Female best friends – a helpful guide for men.

I don’t know about you, but (when in a relationship) the words “I have a female best friend” have the potential to strike fear into my heart. This is mostly due to bad personal experience. Mr Wrong had a tattooed, Russian “female best friend” that he ended up cheating on me with – even though he swore things were just platonic between them and she was “like a sister” to him.

Yea… Maybe if we were in redneck country and you were on the porch playing a banjo…


The point is Mr Maybe has a female best friend too (lets call her Gandalf for the sake of argument.) Almost two years into our relationship I still haven’t met Gandalf yet. To be honest I’m fine with this arrangement. I think it’s safe to say Crazy Russian Girl put me off meeting a boyfriends female friends for life.

The point is, while Mr Wrong couldn’t be trusted with your grandmother for fear of violating her, Mr Maybe is entirely trustworthy (except when it comes to cheese and crackers.)Trust doesn’t enter into it because it’s already there. I’m just not good with women and I don’t want to make a train wreck of meeting this one. Unfortunately Mr Maybe has suggested that it might be a good idea for us to all meet up “soon” so he can “finally make introductions.” I don’t like this idea. Like I said, women don’t bond well with me. I can shoot the breeze with a guy no problem but women are a lot more hard work. But that’s the great thing about friendship, participation is on a voluntary basis rather than a command performance. My choice is to simply opt out and avoid any unforseen drama.

I think it’s hard for Mr Maybe to believe that someone he is dating would be so okay with him having a female best friend without the urge to interrogate the woman in question with the help of a sharp implement… But getting him out of the house every now and again means I can use the bathroom for as long as I want without anyone judging me. Besides, it’s always a little awkward hanging out in a three – and believe me when I say you don’t want to feel like the third wheel when you’re hanging out with your own boyfriend.

However, in case there was any confusion regarding where the line in the sand should be drawn re: female best friends, I decided to make an easy-to-follow guide to appropriate / inappropriate behavior for the modern man.

Appropriate v’s Inappropriate


Laughter and merriment= good


Secret handholding / fondling = bad

friends at pub

 Neutral group activities = good

innapropriate at pub

Furtive rendezvous with petting = bad


Hanging out on the sofa watching TV like this = good


 Hanging out on the sofa like this = bad


Chatting like this = Good

lingering looks

Lingering / flirtatious looks like this = bad


Hanging out at the flat = Good


Hanging out alone in a romantic setting all night = Bad


Dinner like this = Good

romanic dinner

Dinner like this= Bad


Debating subjects like this = Good

Debating subjects like this = Bad

Note: Men in relationships should also not do any of the following

  • Mention said female best friends name over and over on a daily basis / turn every subject broached into a story about the female best friend
  • Ask your girlfriend why she can’t be more like your female best friend
  • Take furtive phone calls in the bathroom / other weird locations when speaking to the female best friend
  • Start acting strangely around your mobile phone whenever the female best friend is sending messages to you
  • Plan mini-breaks all alone with the female best friend
  • Forget to call / text your girlfriend and spend most of your monthly contract allowance on your female best friend
  • If your girlfriend is trying on clothes NEVER EVER say that your female best friend would look so much better in whatever the girlfriend is currently wearing
  • You should not know your female best friends bra size

Here endeth the lesson.

Guess who has a new phone??!!

Ever since the fateful day I dropped my old one down the loo I have been on an epic Lord Of The Rings style quest to get a newfangled device. ladyoftheringsBeing without a mobile for around a month and a bit was a confusing mixture of panic and calm. I was smugly detached and zen-like towards social media apps and entirely unavailable for vast portions of my day except by landline. This was marvellously freeing. I was like Buddha, smiling at people wisely and knowingly as they scurried past me in the street, face down and eyes glued to their palm.The panic part came in when I realised I was missing out on party invitations and emails from family members too young to communicate any way other than poking me via the internet.

But before I was even eligible for a new phone I needed some in-date photo ID. One bad photo, two and a half weeks and seven forms later I got my new passport. One hurdle down. I was going to go directly into the three store to get my (waterproof) Sony Experia Z3, but Mr Maybe suggested using an online phone website instead that could save me the princely sum of three english pounds off my new monthly bill. Well alrighty then! Sign me up!

Unfortunately getting my phone via a third-party website wasnt as efficient as it first appeared. In fact I suspect it would have been more efficient if I had simply tried to make my own phone using a circuit board and a handful of lollypop sticks. A week of chasing later, my new phone was finally dispatched on the 5th of December. I could even follow my parcel online through a tracking service! I was SO excited I spent most of my day furtively refreshing the ‘track my parcel’ page over and over to watch its progress and giggle inwardly to myself. But after the parcel left the depot in the delivery van it went suspiciously quiet.

