Live, laugh, love, throw up violently…

It’s too much.

I’ve held this in for too long.

I can’t do this anymore.

If I see one more screen-printed cushion, wall decal, framed poster or ceramic bookends with this sort of pastel-hued inanity vomited over it, I’m going to take exothermic action to remove it from the planet.

That’s right: imagine those terrible pictures from Nazi Germany where huge piles of books were gathered and torched in the name of fascist dogma. Now, replace centuries of philosophy, political theory, social reform and just good stories with a pile of mass-manufactured tat that you can buy anywhere from Primark to Selfridges, depending on your ability to tolerate polyester.

You’ll know it when you see it. The font is always italicised, and the colour scheme runs from baby-girl pink all the way through to pale lilac, via buttercup yellow and mint green. (God forbid you show your thoughts on how to cope with life in a shade that can be seen easily against a white background.)

The sort of people that buy this crap are probably the sort of people who have an ornately stylised anchor tattooed on their ankle along with the phrase “I refuse to sink” while the irony passes them merrily by.

Why are the phrases on this rubbish so bland and so vague? “Best friends are like diamonds, precious and rare” – yes, and responsible for so much suffering in the lives of the poor people forced to work the diamond mines in Africa? Don’t even get me started on “Friends are angels that lift our feet when our wings are having trouble remembering how to fly”.

I can actually taste the vomit at the back of my throat.

I love my friends. They’re amazing, witty, intelligent, passionate, loving women. If I ever referred to them as foot-grabbing angels or chips of pressurised carbon, they’d be the first to show their support for me by throwing the nearest moderately heavy object at my head and telling me to stop being so bloody stupid. And to stop hogging the chocolate.

So, when I win the lottery and can get rid of the day job, I’m going to open one of those kitschy shops that sell overpriced home furnishings but instead of the vaccuous crap infecting our shops today, all of my cushions, throws, posters and ceramic objects will have far more realistic messages to guide you through the daily struggle of life. If you’re so in need of a motto emblazoned on your wall or sofa, I’d suggest a cushion with “Fuck off and leave me alone” on it, or a framed poster that says “If you bother me during Doctor Who, I will cut you”. I like the idea of a wall decal that greets you as you come home, exhausted from your commute, that says “Congratulations on not strangling the man-spreading fuckwit on the train!” Or one that says “I love my children, but I couldn’t eat a whole one.”

All in pastel italics, naturally.


New year, new bookcases!

I’ve done the unthinkable – I’ve streamlined my bookcases! 

Every room in the house has at least one bookcase in it, and with my Christmas haul they were groaning under the weight. Books were stacked haphazardly and blocked the view of other titles, and my carefully organised system was out of the window. A culling had to happen, and the bags in the picture show my progress so far. 

I’ve gone through my romance bookcase, my classics bookcase, my reference bookcase and my cookbooks, which now have a bookcase of their own as the classics have been shifted upstairs. I haven’t yet gone through my sci fi and fantasy bookcase, my detective fiction bookcase or my history and biography bookcase. I don’t think I’m going to lose many from those, to be honest. 

All of this was in aid of getting out of buying a new bookcase, but I honestly think I might need one despite the cull.  The only problem is, of course, is that I’ve got nowhere to put it!