Bricks, Berserkers And Big Meaty Crawly Creatures


I have a new brick. Bricks. Whoop-diddly-doo. Oh happy, happy me. Yes, well, you’ll see why I’m not over the moon when you get to the end of this. And I’m a bit (a lot) terrified as I’m writing so forgive me if I’m not as with-it as I normally am. Fear of the unknown does that to you. 

In the end I didn’t have to go into the garden to get my brick because just as I was putting on my brassards and vambraces the phone rang. I let it go to the answerphone as usual but when I realised it was Lottie (my sister) droning on, I ran to pick up the receiver. I don’t ever do that, I can’t stand the cow, but at that moment she was the lesser of the two evils (garden? sister? garden? sister? – no contest, I know the dangers of my sister, I didn’t know what was out there in the garden) and if I could talk her into coming round to see me there was a slim chance of conning her into getting me a brick. I told her I was having a series of panic attacks (true). I told her I couldn’t cope any more (true). I told her I was going up onto the roof, a little white lie that she would have spotted if she ever bothered to listen to me – I CAN’T GO OUT OF THE HOUSE, YOU THICK BINT, HOW I AM GOING TO GET ONTO THE ROOF?

Anyway, she came. And, although she said she wouldn’t, she brought THE BERSERKERS with her. I was taking off my chain mail when I heard them coming down the front path (they only live two streets away) and I had another panic attack at the sound of them, during which one of the chain mail rings got caught on my earring and almost ripped it out of my lobe.

Knock, knock, knock at the door.

‘I’m coming.’

Bang, bang, bang on the door.

‘I said I’m coming.’


‘Stop it, you’re going to kick the panel in!’ 

‘Come on, Auntie Dotty, we’re cold. It’s snowing again. Let us in.’ Fucking hooligans.

‘I will in a minute, girls, I need a wee.’

I dropped the chain mail where I stood then ran upstairs and had a lie down on the bathroom floor. Why had she brought them? She KNOWS I can’t cope with their screeching and bawling and their devious antics, why bring them round when her reason for being here was to keep me away from the roof? What sort of mother puts their children through the trauma of watching their auntie fling herself to her death? I should ring Social Services and get the brats taken off her, mental cruelty is just as bad as the other sort. I checked my earlobe for blood. There wasn’t any, no thanks to Lottie. I could hear her shouting ‘Dotty, answer the door or we’re going home.’ Typical Lottie, leave me here to kill myself then, that’ll prove to everyone what a heartless cow you REALLY are, not Saint Lottie the Saviour, Saint Lottie the Good Sister, you’re Saint Lottie the BITCH who won’t lift a finger to keep her own sister alive, fuck off home then and take your delinquent spawn with you.

Then I remembered why she had really come. My brick. I went into my bedroom and opened the window. Lottie and THE BERSERKERS looked up at me. Lottie shouted, ‘Oh god, she’s serious. Come here, girls, don’t look. Dotty, please don’t climb out.’

Dim cow. I threw the front door keys down to her. ‘Let yourself in. I’ll be down in a minute.’


INTERLUDE (Are interludes allowed in blog posts? Hmm.)


Twenty minutes later and THE BERSERKERS had dried off and warmed up and were sitting in front of my telly waiting for Casualty to come on, blowing bubbles into their cups of milk. Their soggy hats and mittens were steaming on the radiator, stinking out the room. It was odd to see them sitting still and being quiet. Unnerving.

Lottie and I were on the sofa and all the things that had previously been on the sofa, organised in neat piles, were now on the floor, unorganised in messy heaps. She had no consideration or respect for my collections. She looked at me with that disapproving sister-shrivelling face of hers as the Casualty tune started up. ‘Dotty, the girls are too young to watch this. Can I put a DVD on for them?’

‘I’ve just bought the third series of Dexter. Have they seen it yet?’

‘Why are you being like this? You asked us to come round.’

I hadn’t got my brick yet so I thought it wise not to say I’d only asked HER to come round so I said, ‘Sorry. It’s been a really bad day.’

She asked what had happened and I told her about the local teenagers vandalising all the gardens in the area, writing rude words on the garden sheds, stealing forks and spades and bricks and windchimes and gnomes, hanging all the neighbourhood cats from washing lines, putting petrol bombs in the compost heaps.

‘Stop lying, Dotty. Why did you really want me to come?’

