Happy New Year Mo’Fuckaaaas

Oh New Year’s Eve, you big glorious let-down (and second most depressing holiday for single people). Every NYE since I can remember, I spend the countdown surrounded by friends, but as we finally cross over into the New Year everyone disappears; too busy gettin’ off wiv their BFs as if they’re sexually charged adolescents behind the bikeshed, and I end up making out with my hand like Fatscale circa 2002’s girly birthday sleepover. (Fatscale is a moniker fondly given to me by some boys in school who we all know mega fancied me really.) WELL NOT THIS YEAR. Be warned, people of Wiltshire: on the countdown I’m going to windmill my arms and the first person I hit will be my victim. I’m going to use so much tongue they won’t know what’s hit them. It’ll be a saliva tsunami.

I’m going to get all reflective now, because I feel I have achieved a lot this year. After three years of fucking about: playing Day of the Tentacle on my laptop, drunkenly throwing cheese toasties at the ceiling of my uni accommodation and doing pointless shit like this…

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…I finally got a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing. The first six months of 2012 were spent writing my dissertation, which meant reading Playboy magazine’s copious back catalogue, inspecting the pubic hair on centrefolds of the last fifty years and unwittingly googling images of Germaine Greer with her legs behind her head. One particularly memorable moment of my dissertation was a late night in April; it was right after I’d spun round on my office chair crying hysterically for no reason, using the pages on Simone De Beauvior’s The Second Sex to wipe away my tears*.  Whilst reading an interview with Ian Fleming, the Playboy website went down. After a rather desperate conversation with the website’s online maintenance team, it was hard to resist telling them that I was actually a twenty-one year old girl doing her degree, and not a sweaty forty year old man in a string vest desperate to look at girls’ boobs:

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All my blood, sweat and tears resulted in this:

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BOOM. 8000 words of pure magic. The best part about writing a dissertation like this was the surreal moments that come with the subject matter, such as talking with my amazing dissertation lecturer (that’s right, big up Fiona) about the film Deep Throat and being able to litter my thesis with C-bombs.

Other procrastination highlights include spontaneously becoming a film maker for a new pancake-day-inspired horror film…

…and then also making this….

(My hair looks so bad because I’d just got back from the gym. Although that’s no excuse for having an actual combover.)

And trying to get Olivia’s cat into feline modelling:

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Stunner.

And so in June it all came to an end. I’d arrived at university with just a jar of peanut butter and a bottle of vodka, and I left three years later with a 2:1 and no dignity.

Here’s a few things that this year has taught me:

–          Sleeping in all your clothes shaves valuable minutes off your morning regime, giving you extra sleeping time

–          Dissertations need to be started waaay before it’s due in, not two months before

–          Showing potential employers pictures like this…

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…will not get you a job.

–          Cardiff is a beautiful and underrated city

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–          The current happenings of two of the most prominent and influential artists of the naughties:

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–          Tubington the cat does not like it when he doesn’t get his bacon sandwich in the morning

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–          Making highly inappropriate fat-person sex jokes in a job interview sometimes DOES get you the job

–          The world didn’t end on the 21st December. To all those whom I told I hated: I was only joking. Ha…Ha….

It was also a year of self-discovery. I decided what kind of woman I wanted to be, what strand of feminism I wanted to support (MILITANTS FTW!!). My found idols in highly respected, independent, funny women like Helen Gurley Brown, Nora Ephron and Caitlin Moran. I finally put to good use all of the weird, bad shit that seems to only happen to me – this is the result. I discovered the repercussions of mixing Henry Westons cider with wine and an appreciation of exfoliation gloves. Jack Lemmon was my new crush and I developed a hate for all Woody Allen films. Honey badgers became my new favourite animal. I learnt that eating out and then dancing vigorously does not bode well together. I FINALLY learnt how to spell guaranteed without using spell check.

