Thursday, November 28, 2019


"Christmas is just around the corner."

I hate that phrase, it makes Christmas sound like a right pervert. What exactly is Christmas *doing* just around the corner? Creepily touching itself in a dark alley and waiting for us to walk past. Naff off Christmas you gross old bastard.

I like Christmas. Like it a lot. Well... do I? I don't actually care much at all for actual Christmas day. I like the 1-24 December. I like Advent. But I can't prance about pronouncing that "Actually I love Advent." without being the biggest nob on the planet. I'm already a gobby, environmentally obsessed, left wing comedian with her eyes on a gender neutral socialist future: I can't add being a twat about the semantics of tinsel to my list of irritating personality features.

I think a lot of this year's advent is going to be ruined by the election. I have to use social media a lot for work and at the moment looking at my feed is like sticking my head in a nutribullet. Except that there's no delicious smoothie to slurp out of my gaping head wounds; it's factless arguments and terror.

There's no easy answer. Between 2 and 4am on Wednesday when I was lying in a sweaty panic attack trying to calm down about the whole thing I veered wildly between: "Maybe I should take a few days off and get REALLY knowledgeable about the whole thing so I know WHY I believe the things I do." and "Maybe I should shut off the internet all together and just not worry?"

To me, my vote goes Left because I have disabled friends, hospital worker friends and teacher friends who cannot cope any longer with the current status quo. I don't believe most politicians (my girl C Lucas being the exception) and I don't believe the papers either... so, all I can go on is the people on the ground and they are at breaking point. So, I don't know whether the left would be any better at having a go, but at least it might be a change for the foot soldiers? That's my thinking anyway.

The whole ridiculous charade is parading down the street being ludicrous and holding up traffic, while Christmas holds its dick in its hand round the corner waiting to spaff itself all over our faces the second December flicks on.

Perhaps Advent will go some way to blocking it all out? I am certainly capable of downing Chocolate Baileys at an alarming rate and once I've gone through a bottle of that I find most of the world is blocked out. It's blocked out by the carpet because I am lying face down in it singing along to Nat King Cole and wondering why I don't have tinsel up all year round.

Things are just PRETTIER at Christmas. Everything is prettier, everything is more hopeful. Perhaps that's why this election feels so... so rude to be plonking it's disastrous arse -disastrarse TM - in the middle of the whole shiny affair. Surely an election should be the epitome of hope...? Each team laying out the ideas the best minds in the country have come up with? Each team able to use the funds of an extremely wealthy nation to power some BIG IDEAS and have a great offering? Shouldn't this be exciting and hopeful? Why does it feel like we're trying to blow an empty paper bag over the line... why is it all so distinctly un-fun? I think we deserve better.

I suppose that's another reason I lean to the left... because at least they seem to want to try. I get that money doesn't grow on trees and even if it did we'd have cut it down for short term financial gain, but, at least there are ideas in there that don't paint Britain as a dismal failure that should only be focusing on the leaks. We're a pretty successful country... there's so much we could be doing and for ages it's felt like we've been told we can't but not really why. If we need some necessities like schools and libraries and health care, and there's a pot of money... to me, it makes more sense to find out how to put more money in the pot rather than to just cut the necessities? I dunno. I'm a brainwashed hippy I expect.

I should have studied politics instead of spending my time watching Christmas stories where the moral is always something saccharine about it feeling good to help the needy.

I can't wait to put my tree up on Sunday and have a bit of respite from feeling this continual dual action guilt and inefectualness that has settled on my shoulders like an unwanted pashmina. I feel at all times completely powerless and completely like I'm wasting my power. I'll string the lights and light the candles and listen to Nat King Cole take away the outside world and lie on my carpet with the Baileys warming my throat and I'll let that dirty old Christmas jump out from round the corner and flash me what's under his mac. Bring it on, because anything but this.

Monday, November 25, 2019


I’ve noticed lately that there is an inefficiency about the internet. I’m worried that my posting to the internet is causing a lot of people to have to repeat themselves ad nauseum in the comments section below whatever it is I’ve posted. I’m really upset by this: I don’t want to be the cause of anyone’s loss of productivity and so to save people the time and resources, I just want to publish here some helpful things to save people having to tire their fingers out commenting.

Ok, here we go… here are some things you don’t need to worry about checking that I know about:

  1. “I wouldn’t fuck her.”

I appreciate you need to let me know this in case I think you having watched a video of me is tacit consent and I will now turn up at your house ready to hump you silly. I will always assume that anyone watching my videos is not any more interested in fucking me than I am in them.

2. “She has an asymmetric haircut. I feel X about this.”

I think the worry here is that, seconds before I went on stage someone gave me a surprise haircut which I didn’t notice whilst editing and uploading the video. It is rare for anyone to find out their haircut via the medium of YouTube comments so I think probably don’t worry about needing to inform me. I actually chose this haircut and carry it around on my head every day, so I’m pretty knowledgeable about what it looks like.

