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The Voices In My Head 


I’m going to say right off the bat that I don’t think I’m crazy in a dangerous way. In fact, if you met my family you’d think I was surprisingly well adjusted. And if you knew my family history…well let’s just say you’d look at me with nothing short of awe at how socially competent and high functioning I am in the face of what is frankly a  genetic mäelstrom of psychiatric doom.
I hear voices Not in the “they tell me to do things” way. I’m a writer and I create characters and wouldn’t that be dull if every character spoke the same and had the same opinions and wanted the same things? Especially if all of those characters were me, because all I want to do is write. It would mean I’d be writing stories and plays and blog pieces about someone who wants to write. That would be really boring. So I hear voices, and I believe every writer does. I don’t think that’s a sign of madness, I think it’s a sign of creativity. (Mostly. Because sometimes it’s actually madness.)
Sometimes though, I can’t blame the voices. Sometimes I just shoot up The Madness Tree like a spooked cat running for one of it’s 7 remaining lives and it takes a can of tuna and some gentle pursed lip noises to get me down…
…you’re right I took that simile too far. It take some wise, sane words from a good friend to get me to slowly come down and sheepishly dust myself off, removing a couple of twigs from my hair as I return to the realms of sanity.
I recently talked to a guy on a dating website. My subscription was expiring shortly and I wasn’t really up for dating, it being a couple of days after a guy had sent me messages essentially threatening to rape me (you can read my post on that here: http://klutzface.com/blog/what-id-really-like-to-reply-to-a-rape-joke/ ) and I was about to go away and I was really busy with a backlog of work and I just didn’t have the mental space or energy to accommodate a date.
So I gently refused his request to go out some time and he, in a kind of awesome, not pushy and not weird way, sent me a message back saying that was fine and how did I feel about an un-date? A walk, a chat and if it’s all rubbish we go our separate ways but we’ve had some fresh air and exercise.
Unfortunately I was still in that “I can’t face this yet” place and I didn’t reply, but I did screen shot his email address and part of his message, because obviously there was a part of me that knew I might be ready in the near future (thanks past Abi, you’re smart sometimes).
Plus he had listened to Serial (which you should all listen to as well) and had the exact opposite concluding opinion to me so I wanted to hear more about that.
So it’s about 2 weeks later and I tentatively feel ready to send this guy an email. I apologise for and explain the delay in getting in contact with him and I tell him that I’d like to see him. It’s been 4 days and I’ve had no response. I’ve gone from nonchalantly not being bothered about this guy to checking my email obsessively and wondering why he hasn’t replied yet. I made a list of reasons that range from the sane and plausible to the wildly unlikely as to why he hasn’t replied to me (yet. The ever-hopeful word. Yet.)
Reasons why Interesting Guy has not responded to my email:
1 – I confused him by making the subject title “…sponsored by mailchimp, by mail chimp, by mail…kimp?” (It’s a joke about Serial. You’ll get it in about the first minute if you listen to it. Which you should. It’s not a spoiler. Promise) and he didn’t get the joke and deleted it because he thought it was spam, actually sent by Mailchimp.
1 (a) – Because of the subject title his email address thought it was spam and it went straight to his junk mail folder.
2 – He’s just busy and wants to reply properly when he has time.
3 – It took me so long to email him he forgot who I was.
4 – He spoke to my ex-boyfriend because he works with him at the same company and my ex-boyfriend told Interesting Guy about our breakup and Interesting Guy has decided to stay well away. (Incidentally, this one isn’t total paranoia on my part. He actually does work with the ex who totally took away my ability to trust people in a romantic context about 3 years ago, and it’s not a huge company so they probably talk at least on a daily basis. There’s even the small possibility that one of them is the other’s boss. So that’s not weird at all.)
5 – He saw my full name at the bottom of my email on my email signature and he facebook stalked me and saw:
a) my batman facebook profile pic and he really hates batman (in which case, we’d never work anyway. Because Batman is awesome.)
b) how annoying I can be on social media and decided he doesn’t want that in his life. (Fair.)
c) my blog posts and rape-joke shaming and decided he doesn’t want to be subjected to that level of scrutiny.
d) that one of my friends is his mortal enemy.
6 – He’s friends with Rapey Text Guy (they’re a similar age. It’s not implausible) and heard his version of the story, made the connection and doesn’t want to do that to his friend.
7 – My email wasn’t enticing enough and he’s decided “nah”.
8 – In the 2 weeks it took me to get my shit together and contact him, he met someone else and he’s blissfully happy.
9 – He was in an accident and lost all his memories. He doesn’t know his email password, me or anything else.
10 – He died.
It’s been pointed out to me that despite the fact that one of the most sane reasons is listed as the second thing that I thought of, I’ve still opted to carry on with the rest of the madness. But it made me feel better to make that list. It makes me feel better to run through the options in my head, I guess to let the voices out. I like to understand things, anything, everything. I like to know why things are happening and how they’ve come to be this way. It’s a trait that makes me persistent and curious and probably really annoying about a lot of things. It makes me feel a bit crazy when I don’t understand something. I’m also really bad at waiting for things, at not knowing yet. 
So Interesting Guy, if you’re reading this, please know that I’d like to hear from you. If you’re blissfully happy with someone else then I wish you all the best and hope it works out. But if you’re not…please check your junk mail folder. Please don’t hate Batman, don’t listen to my ex and don’t be friends with Rapey Text guy because you seemed cool and I think you can do better than that. Please don’t judge me entirely on my online activity and please don’t be amnesiac or dead. And maybe take 5 minutes from your busy schedule to drop me a reply.
In the meantime, I’m going to work on this…
Voices in head simpsons