No more updates.

All day.

I began to panic. Images of some smelly, unkempt miscreant fondling my new electronic friend were looming before my eyes.

kev and perry

I called the phone website. Apparently I had no need to worry, it would “probably” be out to me the next day. I didn’t like the use of the word “probably” – it made me nervous. To me the word “Probably” usually meant “I wouldn’t bet on it.” As if to prove my point – after seven days of frantic calls, emails and voicemail messages I still had no phone. But at least I was kept entertained during this time with daily calls to “customer services.”


Me: “Hi, I finally heard back from your courier company. They admitted they lost my parcel. It’s taken seven days to get them to return my calls and you have been absolutely no help in the meantime either. I want to cancel my contract and my phone.”


Phone-company: *sharp intake of breath* “Yea… it’s not that simple. They might have admitted fault to YOU but they need to tell us so we can charge them for loss of merchandise.”


Me: “So… call them on their depot number and they will tell you what they just told me.”


Phone-company: “Oh no… we can’t call them. They have to contact us. I can fill in a form asking them to chase this up with us, but of course” *little laugh* “admitting they lost the parcel will mean they owe us reimbursement, and that usually means we don’t hear back from them for a while.”


Me: “How long are we talking here. A week, a month, a year?”


Phone-company: “Around two to three weeks. Sometimes longer.”


Me: “Cant I just cancel the contract and leave that part with you?”


Phone-company: “Oh no.. We couldn’t do that. We only have your word that the handset is lost. You might be scamming the company.”


Me: “So… You’re calling me a liar.”


Phone-company: “No, no, NO… But we also can’t just take your word. We have to get confirmation.”

I ended up saving myself an ulcer by cutting out the middle man and going directly to my new mobile network. They cancelled the contract with the third-party phone website and said my new phone would be couriered to me the next day.

And you know what?

It was.


I’m not going to lie… I was a bit worried. And when the words “We will courier your phone to you” drifted down the phoneline I heard a ringing in my ears and had to go breathe into a brown paper bag for a little while. Mr Maybe couldn’t believe I had agreed to have the new phone couriered to me considering the bad experience I had the first time. But, I really REALLY wanted my phone and I had already been on the phone for HALF AN HOUR with the goddamn network and had been transferred to seven different people in seven different departments like a customer services hot potato – I WAS GETTING MY GODDAMN PHONE.

I was told I could track my parcel online. I was a bit sceptical about that, so the following day was a bit of a blur as I stalked my parcel for hours and hours.

tracking 3


Tracking 6


When I unwrapped my beautiful Sony Experia I was making many dolphin-like “SQUEEE!!” noises that were completely involuntary and quite frankly couldn’t be helped. Everything I unwrapped I held up to catch the light like a lost archeological relic.

New headphones! *gasp*

A plastic screen-defender thingy! *gasp*

A new telephone number! *gasp*

I put my phone reverently in the brand new leather case specially purchased in its honour.

It was a tremendously cool moment. I felt EXACTLY like James Bond. I mean, this baby can go underwater just like the car in The Spy Who Loved me‘! I also now had unlimited calls, data and texts.

Now, I am basically unstoppable.


Until my battery runs out.

Dear Office-drinking-glasses

Dear Office drinking glasses,

Why do you hate me? You’re always breaking, cracking or smashing. Every time I open the dishwasher and stick my hand inside I am quite frankly taking my life into my own hands.

170614 broken glass image21806142 broken glass image 2
The thing is, you aren’t cheap. Each of you is around £8 – so I would really appreciate it if you could get your shit together and stop attempting either GBH or suicide. It seems to me you might have a lot of unresolved issues you need to work through. Maybe you could try some anger management? Perhaps listening to soothing classical music even?

I’m running out of plasters so seriously, if you could do anything about your self-destructive behavior it would be most appreciated.

Kind Regards



Engagement Ring Etiquette | Who Keeps the Ring After the Breakup?

The Mottled Macaroon:

Loving this take on the age-old question…

Originally posted on Chris Brake Show Podcast:

Engagement Ring Etiquette | Engagement Ring Etiquette After Breakup


What do you do with an engagement ring after you breakup and call off the wedding? 