Anyway, New Year’s preparations are underway. I’ve brought my drink of choice – vodka and lemonade if anyone’s interested, so if I throw up on myself at least it won’t stain my white dress. I got my hurr did, which prompted two girls yesterday to refer to me a “poor man’s Zooey Deschanel”. Which I’m going to take as a compliment, because when I googled that phrase, the consensus seems to be that the poor man’s Zooey Deschanel is Katy Perry. And I’m ok with that. I’m pretty sure that’s not what these girls meant though; I think they just meant I’m chubby with a fringe. It wasn’t my aim to look this way when I decided to get a fringe; I got it because I hate plucking my eyebrows. Still, it’s a comparison I can live with. The only other comparison I’ve ever had before was to Little Mo from Eastenders when I was fourteen, so this is a big step up.

For anyone who’s looking for some inspiration with their New Year’s resolutions, here are mine:

  1. Find a way to lose weight but somehow keep my boobs the same size
  2. Try different things on the menu when I go out to eat
  3. Stop getting drunk and dancing like a twat. Note to self: Everybody is looking at you because you’re hitting them with your arms, not because you look like Beyonce
  4. Stop reading the last page of books before I’ve started. I completely ruined the wasp factory for myself this year
  5. Write a book, even if it’s very short
  6. Stop challenging people to drinking games – I’m a twenty-two year old woman, not an adolescent frat boy
  7. Get someone to keep a picture of me in their wallet that doesn’t have a moustache drawn on it
  8. To say YOLO more. It’s such an underused phrase
  9. Get a new laugh, because mine is embarrassingly fat right now
  10. Start drinking more red wine in an effort to appear sophisticated

I hope you all had a fucking awesome year – I know I did. And if not, there’s always next year. But let’s face it, 2013’s going to be as unlucky as fuck.

*I was in such a bad way at this point in my dissertation – so near to the end yet so far – that I started rocking a look that was last seen in Mugatu’s Derelicte campaign; baggy jumpers with no bra, trousers tucked into my socks and finding weird stuff in my hair like biros and Quavers. Olivia told me that the colour of my skin made me look as though I’d been dead for three weeks.

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Merry Christmas, Jerks.

Aaah, Christmas. The only day that it’s acceptable to drink alcohol and eat pringles for breakfast (besides birthdays, friend’s birthdays, hangover days and Sundays). I’ll be honest; this will probably be the last post I ever write, because if this Christmas goes anything like those previous I will have already watched The Holiday at least thrice, and if I have to be subjected to Mr Napkinhead anymore, I’m going to poke my eyes out using pine needles from the Christmas tree.

Christmas eve at work was full of women asking for my opinion on their outfits. I have a few issues with this. Firstly, if someone needs to ask a shop assistant if what they’re wearing is nice, it’s safe to assume that when it comes to fashion they’re already a lost cause, and the outfit in question usually tends to be pretty weird. This means I have to lie to them, because they’ll buy the clothes regardless of my opinion and I’ll forever be remembered as that bitch who told them that their ass looks like a bag of apples in those jeans. However, my capacity for telling lies is quite poor, and usually comes out like this:

Them: “Does this dress look alright on me?”

Me: “Yes………………………………………………………….?”

Them: “So it doesn’t make my boobs look weird?”

Me: “No……………………………………………………….?”

I’m an incredulous liar. My voice always rises at the end as if I’m answering their question with a question, thus the sincerity of my answer is always jeopardised by my inability to just indulge customers in what they want to hear. I just find it hard to tell fifty-year-old women that they look good in a corseted top covered in metal studs.

Which brings me to my final point: I’m a terrible dresser, I have no sense of style whatsoever. Studded corsets might be really in fashion right now but I wouldn’t have a fucking clue. I mean, Madonna’s still wearing one, but she’s a bit senile now, isn’t she.  (That’s a rhetorical question – when she started doing the splits in her pants at 52 years of age we all knew she was fucking nuts.) Why are they asking for my opinion anyway, I’m having the same problem as them. My combination of black leggings and black socks with my sneakers makes it looks like I’m wearing long-johns. I often wear my underwear, then my tights, then another pair of underwear over my tights. I wore thermal vests way longer than the average child. Last year I started a petition to get Stuart Anders to bring back the slap bracelet. Sometimes I look at Helena Bonham Carter and genuinely like her outfit. I don’t know how to pronounce bandaux. Last night after dressing in a hurry I looked like the lovechild of Wednesday Addams and Avril Lavigne. Sometimes I buy clothes based on their practicality. PRACTICALITY. I am obviously in no fit state to give fashion advice.

