I’ve got to tell you
how I love you always
I think of it on grey
mornings with death

in my mouth the tea
is never hot enough
then and the cigarette
dry the maroon robe

chills me I need you
and look out the window
at the noiseless snow

At night on the dock
the buses glow like
clouds and I am lonely
thinking of flutes

I miss you always
when I go to the beach
the sand is wet with
tears that seem mine

although I never weep
and hold you in my
heart with a very real
humor you’d be proud of

the parking lot is
crowded and I stand
rattling my keys the car
is empty as a bicycle

what are you doing now
where did you eat your
lunch and were there
lots of anchovies it

is difficult to think
of you without me in
the sentence you depress
me when you are alone

Last night the stars
were numerous and today
snow is their calling
card I’ll not be cordial

there is nothing that
distracts me music is
only a crossword puzzle
do you know how it is

when you are the only
passenger if there is a
place further from me
I beg you do not go



2016 has got off to a brilliant start in terms of TV and cinema. We’ve been treated to releases such as The Danish Girl and The Revenant. The BBC has also been good to us, with mind blowing adaptations of Agatha Christie’s And Then There Were None and Leo Tolstoy’s War and Peace.

Let’s have a look at what the rest of 2016 will bring:

SUICIDE SQUAD [Action/Adventure/Fantasy]

Release date: 05.08.16

Plot: A secret government agency recruits imprisoned super villains to execute dangerous black ops missions in exchange for clemency.

Director: David Ayer [Fury, Training Day]

Writers: John Ostrander, David Ayer

Suicide Squad features an all star cast, here a just a few:
Jared Leto [Fight Club, Dallas Buyers Club]
Viola Davis [The Help, Doubt]
Cara Delevingne [Paper Towns, Pan]
Ben Affleck [Gone Girl, Good Will Hunting]

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLLQK9la6Go

ME BEFORE YOU  [Drama/Romance]

Release: 03.06.16

Plot: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.
Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.
What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.
Based on the book by Jojo Moyes.

Director: Thea Sharrock [The Hollow Crown, Henry V]

Writers: Jojo Moyes

Cast [starring]:
Sam Claflin 
[The Riot Club, Pirates of the Caribbean, Love Rosie]
Emilia Clarke
[Dom Hemingway, Game of Thrones]
Janet McTeer [The Woman in Black, Cat Run, The White Queen]
Charles Dance
[Game of Thrones, The Imitation Game]
Brendan Coyle [Downton Abbey, Noble]
Matthew Lewis
[The Harry Potter Franchise, The Rise]

Trailer:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H4pEn72mPeM



Release: 21.12.16

Plot: A spacecraft traveling to a distant colony planet and transporting thousands of people has a malfunction in its sleep chambers. As a result, two passengers are awakened 60 years early.

Director: Morten Tyldum [The Imitation Game, Buddy]

Writer: Jon Spaihts

Jennifer Lawrence
[The Hunger Games, Joy, Silver Linings Play Book]
Chris Pratt [Guardians of the Galaxy, Jurassic World]
Michael Sheen [Frost/Nixon, The Twilight Saga]

HOW TO BE SINGLE [Romantic Comedy]

Release: 12.02.16

Plot: New York City is full of lonely hearts seeking the right match, and what Alice, Robin, Lucy, Meg, Tom and David all have in common is the need to learn how to be single in a world filled with ever-evolving definitions of love.

Director: Christan Ditter

Writer: Abby Kohn, Marc Silverstein, Dana Fox, Liz, Tuccilo

Dakota Johnson [The Social Network, 50 Shades]
Rebel Wilson
[Pitch Perfect, Bridesmaids]
Leslie Mann [The Other Woman, This is 40]
Damon Wayans Jr [Let’s Be Cops, Big Hero 6]

Trailer:  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RrDI4-BSovs


Release: 29.04.16 [UK]

Plot: Political interference in the Avengers’ activities causes a rift between former allies Captain America and Iron Man.

