Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Wednesday, June 13, 2018



Is Marijuana the gateway drug? No.
Is alcohol? No. 

It is nicotine. 

And how does that work? It is your first sojourn into the world of danger. Trembling fingers take the cigarette from the packet presented to you. It’s exciting, it’s ‘bad’, it’s what the cool people are doing, and we all want to belong to a group. Non-smokers don’t have a club. They don’t gather together at the end of street in a circle with the ritual of lighting each other’s fag. It is a grouping of people (young ones) who can get together and bond several times a day making it more attractive than waiting for a Saturday football match or a thick shake in a fast food place. And when you are alone puffing on your cigarette you know there are others out there, your friends, who might also be smoking as they ruminate on the mysteries of the world, or rather, how not to alert their parents to your new habit. Yes, we think it’s a habit. A bad habit - we are told by a generation of smokers lured into its pull, and by cigarette companies. It is not a habit, it is an Addiction – a very powerful one: Psychological and Physiological. On the Psychological level it’s a bonding tool; a club of a kind; an empathetic way to connect with other smokers, and an instant way to meet friends. “Have you got a light?” was, and possibly still is, the most used pick up line of all time.

On the scientific level nicotine elevates pleasure levels called dopamines. The initial dopamine boost lessens as you near adulthood and you may find yourself smoking more cigarettes to compensate. At times of stress, heartache and pain, chain smoking is not uncommon. And for many the drop in dopamine leads you to seek other drugs that can ensure dopamine rushes (alcohol, cannabis, heroin) because nicotine prepares the brain to respond to other substances in what is known as cross-sensitisation which heightens brain activity and could entice you to try stronger substances. 

The promoters of drink and cigarettes looked for a scapegoat and found it in marijuana. They labeled it ‘the gateway drug’ and scared the bejezes out of parents. However, D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) now admit that: “most people who smoke pot do not move on to harder drugs”. Some even believe that marijuana use may prevent other drug use. 

Another way pot has been mistaken as the gateway drug is that tobacco is often used in a ‘joint’ as a bulk filler and the smoker may not realize they are addicted to the nicotine rather than the marijuana. They probably won’t find out until they behave like a heroin addict looking for a fix and are offered a cigarette instead. And thus nicotine finds another soul through a back door.

Back to nicotine and its addictive properties. People have often said that it was easier to kick heroin (and we have all seen those ‘cold turkey’ films to know how hard it can be) than it was to stop smoking. AA has a no drug policy: if you are a drug addict you must also put drink aside, but not smoking. Most recovering addicts (drink and drugs) still smoke cigarettes. They find it beyond their capabilities to give that drug up and yet have crawled out of alcoholic gutters and/or drug infused squats. 

Smokers put their addiction above everyone (as would any addict). Their small compromises appear generous (smoking outside, asking if anyone minds if they smoke?). In reality it is the law that has enforced this sense of consideration by shaming. And still smokers remain defiant in their addiction, proclaiming ‘they enjoy it’. Really? Standing in the snow, having to puff a cigarette before they enter an airport, waiting till everyone has eaten so they can leave the restaurant to smoke, stale smoke clinging to hair, clothes, breath? I know that no one enjoys that!

And if you don’t want your kids to fall into the trap monitor their friends. Who smokes is a danger because they need new recruits so they are not alone in their addiction and cannot be branded ‘weak’ or ‘an addict’. Psychologically smoking carries the mark of a rebel – the teenager with angst, and anything slightly Che Gavara-ish is romantic, that is until the hacking cough at 40, premature aging, and all those health warnings that are still not enough to stop lighting up.

The friends I have known who did not smoke tobacco, did not abuse other substances. However, the ones that smoked were fearless in excess. Many of us were lucky, we either couldn’t afford the really nice highs (like opium or cocaine), or had a respectful fear for the other stuff, and thus avoided further addiction. However, there were some who struggled, but recovered (except they all still smoke). 

