Bloggers are from Earth, Blogs are from Webspace

business blogging2

This post just might be a cleverly disguised apology for being a bad blogger, and giving bad excuses as to why this is so. But there are times where blog and blogger just won’t connect. You’re not making an effort any more. They’re hanging out with other blogs and making you question everything you know as real, saying things like, ‘Bachelorette Frog is not supposed to be relatable.’ I know – who is this guy?

These following points are toxic when it comes to you and your blog making it as a couple. If you’re having trouble connecting with yours, you are not alone – but by admitting your mistakes and realizing that you can change, all is not lost.


Andy Milns eats chocolate replica of his brain, London, Britain - 16 May 2012

Aaah that old chestnut, she says, using a really tired cliché. This ‘I have no ideas’ claim is a common issue, but really is no excuse.  Coming up with ideas is what the whole writing/blogging shabang is all about, yet I can sit there and ponder for four whole minutes and still nothing of any worth is produced. I consider writing about rain, that sucks, right? Christmas, that’s a big thing. And how about when an orange peels off all in one? Satisfying.

Many a lecturer and writer and guru, sexual or otherwise, will tell you that ‘inspiration’ is simply a tiny spark that can appear in the most mundane situation, and you have to capture and nurture it yourself. So if you’re sat watching a fantastic art house movie and that eureka moment spontaneously occurs – QUICK CATCHIT CATCHITQUICK! That little spark is rare, for me anyway. In contrast, when you’re staring at the wall, mentally rubbing two damp brain cells together – no spark is going to spring from that. Ideas have to be squeezed out of you in this life, squeezed from your inner-most depths! So go look at some birds or something.

Oh... couldn't hurt.

Or that… couldn’t hurt.



‘Post it…. post it good.’

On those rare occasions when a spark may occur, I then put it out by thinking, ‘But who cares? Who cares what I have to say? And what authority do I have to say it?’ The answer is none – most of us bloggers don’t, LOL. And for that reason, when you write something that you plan to publish to the world (because y’know, the entire planet is reading this), you have to push yourself to be as arrogant as hell to get through it.

Sometimes I picture my arrogant side as the most dick-like contestant on Junior Apprentice – all one eyebrow raised, stood in front of the Shard saying, ‘I may not be published, but boy, do I have books COVERED!’ –  *replaces the dust-jacket on a hardback whilst smirking* – Oh yeah. I am so hired.

Sadly for the progress of Cloud Corinne, my arrogant writing side is often screamed down by the manically paranoid side, who presumes that if I dare to press ‘publish’ on some dull post about hair colour, we will all get Gonorrhea of the eyes – or worse (no one will read it). You will always fight the ‘What if I suck?’ bug in this business, but occasionally you should let Arrogance win. For too long, Self Doubt has reigned supreme over this blog, so nothing ever gets posted. And the world seems drained of colour, I know. It’s tough for everyone.




Do you know how many blogs there are out there? I’m going to say six million jabillion as a rough estimate. Whatever I’ve written takes a bashing when it’s compared to not only better quality of content, but pretty font, cool widgets, and an extremely sexy layout, all topped off with 300 comments per post saying things like ‘Oh that is SO YOU! Because I feel I know you because you post regularly, despite having a kid and three other jobs, and dear God, you’re awesome.’

Usual thoughts: ‘Why am I writing this to no one? Someone else, somewhere else is writing better things to other people. I give up right this minute – this minute I say!’ *skids mouse 6 cm*.

This may seem rebellious and totally unhinged, but it can result in your blog being neglected or even feral, and do you want that on your conscience? It will throw up an ad for cheap polyester jumpsuits from Taiwan whenever it’s disturbed, and you drove it to that.

When I see Cloud Corinne all forlorn and dusty like a Furby that wasn’t ever tipped upside down again… because it just always needed ATTENTION and sometimes you just want your Muller Corner in peace without being reminded that you’re crap at mothering… it hits me – I love my blog really. It is my husband but also my child, born out a need to tell everyone stuff that nobody cares about. It’s all a bit sick, really. I am a single woman, yes, but I don’t know what that has to do with anything.

If you’re writing for yourself in the end – that’s what will keep you coming back, so the comparisons don’t matter.  Fight the drawbacks and you and your blog will skip away on your journey together; you, walking with feet as humans generally do, your blog on your laptop under the safety of your arm, where it will forever stay. Until 2027, when I’m just assuming here but technology will be all, ‘hey, blogs are also hot men now – mostly naked, but others in nice shirts and skinny ties.’

***yes 2027***


Ode to the Quarter-Life Crisis

It was Summer. You were in an office. Unaffected by the record-breaking rain and the odd, hour-long sun spot, because the windows seemed to be posters of weather, teasing the senses – smugly projecting the illusion of the outdoors. The heat kicked out by the computer monitor is now fresh air. The tapping of keys replaces bird’s song. The birds are outside, swooping against the glass; ‘Corinne, don’t you love us anymore?‘ I don’t know how to love you, birds. That was the old days; the glory days. Must you taunt me so, oh birds? I’m trying to enjoy the summer. This long, never-ending summer of .doc.

