Real life

Real liferss

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Challenging parking tickets is my crack cocaine

25 July 2015

‘Cydney, we are not moving to Cobham!’ I told the spaniel in my best outraged Margot Leadbetter voice. What a sad moment. All my adult life I have worshipped Cobham… Read more

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Watch your backs, everyone: I haven’t slept for three years

18 July 2015

Insomnia has a lot to answer for. I have not been sleeping well for years but a few months ago I stopped sleeping at all. By that I don’t mean… Read more

St Anthony, the patron saint of lost things

The menopause lost my car keys

11 July 2015

Here is what I thought happened. I thought that as I tided my store room at the stables I put my car key in a boot for safe-keeping. I had… Read more

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House-hunting in Cobham has driven me to the verge of insanity

4 July 2015

This much I know, I never want to live in an ‘executive home’, and neither do I want to live in a house that belongs to a ‘collection’ of homes… Read more

contents dog

Pampered middle-class pooches are in charge of their owners

27 June 2015

Why won’t the middle classes shout at their dogs any more? My suspicion is that the bleeding heart liberals, having succeeded in stopping right-minded people from shouting at their children,… Read more

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The police persecution of middle-class women

20 June 2015

Aren’t the police getting younger nowadays — and ruder, and scruffier and more intolerant of middle-class women? In other words, why am I always getting pulled over for no apparent… Read more

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The joy of anti-psychotic drugs

13 June 2015

The doctor eyed me suspiciously as I walked into her consulting room. ‘Ye-es?’ she said, nervously, eyeing me up and down, after I knocked softly and entered apologetically, as I… Read more

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The great Sky bundle boondoggle

6 June 2015

Foolishly, I have this wild notion that one day, if the stars align in my favour, I might be able to reduce my Sky subscription. I know, I know. What… Read more

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In the future we will all speak a new language called Predictive Text

30 May 2015

Andy the tech guy looked delighted when I told him I had done the stupidest thing ever. He is one of those whizz kids who hungers for interestingly impossible technological… Read more

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My podgy thumbs will never be iPhone-compatible

23 May 2015

You can’t always get what you want. And you can never get what you want if you want a phone with buttons. I’ve been nursing along an old BlackBerry. Well,… Read more

Chuka Umunna: Future leader?  (Photo: Getty)

My rich leftie neighbours must be in a state of psychotic denial — or stoned

16 May 2015

The ‘I’m Voting For Chuka’ posters in my rich neighbours’ front windows pushed me over the edge. There is nothing so likely to galvanise one’s inner Tory than the sight… Read more

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I only left Emily unattended in the open for 60 seconds

9 May 2015

In the seemingly endless search for somewhere nice to live in modern Britain, where parking is not subject to martial law, I went house-hunting in the Surrey Hills. I began… Read more

This rabbit may, or may not, support the Greens (Image: Thinkstock)

Why I'd never own a rabbit hutch – or vote Green

2 May 2015

‘I suppose,’ said my dad philosophically, ‘I could always vote Green.’ ‘Oh, for goodness sake! Not you as well!’ I screamed, as the entire restaurant looked round to see what… Read more

Real

Maybe it is time to hang up my fighting boots

25 April 2015

As a wise person once said (or if they didn’t, they should have), there is only one thing worse than being wrong and that is being right. I always get… Read more

real

I’m just not cut out to be a local activist

18 April 2015

By and large, I’m not really sure the world is ready for me to join the steering committee of a community project in Lambeth seeking Lottery funding. It sounds like… Read more

Emergency Call

OK, Aviva, that’s well over £1,400 that you owe me

11 April 2015

After I phoned the Aviva call centre for the ten thousandth time, a girl called Adele had to sort it in the end. If she hadn’t, I would have climbed… Read more

Hello Dorking...

Farewell, Cobham — oh flat, boring, lovely Cobham; hello, Dorking

4 April 2015

Farewell then, Cobham. You were the place I ran to when the metropolis became too much, and urban life overwhelmed me. You were to me a shining beacon of blandness… Read more

real

I gave the blasted Paltrow method a go and allowed a bit of conscious uncoupling to creep in

28 March 2015

The builder boyfriend has a new girlfriend. I suppose he was bound to move on eventually. I just never thought he would move on this quickly. From the day I… Read more

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I held my breath ready for the explosion. But no explosion came

21 March 2015

Darcy was obviously listening to every word I said. After we got back from the ride from hell, in which she threw the mother of all tantrums, she was very… Read more

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A lot of animal lovers go on about how great it is to rescue a horse from the racing industry

14 March 2015

All was going suspiciously well with the thoroughbred. I suppose it had to be the calm before the storm. I bought Darcy as a yearling, you may remember, from the… Read more

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My life in ailments

7 March 2015

My request to see my medical notes was granted in the end. I honestly don’t know why I wanted to see them, really. I’m just one of those people who… Read more

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My request to see my medical notes has sparked all-out panic at my GP surgery

28 February 2015

My request to see my medical notes has sparked all-out panic at the GP surgery. ‘What do you mean?’ said the receptionist who answered the phone when I called to… Read more

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Confessions of an insurance junkie

21 February 2015

Never add up your insurance premiums. I just did and the annual cost of all of them came to more than the cost of most man-made or natural disasters. That… Read more

Emergency Call

Hallelujah! And the children of Vodafone did walk again in the light!

14 February 2015

‘Hello, Vodafone customer s…, can I h…you?’ This is typical, I thought. I’m ringing to complain about them charging me £137.08 for one phone call to directory inquiries and I… Read more

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118 000 is, I now realise, the number of the beast

7 February 2015

‘Orange 1-1-8 thousand how may I help you?’ said the cheerful voice. Carefree as you like, I asked for the number for Sky customer services to report my parents’ broken… Read more