The Dear Kitty Big Valentine’s Watch

Each year as February 14th approaches, we witness the emergence of the Valentine. Frequently spotted in their natural habitat (Clinton Cards, Pizza Express, the supermarket booze aisle) the Valentine’s markings and mating calls vary widely across the genus, though studies have shown almost all Valentines exhibit a strong emotional reaction to the following symbol…

With my NEW no-nonsense guide, discover more about the different kinds of Valentine and where to find them…

The Heartbroken Valentine
The Heartbroken Valentine (HV) was dumped on February 13th and is easily identified by their intoxicated appearance and their propensity for grabbing happy couples by scruff of the neck and screaming: “YOU HAVE NO IDEA WHAT’S COMING!” before departing in search of tequila. Their discordant cry (‘What an utter bastard; What a complete and utter bastard’’) can be heard far and wide, until the ex sends them fifty red roses and they suddenly remember he’s just a beautiful, damaged soul with trust issues. This cycle will repeat every year until the HV emigrates, the ex dies, or the bees disappear, upsetting our delicate ecosystem and reducing the idea of roses to an urban myth.

The New Valentine
The New Valentine is the most skittish of all the varieties, and with good reason, since the NV is forced to celebrate February 14th with someone they barely know. This throws up a multitude of uncertainties for the beleaguered NV, such as: if you’ve only been on two dates, are you expected/allowed to exchange texts/cards/gifts/bodily fluids? And if so, what level of text/card/gift/bodily fluid is appropriate? It is impossible to say, of course, though NVs are advised to reign in their more excitable tendencies. So that’s yes to a funny card, a cheerful text or the suggestion of a casual drink, and no to surprising your Tinder date with the certificate for the star you’ve named after them.

The Happy Single Valentine
The HSV is honestly, genuinely contented with their life, but try telling their mother/married colleagues/inbox that. After several unsatisfactory relationships, the HSV knows they’ve got loads to offer, and they’re optimistic about meeting someone great one day, but they also know that, like a big ASDA on Xmas Eve, the approach to Valentine’s Day is no time to be re-entering the market. That’s why, when February 14th rolls around, the HSV can be found eating pasta in front of Scott and Bailey  and thanking the sweet baby Jesus they’re no longer with their sociopathic ex. Speaking of which… Continue reading

I, for one, welcome our new (TBC) Overlords

Having enjoyed Dawn of the Planet of the Apes recently, I’ve been pondering the likelihood of us being taken over by a superior species. A quick squiz at the sci-fi canon shows we’re not short of candidates. Really it’s just a question of who gets there first.

People of planet earth, meet your future overlords:


“They don’t need power, lights, heat, nothing,” declares one human being of the apes in Dawn. Add to that the way apes will also be able to talk, jump impressively high and wield a machine gun whilst riding a horse and, come the apocalypse, we’re all probably going to feel pretty silly about dressing them in funny wigs to help shift PG Tips. NB. Don’t, whatever you do, call them monkeys.


Invading aliens could have any number of biological and technological advantages over us humans –  telepathy, supernatural strength, the ability to go five minutes without checking Facebook. Frankly, we’d be helpless against them. (But at least we’d die watching a panda going down a slide) Our only hope is that, like in the movies, the aliens are stopped by something simple that no-one really thinks about, like water, the common cold, or Keanu Reeves.


Mindless, rabid, and not all that great to look at, when zombies claim the world, it will be a lot like getting stuck in town at 2am on a weekend (though with fewer pools of bodily fluids.) Zombies are hard to kill, and not just because they’re already dead. Blowing a zombie’s head off presents an emotional quandry, since these flesh-hungry corpses were once your relatives and friends, your estate agents and your tax inspectors. Okay, maybe it wouldn’t be that hard.


Bit of a curve ball, but they’ve got form. Remember the Triffids? Little Shop of Horrors? And have you brushed past a nettle recently?  The plants want revenge, for all the murdered Yukkas, for all the slain acres of rainforests, and for the way we glue fake flowers onto little cacti.  My tip? Stock up on weed killer and don’t lend out your strimmer. (And stop talking to them – it only makes them stronger.)


From Flesh-eating cockroaches to killer bees, and deadly spiders to rampaging ants, insects on the warpath have been the subject many a terrifying B movie and with an estimated ten million species to go rogue, it’s only a matter of time before they progress from crawling into your mouth while you’re asleep to even greater acts of war. Worry not, I have a plan. As soon as we sense the insects rising, we must hold an enormous picnic and when they all come swarming, we’ll smack them with a giant shoe.


Machines don’t need light, heat, food or a reason. Consequently they’re top of the list for an attempted coup, one run on solar power, manned by robots, and masterminded by Google. The one thing we have on our side is planned obsolescence. Since these days it’s in the DNA of all technology to stop working two months after its warranty runs out, all we have to do is sit tight and wait until their irreplaceable components fail and the earth will be ours once more. Hurrah! NB. As a preventative measure, we should probably destroy Google and replace it with Ask Jeeves. That butler might be useless at answering questions, but at least he knows who’s boss…


The evidence is irrefutable: you’re turning forty

tea or coffee

Dear reader,

Does 2002 feel like just a few years ago? Does your GP look like Kevin Arnold from The Wonder Years? Does something in your body click? Do you find yourself having to explain references like The Wonder Years? Do you wee more frequently than you used to wee? Do you remember when snaggles of audio tape in the street were a frequent occurrence? Do you only bend down to pick something up if it’s really important, and when you do bend down, is it with a little ‘oof’ sound? Do you say ‘ah that’s nice’ when you sip a hot beverage?  Continue reading