Can I just say, before we get into this – if you’re younger than twenty – log out, go drink some vodka in the streets and do yourselves proud. What I’d give to be hanging off some concrete step wearing fairy wings again, concerned about whether a second trip to Chicken Licken would be excessive, rather than my dreaded office phone. There’s nothing wrong with my job, I just think freedom is nice and I’m still not used to its absence. The highlights come in someone making me tea. When it goes luke warm with a skin, that’s my life in beverage form. Of course you understand.

Or maybe not. A lot of people have said to me, ‘Six months! Try twenty-six years!’ or something along those lines. Nothing could be more terrifying to me. Or they’ve said, ‘Wish I had a job,’ or, ‘God – First World Problems.’ A lot of my problems warrant that response, funnily enough. I get it, grass is always greener. A twenty-something is never happy.

To further dampen the mood, I’ve been reminded many times that I should use my newly-earned cash to save for a pension – old-age is for fun, apparently – not now. In your prime? Please. If you’ve not heard, zimmer-frame disco dancing is where all the struggles of your life condense into one beautiful moment of validation. Looking out across the Atlantic from the deck of the cruise ship – through your top-of-the-range bottle-cap lenses – you’ll know that the mashed potatoes for dinner won’t irritate your premium dentures, and that saving and missing out on your youth paid off big time.

Whilst I wait impatiently for this, I go a bit wild in private celebration. Purchasing salmon instead of tuna. Topshop instead of Primark. Heinz baked beans – y’know, classy stuff. Living the dream. But as I unpacked my mid-range produce from a Tesco carrier one day, I thought, ‘I appreciate living the high-life, but something’s not right. This urge to throw cash at things, it’s beyond my control.’ I felt most poignantly that I should throw it at a budget airline so that they would allow me to board one of their planes.

Like, to Italy.

But who would go with me? At the time I want to go, and do what I want to do, on the budget I can afford?

(I couldn’t be bothered to ask) NO ONE.

If I was to do this, it would be solo. So I did a lot of research, drummed my fingers on a lot of surfaces, stared at a lot of walls, held my breath – and booked it. Booked the time off work, booked the hostels, booked the flights. Booked. Hit myself round the face with a book. THE BOOK OF LIFE, PEOPLE.

Yeah stuff it in Julia, ‘cos soon I will be

BUY A TICKET (ok!) GET A TAN (burn) FALL IN LOVE (ha) NEVER RETURN (probs will) – I’m living out Pinterest!

Since then I have had to answer to the phrase, ‘ON YOUR OWN!?’ many times, including my sister’s – ‘You’re mental, but millions of people do it without dying and you might be fine’ – which was comforting – but actually it’s made me happier that I am doing it, to prove to myself that it’s no big deal. To prove that my dreams about hostels full of locusts are being over-dramatic. For some people it really is no big deal; just like I find travelling alone in the UK completely fine, whereas others hate it. I mean it’s not like there are slums and disease, just the cousins of Gino D’ACampo. They would find this post, and the fact that I wanted to puke this morning, a gross over-reaction. So?

Italians eat brains and hearts, wave their hands around, catcall in the streets and think spaghetti is a starter – I’m mildly shittin’ a brick.

If you’ve done this, especially in Rome, Pisa and Florence, please comment so that I feel less insane. I leave tomorrow. I’m counting on your support, and restaurant suggestions.


Quarter-Life Crisis

‘I hope a this like tha Italy you see on Pinterest. Thass a hundred dollar each.’

Sex and the City Addiction – the cold, hard reality.

Let’s face facts, when watching Gok Wan’s Fashion Fix with a Pot Noodle is all you have in ways of a steaming hot style guide, Sex and the City can provide a heavenly escape. But it can go horribly wrong.

When you’ve ground down the entire box set and snorted it in one, as I have – until Carrie’s inane ramblings have become a running commentary in your now defunct brain – the cringe factors involved in the entire show become null and void. Four cliched examples of New York women are lunching, shopping and shagging, but you continue to bum it regardless. This, as well as understanding the following factors, make Sex and the City Addiction a scary thing to have.


  •  Being at a certain point in the box set is a state of being.

Repeat –  ‘a state of being’.

The ‘state of being’ comes within ‘The Cycle’ – beginning at episode 1, Season 1: (‘Sex and the City’); right through to the last episode of Season 6: (‘An American Girl in Paris, Part Deux’); and finishing with the first film, Sex and the City: The Movie. You do NOT watch the second. Then after a brief sensation of superiority you begin again at Episode 1; thus continues the cyclic glory. You will be at some point within this cycle at all times, without needing a helmet nor an Ibuprofen. It’s a truly beautiful thing. 


  • Recognition of the almighty acronym. 