3. “She should stick to comedy, not politics.”

I’m so sorry if my comedy video in front of a live comedy audience laughing somehow came across as a serious political broadcast. It may be that people laughing out loud at what poiticians have been saying lately has confused you as to the difference between the two roles. I have taken every step I can think of, such as billing myself as a comedian, performing at comedy clubs (often with Comedy in their names) and making sure that nearly everything I say has a set-up and punchline that appeal to the majority of the room, to ensure that I cannot be mistaken for a member of parliament. However, I may be using the subject of politics to make jokes out of - I believe this is where the confusion lies BUT just to save your tired hands: you need not worry that I have switched careers, you just may not have recognised the jokes.

4. “It’s not funny.”

Often, if you’re commenting this - it’s because you’re not really a fan of my work and the video has found it’s way to you via other people sharing it because they liked it. You will probably have chosen not to share it, and rightly so, because you did not find it funny. This is very sensible behaviour on your part - if we all spent our time only sharing videos that were not funny the world would be a terrible place and I don’t think the internet would have caught on. So, the people who did share it have probably found it funny. Just to save you the effort of writing “It’s not funny” I will assume that if you neither comment on it nor share it nor interact with me you have not enjoyed it. If you are desperate to write something to indicate your non-enjoyment you are very welcome to use the alternative phrase “I don’t find this funny” or “I do not think this is funny” as you’re very welcome to an opinion, but not to make a final judgement summary for everyone.

5. “You wouldn’t say that to/about X”

I probably would, actually - it just isn’t in this video. Across ten years of being a comedian I have mocked pretty much everything set in front of me in some way. I’ve mocked most religions, races, sexes, sexualities, jobs, political opinions and people. I haven’t usually mocked them for who or what they are, but for who or what they are has also not insulated them from being mocked for something else. If what I’m joking about in the video you’re watching is something that upsets you, switch the video off and you will find it produces this marvellous effect where the video is not happening any more and you don’t have to watch it. You needn’t worry that me mocking Brexit is the death of free speech, or the Left wing disrespecting the will of the people; somewhere in my back catalogue you can also find jokes about deforestation, jackfruit and my own mental health. Try not to think that the video happening in front of you needs to be everything - it’s ok for this video to just be this video, and for there to be another video somewhere to balance it.

6. “She doesn't look like a supermodel.”

At the risk of repeating myself, I know this. I chose my clothes and the meals and exercise combo that got me to this weight. I did not rapidly gain weight between the green room mirror and the stage - this is just what I look like all the time and I often feel ok about it. My main job in a comedy room is to say funny things and until I’m at a weight where my ability to speak is restricted I am probably not going to worry about my body fat content in relation to my video content.

7. “Women shouldn’t swear.”

If you have any medical advice as to how swearing is detrimental to a woman’s health I invite you to email me a link. If it is just your personal preference, I invite you to fuck off.

8. “Don’t give up the day job.”

Now, personally, I love this kind of praise - it gives me real confidence. Comedy is my day job, and so by telling me there is no way on earth I should quit doing it you are really giving me the moral support I need to get through another day as a professional comedian. However, oftentimes I feel like it is used a criticism as if to say “don’t believe you could be a full time comedian.” I’m so sorry that I’ve wasted your time writing this - in order for this to work, you’ll need to write your comment and fire it all the way back to May 2015 which is when I last did anything other than being funny for money. However, if you know something about the impending collapse of all forms of entertainment as a revenue stream I invite you to email me. If it is just your personal preference, I invite you not to give up your day job to become a career advisor.

Tuesday, November 12, 2019


"What the hell am I doing?" She thought, looking at the mud under her finger nails and the old jeans cladding her chubby thighs.

Plants were strewn wildly around her muddy ass. She sat heavily in the red soil looking at the holes and weeds.

"Do I pull them all up? How do I know what's a proper plant and what's a shitty weed?" Reaching a muddy hand into her pocket, Ness pulled out her iPhone. It looked curiously futuristic there amongst the grass and the dirt. She looked at the phone a thousand times a day but it never looked out of place. Not in her house where it lived. But here, here in the closest to wild she could get without leaving the city it looked weird. All shiny metal and hard lines.

She tried to give the phone her thumbprint. "Gosh aren't we trusting... imagine giving a tech company access to one of the major things that could have you convicted of murder. Eugh, maybe technology is a terrible idea?"

The thumb print wouldn't scan. Too much mud in the unique crevices of the appendage. "Fucking useless technology." She thought angrily, "Why don't even the basics work?"

She thumped her four digit pin into the screen, leaving wide smudges of detritus across the glass. Pulling up the internet explorer she hammered her question into the obliging little box. "What plants are weeds and which are proper plants?"

