Melissa Kite

Melissa Kite

The rise of the johnny-come-lately anti-vaxxer

‘No way am I having it now,’ said a friend, as she insisted on discussing the latest scare stories. And she shook her head so violently that her long blonde hair was flung sideways across her face, and the resemblance to an anti-vaxxer in the throes of hysteria was extremely convincing. But then she regained

Our toxic relationship with the NHS

The nurse fixed me with a disapproving stare: ‘Why is there such a gap between these prescriptions?’ I had gone for a blood pressure check so I could get my HRT, but when she looked at my notes she could see that they last prescribed it years ago. In return for countless thousands of pounds

No one will admit to owning the track outside our house

The county council insist the unmade track leading to my house is nothing to do with them, while the parish council change their position depending on how they feel on the day. If they want to boss us about, they infer they are leasing the land from Surrey county council, along with the rest of

The acceptable face of alcoholism

The same resolution every year goes nowhere. Stop fighting battles and just have a nice, quiet life, I tell myself – and by the second day of the year I’m up to my eyeballs in kerfuffles. Having sworn off helping anyone with anything ever again for the grand total of three hours of 2023, from

Confessions of a conspiracy theorist

‘You’re one of them anti-vaxxers,’ said the brusque northerner who was seated opposite me at a friend’s supper party. ‘Why do you think I got Covid and was really ill even though I’m up to date on my jabs?’ And he fixed me with a murderous stare. I said: ‘I think you’ve got the wrong

Hostage drama at the village hairdresser

‘Then I got taken hostage in Iran,’ said the lady sitting next to me in the hairdresser’s as she was having her hair crimped. ‘Really?’ said the hairdresser, who had the flat irons on her hair and was making her look like an 1980s pop star. ‘And how was that?’ He was obviously stuck in

In praise of old-fashioned vets

‘You’re very easy to deal with, I must say,’ said the tall, handsome vet who was examining the spaniel. I laughed. ‘That’s not what the last vet said.’ The last vet sacked me after I asked to see my dog’s notes. After a long and arduous battle with corporate vetdom, I made my way down

Why you should ask to see your pet’s medical notes

‘Notice from your vets’ said the email subject. I clicked and there was a letter telling me that my vet was sacking me as a client with two weeks’ notice, even though I had a sick dog. This was because I had asked to see my dog’s notes and discovered they had been discussing me,

AA is turning away the very people who need it most

‘If AA wants to make its meetings safe, then maybe it should ban alcoholics,’ said the builder boyfriend and I had to admit, he had cracked it. There was me getting all wound up about why more and more of the meetings in Surrey won’t let the bricklayer in because of his criminal convictions and

I have been locked out of my pension

With only five to ten more years to work out how to log in to my pension plan I need to get a move on. The Fidelity website is so impenetrable to someone like me that, aged 50, I fear I will have run out of time to get access to ‘planviewer’ by the time

The village bonfire night has taken a sinister turn

The children walked with flaming torches ahead of the float bearing the bonfire queen which was headed for the towering monstrosity of pallets and tree branches on the village green. The builder boyfriend and I stood at the front of the crowds lining the road as the procession came through in the darkness and it

My battle with British Gas

By the time I got through to someone at British Gas to complain about them holding £491 of my money in credit, they were holding £924. This was made up of £858 of my own money plus £66 from the government support scheme, the first instalment of which had just hit my account. So there

Wanted: a trap for a happy mouse

‘Excuse me, I’m looking for something to catch a mouse that won’t cause it any distress,’ said the young chap who had walked into the hardware cabin at the farm shop with his girlfriend. The pair of them had briefly perused the shelves where the well assorted pest control items were neatly stacked and, not

British Gas has turned the builder boyfriend into a socialist

A cleverly worded email has arrived from British Gas to explain why, despite the Prime Minister’s announcement, my gas and electricity is going to rise to £3,761.60 a year. When I say this email was well worded, I mean it was a master class in stating the indefensible while making it appear reasonable. You could

AA only admits the right sort of alcoholics

The support group groupies have issued another ban. They have attempted to slap an exclusion order on another long-standing member, in addition to the one they have meted out to my friend, the bricklayer. This latest victim hasn’t been to a meeting in Surrey for seven years because the last time he went, the local

The ugly side of AA

A lot has been going wrong lately in the support group I’ve been attending for more than 20 years. I wasn’t going to write about it, of course. But then a fellow member stuck her iPhone in my face at a meeting and filmed me. So rather than sitting here waiting for the footage to

The death of customer service

The ladies in the bank now wear badges telling you to Be Kind and not do anything that might upset them in any way. Be Kind is in big capital letters on this badge and beneath is a lot of small print explaining the well-known global problem of upset bank employees, which has reached such