A Letter to the Influencer Who Thinks I Can Do Pilates at 1pm

Photo by Patrick Malleret on Unsplash

 

Hi babybotoxlifter,

I hope this letter finds you in the midst of a groundbreaking, spirit-awakening culinary creation involving oats. Just thought I’d take some time out of my day to write to you; I’m exhausted after spending nine hours in front of a computer screen, so apologies if you see any typos.

First, let me start by expressing my deepest admiration for your morning routine, your ability to redefine breakfast entirely. The way you do it is so *chefs kiss*; from the freshest ingredients straight from Waitrose, to the way you ethereally put the dish together. I would never have thought it could improve my mental health to slow right down and take the time to procure a healthy, nutritious bowl; your invention of turmeric oats with lashings of agave syrup, hemp seeds and dragon fruit seems nothing short of a masterpiece that makes for a transcendental experience. And well done for discovering cinnamon sprinkled over apples – ground-breaking! I don’t believe anybody has thought of anything so innovative before, so thank you for showing us all about it in your perfectly posed selfie video.

Unfortunately, as I peel my eyelids apart and stumble out of bed at 5:30am, my morning is less magical. Most days I can only muster a  quick, sad, film-topped coffee before I jolt out of the door to catch a train that smells of sweaty gym socks. Sometimes I manage buttered toast, if I’m feeling fancy.

I also applaud your commitment to dragging yourself away from the comfort of your post-breakfast reading time in your perfectly made cream bed to then reposition your camera in your pilates studio. Your very own pilates studio! I wish I didn’t have to share a gym with sweaty men who grunt during every rep. When the clock strikes 1pm, I am not donned in a cute, matching gym set. Instead, I find myself sat at a hot desk (that I had to book three weeks ago to secure, mind you!) convincing myself this £5 prawn cocktail sandwich from M&S was worth sacrificing a flat white from Caffe Nero for the office beans. In this moment, I am not gracefully extending opposing legs and arms and letting go of all negative thoughts. Instead, I find myself thinking this could have been an email. I could have been spared the torture of being trapped in a conversation about your children if you had just emailed me but saying ‘oh, I can’t believe it’s Monday again already! Honestly, where does the time go.’

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Letters to Santa

 

Photo by Jakob Owens on Unsplash

Dear Santa,

I’ve been a rather good boy this year, I think.

Last week I asked for cake before I had eaten all my food, and, of course, Mummy let me have it. I did have a bit of a meltdown but mummy reassured me I was still a good boy. I screamed and screamed the house down all while aunty Jay and uncle Eddie sat awkwardly in silence, not daring to encroach. Mummy kept saying things to me, though I wasn’t really listening, or rather couldn’t hear her over the sound of my own noise.

You’re just upset, Jimmy, it’s okay. Let it all out. Hush, darling, it’ll be okay. Mummy doesn’t want to give you cake now because you’ll get a tummy ache as you haven’t touched your quinoa yet! Be a good little boy, my prince, and eat some salmon. Then I’ll give you dessert. Just eat half of it. Oh no, Jimmy, we don’t say that word! Okay, a bite. Fine, will you promise to eat it tomorrow, darling? Mummy will be very upset if you don’t. Please don’t hit mummy, that’s not very nice! We don’t hit! Oh, again! Stop hitting mummy, darling. Here, have your dessert because I know you’re very upset right now and you’re going through so many emotions.

Then mummy gave me the cake.

Daddy sat in the corner not doing anything, of course, until he saw mummy ferociously dividing the cake between me and her so that there was only a sliver left for him. By that point I was really cross as my face was hot and swollen, and I couldn’t enjoy the dessert so daddy wolfed it all down. Mummy started shaking a little bit after that but didn’t say anything. She just went into the kitchen and I heard a loud crash! bang! Daddy was hoovering up the crumbs from his plate with his mouth, like a fish, and didn’t go to mummy, so I think it was okay.

Anyway, this year I want an iPad. I’m growing up fast and daddy’s phone screen is just too small for my fingers. All my older cousins have one already; Gemma got one just because she started university and she always says no when I ask to use it. I asked nicely, so that means I should really be allowed. Mummy said so.

From,

Jimmy (8)

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November: Ten things on my mind this month

