Reasons why I don’t have kids #73

If my recently acquired cat has taught me anything, it’s this: I’m too scared of everything.

I was explaining to my friend in the UK recently that I have bought a harness and lead for the cat, so that he can enjoy the balcony without me suffering a heart attack, and her response was completely spot on:

“It is a good job you don’t have kids!”

She’s right of course. Wise woman (and mother)……

At the moment I accompany Merlín the cat ‘outside’ because I don’t trust him not to throw himself off the balcony, at a passing bird or a dog on the street, five floors below. I have no faith in my cat’s ability to cat. He’s not very agile you see, he skids around my place at a hundred miles an hour, he falls off and over and bashes into things and is jumpy. For anyone not quite sure what point I’m trying to make here: THAT’S NOT A GOOD COMBINATION FOR LIVING AND ROAMING FREELY fifty or so feet up.

Soooooo, I believe it’s not acceptable parenting to tie your children down. Correct me if I’m wrong. I also heard recently, that those harness thingies are now frowned upon. How about the wrist lead? Is there any acceptable way to tether little humans? Come on, people! I see kids here sitting on the floor in the squares, while their parents enjoy a cheeky beer and a natter with their friends, and all I can think is, ‘POO, WEE, animal and human!’ I see them hurtling around on scooters and running about with their little mates which is totes adorbs (or something) and my inner dialogue is screaming in the direction of the parents, “YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHERE YOUR CHILD IS (under the table/by the village clock in plain sight), YOU IRRESPONSIBLE PIECE OF PARENTING CRAP!!!” Which of course is not the case. My inner dialogue me is even more scared than actual me.

Falling over, falling down, putting unidentifiable objects in mouths, is all part of the growing up process, so I’m led to believe. And as my super-mum friend explained, “they only do it once!” Which would absolutely be the case is Merlin plummeted five floors for the sake of a manky pigeon.

Thinking it’s normal to have kids on a tether until they’re at least 47, is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #73.

Dating epiphany – Feb 2019

A seismic shift has occurred. After almost embarking on a relationship recently, and nipping it right in its tight little buds at the first sign of foot – stomping, I realized something. Something pretty phenomenal, truth be told. It occurred to me that, although the chap seemed nice enough, was attentive, called regularly, was clear about us being ‘a thing’, blah, blah, blah – I had no qualms about sacking it off when he threw a little (biggish) tantrum. I realized that I will, quite literally, not put up with any old bullshit. It was a nice moment – as he rambled and ranted for twenty minutes in response to my ‘have a little respect for my friends who welcomed you to their party so soon’ and ‘why on earth do you want to wind people up?’ – I felt the switch flip. I don’t need this, I said to myself about his response; not, of course, the third glass of wine I had ordered for myself while he was flailing his arms around. Natch. .

Also, I’ve lost ‘the fear’….. I don’t feel nervous about meeting people now. Although watching the Netflix series, Dirty John sowed some seeds of serious doubt. But I’m a lowly English teacher, so not an attractive prospect for grifters. Just egomaniacs and weirdos – apparently. During the dating phase at the beginning of last year, around the time I met the nice guy from Denmark, I was getting ready for a date and had a complete wardrobe meltdown and was freaking out about how I looked. It suddenly occurred to me that the man I was meeting probably wasn’t feeling or doing the same, and I was absolutely spot on. He arrived 20 minutes late because he’d been for a beer with a mate on the way to meeting me. So much for first impressions an’ all that. It has distinctly felt like it’s only us women (and I speak from the experiences of my girlfriends and I), who feel like they should make some sort of effort to impress on the first few dates. At the very least – the actual first. After the guy rocked up smelling boozy and wearing a holey jumper, I just thought, ‘fuck it!’ no more jumping through hoops; and I haven’t stressed since. ^hears ‘I Am What I Am‘ playing in the distance……. ^. I do my makeup and hair in the morning before leaving for work and arrive to a date ten hours later with whatever remnants of that are still apparent. I like a masculine cut trouser and interesting shoes and tops. As long as I’m clean, we’re good to go. Katharine Hepburn is my style icon. I speak my mind and if you are fucking rude about my friends after spending a mere hour with them, then I’ll call you out. If you don’t like that – tough.

I had a date after work yesterday, the nail polish was a little (lotta) chipped on my left hand and I had panda eyes. I was pretty tired. Whatevs……. That’s life.

^hears the band strike up again. High-kicks way to next date^……

Footnote: there is a Sephora en route and I did pop in there to drown myself in the most expensive fragrance available. But that was just for me…… ^does that winky thing here’.