Before I could think of a plausible answer that would get me my brick, THE BERSERKERS started whispering to each other. They both put their cups down on the floor and looked round at me and Lottie. I did that thing with my fingers and eyes – I’m. Watching. You. – and they started giggling. One of them jumped up and, fast as a fly, got up on my lap and clamped her pudgy little arms around my neck. She smelled like marshmallows. I tried to look round her to see what the other one was doing but this one’s stupid curls were too big and bouncy and she was wriggling like a big worm, kissing me all over my face, and I only caught a glimpse of the other one’s socks as she crawled towards my extensive, catalogued DVD collection. Why? What was she going to do? I couldn’t get away from the arms and the lips and the curls and the smell and  – ‘GET IT OFF ME,’ I shouted.

‘Get Shrek,’ the one that was on me shouted.

‘NOOOO!!!.’ The little witches! Not my Limited Edition Director’s Cut Shrek with silver edging round the case and Extra Features that aren’t on the plebby version. NOBODY touches that, not even ME.

I heard the crash of my DVD stacks toppling over. THE BERSERKER that was on me leapt off and skipped over to where her sister was kneeling in the carnage, rooting through my films. I couldn’t speak. I couldn’t breathe.

Finally Lottie said in her controlled, sing-song I’m-a-textbook-mother-but-I-haven’t-reached-the-How-To-Control-My-Kids-Chapter voice, ‘Be careful, girls. Try not to mess up Auntie Dotty’s DVDs.’


My heart was beating faster than a rapper on speed. Panic attack coming on. I took four beta-blockers out of my beta-blocker pocket and ate them and just as I swallowed the last one THE BERSERKERS suddenly screamed and screamed, screams more horrible than the screams of spiralling angels, chill screams of terror and fright, and they were back on the sofa clinging onto Lottie, sobbing, before that last sour pill had gone down my throat.

I looked at the DVD carnage. In the middle of it, on top of What’s Eating Gilbert Grape? was a big mean beast of a spider, the biggest, blackest, hairiest, ugliest fucker I’d ever seen. Its legs were thick and meaty. It’s body was the size of an orange. A Jaffa. I could see its eyes. And its fangs. It was looking at us. I screamed and yanked my feet up onto the sofa. All the while Lottie was saying ‘What’s wrong? What’s wrong?’ until the littlest BERSERKER sobbed out ‘Big thpider,’ and pointed to where it was waiting. ‘Wow,’ went Lottie, ‘that is a big one. Stop crying, girls, it won’t hurt you, it’s more frightened of you than you are of it.’

I knew she was stupid but not that stupid. At that moment I felt sorry for THE BERSERKERS, a rare occurence, but I’ll admit it wasn’t the first time I’d pitied them for having Lottie as their mother.

‘Let me up and I’ll catch it,’ she said. She untangled herself and THE BERSERKERS wrapped themselves around ME instead while she went off into the kitchen.

‘Don’t you dare use my cup. Or my glass. Or anything.’

‘What can I use then?’

‘A BRICK. Go and get a brick. Three bricks. Hurry up, it’s getting ready to run.’ 

She came back with a tea towel, an empty bean tin and the front of an old Crunchy Nut Cornflakes box I was saving for … something useful. Quick as a flash, she threw the teatowel over the spider and waited with the tin and the front of the Crunchy Nut Cornflakes box (at this point I’d have been smashing the thing with a sweeping brush) until it showed one of its legs, like a Can-Can dancer from behind a stage curtain, and then she had it in the tin and went to the door and released it to breed more huge monsters just like it that would lie in wait for me in my garden. Where my bricks are.


ANOTHER INTERLUDE (Tough-titty if interludes are just for plays, they aren’t any more, I’ve liberated them)


My Limited Edition Director’s Cut Shrek was on the telly and THE BERSERKERS were curled up on the sofa, asleep. No, I didn’t melt at the sight of them, I was just glad they were unconscious. My DVD collection was stacked up again, neatly but not in order. My earlobe was still throbbing and I felt a bit woozy from all the stress. The impossibility of getting a new brick was fogging my thoughts, a pea-souper of futility and hopelessness.

‘Wayne’s coming here after work to collect us. I rang him when you went to the loo,’ Lottie said.


‘Why didn’t you tell me you wanted a brick?’

‘What? I don’t know.’ Could it be because you’re a patronising cow and you’d have given me yet another lecture about how I could stop being this way if I really put my mind to it?

‘Where are they?’


‘Where are the bricks?’

‘Round the parsnip bed. I was about to go and get one when you rang.’