About 2am Christmas morning I thought it was high time I started wrapping my presents. After many years of Olivia trying to guess what I’ve got her for Christmas, I tailored this label especially:

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This is what I opened on Christmas day:

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So cute!

All in all I think my family have judged my presents pretty well this year as I have had an abundance of sweets and underwear. Therefore I plan to spend the rest of the Christmas holidays sitting in my undies eating flumps. So yeah, deal with that image. I hope I finally made those of you that are hungover vom like Regan MacNeil in a Christmas hat.

Anyway, I hope everyone has had a marvellous Christmas day. I hope you were all hungover as fuck. I hope that fat bearded guy came into your room last night and emptied his heaving sack into a sock with your name on. I hope you have all eaten so much that you’re genuinely worried the turkey may explode out of you, Alien-style. Have a good time with your families; even if you can’t bear to listen to your granddad talk about how Christmas pudding significantly changes his bowel movements anymore, or struggle to take your Great Aunt’s criticisms when she tells you that you’re looking healthy and that in her day, girls with fuller figures always kept their hemline BELOW the ankle; because they’re usually the ones that give you the most money in your card.

If you’re dreading the thought of boxing day activities like interacting with a load of relatives that you don’t know, just think of me: I’ll be at work, picking large piles of clothes off the floor because people have NO RESPECT FOR THE SALE RAIL. See, now pretending to know who your cousin Dave is doesn’t sound so bad, does it?

Why I don’t think Vice will be giving me a job anytime soon.

Last week I went for an interview at Vice magazine. That’s right, VICE. THE MAGAZINE. I’ve never been for a magazine interview before, and I can’t stress enough how nervous I was. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure I jinxed the whole thing when I got drunk and decided to tell everyone. I didn’t plan on mentioning it, but – as most of my friends know – when I’m drunk I get incredibly full of myself. Just like with dancing, swimming or playing board games; you name it, after a few tequilas I’m fucking fantastic at it.  I was telling people I didn’t know and who didn’t care. I start using the words ‘lame’ and ‘cool beans’ like an asshole, rolling my eyes and chewing gum that I didn’t really have. I was all:

“Hmmm? What? Did someone say Vice? Yeah I got an interview there next week. You know it? Well it’s pretty cool. But whatevs. Don’t care. Caring’s lame.”

The words just kind of dribbled out of my mouth, like when you’re too drunk to throw up properly. Then I carried on with my cool dancing, which involves half-closing my eyes and throwing my arms around out-of-time to the music.

In hindsight, I think the moment it really went wrong was when I walked into BOTH of the glass front doors to the Vice office. I’d like to point out, though, the doors said push, and I most definitely did push. Probably a little too hard. It would have been less obvious if I hadnt been walking with a pretty vigorous stride in an effort to appear confident. So the door didn’t open, but I carried on moving forward. That’s right, I DID A BIEBER:

I tried to move on quickly and pushed the other door, which also didn’t open. I began to panic, and decided to go back to the first door. Also known as DOING ANOTHER BIEBER:

Obviously I hadn’t realised that I was to wait for the receptionist to buzz me in. I can only hope that she enjoyed my moment of terrified, unintentional slapstick.

When I was called through to the small glass room where my interview would take place I was already in a flustered panic, and soon realised that this was how flies must feel when they’re trapped under a glass. I then completely underestimated the height of the sofa and practically fell into my seat. I felt uncomfortable, like Hagrid sitting on one of those tiny plastic chairs used for kids in primary school.

