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Any other hay fever sufferers out there? I don’t mean the odd sneezer. I mean those of us who have tears permanently running down their cheeks, a sore throat, tickly cough and are only ever sneezing or preparing to sneeze again. When my brother, John reads this he will ring me up and play a sad violin song over the phone to let me know I’m pathetic.

When my mother reads this, she will call me and tell me I don’t have hay fever, only Michael, her favourite child gets hay fever, very badly.  When the husband reads it, he will tell me to stop going on about it, but he doesn’t know what it’s like. I can’t see, I can’t sleep, I can’t breathe. I went to the doctor about it and he was like ‘What do you want to do about it?’ I said, ‘I don’t know, hence why I’ve come here, for help!’.

He fobbed me off with giant tablets which don’t work and a nasal spray that burns going up my nose and burns when it then trickles down my throat #cueviolinmusic.

People on the school run think I’m crying. I see their minds whirring gleefully as they try and work out why. Maybe me and the husband have split up again, maybe my book sales are going badly. Maybe I’ve finally realised no one likes me (no, yes, and I realised that ages ago. I’m obnoxious, not stupid.)

Some kind, simple folk told me to use local honey. One (crackpot hippie) said it had to be made within three miles of where I live. I told them I was off to Haywards Heath for my monthly Rheumatology infusion which was more than three miles away, so what good would Rottingdean honey smeared all over my nose like Winnie-the-bloody-pooh do me then?

He told me if I used Manuka honey, my Rheumatoid Arthritis would be cured, and I wouldn’t have to go to Haywards Heath again.

Don’t you just love people why have all the answers all the time? I wonder what it feels like to genuinely think you know what’s best for everyone. I’ll ask my mother, or my eldest daughter, who thinks she’s my mother.

Sentences I hate start with ‘If I were you’ (you’re not, so stop right there) ‘what you should do is’ (not spend time with people who tell me what to do) ‘Your problem is’ (people like you). I don’t tell other people what to do, apart from my husband, who doesn’t do it anyway, and the children who laugh and ignore me.

Plus, I enjoy moaning. It’s a hobby of mine. It’s lovely to tut and sign and much cheaper than collecting snazzy handbags.



I find it wonderfully British, especially when moaning about the weather or the traffic or someone having a BBQ when I’ve got washing on the line. I meet up with friends to hear them moan. I like it when we realise we’re moaning, and have been for ages, then say, ‘listen to us moaning, when some people have no legs.’

As a nation we like to moan about the weather, local council failures, delayed trains, our neighbours and people with big hair who sit in front of us at the cinema. I can’t believe that other countries don’t moan about these things too. Apparently, we’re the worst county for moaning, according to the other countries. Talk about the pot calling the kettle black when they are moaning about us moaning.

Luckily, I prefer to be around miserable people rather than constantly chipper folk. I’d pick a day trip to Southend with Morrisey over Mr Tumble anyday. Happy people quickly become irritating. There is a smugness about them which irks me greatly. My mother always says the thicker people are, the happier they tend to be. She’s the most miserable person I know, but she’s very good at cryptic crosswords.

She’s been asking me to send her Kate Atkinson’s new book for ages. She claims she can’t get it in France. I told her I could send her my book instead if she liked, but she said no, she’d far prefer Kate Atkinson’s.

(One of my mum’s favourite mottos is ‘never apologise and never explain, it’s a sign of weakness’. John Wayne said in a Western film, but mum thinks Oscar Wilde made it up. I like to think Wayne added ‘now get off your horse and drink your milk’ at the end. My mum rides horses, but she drinks cider, not milk)

Anyway, I got the book this week and told her I’d post it to her. She sent me a message on Facebook to say ‘Please put some salad cream in with the book’ so I did, spread it all over the middle pages with lettuce and cucumber. That will give her something to moan about.