Of course you know what SATC stands for, it even looks like a word to you. And you sometimes say, ‘I’m going to watch some Sat-kuh.’ Because that’s the only way you can pronounce it, and it makes you feel exclusive.


  • You relate happenings in your own life to that of Miranda, Carrie, Samantha or Charlotte – even if you don’t want to. 

‘My boyfriend won’t commit but we belong together – what if he’s Big?!’ cries friend into her sodden sleeve, and you grip her shoulder in understanding. ‘I’m pregnant but I don’t know how to babyproof a toilet? I’m such a Miranda!’ says hypothetical up-the-duff friend, and you tilt your head in empathy.

Group hug everyone! Tonight, we’re eatin’ Shabbat.

And when your friend comes home with a bald, hairy-backed boyfriend and beams ‘I’m becoming a Jew!’ – well you just scrunch your nose with pleasure because your whole life has led up to this very moment. The truth is, anything from Sex and the City can relate to everything, whether you like it or not. Yes, from seducing the fattest guy at Weight Watchers using a Krispy Kreme, to taking the virginity of a fresher because he has the same name as you; it has most of your main life events covered. Ah, the image of young Corinne lounging in his Gryffindor boxers will never leave my mind.


  • You recognize Samantha’s conquests in other, forgettable films and features. 

‘Oh look – he’s the guy with the funky tasting spunk.’(Shall We Dance). ‘Oh – he’s the guy whose penis was so big it was like a wall of flesh.’ (Phone Booth).

‘I’ve been thinking about you, and the work that you do – solving the psychotic mind games of Jigsaw. So I bought you canned goods – they’re the best.’..

‘Hello, priest that Samantha can’t ever bone’ (Saw V).  Unfortunately, as you’re nearly always watching these films with grandparents or other distant family members, yelling, “You tell ’em, Friar Fuck!’ would be inappropriate. But rest assured they were thinking it. Everyone was.



  •  Huge chunks of script are embedded into your brain.

Let’s test this theory… just picking at random… the episode where Carrie goes to see Miranda after Aiden has picked her up off the bathroom floor.

Miranda- ‘This is bullshit.’
Carrie- ‘I know.’
‘Not that, you! You and your bullshit bagels! First you send your boyfriend to do your job, and now, the bullshit bagels! You didn’t even bring cream cheese!’
‘I bought the good bagels?’
‘If you fell, or something, there is no way I’d send my boyfriend to help you, and YES I KNOW, I don’t HAVE a boyfriend.’
‘What’s the problem, Aiden is better in a crisis than I am-‘
‘I was naked, Carrie! I was on my bathroom floor and I was naked, did he tell you that!’
‘No, he’s a gentleman. …. Alright, I’m sorry. I promise I won’t send my boyfriend to do my job again.’

Ok – that was just scary. Give or take a few errors, I think that was almost completely right. Learn from my dispicable life mistakes and burn your box set before you get to this point. Or consider it, that’s enough.


  • You have considered going on Mastermind with Sex and the City as your specialist subject.

Q: How was Miranda dressed
when she saw Eric?
A: Mario


.…..So potent are the intricacies of your knowledge. You know that the turquoise Jimmy Choos that Scout chewed up were circa 1996, and that Miranda’s first boyfriend, never featured, was called Eric. Oh, also, Carrie wore a BELT around her bare stomach once – as an everyday outfit. That’s enough to make you want to sink a few strong Cosmos. Or maybe just throw them, directly into your eyes.




  • You have watched it enough to know that Carrie is a neurotic, whiney, self-absorbed little bitch who deserves no friends.

So Carrie is clearly, the star of the show.  She’s supposed to represent consequences to actions, learning from mistakes; all the complexities, the downfalls, the deep, questioning, feminine ANGST of women everywhere… and I don’t like to cuss in my blog after my Dad told me off once, but y’know what? She’s a dumb bitch. Carrie is the biggest anti-hero there is.
I even found this on Google:


How To Be Carrie.

 – Twist every conversation back to when the topic was about you, no matter how serious the current subject. Examples as follows:

‘Wait, you think you might get marrried? But Big leant me his spare toothbrush head, what about that?!’

‘You need a lawyer for a divorce settlement? Ask her about that girl who made a mean face at me, remember that? Remember how hard that was for me?’

‘I have a great boyfriend but I’m having an affair with Big, can we discuss that? I’m devastated.’

‘Oh my God, Aiden doesn’t like me. Oh my God, Aiden likes me too much. Oh my God, I’ve accidentally told Aiden I’ll marry him. Oh no, I split up with Aiden and now I have no money. Give me money, Charlotte. Charlotte? You’re a bad friend.’

 – Scream at things. Such as rain. A closed museum. A squirrel. Wind. A heeled shoe. A taxi that is nowhere near you. Scream, scream, scream.

 – Get food on your mouth whilst you’re eating. And lick it off in a really retarded fashion when a guy informs you of said face-food. I could list the times this has happened – jeez Carrie, learn to eat.

