. What followed quite literally made all my baby-making equipment cry out for a sweep to get up there pronto to clear out the cobwebs, a fire to smoke out the spiders and a squirt of WD40, in order to grind back into action. It doesn’t mean I want one of my own, but it sure as hell means Mr Craig shot up the hotometer by a gazillion in a nanosecond. That’s a lot and it’s fast; in case you’re wondering. And if you think that photo was attractive, I strongly advise you to take a glimpse at the Twitter thread that followed Morgan’s complete and utter nonsense. Ladies and gentlemen – I have never fallen so deeply in love with so many men in so little time – to quote Churchill. Father after father after father posted their photos of themselves with their offspring snuggled into them like some sort of collective paternal siren luring me onto the craggy rocks of motherhood…… Dear Lord alive, for the love of sweet baby Jesus and Holy Mary Mother of God!!! *crosses self*, the minxes.

The attraction of an actively involved father needs no explanation, but I am of course going to, nonetheless. Natch. There is something devastatingly attractive about a man so comfortable and openly loving and caring of his offspring. Something primal, I’m sure, that comes from the very depths of your ancient ancestors’ ovaries that tells you he’s a keeper – not afraid to demonstrate love and affection and a protector. Swoon, swoon and swoon some more. Then there’s also the beauty of dating a father, which is that you get all the good stuff and loveliness and love and affection and the good fun times (I quite literally lost my adult mind with excitement at Port Aventura attraction park last year, with my ex and his kids), and you don’t have all that other stuff. You know…… hhhmmm, what’s it called? *clicks fingers*…. Eerrrmmm, oh yeah, yeah…….. responsibility!

So quite literally everyone’s a winner. Baby – bonds (pardon the pun) with daddy and grows up to have a healthy un-fucked-up relationship with him, hot papi himself – he gets all the sweet loving from everyone (children, own and others’, mums at school and his partner). And ultimately Annie P (insert your name here) who takes home the ultimate prize; a man in touch with his own feelings, happy expressing them and so comfortable in his own masculinity that he’d probably put her in that sling, if she asked him nicely, and not feel ’emasculated’.

A man who is not scared that wearing his baby in public will cause his penis to fall off, well, there ain’t nothing sexier than that.

Reasons why I don’t have kids #70

Oh good Lord – the memories! All the bloody memories….. not just in your head brain. Physical ones too.

I was listening to a podcast yesterday while getting ready for work, Happier with Gretchen Rubin, in which they were talking about decluttering and also creating a personal timeline. The premise of the timeline was to reduce the possible stress of trying to remember certain occasions in your life; by recording when you did the stuff, where you did the stuff, the addresses of where the stuff was done. So, should you suddenly need to remember, say, which year was the summer you had a snog and a fumble with the hottest boy in school, or which date you fell off your bike on the way home from the hotel kitchen job which left a two inch scar on your left knee, or indeed which school toilet cubicle it was that had ‘Panky loves a good spanky ‘ scrawled in twelve inch letters – you would have a handy little reference to consult. The podcast actually referred to filling in an application form that required five previous addresses and her daughter’s volunteer work, but honestly – I think it’s open to interpretation.

Then there was the decluttering, and it led me to think: I live in thirty five square metres, which is full – where the hell would I keep all the stuff of the child/children? I literally love to declutter, I do it two or three times a year. There is no greater satisfaction than plonking a heaving bin bag of clothes onto the counter of a charity shop (except that the reason they are in the bag is my ever increasing arse), or seeing newly revealed and dusted surface space. You may argue that maybe love, good sex, exercise or getting a pay rise is more satisfying, but as I’m not currently experiencing any of those things, I’ll take the former. And as a person who is not particularly fond of looking backwards, reminiscing and who actively elimates whole chunks of time from her head (it is something I’m exploring with my therapist), I’d find it incredibly difficult to find a good enough reason to keep those adorable little babee bootees.

What is wrong with you people!? ‘Sold out’

My mum has a lock of my baby blonde baby hair, for example. Honestly, it only serves to remind me that my hair game was at its strongest when I was one or two. And for all families there’s all the pictures, paintings, scribbles and constructions. The school projects, the text books (are they still a thing?), school reports, record of achievements and certificates from sports days, martial arts belts and music and/or ballet grades. The first shoes, the christening outfit (possibly), the junior school blazer or tie, the class/year photos of every single school year from year dot. Some people, I’m told, even keep that crusty bit of umbilical chord that plops off, (are you actually shitting me?! *boak*). Sometimes this can be found in a box along with milk teeth and that baby hair I was talking about – like some kind of weird voodoo doll preparation kit, for when your offspring inevitably piss you off at around age fourteen.

I’m not overly sentimental, nor am I really one for keepsakes and with that in mind, I know I’d be an epic disappointment when my kids were home for Christmas or some other annual event (once a year with me is more than enough), and decided to recover some old ‘treasures’…… Imagine the reaction to, ‘oh yeah, I ran out of space so had to free some up, I had a big clear out and burned everything on a bonfire in the back and the salvageable stuff has gone to charity. But you’ll be delighted to hear I did keep the human remains – you just never know when those might come in handy.’ *big self-satisfied, cheesy grin*.

Eagerly discarded keepsakes and memories, and not ruling out using voodoo on your own kids is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #70.