The first question was relatively simple: “What do you want to write about?” But, because I’m me, I choked. I made a worse first impression than every single Big Brother contestant put together. When given the opportunity to ask questions, somehow enquiring about money took precedence over all the other smart questions I had lined up in my brain. I then proceeded to tell them how I’d nearly been fired from every job I’ve ever had. Unlike before, this word vom was fast and free-flowing and unstoppable. Even when I thought I had nothing left to give, more words would explode out of my mouth; tiny insignificant sentences that would burn my throat and made the interviewers feel uncomfortable. When I finally came up for air my fringe resembled soggy spaghetti, stuck down to my cold, clammy forehead. It was more embarrassing than the time in primary school when I forgot to wear pants on PE day. As I was guided out to the reception I wondered if it would be entirely inappropriate to lie on the overly shiny floor and let out a big wail like a child in a supermarket. I decided against it, but I’m sure it wouldn’t have shocked them as much as some of the answers I gave to their questions. I think it could have only gone worse if I had… I CAN’T THINK OF ANYTHING WORSE.

What’s most distressing is that I actually had a lot to say. I had so much stuff I wanted to write about! I wanted to interview the mother and daughter who make porn together! I wanted to go out on the streets and ask people stuff like this:

  1. Would you rather eat human poo or dog poo?
  2. Who would you rather be friends with: Jeffrey Dahmer or a Dorito?
  3. Would you have given the door to that selfish bitch Rose?
  4. Would you rather push your mum or your dad off a cliff?
  5. What’s your most embarrassing sex story?
  6. If there was a bum-hatch in a onesie would you use it?
  7. What’s the best name for a cat?
  8. Which one of the Jersey Shore cast are you?
  9. What’s your favourite insult?

I wanted to write about how I don’t get Twitter or Call of Duty and how much I hate celebrities and men that cry and Tracy Emin’s art and how I want to go back to school and hang out with the popular kids for a day so I know what that feels like and why I would never ever have sex with any of One Direction (besides the fact it would probably make me a paedophile). But I didn’t get the chance because of my ill-timed brain freeze.

I then drowned my sorrows in some mulled cider with a friend. We used the free, alcohol-soaked fruit as dinner, which included accidentally swallowing a star anise that got stuck in my throat like a hairball. It all started so civilised, until the cider took hold and we started a rather indecorous game of top trumps about who’s got the weirdest sex story. I’m relieved to say it was about even.

It all got a bit depressing again on the way home when I had to stand up on the train for two hours opposite this couple…

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…who were treating the tube like a game of seven minutes in heaven; wrinkling their noses at each other and putting their hands in each other’s pockets. I feel there should be a leniency in the law that allows you to punch twee, smug couples like this in the face. I think having to endure this flagrant disregard for my central vision for two whole hours until they got off the train – presumably to go home, have a shower, take the throw cushions carefully off the bed and have sex in the dark – counts as being provoked.

I know I’m being dramatic, but I can’t help worrying that this is how the rest of my life will be. I’ll be forty and stuck in some diabolical office job, probably still living with my dad, eating Dairylea triangles and sherbet dib dabs for dinner and only being able to afford holidays-for-one to places like Norfolk and Bognor Regis. If anyone wants to come, YOU CAN’T. Forty-year-old Pascale don’t share her caravan with nobody.

With any luck the world will end tonight and I won’t have to deal with any more interviews ever. If anyone needs me I’ll be lying on my bed, waiting for death like the old couple in Titanic.

I’m not being dramatic, but Argos are endorsing child slavery.

I’m going to be honest guys, I’ve had a bad week. There is something wrong with my back. I may look 22, but apparently I have the skeleton of a 90 year old woman who doesn’t drink milk. I wouldn’t be surprised if one day soon my body gave up and I just crumpled into a pile of dust on the floor, leaving behind nothing but some stylish shoes and an unpaid library fine.

I have to admit, I am both loving and hating being ill. The fact that I can’t lift my arms up properly means that I’ve been wearing my jumpers and cardigans like a Stepford wife. On the other hand, I have always wanted someone to spoon-feed me soup and turn the pages of my magazine for me. Although in my imagination it’s usually Bradley Cooper and not my mum.

Being confined to a bed is sooo boring, too – I feel like it is a subliminal form of torture for E4 to put that many episodes of The Big Bang Theory on back-to-back. It almost makes me want to go back to work and help young adolescents pick outfits that will bring all the boys to the yard/give them hypothermia. (I’m not even joking – the other day someone’s mum asked me if we did some leather hotpants in an age nine.)