You may think this took a long time. It didn’t, I knew exactly where to look.

– Blow off your friends all the time for assholes, then do nothing but complain about those assholes when you’re with your friends. Big won’t give you a housekey? Good! That’s karma for standing Miranda up as she sat at a bar alone, just because he was cooking you some veal. You deserved that ugly swan purse he gave you for that faux-pas alone.

– Related: Cancel on your best friend who has cancer so that a Russian pensioner can rub your feet and recite poetry. Hey – you know in Paris where a kid slapped your head and then you stood in dog shit? That.


  • You deny the existence of Sex and the City 2.

Speaking of Carrie’s idiocy, in this film she’s just crying out to be buried under a camel. It actually causes you pain to watch any of this seriously. The whole thing was deeply, deeply traumatic – as fans know. It’s a sore point for us. My sister couldn’t even look at me in that theatre, she knew the mutual pain that our glance would share.

If I may quote SATC, Samantha, S6 E8; ‘Karaoke – I don’t do that.’
And Sam betrayed us all, and our eyes and ears burned.


So as I’ve highlighted here for the good of women everywhere, there is a dark side to liking Sex and the City so, so much. I could go on but I think for the sake of my shattered reputation, I’ve said enough. If anyone would like to join this SATCAA meeting and admit to their problem, I would welcome it – including details of any further symptoms.

NB: I dedicate this post to the woman sitting next to us during our first SATC movie showing, who arrived alone, left alone and kept answering Carrie with ‘Mmhmm!’ whenever she asked one of her rhetorical questions. You keep answering those questions, girl! Hey – can’t no one answer those questions but YOU.  Peace  <3.



A Public Apology – for the past, and for the future.

He’s sorry.

Things that I suck at:

  • Javelin.
  • Dusting.
  • Posting on my blog.

My last words surrounding the blog were ‘I’ll write more often, promise!’ and that was three months ago. To anyone who cares (close family and friends, hi), I apologise for my incompetence. You’re probably of the opinion that if I dared to enter the ‘blogosphere’ (pause for emphasis…..) then I should have done so with the utmost commitment and I should be ashamed, especially considering the slight success of my last post, Wait, is this a place where grown-ups work? that I personally like to read in the voice of Mark Corrigan.

It’s been tough finding the energy to write here for a few reasons. Firstly I have become aware that my blog isn’t going to be taken seriously by WordPress with these naughty, naughty Google images. But I love the images.

Secondly I was unemployed and so spent each and every day writing long, tedious descriptions on why I was perfect for every job in the world. Thirdly, the pressure for these posts to be enjoyable made me crack slightly, and my hair fell out in clumps and blocked the shower plug.

was writing about my new phone… yep. I felt like I was combing dried manure out of a horse’s tail. Eventually I cut the tail right off (after I tried combing it with my own teeth, spat it everywhere, then cried).  So although it’s deeply saddening, there will be no phone blog post.

I’ve realised that I just have to write, and not think so hard, and possibly lower the quality of the posts in the process, nomsain? For any odd/crap blog posts of the future, and the fact that I just said ‘nomsain’ as a warning, I apologise.

So let’s start – I have a great post for you about Sex and the City. HAHAHA. No seriously.

Love, Corinne (of the Cloud named as such)

Remove Your Surgically-Attached Hand Extension

I’d like to start this post with a sad tale.

It was February 2012. The Nokia franchise was under strain and non-smart phones graced only the crinkled hands of the extremely old, the reject-bins of the Envirophone offices… and me. Me and my adorable Nokia 2600 from Tesco. It could text! It could make calls! It had one whole mepapixel of intense camera quality! …But alas, it had been five years since we first met, and now the black hole of shattered screen pixels sucked up all the love in the room. People would double-take when I started texting; it unsettled them. Some would move away, shielding their mouths, unaware that THEY WERE SICK NOT ME. But I’m ashamed to say that the disease catches you at your most vulnerable and I knew what I had to do. Twenty minutes in the phone shop and it was done.


Tesco Nokia, your last *dunUH dunUH dunUH* will forever carve a scar.

I am now pale and devoid of life, sucked dry by my new hand-device. I’m addicted. We are zombies. Next time you’re on a train, look around at the sea of foreheads; the culprits are phones, games consoles or Kindles. ‘But that’s reading; that’s ok?’ you’re saying. Well, no it’s not – just because a machine enables convenient reading, does not mean it won’t jump up and snap at your oesophagus when technology devours us all.



1. To those who have contracted the smart-phone induced Hand Attachment disease, only one answer is provided to every question asked. For example, ‘When are the trains?’ will be answered with, ‘Check your phone.’

‘What is aioli?’

‘Check your phone.’

‘I’m lost.’

‘Check your phone.’

‘Is it sunny out?’

‘Check your phone.’

‘I’m sexually frustrated.’

‘Really?…Check your phone.’