Then she did something that completely gobsmacked me. She went out into the garden, into the snow, and I watched from the window as she dug up the brick edging around the parsnip bed. Then she went into my shed and found some log roll that I didn’t know I had and she set it all round the parsnip bed, no gaps. THEN she scrubbed and hosed the 14 bricks she’d dug up and put them to dry on my kitchen floor on some old towels she found at the back of the airing cupboard. And when Wayne arrived and they’d wrapped THE BERSERKERS in my fleecey blankets and carried them, still sleeping, into the car, and Lottie came back and hugged me before I could leap away from her and whispered, ‘Dear dead Daddy needed his bricks, too, Dotty. Do you remember?’ I managed to stay stoic, I don’t know how, but I did.

After they’d gone and I’d shut and locked and bolted the front door, I picked up my chain mail, my brassards, my vambraces and the rest of my armour and took it all upstairs. And then I laid on my bed and cried until morning came.




I’m frightened. Because of my sister being nice to me I have enough bricks to last me for ages AND the parsnips remain securely detained in their bed. But WHY was she nice to me? What is she concocting? Is she going to have me sectioned again? Or try and make me get rid of my collections? She’s up to something bad, I know it. It’s all turned out worse than I thought it would. And better. But I don’t know what to think about the better, it’s unnatural, unknown for Lottie to show any understanding, there has to be an ulterior motive behind her niceness.

I am VERY frightened.





My Head-Shaped Brick


It broke. Last night. I don’t know what to do. I haven’t got another one here in the house. To get another one I’d have to go outside and dig one up from the edge of the parsnip patch, but doing that would leave a gap in the edging and the parsnips might escape and do sick things to the onions. I don’t know what to do and I need to do SOMETHING but the house will fall down if I start dismantling any more walls, and really I don’t want to dismantle the walls that are left, open plan living is WRONG and only RAVING EXTROVERT EXHIBITIONISTS live like that. I don’t know what to do. I need my brick.

Why did it have to break, Dotty? It was forming nicely, a few more weeks of headbanging and I would have got it exactly right, it would have been perfect, THE perfect head-shaped brick, a NORI brick and they’re so hard to come by nowadays I don’t know when I’ll find another. It was only the third one I’d ever had. Somebody must have weakened it at some point in its life, whacked it with something to see if it would break but it didn’t, did it, until NOW you fucking BRICK KILLER whoever you are, some big lumbering maggoty-brained TWAT of a builder-with-arse-cleavage-that-would-scare-a-baboon, go shove your TINGLE PLATE up your nasty arse. That’s the only reason I can think of, it’s been sabotaged, there’s no other way it would have broke like that before it was formed, my bricks last for months, sometimes a year or more, they NEVER EVER break before they’re properly head-shaped even my BROADMOOR brick lasted 9 months and a NORI brick should have pissed on a BROADMOOR brick for durability.




I’m trying to PRACTICE PATIENCE here but it isn’t going well, not well at all. I NEED MY FUCKING BRICK. My Shopping Person won’t be here until Tuesday. Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, three days until I can send them to the reclamation yard.

I can’t wait that long.

I have to go into the garden.


Or tonight.

Or at 3.33 am tomorrow morning.

I’m going to go and prepare.

There are things I need and I can’t remember where I put them.

I’ll let you know what happens.

If I make it back.

If I don’t make it back my will is inside the Cumberland sausage that is inside the Snap-n-Click container that is on the BOTTOM shelf of the freezer behind the McCAIN’S CHIPPY CHIPS.

The cause of death will be HEART-A-FUCKING-PANIC-ATTACK.


Or who knows what else.


Think well of me when I’m gone.



First Aid For Hermits


Always being alone in your house can be dangerous but combine it with not speaking to other people and it becomes potentially fatal. I’ve had many accidents that could have been serious if I hadn’t known what to do at the time. To avoid death (and why NOT avoid it, you avoid everything else – why should death be any different?) here are a few First Aid basics you really do need to know. Bear in mind I’m NOT a doctor, I can only tell you what I personally do when I injure myself.

I’m presuming you have a well-stocked medicine room, if not just make note of the items in big writing and get your Shopping Person to get them for you- I can’t be bothered making a shopping list for you today.


Bumps and Bruises

For bangs on the head caused by banging your head on the wall fill the sink with equal amounts of ABSINTHE and WITCH HAZEL and put your head in it (be careful not to drown). This will help to bring out the bruising. If you think you might have knocked yourself out then it’s possible you might have concussion or a brain injury so go and have a little lie down for a while until the headache has gone. A big swig of Laudanum will help with the pain.