Seriously, who doesn’t love a good list-structured blog?  From advice to things we love/hate – if you don’t like the “1-insert number here” style, this is not the place for you.


17 Ways to Make a 1-night-stand Man Leave Your Room – 09.12.2013

It’s morning.

You’re awake.

Things are…fuzzy.


Wait…what the hell is that?

You’re torn between moving to find out and not moving in case it wakes.

Last night’s antics slowly return to your hangover brain. Oh. *That’s* what that is.

You crack open an eye. Hmmm. Yes he’s definitely asleep and that heavy thing you thought might be a massive book lying open and heavy across your middle is in fact his arm. Oh good. You’re trapped.


He stirs.

You hold your breath.

He settles.

You release it.

You consider your options – go back to sleep now and deal with him later, run away and just bequeath your bed, room and flat to him, telepathically summon your master of martial arts brother or kick him out now.

You just want him to leave. Why doesn’t he know that!? Why is he still there?! GET OUT OF THE BED, MAN WHOSE NAME YOU DON’T REMEMBER. Phil? Was it Phil? Oh it could have been anything. You’re pretty sure it’s not Greg though. You can’t explain it, but you know with 100% certainty his name is not Greg.

In the end you manoeuvre yourself so that one arm is free enough to reach your phone which was on the bedside table but has now fallen to the floor, ew, under his yesterday’s boxers, which means that he’s definitely still naked. Well that’s that one answered then.

You text your sister/cousin/friend/mum and ask for advice on what to say to make the other human currently taking up space far too near to you leave.

“What do I do to make this guy leave the room? I want him to go!”

Here are some responses you’d get from me if I received that text:

1 – Tickle him then inform him entirely seriously that it wasn’t your fault but your shadow made you do it. Proceed to hiss at your shadow and explain that’s the only way to make it behave.

2 – Put on your fanciest dress and make sure you’re sitting on the bed gazing at him when he wakes up. He’ll go faster if you also stroke his hair.

3 – Call him “Petal”, “Pumpkin”, “my special wittle bed bear” or the wrong name in a baby voice.

4 – Stand over him holding a cross (fashion one out of 2 pencils if you don’t have one readily to hand) and talk in Latin at him. When he asks what you’re doing tell him he was sleeptalking and everyone knows sleep talkers have demons inside them that must be exorcised.

5 – Finish every sentence by neighing like a horse but under no circumstances acknowledge you’re doing it.

6 – Tell him you need to change your tampon and the spiritual blood goddess Menstruata requires that you do it in your bedroom alone. When he asks if you had your period last night just don’t answer.