Spitfire Sarah breaks off her engagement with her fiancé and now she’s left wondering: What’s the proper engagement ring etiquette for who keeps the ring after thebreakup? Should females be expected to give back the engagement ring to the male after the wedding is cancelled? Or should the dude let the woman keep the ring, because he’s that nice of a guy?

Engagement Ring Etiquette | Listen Now Below!

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Engagement Ring Etiquette | Engagement Ring Etiquette After a Breakup

Engagement ring etiquette after the breakup is a pretty deep rabbit hole when you think about it. Is it okay to go pawn the ring for some cold hard cash? Or what about just hanging…

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The top five worst things about being late

In my experience being late has a cosmic snowball effect. It starts off small but come hometime you may very well be in a snarling heap of limbs, breathing heavily and bellowing at passing pigeons. I have been late many times in my life. Not because I make it a habit, but because sometimes life decides to kick you in the nuts to keep things interesting. If I’m running late there are five things that I can always be certain of.

1. No matter how fast I move – I’m still going to be late.

This is the hardest concept to grasp when you’re trying to beat the clock. Mostly because being late sucks you into a weird state of denial that makes you believe that maybe…. just maybe if you move twice as fast as humanly possible you will somehow defy the space / time continuum and manage to reach your destination in time. This is not true in the slightest. It is just the universe conspiring to lull you into a false sence of security before slapping you in the face with a traffic jam. You will not reach your destination any faster – because you are already late and rushing simply means you will get there all hot and sweaty and pissed off with the world.

I hate being late. I hate it with a passion. But I have learnt to just go with it.

melting clock

2. Other people are everywhere and they seem to all be conspiring to make this experience as painful and infuriating as possible

When you’re late the worst thing in the world is to be around other people. Mostly because they’re always getting in the way, walking too slowly or changing direction at the last-minute so that they bump painfully into you. Unfortunately, thanks to Murphy’s law, when you’re late there is a never-ending amount of these people … everywhere. They will cough in your face, stand on your feet and act like you’re Casper the friendly ghost until you arrive safely at your destination.


3. There will almost always be bad weather or other coincidental bad luck… like getting stung by a wasp or stepping in a puddle. This is because it’s National “Fuck you!” day courtesy of the world. You’re welcome.

When I’m late there are always bits of other coincidental bad luck that comes my way. This can range from smudging my nail varnish, burning my face with my hair straighteners (this has happened more than once), stepping onto a wobbly pavement slab and being doused in dirty water, getting a ladder in my tights, waking up with a GIGANTIC SPOT in a prime facial real estate location – like on the end of my nose, somehow all my clothes are magically in the wash at the same time, a zipper breaks, my hairdryer plays dead halfway through the styling process, there’s no milk, I miss the train, a bus drives right past me, I step in dog poop… The list is endless. 


4. There will be delays in public transport

There is something truly heartbreaking about rushing to get out the door, running down the street – only to be faced with the word DELAYED blinking down at you in bright amber lights and having additional obstacles to scramble over. Obstacles called ‘overcrowded public transport during rush hour.’ This circles back to point number 2. Other people. The kind of people who make a bad situation worse by running at the closing tube door and HURLING themselves at it as if attempting a long-jump win for the Olympics. Or numpties that insist on getting their coats / bags / pets/ grandparents/children stuck in the doors so the stroppy platform conductor comes over and yells at us all like a teacher bellowing at naughty school children.


5. There will always be someone who’ll look at you as you burst through the door covered in sweat and animatistic odours that belong in the circus and say “Nice you could finally join us!” or “…You’re late.”

This is the point you need to write the day off and have a chocolate bar. Or maybe two depending on the severity of the above.

Actually, you know what? Eat the whole cake. Just one slice is definitely not going to do it.


Autumn wish list – brought to you by the fear of bikini waxes

So, I really sucked at my Summertime wish list. This is what I managed to get done:

  1. “Do something crazy” – (I got ordained on the internet)
  2. “Do the London Loo Tour” (We saw a street lamp powered by methane!)
  3. “Adopt a pet” (I got a grow-your-own Triop set on Amazon)

Three things.


In my defence, I have been experiencing some unexpected side effects to my antibiotics recently – so fair is far. But I want to make up for this total failure with my Autumn wish list. I want to make Autumn majestic. Like a unicorn running through a field of multiple naked Johnny Depps at sunset. I’ve also added all the things I didn’t do on my summertime wish list as a forfeit for being so previously crap.