Nicks and Cuts

For little nicks on your fingers caused by the cheese grater, or for slightly deeper cuts from the scissors you use to separate your Cumberland sausage links, stop whining and stick a PLASTER on it. Deeper nicks and cuts, (such as when you’ve bought a cow home and you’re butchering it so you can freeze some for later and you chop half your hand off instead of the cow’s head), require an antiseptic ointment of OPIUM and LARD, a BANDAGE, and a strip of plaster to stop your bandage from unravelling. Clean the wound first though with your ARSENIC DISINFECTANT OINTMENT. A big swig of Laudanum will help with the pain.


Trapped Nerves

For a trapped nerve in the neck caused by kneeling at your window at an angle that allows you to keep watch for white vans with spies in them without being seen by your nosey neighbours, I’m afraid you need time in TRACTION. Use a SAW to make a neck-sized hole at one end of your kitchen table. Don’t worry, it won’t affect your keep fit routine, (see The Dotty Way To Exercise ©™®), in fact you’ll be using your DIET COKE BOTTLES for this too, doubling your value for money. Tie your diet coke bottles to either end of a LEATHER STRAP (a handbag strap will do, it doesn’t matter if you only have one handbag, use it – you don’t use if for anything else, do you?) place your diet coke bottles at either side of the neck-sized hole and lie down (on your back) on the table. Carefully lift the diet coke bottles and place the leather strap across the front of your neck. Let the diet coke bottles drop off the end of the table (slowly and carefully, you might want to avoid beheading yourself). Stay in this position for 3 hours. Repeat daily for 6 weeks and the weight of the diet coke bottles will free your trapped nerve allowing your future white van vigils to be pain-free and comfortable. Big swigs of Laudanum taken hourly will help with the pain.


Stomach Upsets

If you haven’t yet learned how to cook your Cumberland sausages you might have a few stomach problems. First of all, always cook your Cumberland sausages for at least an hour, contrary to popular belief crispy is good, so is black. To cure stomach upsets already caused by uncooked Cumberland sausages make WORMWOOD tea (if you’re not a gardener you can use ABSINTHE but not too much because it’s a potent alcoholic drink and you don’t want to get addicted). A big swig of Laudanum will help with the pain.


Twisted, Sprained or Broken Arms and Legs

If you haven’t cleaned your house yet you’re at great risk of tripping over some bit of shite that shouldn’t be on your floor. This is VERY PAINFUL when you do it and as you’ve no way of knowing the severity of the injury (unless you have your own X-Ray machine which I’m saving up for) it’s best to err on the side of caution and SPLINT the limb you’ve damaged. If your stock of pre-made splints has run out and you’ve been too idle to make some more, it serves you right, you should keep up with your housework, I’ve already told you this. If you’re a new hermit and this is the first time you need a splint, what you do is you take a shelf from your bookcase (lay the books in neat piles on the floor) saw it down to fit your arm or leg and strap it on to said arm or leg. You can use anything to secure it (I’ve found knee-socks work well) as long as it’s tied tight enough for the splint to stay on. Keep the splint on for about 3 months. Big swigs of Laudanum taken hourly will help with the pain.


Strangling Yourself On Your Shower Curtain

It might happen that one day you’re playing with your (toy) ducks in the bath and you get a bit too involved and try to swim with them underwater but when you dive you hit your head on the bottom and can’t get up and to save yourself from drowning you grab the shower curtain but you’re so disorientated you get into a fight with it and it wraps itself round your neck and tries to strangle you and when you finally get free of it you’re left with nasty strangle contusions round your neck. And it bloody well hurts. A lot. Well sorry, there’s nothing you can do for this except take a big swig of Laudanum to help with the pain.


May you all remain injury-free and painless, my hermits. Be safe, be careful, and most of all be prepared.



SOSS – Save Our Site Stats



WordPress are taking our site stats out of our Dashboards and putting them on the Home Page bit where Topics and Freshly Pressed are. They’ve done it already, if you click on the little W at the top left-hand corner of your black strip at the top of the page, you’ll see them at the bottom of the list. They’ll soon be gone from our Dashboards. I love my site stats being on my Dashboard, I don’t want Wordpress to take them away. 

Go and add your objections to the Comments on this page –



Collecting NOT Hoarding


I’ve been getting oh so bored lately and after a lot of thought I decided I need to start a new collection. I’ve written elsewhere in this blog about hoarding (see Hobbies For Hermits), and this is NOT the same, not at all because what I’m now collecting is American Therapists and Life Coaches. So far I’ve got two, one for each category, which is pretty good going, don’t you think, to say I only started my collection the day before yesterday.