Director: Anthony Russo, Joe Russo

Writers: Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely, Mark Millar, Joe Simon, Jack Kirby

Chris Evans [The Avengers, The Avengers: Age of Ultron, Captain America]
Robert Downey Jr [Iron Man, The Avengers, The Avengers: Age of Ultron]
Scarlett Johansson [Lucy, Captain America: The Winter Soldier]
Antony Mackie [The Hurt Locker, Captain America: The Winter Soldier]
Martin Freeman [Sherlock, Fargo, The Hobbit]

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uVdV-lxRPFo


Release: 17.06.16

Plot: The friendly-but-forgetful blue tang fish reunites with her loved ones, and everyone learns a few things about the real meaning of family along the way.

Director: Andrew Stanton, Angus MacLane

Writers: Victoria Strouse, Andrew Stanton, Bob Peterson

Idris Elba
[Thor: The Dark World, Luther]
Ellen DeGeneres [Finding Nemo]
Kaitlin Olson [The Heat, It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia]
Dominic West [Pride, The Wire]

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3JNLwlcPBPI

ZOOLANDER 2 [Comedy]

Release: 12.02.16

Plot: Derek and Hansel are modelling again when an opposing company attempts to take them out from the business.

Director: Ben Stiller

Writer: Justin Theroux, Ben Stiller, Nicholas Stoller, John Hamburg

Ben Stiller
[The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, Zoolander]
Olivia Munn [Magic Mike, Iron Man 2]
Penelope Cruz [Blow, Pirates of the Caribbean]
Will Ferrell [Get Hard, Daddy’s Home, Anchorman]
Owen Wilson [Marley & Me, You, Me and Dupree]
Macaulay Culkin [My Girl, Home Alone]
Benedict Cumberbatch [Sherlock, The Imitation Game]
Christine Taylor [The Wedding Singer, Zoolander]

Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4CL4LNWHegk


Helium balloons and soft toys shaped like internal organs. It sounds like the makings of a thrilling time, doesn’t it? It’s unforgivably deceiving, the entire façade of Valentines Day, but that is why I love it. It’s as if I’m watching the most intense and ridiculous romantic drama take place over the span of a few days.

You have happy couples strolling down the street, grinning serenely as they anticipate the arrival of Valentines Day, however, at least one half of that love-sick pair is bound to forget the occasion and end up having to present a can of condensed milk and tinned sausage to their lactose intolerant, vegetarian partner.

The wafting scent of chocolate and red roses stinks out the street like Mustard Gas when the dreaded day arrives. I look on fondly as people sprint in their pyjamas like greyhounds to corner shops and card stores before the crack of dawn, in the hope that their futile efforts will save their relationship for disaster.

I am single and free of obligations, Valentines Day is the only day of the year when I am #WINNING.

The good bit comes afterwards. As February 15th rolls into town, I take pleasure in strolling up and down the seasonal aisle of Tesco to embrace the essence of crushed dreams and unreturned texts, whilst I rid the shelves of discount chocolate and cheap wine.

Happy Valentines Day to me.



Have you forgotten what we were like then
when we were still first rate
and the day came fat with an apple in its mouth

it’s no use worrying about Time
but we did have a few tricks up our sleeves
and turned some sharp corners

the whole pasture looked like our meal
we didn’t need speedometers
we could manage cocktails out of ice and water

I wouldn’t want to be faster
or greener than now if you were with me O you
were the best of all my days



Starring Gregory Peck as Philip Schuyler Green, Dorothy McGuire as Kathy Lacy and John Garfield as David Goldman, the 1947 movie directed by Elia Kazan makes the list for my top 5 favourite Gregory Peck movies.

The movie follows the story of a widowed journalist (Gregory Peck), living in New York with his son, Tommy, and mother. Green decides to write a piece on anti-Semitism and ‘becomes Jewish’ for six months in order to personally experience the reality of anti-Semitic attitudes.

The film explores themes of prejudice and bigotry in society and does so in a raw and honest manner.

Gentleman’s Agreement received a generally positive review from the New York Times and was one of Fox’s highest grossing movies of 1947.


