‘Just when you’ve pulled yourself out of the mire, they’ll knock you back in again with a simpering, nauseating, molasses-soaked blast of White Christmas’

Ding dong merrily on high: it’s December already. Time to defrost the frosting, soak your prunes in anorak, I mean Armagnac, roast your petrified n(...)

‘The same research also contends that people without children are generally happier. This surprised me.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

I was listening to the radio the other morning, watching the bread defrost while the rain splattered the blackened window panes. The presenter was (...)

The article was headlined “Five reasons to date a girl with an eating disorder”, and it popped up on my laptop screen complete with an image of a skin(...)

Jackie: how else were you supposed to know what to do when a boy stuck his tongue in your mouth

‘Dear Cathy and Claire, I get so depressed when I think about growing up and getting married – the thing all girls are supposed to want. My 19-year(...)

Robbie Williams and Ayda Field. Photograph: Dave M Benett/Getty Images

I’m far too long in the tooth to experience any grief or faded desire when the name Robbie Williams crops up. Take That, the band the puppyesque Wi(...)

‘Sometimes, when the sea mist came down and the foghorn hounded the dense sky, the house disappeared entirely.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

We were walking the cliff path in riotous autumn sunshine, sweatshirts tied around our waists. The day was hot, the blackberry bushes picked clean.We (...)

‘Just when I thought things couldn’t get any more exciting, there was Dicky Rock, materialising out of the camphor-scented ether, looking tanned and coiffed and lovely’

Spooky, isn’t it, how time goes? One minute you’re cracking open the monkey nuts in your sweaty Incredible Hulk mask, dunking for apples in your di(...)

‘The article also said some whip-sharp, boffin-designed test had been developed to measure neuroticism.’ Photograph: Thinkstock

I was sitting in the very small seat of an aircraft with a very big sandwich and a smuggled-on-board black coffee. I was escaping to London for a n(...)

‘I was thinking about the new N for Novice plates and wondering if there’s scope for other letters, such as M for Menopausal, or T for Touchy’

Due to “domestic circumstance”, a phrase my father used time and again to the curiouser and curiouser nuns to explain my many absences from the con(...)

Lolo Ferrari: ‘Her brassieres were, they say, designed by an engineer who had previously been employed by Boeing.’ Photograph: Boris Horvat/AFP/Getty Images

I was wandering through the lingerie section of a well-loved Dublin department store the other day, tiredly trailing behind an organised, time-cons(...)