But apart from being bored I have another motive for this new collection. Lately I’m in a positive mood, a self-help mood, so I chose to collect American Therapists and Life Coaches in the hope that they will become my friends and emigrate to Britain and treat me for free for the rest of my life (they would have to if they lived here in Britain). Did you know this, my American Therapist and Life Coach? When you come to live in Britain you’ll need to know these things, you’ll need to know how we do things here.

I’ll explain it all.

We Who Are Mental (I’ve decided we deserve to be capitalised from now on) do not pay you a penny for therapy or for life coaching. David Cameron pays you. He’s a nice man. All you do is come here, tell him a little fib – that you’re a failed banker who wants a career change – and what he’ll do is give you loads and loads and loads of money, and he’ll give you MORE loads and loads and loads of money if you also tell him you really, really hate poor people. If you say you once went to Europe, he’ll give you a big bonus and let you play with his little doll called Nick.

You can live with me, all of you. I admit, the house I live in at the moment is far too small for lots of us (I’m reckoning on having many more than two American Therapists and Life Coaches in my collection) but I’ve thought of that – with the pile of money David is going to give each of you, you can all club together and buy a great mansion set in mmmm, let’s say 2,000 acres of beautiful gardens and woodland, with streams and badgers and otters and hawks and huge ancient oak trees and fairies and elves and hobbits and ten big gamekeepers with big guns to blast the heads off any intruders. You’ll have your own rooms, you’ll have a fantastic time conversing with your intellectual peers, you’ll have the beauty and grandeur of the British countryside, and best of all you’ll have the professional satisfaction of collectively treating a lost cause (me). And the cherry on your cake is – wait for it – FREE HEALTH CARE, you won’t ever have to shell out for a doctor again. Howsabout that!!

If the two I have collected so far, my American Therapist and my American Life Coach, would like to come here now I am able to accomodate you, at a squeeze. I have a sofa bed stored in my cellar (you can scrub the mould off when you get here), and my sister, Lottie, has a camp bed (she won’t charge much). Be prepared to start work immediately though – although I DO want you to come and live with me, my People Phobia and my Hermititis will make it appear that I don’t, but it’s your job to sort that out, it IS the reason you’re coming after all.

If the collection goes well I might consider expanding it to include American Personal Trainers, American Plastic Surgeons, American Hairdressers, American Publishers Of Satire And Farce, and American Actors Who I Fancy. Actually, I’m going to start on the last one now –

Ian Somerhalder, where are you?



Dotty DOES Her Housework


I couldn’t sleep last night after I posted Dotty On Housework. At 3.12 am a series of panic attacks began at the thought of how unkind of me it was not to give you some helpful tips and instructions to guide you through the apathy that overcomes you when you look at the disgusting mess that’s mounted up in your house. When the police left, I DID have a little sleep, but not for long. Don’t worry, I’m all right, a little hazy from the beta-blocker sandwich I had to have, but that’s okay. Don’t feel guilty or anything – it isn’t your fault, you can’t help it if you’re needy and clingy and have no idea of what it takes me to write these things down. Anyway, I forgive you because I’m nice like that.

So let’s move on to the cause of last night’s crisis –


Just because we don’t like housework doesn’t mean we don’t have to do some now and again but before we begin cleaning there are a few things you need to buy. Make note of these things and get your Shopping Person to get them for you (don’t let them go to Asda though, they get enough of my money already without me referring people to them. And we all know what they are, don’t we?)

What you need on your list if you don’t already have them —— A big bottle of Bleach. Flash Spray with Bleach. Flash Antibacterial All Purpose Spray. Another big bottle of Bleach. Dettol Antibacterial Loo Wipes. A bottle of Windolene. Mr Muscle Oven Cleaner. A can of Mr Sheen Polish. A bottle of 2-in-1 Pantene Shampoo & Conditioner, For Extra Volume. L’Oreal Moisturiser For Sensitive Skin. Cumberland sausages (any will do, get the cheapest, you won’t be eating them). A pack of Toothbrushes. A tub of Chewable Vitamin C to keep you going. A big box of Chocolates for when you’ve finished. Two big tubs of Häagen Dazs or (and) Ben & Jerry’s for when you’ve finished. A big bar of Galaxy for when you’ve finished. A Big Cumberland sausage Pizza with extra Cumberland sausage for when you’ve finished. A big Cheesey Garlic Bread for when you’ve finished. Six bottles of Pinot Grigio for when you’ve finished. Series 3 Boxset of True Blood for when you’ve finished.

I think that’s it.

When the shopping arrives, put the loo wipes and a big bottle of bleach in your bathroom. Put the new toothbrushes in the place you keep them and take the one you use now downstairs. Put all the cleaning products in the cupboard under your sink. You won’t be needing them but if someone comes to your house you can casually swing open the cupboard door and leave it wide open so the visitors can see what’s inside.