  • Academy Award for Best Actor – Gregory Peck
  • Academy Award for Best Actress – Dorothy McGuire
  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress – Anne Revere
  • Academy Award for Film Editing – Harmon Jones
  • Academy Award for Best Writing, Screenplay – Moss Hart


  • Academy Award for Best Picture – 20th Century fox (Darryl F. Zanuck)
  • Academy Award for Best Supporting Actress – Celeste Holm
  • Academy Award for Directing – Elia Kazan


As the most wonderful time of the year draws near and you prepare to gain 30 pounds in the space of two days, there are a few things to keep in mind.

It is cold. It is stupidly cold, the kind of cold that makes me jealous of the equator. ‘Ooh look, they’ve gone and set their pudding on fire,’ God said ‘let me extinguish it with an expensive British winter!’

To avoid leaving your toes in your boots, I suggest you eat some ginger. Don’t ask me why, but my mum always said that ginger keeps you warm and in good health, she even made tea with it once and I don’t mean ginger and lemon tea, I mean she made English Breakfast with ginger water.

Come wintertime, my kitchen becomes a bloody ginger wonderland. I tried to point out to my mum that the guy from Titanic chugged from a flask of alcohol in preparation for being plunged into the cold ocean and perhaps I should do the same before a Christmas dinner party, but she wasn’t convinced.

‘Tis the season to be grouchy, fa la la la la, la la la la. Oh bow down to the everlasting cycle of headaches  and streaming eyes and no, I am not talking about the family gathering. As the scent of gingerbread and mistletoe fills the air, so does the smell of Vicks and Soothers.

It is Christmas, and an overweight, child spying man is rolling into town on an oversized dinner tray, we must greet him like a tenor choir. If he’s lucky, we may even choke up a ball of phlegm and leave it on a dish for his reindeer. Make Santa feel welcome, kids.

Speaking of Santa, why do children find it magical that a stranger, with an unhealthy BMI and an army of slaves, plunges down the chimney and into their home without warning. The guys even eats your food, for crying out loud!

When my neighbour found me with a hand in her Rice Crispies and a huge bag slung over my shoulder, she threw a saucepan at me and called my mother. Yet nobody has called Santa’s parents, he skips away scot free, whilst calling out the name of a gardening implement and jingling his damn bells.

Now, let’s talk poultry. It’s around this time of year when turkeys begin to pen their wills, and we all feel bad about that, but what about the chickens?? They’ve been demoted, turkeys are bigger, better, more exclusive. Even turkey sandwiches are celebrated, hardy anyone thinks to Instagram their stodgy old chicken sandwich.

It’s not until January, when we find that we can only fit a single finger in our mitten, when we go crawling back to chickens to save us. Bye bye steak and beef, hello chicken, you beautiful, nutritious alternative! Well, let me tell you a little something! Chicken is sick and tired of being your rebound bird, watch out for salmonella.

Arson is always on the rise come Christmas time, electric blankets, candles, pudding. Pudding is a beautiful thing, sacred even. For any non- British people out there, Christmas pudding is this brown/grey gritty mound, composed of something that was probably fruit a long time ago. It’s bad enough that it looks like a pie made of a sack of mouldy tea leaves, but folk have taken it upon themselves to douse it in sherry and burn it to cinders, before scraping the remains onto party plates for people to flush down the bog.

This cruel, cruel practice has left me so disheartened that I often feel like dousing myself in alcohol and setting myself on fire too.


Happy holidays to you all.


Half a decade ago, I started high school. I had a pink Puma rucksack full of crap I would never use and fish out from the deep dark depths of it at the end of the year. My blazer was as stiff as the ironing board it had been soldered against and I wore these translucent pink Ghandi glasses that made me look like a bug – the usual.

Since then, I have perfected the art of being a model student and am eager to pass my golden notes of wisdom onto you.

#Lesson 1:
Do not introduce yourself to teachers as ‘Viktor Pickles.’

Avoid producing self portraits that look like this:image (4)

Know that this is not an acceptable thing to draw in your history book: image (1)

Under no circumstances is it acceptable to eat fajitas in class.