I’ve also had some time to think about Christmas presents. Because there are no decorations in my house it only occurred to me that Christmas is a mere two weeks away after This Christmas was on TV. You know, the one with Chris Brown playing the sweet, angelic teenager called Baby, whose only wish is for peace and love and his family to stop fighting during the festive season? (The irony is almost as stifling as the overuse of African-American clichés.)

The way I choose presents for my family is like this: what would I like for Christmas? I always get them something that they hate but I secretly love, because they feel too bad to tell me they don’t like it, and then at some point I’ll have the right to take it back by making them feel that they’ve deeply hurt my feelings. For example, halfway through January I’ll be all like “Dad, why haven’t you used that expensive notepad that I got you?” and he’ll say “I’m sorry but I don’t have much use for a notepad with cupcakes all over it.” Then, I just feign some hurt feelings and “reluctantly” take it back before he realises I’ve already started using the back pages to make a list of people I’m going to delete from Facebook.

As I’m not feeling particularly Christmassy this year, I decided to do some things that would get me in the mood. First on the list was searching my mum’s house for presents. All I can say is that if the things that I saw are presents for me I’m going to be very disappointed. Also, this isn’t as exciting as it used to be now that I can reach the top shelf of her wardrobe. I miss that acute feeling of  pure fear upon realising I’d never be able to get the present back in exactly the same position that I’d found it.

Olivia’s the one who taught me how to do this – she’s an expert at ruining surprises for herself. She once badgered me so much to spill on what I’d got her for Christmas I was forced to tell and cried for the rest of the day. When we used to get up on Christmas morning Olivia had this tactic to see what her Christmas presents were before our parents woke. It got more and more elaborate each year: it began with just a tiny corner rip, but after a few years of practice she started buying her own cellotape so she could unwrap the presents carefully, look at it for a couple of minutes, then wrap it back up and return it to its rightful place under the tree.

Then last week Olivia and I began making a small Christmas pudding, and this time it actually got finished. When I was a young fat-ass I used to eat the raw mixture when my parents weren’t looking without realising it was around two-thirds brandy, one-third pudding mixture. They’d find me twenty minutes later under the tree, throwing up dried fruit and shouting inaudible insults when they tried to move me, like a tiny homeless person.

Next was a Day household tradition: looking through the Argos catalogue for useless gifts. Naturally I skipped forward to the pages where the barbies and the bits of road carpet were, and came across this crime against humanity:

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A FAKE HOOVER?!

What kind of parent would buy their child a fake hoover for Christmas? Are you trying to bring child slavery to Britain? This is an abuse, it really is. Do you not like your child? I don’t think I’ve ever heard a child say “Y’know what I really want for Christmas? An impeccably clean house. Where’s the bleach? I’m going to go clean the toilet. Yaaaaay!” If a toddler really knew what this was for they would disown you. It’s like you’re setting them up for failure. Why don’t you just write this on the tag:

 Dear Timmy,

I was going to bring you a Scalextric set, but seeing as you’ll probably be cleaning the offices of rich bankers for the rest of your life, I thought this would be more appropriate.

Lots of love and joy, Father Christmas xxx

Even if they don’t have a long and prosperous career in cleaning, they will most definitely be doing chores like this in exchange for pocket money and lifts to super cool parties until they turn eighteen; then hopefully they’ll realise they don’t have live in such a tyrannous household any longer, fly the nest and NEVER RETURN. Just buy them a fucking Furby, you slave driver.

Gym Bullies.

In the summer, my sister and I were harassed in a public garden by a personal trainer wearing an Adidas popper tracksuit. I think most people would agree that you have the right to be highly suspicious of someone who still wears these types of tracksuits past the year 1999, especially if they undo the last three poppers on the trouser leg to expose an inappropriate amount of ankle. Enter: the Gym Bully. What a slut.

Here’s how it went:

Him (squatting in front of us, trousers flapping in the wind): Excuse me ladies! You both look like you’re looking to join a gym!

Me: Really? That’s how we look? That’s your hook to get us to join your gym – by telling us we look fat? For your information, good sir, I’m already a member of a gym.

