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Real life

Real liferss

Cornish Oasis Garden Opened at The Eden Project

The expensive horror of the Eden Project

26 July 2014

As a rule, I tend not to frequent places where there is a sign on the door saying ‘no sharps’. But I thought I would make an exception for the… Read more

Real_Life

I bought a tin of dog food and paid £67.50

19 July 2014

‘Cydney,’ I have just told the spaniel, ‘you had better enjoy this tin of dog food because it cost me £67.50.’ I hear you ask, ‘How on earth is this… Read more

Tom

Since when is it too much trouble to serve proper tomato juice?

12 July 2014

‘I have a feeling,’ said my father, ‘that this evening is not going to go well.’ We were sitting in the bar of a local fish restaurant near my parents’… Read more

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A tip for future invaders of Britain – start after 3pm

5 July 2014

If we had to fight a war on the home front I’m fairly sure we would be stuffed. I base this claim on what happens if you try to buy… Read more

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I need a syringe full of ketamine to survive a visit to the vet

28 June 2014

The vet arrived at the stable yard wearing his customary grin. He is the happiest man I know. Of course he is. As he once explained to me, horses may… Read more

To the eco-warrior on the moped...

21 June 2014

‘Well,’ said my gay lawyer friend Stephen as I pulled over to drop him off at Sloane Square Tube, ‘it’s been a lovely evening. Absolutely lovely.’ And he opened the… Read more

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And now my Volvo is holding me prisoner

14 June 2014

‘And for my next trick,’ said the Volvo, as I parked at the supermarket and pulled the handle of the door to get out, ‘I shall refuse to open while… Read more

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Estate agents just don't get it - I want a house, not a building site

7 June 2014

‘What is this, please?’ I said to the estate agent, as he showed me into the building site he was calling a house. ‘This,’ he said beaming, ‘is the kitchen… Read more

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How I finished writing my novel

31 May 2014

In the end, I threw my mobile phone into a sack of Chudley’s dog biscuits. It was the only way I could finish the book. The bag of Chudley’s was… Read more

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A&E is no place for the over-tens

24 May 2014

‘Ouch!’ said the ex-builder boyfriend. ‘I think something’s bitten me.’ And a few seconds after that, something bit me too. We had been walking in the woods with the spaniel,… Read more

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The scariest words in the English language: 'Dormer windows'

17 May 2014

Just when I thought I couldn’t possibly fight any more battles, a pink planning notice is pinned to the lamp post in front of my house. The upstairs neighbours are… Read more

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Herbal remedies for horses? I'm half tempted to try them myself...

10 May 2014

You know you’ve been irreversibly sucked into the ninth circle of horse-owning hell when you find yourself perusing an equine supplement catalogue. If you ask me, these tomes should have… Read more

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Must every man take spring off to give birth?

3 May 2014

Really, I do wish people would stagger their baby-making. Absolutely every professional person whose services I have required in the past few weeks has declared themselves out of action for… Read more

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Like a Volvo, I start predicting disaster long before it happens

26 April 2014

The mechanic hooked the Volvo up to his special laptop. He had kindly offered to come to me in order to diagnose the different warning codes that were flashing on… Read more

Real

Give a working cocker a few months off and it turns into one half of Thelma and Louise

19 April 2014

‘Can I go and play with Twiggy?’ If dogs could talk, this is what my spaniel Cydney would be saying to me every five minutes. She has made friends with… Read more

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My Volvo has turned into a monster

12 April 2014

The Volvo has turned into a monster. It always did have a mind of its own. Fellow owners warned me when I got it that the sensors are incredibly sensitive.… Read more

Real

'I assembled a counter full of sharp objects, and went at it like Rambo in First Blood'

5 April 2014

All the way around a cross country course I went, then I got back, tied the horse up at a wooden post and a splinter from the post landed me… Read more

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I accidentally bought a racehorse. Would you like to join a syndicate?

29 March 2014

This horse-rearing business is not for the faint-hearted. I don’t know what I was thinking when I bought an eight-month-old filly out of the racing industry. Well, I wasn’t thinking,… Read more

Illustration by Mitch Blunt

The girl who hadn't heard of the Berlin Wall

22 March 2014

‘Question 2. In which year did the Berlin Wall come down?’ shouted the quizmaster. And then he repeated this with dramatic pauses, as quizmasters are apt to do: ‘In which… Read more

Spare a thought for the desperate single women abandoned by their gay best friends

Help! My gay best friend is cheating on me

15 March 2014

My gay best friend is cheating on me with another woman. I saw him with her the other day and now I’m prostrate with grief and shock. I don’t think… Read more

British Prime Minister David Cameron (L)

David Cameron is sending me begging letters

8 March 2014

A letter arrives from David Cameron, asking me to vote by post in the European elections. Presumably he means vote by post for the Tory party. The letter has a… Read more

Rail Fare Rises Take Effect

My friend Denise doesn't know where London ends – just when it ends

1 March 2014

The look on her face said it all. I can always tell my friend Denise is upset about something when she is sporting an especially wide grin. Denise is from… Read more

Kite

Why is campaigning so thankless? 

22 February 2014

‘Quick, let’s slip one in the menu,’ said the builder, taking a leaflet from my handbag after we had paid the bill at the pavement café where we had just… Read more

Andre Rieu makes people happy Photo: Bongarts/Getty

Let's make Andre Rieu the leader of the world 

15 February 2014

‘Please, I beg of you, take me to see André,’ was my mother’s heartfelt plea. And so it was that we turned up at Wembley Arena — she, my father… Read more

Cydney on litter duty

Finding a job for my cocker spaniel

8 February 2014

Seeing a poodle on the London Underground wearing a red vest with the words ‘Diabetes Medical Dog’ has given me an idea. I have been trying to think of a… Read more