In the millisecond before the results appeared, Ness considered scrapping the enquiry just in case the results were scolding. What if the internet got cross with her rampant stupidity? What if the only search result was "Look, if your questions are this basic you have no business being out of a house?"

The results pinged into an orderly line. The first link to her a page about CBD oil. Ness wondered if using a search term with the word "weed" in it had now put her on several lists.

The second, third, fourth and fifth results were all far too complicated for her to understand at all. The sixth link took her to Pinterest and a meme about weeds only being weeds if you chose not to love the flower it could also be perceived as. "Oh fuck off Pinterest. What a waste of the internet Pinterest has turned out to be. An idle dreaming ground for women too pinned down by babies to be able to live in the real world."

Ness didn't need Pinterest. She wasn't pinned down by a baby, much to her misery and shame, she was free in the real world to do as she pleased. The trouble was, she was finding it increasingly hard to be pleased by anything. That's how she had found herself here: on her very own allotment plot with absolutely no idea what she was doing.

Ness looked down at her phone, wiped some of the mud off it and returned it to her pocket. She would just have to pull up everything and start again. so what if she accidentally destroyed some stuff that could have been good? A clean start.. that was what this place needed.

The allotment was overwhelming for a beginner. Even her own relatively small patch was a jungle of twisting things, taller things, short squashier looking things and funny shaped mud patches that would only turn from mud into faeces when they made contact with fingers. Gross.

When she'd first arrived it had looked impenetrable. A shanty town of time-rich Green party wannabees who desperately wanted to save the planet but at a distance from their own perfectly manicured lawns. Without allotments there would be very little reason for the middle classes to own Hunter wellies and then where would appearances be? Not kept up, that's for sure.

Ness' plot was at the top of the hilly allotment patch. It had an incredible view across the city and down to the coast. On a clear day she could see the wind farm standing out at sea promising salvation. It calmed her to be here, even if the gardening portion was baffling.

She pulled herself up onto her knees and let the blood flow back into her chilled buttocks. They stung in a not unpleasant way. "I suppose this is the bum equivalent of being happy to be alive? Like the euphoria when you've held your breath for ages and then give your brain back air? You feel amazing. This is my bum feeling amazing and pumped. Ready for anything. Sorry you can't do much bum. You're cute though."

Ness leaned forward and began pulling up plant after plant from the small raised bed she was sat in. She spent hours teasing all the fine, whiskery roots from the earth and making sure that not a remnant of the plant remained.

The light began to dip and dim, and while the wind didn't pick up as it would have done had this been cheaper writing, it did feel as though the graceful warmth at the edges of the air just quietly receded. Like an introvert at a party, the warmth melted away and Ness didn't notice until the atmosphere was approaching unpleasant.

She stood up and surveyed the ground. A bare patch of tidy looking brown earth now lay where before there had been myriad leaves and grasses. It looked ready for something. It looked she felt: fertile but bare. Waiting.

She glanced robotically down the hill to the hoarding. To the reason she couldn't stop coming here. Down at the bottom of the hill the shiny, plasticated boards loomed across the allotment. 8 feet high and many, many feet wide the developers had installed the hoardings to try and make their plans look more human.

"Let us have the land" said the hoardings, "and we will put families in here. In safe, warm, well-lit buildings that protect babies. You like babies, don't you? Here are some pictures of babies for you to look and realise we should be building here. These babies have parents of two different races, isn't that good? So really, if you don't let us build here you not only hate babies and want them to die outside in the cold but you also are racist. Do you want to be a racist baby hater or should you just let us build our cardboard houses on this plot?"

The breeze lifted Ness' greasy fringe off her shiny forehead. She stared at the enormous photos of the happy couple and their baby on the glossy boards and felt tears gnawing at the sides of her eyes.

"I do love babies," she thought, "I promise I like babies. I really love babies."

"Then why not give us the land?" said the hoardings.

"I need a nursery painted with jungle animals." said the baby. Enormous brown eyes now barely visible through the insufficient November evening light. The baby and its family were melting into the gloaming but Ness could feel them judging her from their homeless cuddle.

"I know you do, but does it have to be here? We need a place too."

"Who are you?" Asked the perfect Dad dismissively.

"Oh, we're the weirdos." Ness whispered, the tears having nibbled their way free and now skating cold races down her cheeks. "We're the weirdos who didn't get to be you. We empathise too much with hedghogs to get any work done, and couldn't switch off fear of the floods long enough to trust a future for our not-babies. We would be you if we could, but you did it first and made it look too perfect for us to risk ruining it by copying. We need a space too."

Standing there, frozen. Completely stuck. Ness could now only see the white of the board around the family. She shook herself to loosen her legs and began to move back towards the gate; careful not to look at the board again.

She wiped the tears dry; more to warm her face than to stop anyone knowing she'd been crying. She'd pretty much always been crying so what difference did today make to strangers?