7 – Call a friend and talk very loudly about how you’ve met the love of your life and you’re going to be together forever and he’s in your bed RIGHT NOW.

8 – Eat some monster munch. Breathe heavily on his face repeatedly.

9 – Begin cleaning while singing Disney songs and tell him that you’re convinced in another life you were the embodiment of Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and any other princess who had the ability to communicate with animals. Then crouch down, pretend you’ve seen an ant, spider, beetle or woodlouse and begin crooning to it.

10 – Read out the shipping forecast.

11 – Tell him you’re 14 and your dad will be home soon.

12 – Find any paper or magazine and find the horoscopes page. Begin cross referencing as many as you can in print and online and then declare either that he must go or he must stay forever because the stars have said it is so.

13 – Tell him you, your aura, an effigy and a candle need some time alone to think about what you’ve done.

14 – Bark at him. Like an actual dog.

15 – Offer him a massage and be terrible at it. If you don’t want to hurt him, don’t touch him at all and when he says something, look terrified and tell him that you’ve learned the hard way that you don’t know your own strength.

16 – Mime. Everything.

17 – Make a boat on the floor and sing “Row row row your boats gently down the stream” at the top of your voice, while intermittently shrieking that the sharks are coming and nowhere is safe but the boat. For greater effect, throw a glass of water over yourself.

Of course, if none of the above work or appeal to you, you could just try telling him you have stuff to do and would he mind leaving sooner rather than later please. There’s always that option. But if you’re not going to be up front and honest about what you want to say, you should at least be creative with your lie.



6 Relationships to Avoid. At all costs – April 2011

NB this is written from a straight female perspective, but it pretty much applies to either gender – I’m just too lazy to keep writing in the other options. Switch it over in your head if you need to. You’re all intelligent enough for that.


1- Abusive. In any way. Physically, mentally, emotionally. Get out. It may sound obvious but I have it on good authority that it is a lot harder than you’d think.


2- The guy you keep giving chances to. Why do you give him so many chances? OH of course because this time he’s going to change and you know he will because he said so. Um. No. The hands are pointing to Reality o’Clock and it’s time to wake up. He won’t change. If you can accept him as he is then by all means stay with him but do not mistake habit for happiness. Do not mistake familiarity for love. If there are things that bother you so much that you’re miserable most of the time, then why are you with him? A relationship cannot work if you’re constantly trying to change each other. Of course, compromise, but to keep trying to change someone is wearing for both of you and only ends in misery, frustration and disappointment.

To quote Lorelai Gilmore of Gilmore Girls “You don’t want to be in the business of changing people.”


3- The guy who asks for money all the time. You’re always covering his share of the bill, paying for stuff, buying him things. Of course you don’t look at someone’s finances to check they’re on a similar income as you and relationships are not about money, but they are about give and take. With a difficult money situation it can be hard but often it’s a proportional thing rather than an actual figures thing. I’ve dated people earning less than me and earning more than me and OK, sometimes I can’t buy dinner that night but I can buy the coffee the next day. It’s not always the amount you’re spending but the thought that goes into treating the other person. Plus I love coffee and sometimes I’d be happy if someone would just caffeinate me instead of feeding me. Then again, perhaps some of my priorities are a bit skewed.


4- You don’t find him attractive. Sounds superficial but let’s be honest, there are not many people who actually want a relationship without sex. You may get on so well, he may be your best friend and understands you and is able to take care of you and bonus, he’s rich so he can give you a life of comfort and dinners and lovely holidays and you love him like a brother (hint: that’s the problematic part) but you just don’t fancy him. It won’t end well. And I count having rubbish or no sex for the rest of your life as it not ending well. Oh and while we’re in the bedroom…