2. The skin of the palm becomes fused to the device until it is a surgically-attached extension of the hand – medical fact. The neck muscles slacken so that the head lowers and hangs over it, and pupils point towards it. Attention towards other aesthetic pleasures is brief. Gaze is quickly turned back, either to capture it on Instagram, or to leave a Facebook status about the fact that it is being looked at and briefly enjoyed.

3. Status updates become a facet of the victim’s persona; online life becoming a parallel to his/her waking life. Every situation needs to be publically recorded, often made to seem more interesting than it actually is. Example: ‘Totally just met Gandalf! Should have asked him for a hug – sometimes it’s like my life is a movie, y’know? Insane.’ Translation: ‘A guy I saw had a beard.’

4. The person cannot be ‘alone’ any more without constant communication or entertainment. Device is needed in situations of a) awkwardness b) minuscule boredom c) loneliness d) embarrassment  e) joy. Phone is now seen as more of a ‘lifeline’ or ‘companion’ than emotionless machine –  note phrases such as ‘I’m not leaving without my phone’, ‘I need to check on my phone’, ‘My phone is engaged (I wish to me)’.


Why isn’t anyone monitoring this situation – that we are in the infant stages of total technology dependency? I’m imagining some Iron Man type figure, here; someone who will appear as we’re about to point our phone-cam at a meal, pluck it from our hand, launch it into a river and then call out a firm ‘NO. NO, HAND.’ In phone shops, prior to purchase, Iron Man should emerge from the back room to give a brief seminar on ‘How to Show Your Smart-Phone Who Owns Who.’ I would like him to be wearing a suit.

Just remember, the big dogs at Google/Apple/Facebook don’t care that you missed the girl of your dreams on that park bench because you were watching Chicken Police on Youtube app. Nor do they care that the Great Two-Headed Stag of seventeenth century legend just casually grazed past, but you missed it because you were peeing against a tree asking Siri if he’s gay.

We are screen-prodding our way towards the obese, entertainment-driven society as depicted so perfectly by Disney’s Wall-E – a stationary existence in a solitary bubble of convenience, unaware of anything on the outside. Perhaps many of you are not addicted to your hand-attachments. I salute you with my free hand. For the rest of us – just think: of all the countless intellectual lessons The Human Centipede has taught us, mainly it was that no good can come of being attached to something. It’s an excellent moral tale.

So tear yourselves away, in memory of active eyeball movement, in respect for the discarded Nokias everywhere, and take YOUR hand back. This is our revolution hand-bots, NOT YOURS! I bid you good luck with your new-found freedom, my independently-minded, dual-handed friends.

Signed, Cloud Corinne (omgpop394858 justsaying).

Wait – Is This a Place Where Grown-Ups Work?

Wikipedia – the source of all essential and fact-based knowledge – informed me that many people of my age are considered a PETER PAN GENERATION. Danaaaa. So, self-explanatory really; we play casual flute to a young Victorian audience, then frolic about with a couple mermaids wielding a knife the size of a chipolata, and we’re adorable.

Well… half true. Actually, for us of the Peter Pan generation, jobs are of minimal availability, housing costs mean we will forever rent or live with our parents, and serious life commitments are generally avoided like swine flu. This results in an embedded ‘Ah well, I’m too young anyway’ belief that can develop into a permanent mantra. Early marriage is a no, as are lots of children – and why invest too much of ourselves into a job we’re not happy in, winding up cynical and annoyed at where we’ve ended up? Nah, life is much more fun if you just… drift. No big decisions = no big mistakes. To Neverland!

Sigh. Ok, no then.

I’m going to precede this seemingly ungrateful spew by saying I survived unemployment hell , moved away and got a job – THANK GOD. It’s temporary but it is within the realms of existence: good thing. And it’s about time because, age-wise, I’m the oldest I’ve ever been.

So on the first day, I stepped onto my first commuter train and felt real life starting. It was good. I also heard my old duvet-based, student lifestyle of the Gods shrieking as it melted and steamed, like a cartoon in that goop stuff from Who Framed Roger Rabbit? It was terrible. It is now bound to an exquisite Heaven, where alcohol is the most Bargainy of Booze and microwaves ping for all eternity. Oh, how useful I felt as a student, attending a single afternoon seminar, or downing five Sambuca shots, poker-faced (well, spraying… two); but alas (…Mickey Finns), those achievements are no longer the measure of my self-worth. This is the working world, and if, like me, you picked a degree without overly considering vocation because you thought ‘academia’ would be ‘versatile’ (LOL), you might find yourself in an office sat by an eighteen-year-old. An eighteen-year-old, spawnofLordSugar, motherf***ing business DON. Your value is no longer dictated by your age or your education, but by your professionalism, skills and experience. Yeah. EXPERIENCE.

It’s all EXPERIENCE up in here. Guys…EXPERIENCE.

‘I’m here to make Balloon Penii, and your life.’  – Experience*.

