Collected works or how your gonk museum got started


Good news for Stockport’s Hat Museum! There has been an upsurge in visitors from the Far East recently after it featured in a Chinese documentary.

The Hat Works has over 400 hats from around the world, and shows visitors what life was like when hat manufacturing was a thriving industry in the area.

Hong Yane Wang, who made the documentary about British traditions, said: “We found exactly what we were looking for in the museum.” (Although, given our climate, that might have been a cabinet of spotty plastic rain hoods.)

I’ll say one thing for us Brits, we do excel at large displays of objects you’d usually find gathering dust in cupboards. In Merseyside, for example, there’s a Lawnmower Museum. Devon has a House of Marbles, which at least gives frustrated parents somewhere for their lost ones to go. And there’s the Pencil museum in Keswick, about which you’ll have to draw your own conclusions.

But my favourite has to be the dog collar museum in Kent. You wouldn’t think there was enough rain in the world to drive a person to visit a dog collar museum and yet, amazingly, they do.  Continue reading

Every journey starts with a single headscarf

1 windmill

Dear Kitty,

Am I the only one without a five year plan?

I spoke to my sister the other day and she said that maybe the reason I’m so apathetic is I float through life like a mangy piece of driftwood. She actually said the word ‘mangy’. I couldn’t even muster up the oomph to be offended. 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…