Him: Oh yeah? And how much do you pay for that?

Me: Well, it’s free because I work there.

Him (looking at me like I’m lying and I actually work in KFC): You work in a gym?

Me: Yes I work in a gym. I’m a receptionist. So fuck you.

I didn’t really say fuck you. Well, I did say it, but only in my mind, because he had these humungous arms, and he didn’t look like the type that would be against punching unattractive women in the face. And I’m talking the whole arm – biceps, forearm, wrists, hands, everything. And veiny as fuck – it’s like they were screaming “ARRRRGH, I CAN’T TAKE IT, I’M JUST SO MUSCLEY! LOOK! LOOK AT ME! LET’S GO PUNCH SOME GUYS WEARING EYELINER!”

By now he had realised that I was a lost cause and had cut me off mid-sentence to talk to Olivia. Well, either that or I had confused him by using a word containing more than two syllables, chortle! (Look at me being a typical bitter fatso; trying to use my intelligence to belittle those who are better looking than me! I would make a fantastic internet troll).

Him: So how about you, are you with a gym?

Olivia: Well, no…

What Olivia was avoiding telling him is that she was a member of his gym, until realising she was paying £50 a month to use their swimming pool for about ten minutes twice a week, before having to get out because it was too busy. Don’t worry though; she got her money’s worth in her own special way. I won’t tell you exactly how, but it involved a shitload of tokens and a bitchin’ tan.

The thing is, the Days find confrontation very hard to deal with; even if it’s just telling charity muggers and gym buffs with clipboards that you can’t give to their cause right now. You have no idea how many gyms we’ve joined and how many charities we’ve supported just to avoid those awkward few seconds between us saying no and them turning away to hassle someone else. But it’s those seconds that seem to last a lifetime; the intensity of their judgemental stare is enough to make my eyes water. So I tried to help Olivia out, because she was starting to sweat, and I think the size of his arms made her feel bad about the large Thorton’s ice cream we were eating.

Me: It’s late, we really should be getting back to work

Him: Hold on – I thought you worked at the gym?

Me: I do, I have two jobs!

Woooah! I didn’t realise it was an interrogation! I’m surprised he didn’t smack the ice cream cup out of my hand.

So long story short, Olivia caved, and was bombarded with calls from the gym for the next two months. That’s right; SHE EVEN GAVE THEM THE CORRECT PHONE NUMBER. I’m not entirely sure why she didn’t just tell him that she was a member of the gym where I work, because she is. That’s the results of peer pressure I guess – we’re the kind of people who’ll get killer abs because we don’t want to tell our personal trainer that we’re not that keen on sit-ups.

About a week ago I was leaving work and the same guy was still trying to intimidate fat men and hot women into joining the gym using obesity statistics and his ever-expanding biceps. He stopped me as I came out of the building by shouting to me that I’d dropped something. Of course, I hadn’t dropped anything, but I stupidly turned around anyway and by the time my eyes had stopped searching the floor for this so-called “gay card”, he was so close to my face and staring so intently into my eyes I felt like he had me in a metaphorical headlock, ruffling my hair with his knuckles.

I would just like to point out that he definitely didn’t think I was one of the hot girls, it’s just that from the back I look a lot like Danny Trejo.

Him: Hey there! Would you like to join our gym?

Me: Please…No…

Him: Why not?

Me: …Becaaaause… Because I’m too poor…

I follow his eyes down to the two bulging bags in my right hand filled with new clothes and a foot-long Subway.

Fucks sake.

Him: You don’t look too poor Sir….

Me: FINE. Fine. I give up. I’ll join your gym.

Him: Ok fab! Just give me your name and phone number, sir.

Me: I’m a girl, ok? I have boobs. This is just an unflattering top.

And then I had a stroke of genius. I take his personalised pen and scribble down a number on his clipboard, below the tremulous scrawls of all the other scared fatties pressured into signing up.

Him: Great! We’ll call you!

Me: FANTASTIC! I’m so looking forward to working out in your fabulous gym, because if this polite and completely non-forceful exchange is anything to go by, I’m going to have a completely relaxing and uninterrupted time.