  1. Why do I keep getting almost-ill? I am not wishing the flu on myself. Nor a cold. Nor Covid, which has apparently made a comeback (though it was just last week that I was wondering why I couldn’t taste the ice cream I was eating. I realised it may have been because I was scoffing it down faster than my tastebuds could register the flavour. Then I remembered the time my old workplace furloughed everyone except ME and the bitter taste in my mouth told me I was fine). It’s not any real sickness. It’s that horrible tingly throat that you get a few days before you actually get ill, snotty and pale, the kind that makes you say ‘oh no. I think I’m getting ill’.Part of you groans because you can’t afford to not be working at optimal levels, another part shrugs because you have a reason to stay indoors and in bed, watching reruns of Gossip Girl. But the ill never comes. It just teases you and forces you to cancel plans in the near future because ‘oh no. I think I’m getting ill’. But then Friday night comes around and you’re fit as a fiddle without a table reservation. It’s just you and your cosy bed with a takeaway and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s. Oh no.
  2. On the subject of things that pretend they’re about to happen but then don’t, being a woman can be absolute hell. PMS is my worst enemy. I’m one of the unlucky ones who only feel normal for about a week out of the month (though I have all the sympathy for those who only feel normal for a day… or less). Immediately after ovulation, my body gets ready to really cause a scene.“No baby? Fuck you, then! Here is a lot of bloating to simulate the bump you didn’t want. Don’t want a baby in your belly? Here is a massive craving for carbs and sugar so you can store some fat in there instead because why do you need your jeans to fit today? Also, any time you scroll through reels there’s a 98% chance you will cry at something, and if you’ve been in a good mood recently, too bad. Hope you’ve bought extra supplies because you will constantly be on edge about a surprise bleed tomorrow that still won’t come until you’re actually due on. Have some of that for two weeks, you bitch.”
  3. Last week I was walking through the shopping centre and suddenly realised I was really upbeat and happy. I then also realised I was accidentally strutting along to Destiny’s Child’s 8 Days of Christmas, after which I immediately altered my stride so that my steps were no longer accidentally aligning with if he only knew what he does to me. But I did unfortunately smile to myself as I thought about what a good song that is and stopped smiling when I tried to think about good Christmas songs that aren’t from The Before Times; is the era of good Christmas entertainment over? Or am I just old?And what happened to good Christmas films? They just really don’t do ‘em like Elf anymore. I want cringey, corny movies with giant elves. Even, dare I say it, Home Alone. Which, of course, couldn’t happen today. Perhaps there’s room for a wider discussion about how the advancements of the world make it impossible to create any believable but riveting entertainment. Merry Christmas.
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The Unread Odyssey: One Man’s World Record Pursuit for Untouched Books

In a world where achievements come in the form of fast racecars and senior citizen skydiving, there’s a lone wolf in West Yorkshire with his eyes set on a record that’s in the grasp of practically anybody who has walked past a bookshop. Meet Frodo Leatherbound, a literary iconoclast hell-bent on venturing where most of us haven’t intentionally dared to tread.

He hopes to break a world record with the largest collection of unread books on his bookshelf.

As we enter his cluttered, yet charmingly pretentious library (really, his living room, from what we can see of it), it’s a sight to behold. We are mesmerised by the towering shelves bulging at the seams, crammed with books Frodo can’t even remember the names of. Some of these volumes, we notice, are duplicated two, three, even four times, like they’re breeding more books in various editions and bindings.

A cursory glance will reveal an impressive mix of subjects; there is everything from biographies of long-forgotten pop stars to the collected wisdom of world leaders, Guinness World Record books dating back two decades, poetry anthologies, hundreds of classics, a smattering of contemporary tomes, and three signed Delia Smith books.

Aptly named, Frodo insists his genetic disposition to book hoarding is a legacy passed down through some bookish DNA, courtesy of parents who have refused to comment. In a wave of nostalgia, he recalls his youth, growing up amidst a world of picture-books, hefty journals, huge hardbacks, and even the charming pop-up books that characterised his formative years. Read more

The definitive guide to becoming burnt out

Is the relentless rat-race becoming too easy for you? Do you need to shake things up a bit, take things up a notch, show that you really love to face challenges? If full blown exhaustion is your goal, follow these eight steps to make sure you really empty the tank of all it has!


  1. Set aside some time to plan your work week on Sunday

What better way to make sure you’re ready for the work week than to go through all of your work tasks before you actually start? If you say no to spending time with family on Sunday, you can use your free, unpaid time off (of which you have two days – plenty!) to get a head start and make sure you’re raring to go at 9am the next day! Surely you can’t expect that planning for work would be part of your work hours?

  1. Say yes to absolutely everything

Can you take on this task? And that task? And this task is too much for your co-worker, can you help, even though you are drowning under the weight of your own task list? Of course you can! If you don’t have time to do it, simply find the time. If you want to be a good employee, you must say yes to everything before someone else does. You might not be compensated, but at least you can look in the mirror and say you did it! Read more

9 Things to do when your date starts rapping in the car

The evening went amazingly well, even better than your week of fantasies thought it would; each night of charming conversation from the moment you swiped right all culminating to this very moment, the way God intended. A candlelit dinner ending in laughter over wine and a shared tiramisu, a walk along the river with his hand on the small of your back; you exchanged stories about your youth, he told you his mother would just love you. The chemistry is off the charts and you can’t wait to go home all giddy and starry-eyed.

Now you’re in his car. And he’s rapping.

The fire has been blanketed and you’re dryer than his mouth during the five minutes he’s spent delivering rhyming couplets to you and you’re looking for a swift exit. You’re too gobsmacked, too stunned to ask him why, why are you subjecting me to this? so you endure until it’s time to go home and get back on T*nder.

Unfortunately, it will most definitely happen again. Fortunately, you can keep these tips handy for the next time you’re trapped behind the bars of an unwarranted fire-in-the-booth session. Read more