I’m Not French

At a pub with a friend when a Random Drunk Woman approached me:

Random Drunk Woman: “Are you French?”

Me: “Huh?”

RDW: “Are you French?”

Me: “No, I’m not.”

RDW: “You look French.”

Me: “I’m not French”.

RDW: “But you’re all beautiful like a French woman.”

Me: “Thank you.”

RDW: “Don’t wo

rry, I’m not gay or nothing. But you do look French.”

Me: “Why would I be worried? Anyway, I’m definitely not French.”

RDW: (to my friend) “Hey, doesn’t your friend look French?”

I swear, in a parallel universe, I am still having that conversation with her.

One Day in Sainsbury’s

Me to Security Guard: “Um, there’s a guy in aisle 4 with his trousers round his ankles, & his bum’s on display”.

SG: “I know”.


Me: “So… are you going to do anything about it?”

SG: “No. Would you want to?”

Me: “No. Fair point.”

The perfect housemate

In 1998, I was looking for a room to rent in Birmingham. The local paper led me to a house owned by Ben, where he lived with his mate Marcus. They were rather handsome chaps, and I was utterly charmed by both of them. They gave me a tour of the house, then they went off and chatted for a while.


Ben: “Well, Marcus and I would love you to move in, if you want.”

Me: “Oh, that’s great!”

Ben: “Yeah, we reckon you’d be the perfect housemate.”

Me: *starting to preen and puff* “That’s so lovely, thanks!”

Ben: “So, Marcus and I had one rule: we didn’t want to live with anyone that either of us fancied, as that would spoil the house dynamic. And then you came along…”

Me: *rapidly deflating* “Oh?”

Ben: “…and obviously neither of us find you attractive, so welcome to the house!”

It is dark and lonely in the pit of mortification, I can tell you.


When I was small, I didn’t have any friends. Well, I did, but none of them were real.

I didn’t just have imaginary friends, I had imaginary families and communities; there were so many of them rattling around my brain that I couldn’t keep track of them all.

So, I took my favourite notebook and started scribbling down their stories.

I’ve been writing ever since: everything from radio scripts, to computer training manuals and even the odd book.

But, these have always been pieces that other people asked me to write. And I wanted to tell my own stories: the mistakes, the adventures, the tiny triumphs of everyday.