For all the above reasons I say that the gateway drug is nicotine. More addictive than anything I’ve ever tried and producing the least fun results. It’s a bugger to give up and yet as you age you are more likely to do drugs less, binge drink less, but do you smoke less? Sadly no, because you remain searching for the dopamine high.

Sunday, April 29, 2018



Why oh why should I write about Eurovision? Has it anything to do with dating, love and life? Indeed it has not but then I am one to often veer off on a tangent and this is it. 

Before you roll your eyes and swipe left let me tell you that Eurovision is one of the most exciting things that unite Europe (and a few other countries outside it). There is no other yearly gathering of nations, for people who are not that into sport, than this singing contest. You may think the voting is political (and you could be right), you may think it’s fixed (and you would be semi-right), you may think there is an imbalance (again you are right), but in the end it’s a great piece of entertainment and the laughs come fast and numerous.

RAI The Italian Channel started Eurovision in 1953. It was originally called Eurovision Grand Prix (presumably changed not to confuse with the car race). RAI belongs to the EBU (The European Broadcasting Union) and any country that does, or their affiliates, can enter. This explains Israel entry. In the past Morocco, Lebanon and Palestine have also entered.

Australia: (a WTF moment) had many of you side blinded as you were still trying to work out if Israel is in the EU and have since learned that the EU has nothing to do with Eurovision I can tell you that Australia does belong to the union affiliated with the EBU. Also Australia broadcasts the contest and is huge fans of the contest, so in 2015, on the 60thanniversary Australia was invited to join, in what was originally a one-off. However, here they are in year 3.

According to the flexible rules of the Eurovision, the country that wins hosts the next one. However, should Australia ever win, the contest will be held in Europe. 

Countries can now sing in any language they choose; I believe one-year Belgium (who have 4 languages) made one up! 7 years into Eurovision Sweden threw a spanner in the works by singing in English, up till then it was assumed everyone would sing in their own language; another rule was born that got changed once again; until in 1999 it was decided contestants could sing in any language they liked. Just about everyone did proving, once again, there’s an advantage if you pick a language most people know?

There is a rule that every participating country has to broadcast all the songs otherwise you can’t come to the party. This will account for some countries choosing not to enter as long as Israel is in the mix.

Another rule born out of necessity is that there is a maximum of six people on stage and no live animals are allowed (trust me they’d use it if they could). Countries have not been adverse to doing whatever it takes to get votes: singing grannies, wheelchair bound singers, near topless singers, fake animals, singers barely 16, a beaded lady, lesbian snog and the wind machine.

The Big Five:
Who are the big five and why are they the Big Five? First, let’s explain that since the wall came down every man and his dog wants to sing for Europe and the contest has gone from a few to too many. Hence we now have to endure semi-finals in which 10 countries are chosen (out of 16 or so) to go through to the final. The rest are sent home with their excessive sequined outfits and road kill feathers on their shoulders. The final is down to 26 countries – 20 from the semi-finals and 6 others. The 6 include last year’s winner and the Big 5 (UK, Italy, Germany, France and Spain). They get to be in the final because it’s their party. They are the largest contributors to Eurovision and have been a part of it since the year dot. Some countries have taken umbrage to this elitist group and have cut off their noses to spite their faces by not participating (i.e. Turkey (who won one year and came second another year and do pretty well until they decided to take their kebabs and grill them elsewhere). 

Still don’t understand that one except that neighbouring countries tend to vote for each other.

Phew, I think that about covers Eurovision and I may put together another missive on some interesting and bizarre facts over its 63-year-old life. Some people take this contest seriously, you can’t, and you shouldn’t. However, it does spawn some pretty good songs, but mostly not.

If you do get the chance to go to the live concert you won’t regret it. It’s hilarious, great fun with electric atmosphere, but if not watch it at home with friends and
look out for excessive tinsel, fireworks and the wind machine.

Saturday, April 21, 2018


Sadly the publishers who took on my book 'THE MAKING OF A SHALLOW SISTER', and who also wanted to take on the series of books (7 more) went bust. (Hopefully nothing to do with me). I now have all rights returned and am looking for a publisher. If any of you wish to read the book (for personal entertainment or otherwise) please get in touch and I will send you an e-copy.