Now, believe me I know what it’s like trying to do housework, you begin by thinking ‘what REALLY needs a good clean? Everything? Where do I start?’ and then, because it’s all too much for you, you give up and have a little sleep and when you wake up you’ve forgotten about housework again. But the secret to seeing past the overwhelmingness of housework is to PRIORITISE. Obviously I don’t know what your house is like because I’ve never been invited, so all I can do is tell you what I do. You can copy me if you want.


Cleaning My Mounted Boar’s Head & My Other Stuffed Friends

Since they banned Arsenic from being used in the tanning process, (I still have my own supply but I’m saving it for when I really need it) I’ve had to find a way to give my stuffed friends a spruce up. I’ll take you step by step through how I clean Jolyon, my mounted boar’s head.

Before you carefully take Jolyon down from the wall, run a warm bath (no bubbles). Put Jolyon in the bath. Get your Pantene 2-in-1 Shampoo & Conditioner For Extra Volume. Squirt a good amount into your hand and give Jolyon a good wash with it. Scrub him a bit with your old toothbrush. Rinse off the soapiness until it’s all gone. Wrap Jolyon in a bath towel and take him downstairs. Get your hairdryer out. Dry him. Rub in the L’Oreal Moisturiser For Sensitive Skin. Hang him back up. Job done.

Do the same with all your stuffed friends. If you like, before you hang them up or put them back in their places, you can have a tea party with them, that’s what I do, but be careful of your seating arrangements – I once sat Bumbi, my stuffed baby deer, next to Peter, my stuffed mountain lion. Poor, poor, Bumbi, he’s never recovered.


Cleaning A Big Blood Stain Off My Astroturf Carpet

It won’t come off. I’ve tried everything except Cumberland sausage fat which works on other stains I use it for. Usually I heat the Cumberland sausage, drip the fat onto the stain, go away and eat the Cumberland sausage and the other Cumberland sausages I cooked at the same time, and when I come back the Cumberland sausage fat has set. I pick off the solidified Cumberland sausage fat AND THE STAIN COMES WITH IT. I don’t know the scientific term for this but I bet it’s a clever one.

But there’s a big problem with using Cumberland sausage fat on blood stains. I’m too frightened that whatever scientific process binds the Cumberland sausage fat to a stain will go wrong when it’s a blood stain, and something else will happen, like the Cumberland sausage fat will meld to the blood stain and the sun will shine on it and make it come alive and when it grows up it will be a CUMBERLAND MAN-PIG, and I’ll be stuck with it forever when it’s not long since I came out of prison for getting rid of Simon, who was also a man-pig but only metaphorically. (see A Statement From The Accused).

So the blood stain stays.


Cleaning My Panic Room

Don’t bother. Jodie Foster doesn’t clean hers. I couldn’t see any cleaning products in there, not even a sweeping brush, the lazy tramp. The least she could do is put some things out for show. But if Jodie Foster thinks it’s okay to have a mucky Panic Room, then so do I.



That’s enough cleaning for now, especially after last night. I’m knackered. I need a sleep.




I’ve come back to edit this because I couldn’t sleep – I remembered something important that will save you from having to do ANY housework at all. Make friends with a Mormon (see Friendly Mormons, Where Are You?). You don’t really have to be friends with them, just pretend and your house will be gleaming. I realise this poses a conundrum for hermits, how do I make friends with a Mormon when I can’t go out? Well you could ring them up or if you don’t do phones you could send them an email. And I know you’ll have a problem letting them in, but wouldn’t it be worth it to get your house cleaned? Think about it, they’re good, they’re really good. Thorough. Meticulous.  They love doing it. And they’ll sing you a song if you ask them to.



Can you see what I’m doing here when I refer you to my older posts? Clever, aren’t I?



Dotty on Housework


I only have one word to say about housework.

That word is –




Why Aren’t Cats Extinct?


This post contains cat shit. You might want to give it a miss if you are eating.

There are many, many things in this world that are loathsome and detestable; things that should be outlawed or banned or locked up or made extinct. I hate more things than I can count but one of the things at the very top of my Hate List is cats. Not all cats – I’ve had three of my own in the past, Bodie and Doyle when I was a little dot and Clifford a few years ago. The first two were brother and sister but I didn’t know Doyle was a girl until my dear dead Daddy told me so but not until after they’d been named (no he wasn’t dead when he told me, I’m not Psychic Sally). I loved those three cats, I truly did, and I never for one moment thought they were evil mind-sucking aliens sent to eat every thought I had. No, I don’t hate ALL cats, I only hate other people’s cats.