Back in the day, this was a magical word. It used to mean ‘out-of-body experience’; ‘The Jimmy Hendrix Experience’. Sexual experience.  It’s now a prick, and won’t show up to the party when needed. Qualification is done – it now sprawls out on the sofa feeling needlessly smug. Grammatical Skill, always life and soul of the party. But when all-holy Experience arrives, schmoozing, squeezing shoulders, topping up the Babycham; that’s when everyone relaxes and performs at their best. Oh look – even ‘Owns a Car’ is here, shuffling in late as an afterthought, belching. Wow, it’s so happy in this made-up party, of like, stuff on a CV – it’s just really, really happy. Thanks, Experience.

So that was a forced analogy. But Experience is pretty forced, to the point where job advertisements often SHOUT ABOUT HOW MUCH THEY WANT IT. I want to be work-savvy, and wise. But as the world makes growing up seem scarier, with its CAPITAL DEMANDS and exclusive access, the less I want to be a grown-up.

Not everyone my age feels like a kid, but in countless ways, I do. This ‘working world’ is a parallel universe – one that was continuously moving whilst I wrote essays and chewed my sleeve. A world in which I’m now squashed among suit-clad citizens pouring from the commuter trains and marching briskly to their allotted stations, like ants into tall, concrete picnic baskets. I find myself mulling over memories of building a snowboy (last year), or accidentally squeezing my Ribena carton (yesterday), and when the boss leaves the office I want to shout ‘WHOEVER DOESN’T STAND ON THEIR CHAIR EATS BOGEYS!’ because I’m starting from the bottom, and having to make something of myself from scratch. Just like from Primary to Secondary, Secondary to College, College to University; every time you master your surroundings it changes, and before you know it you’re the clueless child again.

Advise me, oh Great One?

But despite the probable life-long emotional scarring, it’s not all that bad. I’m quite content in the assumption that the happiest working people still feel like kids too, putting their Career Masks on and thinking ‘I don’t know what the hell I just said’ after a big meeting with the Chairman. Maybe it’s not a grown-up job that turns you into an old git, but settling for mediocrity. Child-like adrenaline drives you forward, towards better things – just like when kids push harder on the swings to get higher, and when they jump off and stack it, just do it again. So that makes me feel better. In fact, it’s kids that should be piling into offices – they have a better attitude and get spinny chairs and everything. And we can pay them raisins. So… I can leave now, right?

Call the Valentine’s Samaritans.

Oh, Saint Valentine, God love you, whoever you were, whoever cares who you were. I can’t imagine what you may have looked like, without checking Google. So let’s guess, using the acquired evidence. Tedious desire for everyone to love each other = probable loose woollen poncho; easier to force hugs with. Ugg boots, because comfort is key in regards to love, but with no expense spared. No doubt he listens to a lot of Lionel Richie and Celine Dione on a loop via cassette walkman.  I’d say that Saint Valentine is a wannabe Jesus in his belief that he is spreading love to all, saying ‘Good luck in your search’, to every Single in a creepy, lip-twitching way. Basically he’s the greasy guy working at Co-op who touches your hand when he passes you change.

I’m a lot less bitter this year about Valentine’s Day than I have been in previous years – does it show?

‘Hot enough for ya Clintons?! Oh, BUUUURRRN!’

I understand that it’s nice to have a day in which you can celebrate (or be disappointed in) your wonderful, perfect partner. But I’m going to channel a bit of Carrie Bradshaw here  – and I’m aware that many just crossed off, if they didn’t at the mention of a poncho – what day of the week is KISS/LICK THE MIRROR DAY? One could say it falls on the 1st January, a day in which you invest time and effort into your future self. Well that’s a lie, I’ve already warned you that January is a feeder and does not have your best interests at heart.

What are you doing this Valentine’s Day to save your soul? I’m going to dinner with my sister and watching the new Muppets film for some rare inter-species eye candy. But if you need to call a Samaritan this Valentine’s, here are some ideas that you can either embrace, or spectacularly reject in order to feel some level of control, over anything.

Yeah.. *bites fist.

  1. Bath. Baths. Are. The best. Whack on some Barry White and soak in some sort of intensely scented ass’s milk. You are the Cleopatra of your own domain, and no one is going to burst in and pollute your air.
  2. Call. You have friends/family that are single? If you have legitimate reasons why you aren’t drinking yourselves into oblivion, then have a whole night of catch-up calls. Drink milk – it might squirt out of your nose when you laugh. If you haven’t bathed in it all. Mmm, milk.
  3. Star Wars Marathon Sex and the City Marathon. Typo.
  4. Slap Up Dinner. Steak, McCain home fries, glass of red, little dessert in a cute glass pot; now THAT is what I’m talkin’ about. Coming from someone who constantly relates food to emotions this may be one you want to ignore, but why? Tears make the best sprinkles.
  5. Nude Jive. Self-explanatory. No one should hate their reflection on Kiss the Mirror day. Nothing crazy, just a few air thrusts, some thigh slaps, y’know. Also if you’ve got some decorating that needs doing, a large naked arse covers a lot of wall space and creates a butterfly print that is just exquisite.