Try not to fart in assembly and blame it on your friend.

Learn to spell correctly:

Just because Scout is wearing a ham costume in To Kill a Mockingbird, it does not permit you to proclaim her as ‘dead meat.’

Holden CAULFIELD, not Holden Cauliflower.

If you still can’t spell ‘difficulty,’ I suggest you read Matilda.

If you were meant to colour it in, just colour it in. image (6)#LESSON 11:
If you can’t draw, you can’t draw.

Please learn how to spell
photo#LESSON 13;
Develop all points fully to avoid confusion and private meetings with your English teacher.
image (8)#LESSON 14:
Don’t giggle when being told off.

Know when to ask for help.
image (7)#LESSON 16:
Try not to insult children by calling out: ‘YOU THINK YOU’RE SO COOL, HANGING OUT NEXT TO THE FIRE EXHAUSTER, BUT YOU’RE JUST LAME.’ =__=

If you’re 12, you may not realise this, but swearing in every sentence is not okay. Please stop.

I hope you enjoyed this post and if you did please give it a like or maybe share it with a friend. All pictures and examples used in this post are my own and not intended to insult teachers, pupils or anyone in anyway.  =]


I have dreams that would make great screenplays and should probably be illegal. Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘I don’t have enough for intensive therapy, please just stop at ‘illegal.’ I consider myself to be doing you a favour here, okay? These ideas I’m sharing with you are free for you to use at anytime what so ever. Aspiring screenwriters with no inspiration – I’m talking to you.

Somewhere around the last week of my 2014 summer holiday, I woke up brimming with adrenaline and sweating from all outlets. My dream: a modern day Hunger Games that took place right in my school building, wherein all pupils who failed the half term maths exam were put into the reaping. I spent an exhilarating few hours bounding over toilet cubicles like some kind of mutant werewolf and inexplicably ended up in a sterile white basement with a life sized marble statue of Buddha who had a scented candle melted to his forehead. At some point I was shot in the hand by the girl who scored 3% more than me and my goodness did it hurt. I’m sure there’s some kind of psychological reason for why I dreamt that I wound a dozen rolls of Andrex around myself and pasted myself to the art room wall with PVA, but that would make great entertainment.

My next venture into the hidden depths of my subconscious revealed the adrenaline junkie side of my. I went skydiving above Paris with a faceless friend and landed in a fountain in a town square. Unknown to me, the fountain was sacred and my dear friend had decided to empty the contents of his bladder into the clear pool of blue (I know him to be male, because I’ve never seen a girl pee so comfortably whilst standing upright, and also he didn’t wash his hands, so come on.) We were promptly arrested by the French authorities and interrogated by the FBI which was all very puzzling because I only scraped an A in my MFL language test last year and once told my French teacher that the holiday resort gave me three pigeons to make mushroom sausages with. Earnestly, I told the French police that I went with my mother and sister to the cinema yesterday and I liked the movie, but the popcorn was dry and bad. Needless to say, they were unimpressed and had just danced an Irish jig around the table before I woke up and realised I’d forgotten to complete my chemistry homework.

I’ve saved the best from last and all you cartoon fans out there may want to resist the urge to read on.

When I was about 6 or 7 I had this recurring dream that would one day become the root cause of my phobia of wheelie bins. I must have dreamt this same dream 10 or 15 times and I think it deserves a mention. It starts with a crumpet at my child-minder’s house, there I was enjoying my crumpet and thinking about the next three when the doorbell rang. It was Goofy, but not the lovable bubbly Goofy you and I are accustomed to, but his Goofy had a uni-foot, two oversized feet that merged into one huge foot, attached to a single oversized thigh. Now I have no idea what the hell was wrong with me, but when this monstrous Goofy said: ‘I’m here for Vivien.’ I obligingly went along with him. He would carry me down the street and throw me in one of three wheelie bins, leave me there until it was dark, and then take me back to the child-minder’s where my parents were waiting.

I make Stephen King look like a candyfloss unicorn, I know. God forbid my kids refuse to eat their asparagus, Goofy’ll come knocking. I’m joking, I hate asparagus.