5- The sex is bad. Really bad. Or maybe, for example, he won’t go down on you. This is potentially a controversial one but gentlemen – you all need to get over this reluctance to go down on a woman. Some men, from what I understand are totally fine with it. Good – you can all stay. Others, it seems, are less fine with it. Now obviously, this is a totally subjective thing but it can make up a large proportion of sexual activity and frankly sex is a whole lot less fun without it. And guys, it doesn’t count if you’re making a woman feel bad about it – that’s not fair. You’re not enjoying it (we know this, because you’re making the biggest fuss known to mankind) and therefore we’re not enjoying it because no one feels sexy knowing that the person they’re with feels under duress or worse, is grossed out by a part of our body that they seem happy enough to enjoy in other ways. I’m no hypocrite – I think women need to get over this mentality of “I’m not putting that in my mouth” too. Thinking about how much pleasure you’re bringing your partner is the best thing to focus on to get you through the experience if you really hate it that much. Or do a lot of teasing. Power play can be a whole world of fun. Also none of this applies to teenagers (or adults for that matter) who are being pressured into something they are not ready to do. That’s a different situation and not OK. The point is that it’s important for the sexual side of the relationship to be give and take as much as the rest of it. Both partners need to be satisfied.


6- I think this is the hardest one of all. This is the relationship that goes wrong for no discernible reason. And yet there appear to be so many reasons. The timing is bad, the weather is bad, it’s his fault, you blame yourself, it’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other, you don’t fight enough, you fight too much, he has issues you have issues, one of you has a cold and then you both need tissues (I’m sorry I couldn’t help myself, I needed to make something rhyme there), you never see each other, you see too much of each other. Whatever it is you can’t quite pinpoint what’s wrong. He doesn’t cheat and you don’t lie but you feel you don’t really know each other. You text all the time but the communication sucks. It’s not a specific thing.

It should work but it doesn’t. And because it should work you have all these expectations of each other. On paper you’re perfect but people are not made out of paper. People are 19-Dimensional, wonderful, contradictory beings who can be immature but not childish and vice versa. And however hard you try, things still seem to keep going wrong. This is the one that it hurts so much to walk away from because if only you could be slightly different versions of yourselves around each other things would be so different and it would work so wonderfully well. You walk away and it is just so sad because it’s the last thing you want to do and you keep questioning the decision and never quite settling on if it was right or not. You want to keep trying because you hope that maybe that thing, that intangible thing that’s holding you both back from being the couple everyone would like to be, would like you to be, that you would like to be…maybe it’s just one more deep conversation away from disappearing. Rationale and feelings collide in an internal conflict of agonisingly epic (dis)proportions. Something pulls you towards him, equally intangible as the thing that keeps the two of you from working. And against all of that you just keep hoping. Ultimately, for a totally inexplicable reason, you just don’t bring out the best in each other.


To my inexperienced and probably quite naïve mind, the thing we want is the version of this relationship that works. The one where something just shifts, it clicks and (sigh of happy relief) you work. It’s not always easy but instead of the difficulties forcing you apart they bring you closer together. Instead of feeling lonely and isolated from one another you lean on each other for support. Instead of hurting one another you make each other happy. You compromise without trying to change each other and you love each other not in spite of the quirks and insanity but because of them.  You make up after fights and eventually laugh about them because that’s what grown ups do. You do have to work at things but it’s OK because that’s what you want. Well, I can’t speak for everyone, but I know that’s what I want.


14 Ways to be Poor but Classy 24/09/2013

I’m quite poor at the moment – ok, not so poor that I don’t have access to a computer and therefore can’t type this blog, but in Western/London/middle class/all the people I know and am friends with terms, I am not a rich human.

In a recent conversation with a friend I said (AS A JOKE)

“I’ve found a new way to save money.”

“Go on…” he replied.

*a long-ish pause*

“It is technically called stealing…”

The thing is, when you don’t have money immediately available, you start to panic. There is a gnawing feeling in the pit of your stomach that could be hunger or could be fear, or perhaps an unhealthy mixture of the two – “I’m hungry but oh God, do I have enough money to buy any food?”  Chances are, the answer is “no, dufus, not really, that’s why you’re hungry and afraid.”  The fear comes from already knowing the answer.  And it’s not good.