    ‘Roses are red, Violets are blue – me.’

  6. Congregation of Super Best Friends. I mean this has to be the best Valentine’s cure ever. If you’re lucky enough to have an unattached posse willing to occupy the space around you on February 14th, congratulations, you have no reason to be reading this. Now line up the tequila slammers/Wii nunchucks/knitting patterns.
  7. Any Other Day. Get through work, an average microwave meal and a few mundane odd jobs; then when a romantic, saxaphoney M&S ad reminds you to be gorging on love, think ‘Oh yeah – forgot.’ Well done, you’ve done Kiss/Lick the Mirror Day proud. If you’re single that is; otherwise, you may have an uncomfortable phone call coming your way, or worse. Best seal off your letterbox.

And don’t touch THE NOTEBOOK; what are you a Masochist? There is another way. Now go bathe, you sexy bastard.

‘Thanks, man. … cool if we milk your ass?’

Too Far, Superfan. The depths of celeb obsession.

One day as I was skipping through Twitterville I saw something odd. It said:

RT if you’ve said ‘One Direction’ today!

That wasn’t the odd thing – weird declarations from superfans are the white noise of Twitter. But how about this for a reply…

‘I didn’t just say it, I tattooed it on my heart.’ [with pic].

I feel a short silence is required here. These sentences will represent that.

Superfans intimidate me, in the same way a pack of jumpy, stabby baboons would. It’s weird that the desperation to know or emulate someone they’ve never met, becomes part of their very identity.

To relate, please refer to the One Direction documentary aired on ITV2 a while ago. According to the footage, the body-crippling symptoms of Superfandom are as follows :-  a phrase similar to ‘He breathed on me!’ is accompanied by hand- flapping and screaming, then hyperventilating, and concludes with a sobbing, face-holding comedown. Irrational anger at events outside of their control is also common. This is proven by the reaction to their most recent irritant, Caroline Flack, who at a ripened 32 years of age has started seeing 17-year-old band member, Harry Styles. You cradle-snatcher, Caroline! And by that I mean robbing the innocence of the poor girls now caught up in narcotics abuse. Scorned 1D fan = angry, drug-induced hair-flicking to That’s What Makes You Beautiful; there is no middle ground.


But let’s give superfans some slack. They may have turned Twitter into a virtual mental institution, but everyone can appreciate talent. Lady Gaga is obviously really good at what she does, whatever your opinion on using bacon as a shoe. But really… any big-eyed, clawing, teacup-carrying fan of Gaga surely deserves the name Little Monster.

And big stars of today don’t exactly help by allowing their fans to conform under their own umbrella term. If you refer to yourself as – it pains me to say – a One Directioner, Belieber, Little Monster, Heartbeat or JLSter (come on, that one’s lazy), then you will find it standard practise to integrate superfan worship into your daily routine. The line between healthy and wrong has started to fuzz, or sadly, is no longer visible to you.

Because of those.

When Justin Bieber tweets, you panic and try to find something clever to tweet so he’ll notice you! #itsabelieberthing

Ah , ain’t it the truth? No. The funny thing about ‘Beliebers’ is the hashtag #itsabelieberthing . This seems to be the get-out clause used to excuse any extreme content of the tweet.

So, for instance; ‘When your blow-up Justin doll pops after you’ve mounted it!’- is deemed completely acceptable when followed with ‘#itsabelieberthing’. ‘Feeling so close to Justin when you’ve carved his name in your thigh!’ – not weird because – ‘#itsabelieberthing’. The hashtag says ‘Everyone does it!’ Sort of like a game of I Have Never, when you expect everyone to drink, and no one does.

Hanging out in fields, being a desperate bride #itsabelieberthing!

Caroline Flack should give thanks that her beef ain’t with Beliebers. When JB allegedly handed over his virginity to some average Joanne in a toilet, the lucky lady actually received death threats from his cult following. They wanted this girl DEAD, such were the shards of their jealous, shattered hearts.

But the Bieb knows this; the Bieb is sly. He likes to dangle split-ended hairs of hope to each slumbering pre-teen. His new perfume (for girls) is called Someday – a name that has to be whispered. On occasion he ‘Follows Back’ on Twitter, and for the entire day that Belieber is seen by the others as a Messiah. ‘CONGRATS! Justin followed you!!!’ they tweet, as if by contacting ‘the chosen one’ they too may touch glory, and Someday-scented flower petals will rain on them all. Meanwhile, Justin smiles from the television screen with that glint in his eye that says ‘Someday, Jen/Katie/Amy /Natalie/Lisa – someday.’

He also gives Selena’s arse a good smack when they jump into a cash bath.