If any of you reading this are psychologists or analyse dreams or whatnot, let me know if I’m insane in the comments below and for any screenwriters who become famous for their unique story line about Buddha’s adventures in creepy Goofy land, you’re welcome.



For a Quiet Carriage there is a surprising numbered of yobs behind me, chattering and screeching away like a family of chimps. From what I can gather, the guy behind me (we shall call him Gareth) is a budding actor who is on his way to an audition in London. His clarion voice is now informing me that, not only had he played a dingo, but he has also been offered a position at the company of a successful business person, which he feels ‘positive, positive, positive’ about. Unfortunately, it seems that he is prohibited to give away any details about his shiny new job.

Here are 3 things I can safely tell you about Gareth:

  1. He lives alone and has great conversations with himself.
  2. He talks to strangers on trains.
  3. He is a grade A bullshitter.

Anyway, nevermind him, let’s discuss the free Wi-Fi on this train that doesn’t actually work – actually, that’s boring and you didn’t come here for boring, so I’ll tell you all about train stations instead.

I’m joking, don’t worry.

Here’s a couple in front of me now (we shall call them Cameron and Susan – Sameron) and they just shared a croissant, which was cute while it lasted, but now they’re both staring at the empty wrapper with their hands on their knees- apparently catatonic. I have a feeling that this is their first date and Cameron’s mum didn’t coach him past the croissant.


Gareth is still talking. It seems that he has found a buddy to talk football with (we shall call him Ron,) Ron’s currently raving about Aston Villa and Gareth is listing doughnut preferences. The telecom just advertised the tuck shop in carriage A – I think Sameron should invest in a family sized bag of Doritos, I’m having serious concerns about their lack of movement.


I’ve just moved places and now have a spiffing football commentary being fed into my left ear. Ron has found a new friend, who swears an awful lot (we shall call him Bucky.) Bucky’s Adidas trainers have crept dangerously close to my leg.

I think he knows I’m writing about him.


There’s a woman at my 11 o’clock who is drinking (what I assume is coffee, but since I can’t see it, it could be straight vodka for all I know) from a cup with a moustached man on it. I shall tell her telepathically how cool it is.

Bucky’s just complained about how idiotic some football fans can be and how much he hates flat lemonade. Now he’s opened two large cans of larger at the same time to prove his point.

Fun fact: Bucky is afraid of tunnels.

Ron’s just announced his phobia of flying and that he shits himself every time and doesn’t leave his seat.

I hope he wears a nappy.


Sameron update: still catatonic.

Apparently, the thing I’ve nudged with my foot for the entire journey is Ron’s right foot.

Fun fact: according to Bucky, he is okay with the Tube, as he is only scared when he goes through dark tunnels at ‘top speed.’

An old man has moved to the seat on my left (let’s call him Roger) with a can of Stella Artois on his table. I originally thought he was doing origami but, as it turns out, he’s hand rolling an impressive collected of cigarettes.

Origami is healthier, kids.


I’ve discovered that the secret to walking down a turbulent train is to step very rapidly and latch onto heads with a claw like grip.

Fun fact: Ron buys his jeans from the women’s section of Topshop.

Gareth has quieted down, I think he found something to eat. Susan has resorted to eating chunks of her Aloe Vera lip balm and Roger is still rolling cigarettes – maybe he’s entering a competition.


The train has arrived at London Euston and Gareth just left.

I shall miss him.

Bucky’s real name turns out to be Ross, but he’ll always be Bucky to me. He complained noisily about his flat larger and left too.

Fun fact: if you listen closely, you’ll discover that everybody is slightly nuts.


I’m awfully sorry about your quiche matted carpet and Uncle Jim’s bruised belly and I know I probably should have waited for her to blow out the candles before eating. Please accept my heartfelt condolences about Bubbles too, he had a good run – are you sure I can’t help you extract him from the radiator?

On a big standard day, my social incompetence and I manage to co-exist swimmingly. Dinner parties, however, are a whole new kettle of fish. They provide the ultimate platform for public humiliation, larger and more well lit than Times Square on New Years Eve.