Here’s the other thing – I like good shoes, food, clothes and accessories. I like good quality make-up. I like (to an extent anyway) going to a gym, exercising and feeling smug about it.  On a less snobby, privileged level I simply like going out with my friends.  The problem is, all of these things cost money.  Whether it’s topping up my oyster card so I can, y’know, go anywhere (I topped up £10 today and the man in the newsagents told me that should get me around for one day. One day?  Ten whole pounds will only cover your travel for a day!? The transport isn’t even that good here! Where is all that money going?!) or going out straight after work but not having brought dinner so having to buy some…it’s costly and stressful.  So I’ve put together 14 handy tips on how to be poor but not look it.

As my good friend Rachel says: Fake it ’til you make it babe.

1 – Make use of free gym passes.  You probably have a friend who goes to the gym.  They get a couple of free day passes. Some gyms do 3-day free trials.  Use them. If you can’t get one of those, go along with a friend, stand at the reception desk and be a bit annoying but friendly.  Basically just hang out there until they let you in.  Be a pain, but not a security threat.  It really helps to go with a friend who is actually a member.

2 – Charity shops.  It sounds obvious, but seriously you can get some actual gems in these places. Choose your areas well and you’ll be wearing designer things you couldn’t afford if you had a solid income. Plus then you’re giving to charity so you get to shop guilt-free.

3 – Be really nice to people on make-up stands – they control the free samples.  Benefit are great for that sort of thing.  Also MAC do free makeovers on the understanding that you’re going to buy the products after.  I have it on good authority that “I’m just going to get my mum/friend as she has my purse” is a line that works a treat. Handy hint: that’s your cue to run away.

4 – This one might be questionable on the classy front but I’ve been lucky a few times here – those self service machines that we all hate?  Yeah, sometimes they mess up and you get free food. That’s what big corporations get for replacing humans with machines. Saving grace of this one? You’re (kind of) sticking it to the man!

5- Walk to as many places as possible.  This one is handy because it saves you money on transport (previously established to be extortionate) and is especially good for when you need to exercise but you’ve run out of free gym passes!  It also often doesn’t take you nearly as long as you think it will – you can walk suprisingly far in an hour.

6 – Visit your mum. She probably has make-up she doesn’t want. And jewellery. Vintage pieces.  Same rules for the grandma (if you’re lucky enough to still have one around) apply. Also they love you and want you to have the nice things you, at this rate, will never be able to afford.

7 – Buy magazines. They often have sample products. and are cheaper than actual products. £2.99 for a rubbish magazine and a free mascara/nail polish/lip gloss/moisturiser worth £10-£15? Don’t mind if I do!

8 – Ebay ebay ebay ebay – sell the things you don’t want.  WARNING: you may also end up spending money. Ebay is dangerous for that sort of thing.

9 –  Run a clothes swap and invite richer friends (so…anyone).

10 – London is full of free events. Go to them.  If the weather is decent you can even walk to them.  There are a lot of art galleries and museums that have free entry.  Culture is classy.  Go absorb it.

11 – Need a hair cut? Been 6 – 9 months or longer?  Go to a model night at a hairdresser. It’ll take a bit more time but it’ll be much cheaper to have your hair done.  Worth it.

12 – This one is a slightly sore subject for me as I once missed out on this by literally 2 minutes.  At midday, Pret a Manger give away any leftover porridge because they stop selling it at 12.  Either that or they throw it away. Go at midday. Pick up the porridge. Or ask for something you know they don’t have and then ask if they’re still selling the porridge.  Either way, get free porridge.  This is good because it’ll keep you going for hours. Those pots are really big.

13 – I have it on good authority that the Yo Sushi Selfridges food counter reduces things to 50p before it closes.  This is also true of sushi in certain branches of Waitrose and M&S.  Do not be afraid of the posh food places – they do good reductions when the food is no longer good enough for the usual wealthy clientèle.

14 – Go on dates – this was suggested to me by a friend and I’m not sure how I feel about it.  It feels a little cheap to do it but equally, if you’re single, why shouldn’t you get a free drink/meal in exchange for your company. Oh wait. Did I just make you sound like an escort? Hmmm. Maybe the freebies of dating should be the happy bonus of being single and having the right motivation to go out with other humans. Either way, there’s a debate to be had about the ethics of this one – I’ll go into it another time.

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