And then I walked away, happy and smug. Good luck, gym guy – good luck calling YOURSELF!! AAAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAAAAAA!!!  That’s right, I gave that SOB the number to his own gym! And he didn’t even notice! I can just imagine it now: him spending hours trying to call me, bewildered but never fully making the connection between the engaged tone and the suspiciously simultaneous flashing of a caller on Line 2; hitting himself over the head with the phone like the confused primate that he is.

However, I think if my karma were a person, it would be one of the gym bully’s Neanderthal frat boy colleagues – the type whose biggest concerns were his body fat percentage and figuring out how he can watch sports and bone chicks at the same time. I say this because a couple of days later, as I reached across my desk to get a pen, my back went. Like an old age pensioner. I was convinced I’d slipped a disc but my health freak mum said I was being over dramatic; that I’d probably just pulled a muscle, and if I just drank more water none of this would have happened (this is her solution to everything: “I think if those angry fellows in Syria just drank more water they would be so much calmer. And have flawless complexions”). Nevertheless, I’ve been walking around like the elderly prisoner from Aladdin all week.

Personally, I hate the gym. Physically I’m a very weak person. I probably don’t look like it; I have the kind of physique that makes people think it’s ok to ask me if I’ve ever thought about amateur wrestling. Of course competitive sports are my nightmare; I remember my mum making me go to judo competitions as a pup (I don’t know why I couldn’t just go to gymnastics like all the other girls), and hating the pressure of having to writhe around on the floor with a total stranger, as they tugged at my clothes and tried to get me on my back in front of a huge group of riled-up, over-competitive parents. I swear someone’s mum once told their child to “rip [me] a new one”. I used to just admit defeat, because my judo jacket would come open so easily, and I was wearing thermal vests way longer than I should have been. So I’d lie on my back, put very little effort into pushing off the opponent slumped across my torso, before returning to the bench with a bruised ego and a massive wedgie, watching my rival’s mother flip me the bird as I went.

I actually did gymnastics one time after I gave up on judo. I was so close to enjoying it, until I tried to act less like an overweight 9-year-old unable to do up her leotard and more like the malnourished, backflipping, scrunchie-wearing skeletons that surrounded me, and bruised my vagina on a pummel horse.

I don’t think parents should overly encourage competiveness in their kids. A desire to succeed is healthy, but it’s those kids with the overbearing parents that end up with a ridiculously extreme competitive streak that makes them think it’s cool to have a neck that’s the same width as their head, or shout in people’s faces when they win quizzes.

It’s entirely possible that I’m just bitter because I grew up being picked on for looking like Chunk’s slightly better looking but equally fat sister. The only good thing about growing up overweight is developing boobs early. Luckily I wasn’t hindered with those weird boobs that really fat people get – the ones that resemble loads of socks stuffed into a pair of tights. They were pretty fantastic if I do say so myself, even though I was probably a little young to have them; my mum decided to buy me my first bra after she watched me vigorously attempt the egg and spoon race on sports day.

I’ll be honest, I can’t even do a press-up. I had to do them at this bootcamp thing once, and I fell straight to the ground and got gravel embedded in my cheek. To be fair it’s not because I’m torso heavy anymore, it’s because my arms are ridiculously weak. The size of my body is completely disproportionate to the size of my wrists and ankles. I can’t even wear bracelets or watches, it’s so sad…

I do, however, think sport is excellent (when I’m watching it on tv with a bargain bucket). I think this year’s Olympics really brought sport back to prominence in England, because at my gym, there is a lot less room in the pool to swim than six months ago, and it seems that all these new swimmers are POOL NAZIS. Only last week a woman of at least eighty turned to me, propped her goggles on her forehead, looked me straight in the eye and told me not to swim so close to her or she’ll end up kicking me. After she put her goggles back on and pinged her swimming cap at me in a threatening manner, she continued to swim an unrecognisable stroke that caused her to stay pretty much in the same place. I think if she did kick me, instead of causing any collateral damage to myself, I could honestly imagine her leg just snapping off without her noticing. To be honest I think that would be way more interesting that seeing a plaster bobbing around. I could use it as a float.