My very first experience of a dinner party was really more of a tea party. I was around 8 years old and had been invited to a house belonging to a friend of the vicar, along with some other kids from Sunday school, for sandwiches and squash.

So there I was, seated on the floor with a cup of strong blackcurrant squash, sipping from my cup as if it were a hi ball of bourbon and I a jaded war veteran, wise and windswept. The squash was far more concentrated than my mum ever allowed for me to drink and a deep, royal purple.

After setting my cup down, I engaged in the re-telling of old war stories with the ex-marine to my right and showed him my medals. Feeling rather parched from all my tale telling, I reached for my hi ball to find that it’d emptied its entire purple contents across the thick ivory carpet.

As I goggled at the bruise that had bloomed, the cup rolled a few inches to the right, mocking me.

‘Too busy to pay attention to me, huh? Look where that got you, jaded veteran my ass. ‘

Like any other normal person, I leapt up and apologised to the host for my clumsy mistake.

Is what I should have done. 

Instead, I backhanded the sneering cup under the sofa and shifted myself over the squash drenched carpet. Now if I could just sit there until the house became derelict, I would be fine. 

‘They’re going to report you to the police,’ The cup hissed from underneath the sofa ‘or even worse, call your mother.’

I continued to press my buttocks into the stain and felt the dampness begin to soak into my jeans and pass through my skin. I wondered what Ribena would do to me if it entered my bloodstream.

‘How about you tell them that you’ve acquired an illness that results in you spontaneously pissing purple, berry scented fluid?’  The cup suggested. After a few moments of careful consideration, I hissed back:

‘That’s stupid, they’d get worried and check with my mother. Now shut up and be a cup.’ 

A few Emerils later, people began to ascend from their seats and file out of the room. Utterly mortified, I remained where I was, buttcheeks clenching in fear and my face contorted with horror. To our superviser, I must have looked severely constipated, as she urgently attempted to usher me out.

I have to tie my laces, you go first,’ in my nervous state, my voice came out as a strained whisper and I barely noticed her glance at my Velcro straps before she left, clearly convinced that the child at her feet was seconds away from producing a pair of incense sticks to perform a demonic ritual with.

With the place now blissfully empty, my purple ass leapt up and slipped out of the house gleefully scot free.

I realise now, of course, what an asshole move that was and if the host of that tea party is reading this – I’m sorry and hit me up if you want to press charges.

But as you can see, dinner parties and I didn’t exactly get off on the right foot and our relationship was only destined to worsen.

In my opinion, the most dreadful type of dinner party is where the food is laid out buffet style and you get to serve yourself on a paper plate. Before you get the wrong impression, let me just mention now that I would usually be thrilled at the prospect of unlimited shrimp toast, but with so many watchful stares following you around whilst you pile your plate with a socially unacceptable amount of food and infinite opportunities for catastrophe, shrimp toast begins to look less appealing.

I mean, one minute I could be sprinkling my salmon with pepper and the next, have the host SCREAMING what the hell I was doing to her grandma. 

Don’t even get me started on the paper plates, flimsy flimsy things that bend all which ways whilst you attempt to pile obscene amounts of food onto it. You end up having to perform some sort of frenzied waltz, tripping over a pair of Crocs and nearly splitting your head open on Uncle Jim’s beer belly, to get to your seat.

Once seated, you discover that it is near impossible to spear anything with your fork without the plate sinking into the crevice between your knees. A few bites later and it ends up looking like you’re trying to engulf your meal with your thighs.

And finally, I doubt I have to alert you to the fact that you’re spending an ENTIRE night in someone else’s house, filled with THEIR PRIZED POSSESIONS, children and idiotic goldfish that leaps behind the radiator when you tap the glass.

So by the time they kick you out onto the front porch with a pending restraining order, not only have you used their deceased relative as seasoning, but also made their little brats cry, ruined their upholstery, and slaughtered their dear pet.

You should have just stayed in with pizza and Netflix.

