The Starke

The Starke it stalks
Back and forth
Glaring through windows
Sinewy legs jiggling,
Giving way, jerking
Down the boardwalk
No one is innocent.
Thud-thudding on guilty carpet
Taking delight in skulking silently until the last moment,
Appearing without warning,
Sending the frenzy around the rest
No one is safe.

Women, apparently

What women are boiled down to on a website I was referred to recently:

Women’s Top Ten Favorite
Conversation Topics
1. Hopes and aspirations
2. Hobbies/interests in general
3. Music
4. Dreams
5. Romance
6. Friends
7. Travel
8. Vacations
9. Movies
10. Entertainment
Women’s Top Ten Least Favorite
Conversation Topics
1. Politics
2. Other dates
3. Past relationships
4. Science fiction
5. Religion
6. Celebrities
7. Science
8. Antiques
9. Money
10. History
Women’s Top Ten Date Picks 1. Restaurant
2. Taking a romantic walk
3. Park
4. Coffee shop
5. Live music
6. Comedy Club
7. Zoo
8. Bowling or Playing Pool
9. Amusement Park
10. Movies
Top Ten Restaurant Types for a Date 1. Casual dinner
2. Pub
3. Retro bar with live music
4. French cuisine
5. Ethnic
6. Pizza place
7. Western
8. Salad bar
9. Sushi bar
10. Family dinner

Women’s Top Ten Favorite Ways to Have Someone Flirt with Them
1. Talks about things she likes or dislikes, making comments and showing interest
2. Displays concern for her, her feelings and well-being
3. Shares jokes or amusing anecdotes with her
4. Compliments her on her screen name, attitude, personality and appearance
5. Sends her special/cute email messages
6. Makes an effort to contact her in some form almost every day
7. Chats with her when you are online at the same time
8. Discusses seriously the traits she desires in a partner
9. Shows her your daring or mischievous side
10. Emails her greeting cards, gifts, pictures songs or fun attachments

Can’t say I differ much, to be fair…

13 Things I Have Cleaned up from the Floor of a Cinema. Unlucky.

  1. Popcorn – whole and crushed. You stepped on yours, did you? Fuck you.
  2. Drinks – cupped, spilt, and precariously balanced at just the right angle so that I know I can only tip them on myself when picking them up.
  3. Used tissues – Just no. Please. No more. This should not be anyone’s job. Do you do this at home? Gross.
  4. Used nappies – which, by the way, there are special bins for, nicely labelled. It astounds me where mums will change nappies. On seats, (Oh, yes, even yours!) ON THE STAIRS, (!) in the hall, in doorways. Are they stupid or just smugly aware that people are extra careful around parents with babies because the parents aren’t?
  5. Wee
  6. Poo
  7. Vomit
  8. Blood
  9. The other stuff that comes out of humans. Namely men. In a Kickass screening. In which the one female character is about 11.
  10. A pair of tights, sans any sign of any packaging. Perhaps they were so excited that they accidentally took the packaging home with them instead of the (obviously new and not from a pair of legs) tights
  11. Money – If you’re wondering where your last 20p went, it’s in the tip jar. Which, frankly, I think we deserve, for having to clean up after you. If you disagree, be more careful. This is Stupidity Tax.
  12. My self-respect
  13. My hope of avoiding spoilers – if you’re on your way out of a film, walking past people waiting to go into said film, for goodness’ sake, think. In fact, just don’t open your mouth until you’ve left the building. Maybe the street. And most certainly don’t put spoilers on social networks.

The Hunted Drinking Game

I’ve Googled this, but since it doesn’t appear on the first page of results, I’ll assume it either hasn’t been invented yet, in which case I’m a genius, or your version just isn’t popular enough, in which case I am more of a genius than you are. So here we go, the drinking game to play when watching Hunted, my current favourite TV series.

The Hunted Drinking Game

Drink every time:

Sam wears a hat

Someone mentions the Khyber Dam

Jack Turner scares the shit out of you with just his face

There is sexual tension between hot Scottish woman and blonde guy who’s obsessed with dairy

Sam runs

Someone gets shot

You’re given information hat puts a new perspective on the story, that you couldn’t possibly have guessed because you’ve been lead to believe something else

Someone mentions Sam’s mysterious disappearance

Someone mentions the mole

Sam has a flashback to her haunting past

You get sweaty palms

You flinch

You shout ‘Ruuuuuuuunnnnn!’ or ‘Noooooooooooooooooooo!’ at the screen

You have no idea what the fuck is going on

More rules to follow, perhaps, with the development of the series. You’re welcome.

Extract from ‘Bed’

An extract from a short film I wrote with a boyfriend a few years ago, entitled Bed.