Valentine’s Day

This might be the first time in my life, since boys started to be on my radar (circa 1849), that I kind of forgot about Valentine’s Day. Of course there is a little marketing to remind us, and I say that without a hint of sarcasm, but it really didn’t occur to me until today. It’s really not a massive holiday here, so there is minimal promotion – literally only a couple of restaurants and florists and the odd hairdresser and shoe shop (!) who make any kind of effort – as they have the much simpler celebration in April called Sant Jordi. This is the day that everyone exchanges books and roses and promenades in the most important streets of the city which are filled with book and flower stalls. Imagine, you can buy a single stem rose and find an old copy of your favourite book and have a glass of wine, all for under €10. Because that’s the true meaning of love – cheap plonk. Really though, you should all move here. Oh, wait……. nope, sorry, slip of the tongue.

Sant Jordi isn’t solely the reserve of the smug loved-ups, either. Us perpetually single people are included too, and kids, and friends and it’s proper lovely, like. I’ve had roses from students over the years and noted the admiring glances of those poor unknowing souls, who think they’re from my love. Bless.

So despite a touch of cynicism, in the spirit of the day, this year I decided to send some love in the shape of a fabulous card to a couple of fabulous women in my life, two I met through the medium Twitter and two of my oldest, best, single friends – because showing love doesn’t only have to be romantic. I love them with all my heart and we share a long or virtual relationship bound together by a not so rosy experience of the dating world/relationship/men…..

The card said, ‘Men Are Fuckers’.

Also, on a vaguely romantic note, last night was the last date of a three week dalliance with something kind of resembling the beginnings of a bona fide relationship. Miscommunication and a little ‘you said, no you said’ quickly escalated into a flounce out for a fag (him not me), a grabbing the cheque (me not him) and a quick peck on the cheek. I left him on that special raft, reserved for those ready to be sailed off to the island of lost men – along with approximately *adopts Mike Myers voice* one million others…. fair thee well good sir, it was nice while it lasted and the sex was, well…….. not bad.

These encounters seem to be getting shorter and shorter and in no time at all, I fully anticipate breaking some kind of record for the shortest relationship in history, since records began. My target is fifty-nine minutes.

At this rate, totally doable.

Reasons why I don’t have kids #72

Taxi duties. As is documented quite well in this blog, I am a big fan of me time and relaxing at home. Like….. a big, big fan. BIG. ENORMOUS. It is also known that I possess a large array of ‘house trousers’, a term coined by my good friend MonkeySpangles over in the Twittersphere, an expression and clothing item that I have wholeheartedly embraced. Once I’m in, I’m in, if you know what I mean. Both the house trousers and the house. I make a mental inventory of what I have in the house and strategically plan what I need to buy en route to the house, to ensure that I don’t have to leave the house again, once I eventually arrive there. I’m quite proud of this skill.

This week, and last week, a student arrived for class at 8am on Monday morning, shattered from his weekend. Muy cool, you may think. But alas, as he explained to me, the reason was not that he had been for a romantic dinner with his wife, partaken of a few too many gintonics or been dancing into the wee small hours. No, what had indeed passed was that his seventeen year old daughter had gone to the disco with her mates and was requiring picking up at approximately 4am, both weekends.

For a moment I cast my mind back to my youth. (Say. NOTHING.) Somewhere in the murky depths of my memory, was Blaise’s, the under-18 disco in my home town. Also lurking there were the hours of the disco; 6pm-10pm. Also, was one memory of my father telling me to be ready and downstairs at half six if I wanted a lift there. I came down at 6.35pm and was promptly told to organize my own way there. I vaguely remember calling a friend to go with her and that my mother always, but always came to get me. Can you imagine their horror if I didn’t leave the house until 11pm and needed a lift at 4am? Well, it simply wouldn’t have happened. I wouldn’t have had the permission in the first place.

I would absolutely hate to have to get dressed and get in my car and drive half an hour at three in the morning. Safety is paramount, especially in this day and age, so I would be obligated to look out for my young; and as you know, I’m not a big fan of obligation either. I’m just about getting my head around needing to go home for the cat, and if I’m a little late – I know he’s not going to get murdered on the streets. So there would be only one answer to this situation ……….. a blanket ban on any nighttime fun. My kids would hate it.

A profound love of house trousers, being in after a certain hour, not needing to leave the house if it’s not absolutely necessary and having no responsibility for anyone’s safety, is my ‘reasons why I don’t have kids’ #72.


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.