The people who live next door to me have three cats, sneaky, brash, shitty little things. I’m going to give them aliases so you can’t tell them I’ve been talking about them on my blog, but believe me, whatever names I give them won’t be as stupid as those they already have. Okay, let’s see, I’ll call them Slutty, Slaggy and Pimpy.

Of the three, the one I hate most is Slutty. I don’t know if Slutty is male or female or some third cat gender that we don’t know about yet, and I don’t really care, but what I do know is that it hates me just as much as I hate it. Oh, it looks pretty enough with its pure white hair and small stature. People stop in the street to ooh and aah over it, they bend over to pet it and stroke it, they say to my neighbour ‘can I take her home?’ – Yes, yes, I think, take the fucker, take it now, or come back later and pinch it, you’ll find it in my garden SHITTING ALL OVER MY GRASS.

And there’s the rub. Cats are supposed to be one of the cleanest animals on this planet. THEY ARE NOT. They do their business where ever they want. Cat owners might think they’re clean but that’s only because they don’t shit in their own gardens, they do it in the NEIGHBOUR’S GARDENS where the owners can’t see it or smell it or tread in it. And Slutty does it in MY garden all the time. Every single day. And not only on the grass, I’ve caught it (and Slaggy) many a time digging up my new seeds and bulbs and plants that I’ve planted in big plantpots. And why does it dig them up? To shit in the soil, that’s why. And, as if wrecking my garden isn’t enough, what they do after they’ve done their business is they cover it with the soil they’ve just dug up and with the seeds and the bulbs and the bits of broken plants they’ve just ruined. Why? Why do that? Why hide it so that when I come along with some new herbs or perennials or a new shrub to plant in the freshly dug bed that I made earlier, the first thing my trowel digs into is CAT SHIT. And that’s if I’m lucky – I won’t say anything about my hand going in it because I don’t want to make you as sick as it makes me. It’s malicious and spiteful, that’s what it is. It’s difficult enough for a hermit to get up the nerve to go out into the garden in the first place never mind having to do battle with cats.

Pimpy and Slaggy aren’t as pretty as Slutty. Pimpy is one of those scabby-looking cats that mainly ignore you and really isn’t as bad as the other two – it sits on my shed roof and watches birds but I think it’s too old to pounce. I don’t mind Pimpy, to be honest. Slaggy is worse, not quite as bad as Slutty but I’d still give it a kick if I could catch it. Slaggy is black and white – it curls up inside my bird table and sleeps there most afternoons. It always wins at Stare You Out when it see me watching it through the window, and it comes into my house in summer when I leave the door open, hides upstairs or under the table and gives me a heart attack when it runs out at me. Sometimes Slutty and Slaggy get Pimpy down from the shed roof and they all gang up on me, all three of them sitting in my terracotta pots, squashing my pansies, waiting and staring, their nasty faces all smug and superior, licking and preening themselves like they own MY garden. From my window I show them a picture Google gave me of one of those freaky bald cats (Why DO their owners peel them? Is it legal?) in the hope that they’ll think I’m going to do the same to them when I catch them. But it doesn’t bother them. They don’t care.

My garden used to be my pride and joy before I caught Hermititis and I know it could be again if only I could get rid of them. Oh, I’ve tried everything, green jelly stuff that you squirt in the areas they shit in (which proved too expensive when I was ordering 20 bottles a week); one of those gadgets that are supposed to emit a higher-pitched sound than humans can hear; a big bag of lion shit that nearly got me evicted because I used the rent money to buy it. You name it, I’ve tried it. I’ve got chicken wire all the way round the bottom of my great huge fence; I’ve planted that plant that cats aren’t meant to like; on numerous occasions I’ve shot the three of them with my Super-Mega-Big-As-Fuck-Super-Soaker water gun; I’ve rubbed Deep Heat all over my used teabags and put them all round the garden (TITCHMARSH, YOU LIAR, YOU DON’T KNOW ANYTHING, DEEP HEAT ON YOUR TEABAGS DOES NOT WORK). I don’t know what else to do. The police won’t help me. The RSPCA don’t do anything. The poacher who lives round the corner laughs at me. Who else can I ask? 

No one.

I am defeated.

I give up.

You win, Slutty, Slaggy and Pimpy.

Take the garden.

Have it.

Keep it.

Shove it right up your little cat arses and gloat as much as you want.

I don’t care any more.









(I’m buying a Rottweiler).


The Dotty Way To Exercise ©™ ®.