  1. Go to the Centenary World War Commemoration at London Bridge and buy a poppy.
  2. Become a dog walker
  3. Visit ‘Ripley’s believe it or not’ in Trafalgar square
  4. Bob for Apples
  5. Return to my local Ukulele night
  6. Go to a “movie marathon” night at the Prince Charles Cinema while wearing an ELMO onesie
  7. Tour the Highgate cemetery and pay tribute to Douglas Adams
  8. Do something cool for under £5
  9. Drink a pint of  hot spiced cider
  10. Make inappropriately shaped cookies
  11. Visit the Sherlock Holmes museum
  12. Review my top five winter books
  13. Buy roasted chestnuts
  14. Learn the “Thriller” dance and perform in full make up and costume
  15. Have a silent disco in my bedroom
  16. Eat unusual ice cream
  17. Do the ‘No mirror’ makeup challenge
  18. Make, name and fly a kite
  19. Go camping and roast marshmallows
  20. Get my hair cut at Hair By Fairy in Covent Garden
  21. Have High tea somewhere fabulous
  22. Get my ears & nose pierced
  23. Stargaze
  24. Draw my life
  25. Make three brand spanking new friends
  26. Make a coke and mentos rocket
  27. Write a book. Even if it’s very thin. Anorexic almost one could say.
  28. Paint with my body parts. Even the naughty ones.
  29. Play in a big pile of dead leaves
  30. Reconnect with an old school friend
  31. Visit vintage stores in London and get a whole new outfit from top to bottom
  32. Join the local library
  33. Interview Danny Wallace (Author of ‘Yes Man’)
  34. Plant something and keep it alive

If I don’t manage to complete this list by my December 21st deadline (which is apparently the start of British winter) my forfeit will be a full bikini wax. Front and back. I have a very low threshold for pain, which is why I have never had one before. The very idea terrifies me entirely. When I did a special effects makeup course at college the beauty department students were always looking for new victims for their waxes. The sound of the screams wafting up the halls still haunts me to this day.

Lets hope it doesn’t come to that.

Today I killed a wasp with a fork.

I think I have mentioned once or twice that I’m not a fan of the buzzing / stinging things. They make me recoil in horror – like this:


I remember going to a park years ago with a friend and her smaller, jam smeared cousins. Half an hour later one toddled up to us in hysterics while sticking out a hand with a HUGE wasp on it. This thing was MASSIVE. It was the Titanic of wasps I tell you. I immediately recoiled with horror whereas my friend bravely crouched down at face level, put her wrist around the little girls wrist and said “Don’t worry, it wont hurt you. Just keep still.” And after a few moments, the Titanic-wasp flew away. To me, right at that moment, my friend was practically James Bond. I remember squinting at her, thinking “Ugh… I wish I was that cool. WHY AREN’T I THAT COOL?!” I’m just not. Especially when it comes to the buzzing / stinging things. With age and experience I have given in to this aspect of myself and accepted it. It’s a bit like having a third nipple. Slightly embarrassing but you get used to it.

Anyway – so there I was in my flat this morning, minding my own business … eating my Cheerios and contemplating my navel (you get the idea) when suddenly I heard this weird buzzing sound. It was really, REALLY loud. All I could think was “aww crap, our boiler is on the blink!” but I opened the door to the boiler, and nothing. I closed it, there was buzzing. Opened it, no buzzing, closed it, buzzing. Hmm. Open, silence, close, buzz, open, silence, close, buzz. This was really weird.

Eventually I discovered where the noise was coming from. A wasp was laying on its back with its stinger in the air and the kitchen bin on its head. I don’t know how it ended up in this position but I think it was a little embarrassing for the both of us. As the wasp was only partially dead its motor reflexes were going into overdrive – including the wings, which sounded like a helicopter coming in to land against the laminated floor. For a split second I didn’t know what to do. My first instinct was to stand on it, but luckily I realised I wasn’t wearing slippers before I actually did this. The wasp started buzzing again, only louder and in a more threatening tone. Now what? BLUDGEON IT TO DEATH! Yes! I looked around, but there was nothing available to do this with. I rifled through the cutlery drawer and yanked out a fork. I have no idea why, but I decided to go with it.

I crouched down on the floor and smushed the wasp HARD. After all, I might loathe wasps but I believe in a clean kill – even for insects. I thought that was the end of it, until I realised that while I had successfully smushed the body of the wasp the head had poked through the spokes of the fork and its antennas were still twitching feebly.

wasp squash


Kill it! Kill it!

I mushed again. The antennae was still twitching.


Kill! Kill! Kill!


Finally, I slumped against the kitchen floor. The wasp was dead. It fought valiantly, so I gave it a burial at sea with a two flush salute.

Life was never this complicated when I was little.