History has taught us that the human race is easily enchanted. We’ve all gulped hard on our… admiration for certain people. When Take That split up, fans lay down in the road, collapsing at the thought of a life without a chubs Gary Barlow in denim dungers. And when Paul McCartney was hot (yeah, apparently), the media created ‘Beatlemania’, because a name was needed to define girls in bat-winged glasses having spontaneous orgasms during ‘I Wanna Hold Your Hand’, and fake-fainting in order to be carried over barrier fences.

Poor superfans are just puppets played by the very industry they feed. And how can we expect emancipation, in a culture where they can now directly tweet their love to an A-lister, and have all their dreams realised in a single ‘Thnx xx’ ?

But it would serve others to remember, superfans do not a superman make. Celebs are regular people, talented or (largely) untalented; all of which got lucky once.

As an aside, writing ‘#itsagoslingthing’ to excuse extreme antics is not acceptable either. Because the ‘I wrote you every day for a year!’ line doesn’t sound the same as it does in The Notebook; not when it’s true, and you’re yelling it at Ryan’s house from his security fence as you fight off the effects of a tranquilizer dart.

Unemployed? Unflustered.

If you’ve managed to ignore that our country is in a state of ‘decline’, yay for you – you’re either successful, or you may live under a blanket; probably cartoon-themed.

‘A million young people unemployed!’ says News. ‘Stop using Comic Sans on your CV, you deluded youths,’ says BBC3’s god-awful programme Up For Hire. ‘What are you doing now, then?’ says distant relative at uncomfortable family gathering. As tempting as it is to bury your face in your Cheerios and inhale until the pain gently stops, there is another way! As a recent graduate myself, here’s what I’ve learnt about surviving the unemployed pool of the university machine.

Allow yourself to go through the motions. And not necessarily in the following order. Denial. I was all, ‘I’m graduated, and what? No need to hurry.’ I got a waitressing job back at home, spent my entire Summer serving grilled fish and paid off my overdraft. Then came Solid Motivation. I attacked my savings, sent out job applications, looked at flatshares… Utter Desperation when nothing was working, then Panic. I signed up to the dole upon realising the entire uni process doesn’t actually guarantee a result in any job, let alone one that you want – hello Isolation and Misery.

Obviously, all of that sucked. But I’ve now reached a state of calm. Someone had to tell me, ‘Stop being so hard on yourself, it’s only been a few months’. The world gives you this engrained sense that you have to rush, when really there is no reason to. Keep trying and stay motivated. But don’t beat yourself up. It’s cool – if you want to get somewhere in life and you are willing to go the distance, then you will get there, sooner or later.

Don’t compare yourself to others unless it’s as a source of inspiration. Go at your own pace. It’s easy to look at friends who have sorted their lives and think, ‘If it’s that easy then why not for me?’ When I asked people further, they’d struggled just as much as anyone to get there. Everyone is in the same boat here, don’t stress that you’re the unluckiest loser in Gradville.

Your degree doesn’t have to determine your direction. I studied English Literature and Creative Writing because I love it. And I loved studying it. I got good grades, became better educated and had an awesome time. But I’ve discovered that most jobs English supposedly ‘grants’ me aren’t all that appealing unless I want to become well acquainted with a filing cabinet. It’s ok to go off course – stay open-minded and broaden your search. I became a better person through my degree and I don’t regret a second of it, but it doesn’t have to define me – it’s just part of me. You decide what makes up the rest of you, whatever that is.

It hits you doesn’t it? /wipes tear.

Do what you have to do to survive, but don’t sacrifice what makes you happy. We spend a ton of our lives at WORK. Not drinking wine, dancing, watching films, playing Xbox, jumping in the sea, sleeping or anything else cool and fun. I learnt that whilst doing twelve hour shifts and feeling like I’d never wear my own clothes again. If you’re in a job you hate, recognize your interests and nurture them. Don’t sacrifice what you love. If you love to travel, look at what careers will allow you to do so – travel writer, air steward, club rep etc. If you love drawing, start working on a portfolio or project on the side. Document your capabilities; you never know when they might come in handy as a reference to show what you can do.

Don’t assume that these are permanent life decisions. Mate. No! If you end up happy with your career for the rest of your life, good for you. But maybe you’ll follow a certain direction for a few years, then realise something else holds the key to your aching, unsatisfied heart. Maybe you’ll have to study again – so get onto UCAS. Nothing is a permanent choice; you can change your mind whenever you want to. Cheesy, but your life is what you make it. So if you want to be a circus performer, go ask a clown.

Not this clown.

Finally, ignore the media. It has been my most useful realisation. What happens to a person is massively down to the individual, and all the media does is generalise. Sure there’s some truth there, but to them, ‘a good story’ is to dish out a huge dose of depressing. Try your hardest, do what you feel will work for you, and switch the TV off when some dick journalist is bellowing her ‘bomb all universities’ opinion that no one asked for. Stay positive and screw the rest. Good luck, grad. /salute.