Comment below any stories you have of eventful dinner parties and please Like, Follow and Share if you enjoyed this post.

EMAIL ME with any questions or queries.
Thank you for reading and I’ll see you in the next blog post.

Viv 😉


What is it? Are you finally taking your doctor’s advice and joining the gym? Was it the pushy, overbearing friend, whom the neighbours dog will drag out from under your patio steps when they start to smell, who forced you to sign up? Or maybe you were strutting up to the entrance of KFC, perfectly content with your existence, when someone complimented your shoes.

They look gorgeous on you.’ They may have oozed. And maybe you felt a twinge of unease when you had to answer:

Thanks, I do wish I could see them though.’

Either way, your desperation and yearning for advice on how to handle your current situation has lead you here, in the hope that I will provide you with golden notes of wisdom. If that is the case – I will pay for you to visit a psychologist. Seriously, I know one in my area, she teaches at my high school and said I had a terrible work ethic and serious issues regarding my attitude towards self-motivation that would restrain me when I entered the Real World, however, she also claimed to have died momentarily whilst practising a breathing exercise, so I’d take her advice like I’d eat raw buffalo.

Anyway, returning to the topic of discussion, the most important element of integrating yourself into the environment that is The Gym, is confidence. Do not shy away from sporting erratically coloured track suits. Even better, invest in those trainers that convert the floor you walk on into a mobile dance floor every time you take a step. Now, you may be thinking: ‘what is this shennegans? Flashing footwear was stylish when Micheal Jackson was black.’ But let me tell you something – everyone is just waiting for someone to take the first venture, Jessica Ennis has a stack of custom made flashing shoes that she is just dying to break out. Go for it. Be a trendsetter and mention my name when you get offered your own Nike campaign, okay?

Also, the water fountain. The water fountain is your oyster, guzzle from the tap like a comel coming across the only oasis in the desert, splash water on your face and grunt enthusiastically as you shake your hair out like a wet dog. Even better, get on all fours and growl at approaching predators like a real dog- even go as far as to pee on the area, whatever works for you. Dominate the taps. Mark your territory. You’re paying hard earned money for this membership, the least you deserve is an all-you-can-eat water buffet.

Next, how to tackle the monstrosity that is the treadmill. Now, not many people really pay attention to you whilst you’re working out, but if you just happen to be positioned next to Miss-I-Wear-White-Yoga-Pants-Because-I-Do-Not-Need-To-Wear-Slimming-Colours, you may need to make an effort as not to look like a pregnant gorilla. First of all,there is a kind of mutual agreement in place amongst gym members that one does not glance below the waist, primarily because it’s just a little bit dodgy, but also because your legs are clearly a work in progress and people should respect that. So the trick is to place you feet on either  side of the moving belt and stimulate a running action with your upper body, if it helps, dangle a couple of towels off either side of the machine to conceal your stationary legs. Now you are free to turn to setting up as high as you want. Remember to pant lightly and swipe at your brown occasionally – a snack is also handy if you feel yourself begin to lapse into boredom. I suggest Snack a Jacks, the name makes up on half of the activity ‘jumping jack.’ Deeming them perfectly acceptable for consumption within the gym. If anyone approaches you and questions your logic, pack the crisp packet with peach stones and slap them about the face a few times to knock some sense into them. If after all this, White Yoga Pants is still running faster than you, toss a wet towel over her and relocate to the changing rooms for the warm shower you so richly deserve.

Of course, after your vigorous work out, you must be feeling a bit peckish. So after placing your order, inconspicuously flick your gym membership card out of your wallet  and allow it to clatter nosily onto the counter, just incase the cashier didn’t believe your lie about the three friends who will be joining you shortly.

This brings me to my final point, if after all this you still feel as if you cannot bear this fitness nonsense any longe and must escape the misery of it all. Try hurling a few dumbbells at the overhead televisions that had been broadcasting the latest episode of Masterchef whilst you had been trying to burn off the pizza you had for lunch, courtesy of the Masterchef that is Dominos. It should take approximately a few seconds for you to be frogmarched out of the gym by security with a lifetime ban.

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