It is far more heartbreaking to find a girl that you know will never get laid. Instinctively, aesthetically, naturally, women are prettier than men. They have curves, big eyes, they care about their clothes. Men have stubble, they fight, they fart, they sweat.

We are somehow lead to believe – maybe it’s the truth, maybe it’s Hollywood – that any man, no matter what we might think on first impression, is actually really attractive. Men see finished works of art in women. Women see potential in men. And in my book, a finished work of art that couldn’t boil an egg, that’s still fine.

On reflection: I still find it interesting that we flock to the underdogs. We are told by Hollywood that people are unattractive because they wear glasses or braces, or have a certain hairstyle. They transform and voila, they are more attractive than the previous love interest. Instead of reinforcing the moral fairytale message they intended regarding looks vs personality, they actually just serve to confuse our dainty ladies’ hearts as to what makes for an attractive set of features.

The idea that any man could be attractive becomes the notion that every man is, and quickly, we should be the first one to notice before he becomes a cult sensation; what with the influx of ‘hispter’dom and the fashion of understatement and downplaying. You almost get more sex points the more unattractive you make yourself. How long does that appeal last? How long has this been a thing? Whatever happened to the Golden Ratio?


I have a nasty habit. I know I’m not the only one. I pick up people’s accents when I speak to them. Especially when I agree with what they’re saying. I lived with someone from Alnwick at university, and sounded like a Geordie for two years.

It works both ways; I also seem to discover my own ‘true’ accent when I am passionate about something, although this is also guided by my mood – when angry, I tend to sound more Cockney. Swearing in particular is much more satisfying in said accent. And, of course, I’m allowed, because I’m technically from Walthamstow/Tottenham (I seem to collect hometowns.)

On the other hand, when I feel authoritative about something, I sound more Radio 4 R.P. Adopting a lofty, elevated focus on annunciation perhaps serves to sound intelligent in my mind’s ear, and I think I can convince anyone listening that I am indeed the final word on the subject.

For example: I remember one time getting into a red Astra in my college days, to be driven around by boys, and settling in next to my best friend who was seeing the boy that I wasn’t (all was shared out fairly in those days) to rant about something, loudly and and energetically to talk over the stereo and to make my entrance a bit more fun. London was definitely with me, and I’m sure it also had at least a fraction to do with the fact that my bestie happened to be from Wimbledon.

Australian is the worst. To begin with, I thought the Asutralian person I was copying would find it funny or endearing somehow. God only knows where this idea came from. I can only imagine how mortifying and annoying it might be to have someone attempt to copy my accent when talking to me. But then, I don’t really like the sound of my own voice (unless I’m doing Radio 4), which is maybe why I feel the need to collect others. Certainly, if I sound anything like my Burnley boyfriend did when doing ‘Southern’, when I copy anyone else, I have a feeling how I must come across. Especially as I only do it with people I don’t know very well. People who are warm and infectious, and happen unfortunately to hace an accent that commands copying. Oh dear, is all I can think, in retrospect. How can I stop myself, oh lord?

Bizarro Me

Image from Wikipedia

How hard it must be to write about the polar opposite of yourself. How are we to know ourselves? And when describing our opposites, thus defining ourselves, surely our desires and ambitions of self-image will come into play, skewing the resulting image. For example, I think the Bizarro me would be completely carefree and easygoing, without worry. But is that just a quality I aspire to myself? Yes. How do I know where I fit on that scale? I also guess my opposite would be sexually promiscuous, because I am loyal and careful myself. But again, the promiscuity comes up in fantasy for me. Perhaps that’s what our opposites do? Act our our unulfilled dreams? Achieve our aspirations? Or would my opposite be someone who dreamed of opposing qualities, but was equally unsure of how to achieve those things, or indeed whether they had already? Food for thought…

One thing I know I do is value honesty. So my polar opposite would be very dishonest, or closed. She would hate James Bond and period dramas, be good with people and streetwise. She would have strong self-discpline around food, sleep and love. She would be ‘cool’. She would rarely smile and be difficult to amuse.

Another, slightly connected thought going round my head tonight is: When do I turn into a proper woman? When do I become good at baking and sewing and crochet and stuff like that? I see a lot of social network updates on cakes and other handmades, and think it’s all really impressive. I used to make cakes. I used to cook a lot of things. Before shift work took over my life and all my energy. I used to make a mean curry. I used to host an open mic night. I used to be good at a lot of things that I have kind of lost sight of recently. Perhaps just a void in my creative satisfaction that can be filled when we build up our cabaret and festival presence as performers. Doesn’t take long for that hunger to come back after a show finishes.