Thursday, March 22, 2018



You’ve had a bust-up and you don’t know where to begin again, your heart is broken, the future looks bleak?

In case you haven’t yet, read this first:

Once you have pulled yourself out of speed mourning (using the tools to help you move on) you must begin to date yourself. No, I don’t mean go out on a date with someone. I mean date yourself. Do something for yourself. Join a yoga class (that’ll help with rage), go to an art gallery alone and exercise your mind by giving your own interpretation to what you see (especially if it’s modern art), take a book to a cafĂ© (not a weepie though). Have dinner out. I won’t lie and say the beginnings aren’t hard. You will feel unease as you eat alone wondering if others feel sorry for you. Maybe they do, maybe they don’t but maybe they are envious that you find your own company enough. However, once your new habit has set in you will find someone you like in yourself and that your own company is enough. Good enough that you are ready to let someone else join you. But the main reason for spending time alone (not sitting at home binge eating and watching re-runs) is to heal your heart so you aren’t vulnerable when the sharks circle. You are that injured fish, struggling in deep water. Men, like sharks (nay are sharks) smell your blood, surround you and, rather than mend you they will feast on you. You cannot hope to have a new healthy relationship if you are injured and until that happens you will attract men who pry on your vulnerability. So mend this broken heart before it is torn to shreds.

Your healing can take anywhere from 3 months to eternity, because it depends upon you and how hard you work to get that heart in shape. We all know it only takes 6 weeks of intensive training to get a six-pack (be it under fat or skin - they are still abs). So, the harder you work the faster that heart will heal. If in 3 months you are smiling and dating again it won’t be an indication that you did not love deeply but a sign of survival and love for yourself. 

Monday, March 19, 2018


THE INNER CIRCLE MISSIVES: A SHALLOW SISTER'S DATING WORKSHOP - SIZE VII: A SHALLOW SISTER’S DATING WORKSHOP – PENIS SIZE VII We no longer need   (a) go in clueless (b) do a quick recce (c) ask directly, to...



We no longer need  (a) go in clueless (b) do a quick recce (c) ask directly, to learn penis size.

About two years ago I stumbled upon this discovery as being a fail-safe method to find out penis size. I kept from publishing the findings until I had done more research than my usual 15 minutes on Google. I have now told dozens of men their penis size merely by checking the different length of their fingers; these gentlemen gallantly confirmed my findings. I have also asked dozens of women to check their partners and come back to me with their findings and all have affirmed: I’m on to something. As yet I cannot give you exact measurements (in inches or centimeters) but I can tell you if the man is ‘average’, ‘above average’ or ‘below average’. I cannot guess at a ‘monster dick’ or a ‘micro’, but given government funding and a staff of 4, I’m sure, within a year, I could publish in The Lancet.

So, how do you work this out? As per the picture above: If the index finger is longer than the ring finger best ask for the bill and dump the date for he is below average. If the ring finger is longer than the index finger then I hope you brought extra large condoms with you.

I grant you it is not easy to work a method of discovery on a date. Hands have an uncanny way of not staying still, neither straight. They can deceive you by curling just one finger slightly. You will also look weird as you watch his hands fly around as he tells you a story. I suggest you bring your conversation to the topic of nails. Ask to see his, hold his hands in yours, comment on how beautifully manicured they are. Tell him how rare it is to find a man with such well-kept hands, then scoot off if they don’t come up to scratch.

Perhaps he bites his nails or are a little worn from manual work? I suggest you tell him you can read palms. You can’t? Don’t worry, make shit up, it’s all in a future he hasn’t lived yet, so who knows if you’ll be right. If you need to give your bullshit gravitas, press into his fleshy palms and tell him he is sensitive, hurt by love even, generous to those he cares for, adores opulence and luxury (I mean who doesn’t). Every man thinks he is all of these things, and better yet, he will strive to be these things since he wishes to live up to your belief in him. And while you read his palms you might actually see into his future - as to whether you are willing to shag him or not!