Just because you’re a hermit doesn’t mean you have to be unfit. On the days you are able to move your arse to the fridge to see what you want to eat (which is most days, isn’t it?) you can also do a little workout. Don’t panic, this is a good exercise.  

We all know the main reason we hermits don’t exercise isn’t because we’re lazy, it’s because exercise is BORING. What’s interesting about standing in your kitchen holding onto the back of a chair and flinging your leg about like a loony when there’s nobody in front of you to kick? NOTHING. Or lying on your rug trying to do a sit-up when it takes you all morning to will yourself to sit up in bed? Nothing, nothing at all. Doing step routines at the bottom of your stairs, jogging on the spot, waving tins of beans in the air in the hope that your bingo wings will disappear … boring, boring, boring. There are so many boring exercises to do in a standard routine, leg lifts, waist twists,  arm crunches, ab crunches, blah blah blah blah blah. And then there’s all that counting. Who can concentrate past 4?  If you weren’t chronically depressed to start with you soon would be.

No, what you need is a new way of exercising that eliminates the boringness of a normal routine. What you need is The Dotty Way To Exercise © ™ ®, a revolutionary new way of exercising that involves only ONE exercise but includes aspects of all the others, yoga, pilates, weight-training, circuit training, everything. It will give your whole body a work out. And you don’t have to buy any special equipment if you don’t want to (unless I invent some but I’ll let you know the prices when I do), what you need is already in your house.

So let’s begin.


The Exercise – Third Day On A Life Raft © ™ ®.

Part 1 – Retrieving Your Water Supply © ™ ®.

What you need – a strong kitchen table, 2 big bottles of diet coke, a fan, a teaspoonful of salt, a cd player (or a new-fangled way of playing music that isn’t a cd player but just WRONG, how can you hoard a load of nothings?), a cd with the theme tune to Jaws (the one that goes DU-DU-DU-DU, DU-DU-DU-DU –  don’t get anxious, it’s only music).

Begin by clearing all the shite off your kitchen table. Then disinfect it unless you don’t mind getting old germs and god knows what else all over you. Move the chairs out of the way. Place the diet coke where the chairs used to be. Place the fan so it will blow directly in your face and turn it on (high setting). Get your teaspoonful of salt and put it on your tongue. Turn on your cd player, insert cd, play Jaws on repeat (or do whatever you do with your MP pod gadget thing).

Stand at one end of the table. Bend forward and lie face down on the table (not actually face down, that would be stupid, you can turn your head to the side). Bring your arms above your head and grip the underside of the tabletop with both hands. Drag yourself forward until your whole body is on the table, including your knees (it’s okay if your head dangles off at the other end).

Shut your eyes for a minute. Listen to Jaws. He’s coming (NOT REALLY) and the life raft you’re lying on has just tipped this way and that on a wave. A storm is brewing, the wind is strong. This is your third day clinging to the raft. When the raft tipped, your supply of fresh water fell into the sea and now it’s going to float away if you don’t get it back. The thirst is excrutiating.

Open your eyes. Hold on to the underside of the raft with your left hand, (DU-DU-DU-DU, DU-DU-DU-DU). Slide yourself sideways and stretch your right arm down to reach your first water container. Stretch. Use your knees to keep you on the raft. Stretch more. Jaws is circling – when you get the water container you can bat him away for a while with a bop on the nose. Keep stretching until you have the water and remember, the container is heavy. When you have it, lift it onto the raft and put it at the side of your head. Repeat to get the container on your left.

WARNING – If at any point during this exercise you start to panic don’t worry, even normals would panic in this situation so try not to give in to sudden suicidal thoughts by rolling into the sea for Jaws to eat you, be strong and USE THE PANIC TO ESCAPE FROM HIM.

When you have retrieved your water containers, take one in each hand (firmly, by the lid) and lower them back over the sides of the raft. Swing them back and forth. Lift them up and down. This paddling will frighten Jaws (DU-DU-DU-DU, DU-DU-DU-DU) and keep him away for a while and will also help you reach dry land sooner rather than later. Continue until you feel you can’t hold the containers any more. Do not let them drop into the sea. Bring them back up onto the raft, sit up (carefully, you don’t want to tip over) and have a little drink.

When you’ve had enough refreshment (not too much, it has to last) lie on your back. This position is precarious because you might easily roll off if a big wave comes so lower your legs and arms over the sides and grip the undersides of the raft. Stretch and grip as hard as you can, your life depends on it. Stay like that until you think you might get cramp.

Repeat these steps once a day. When you get used to harnessing the power of your panic attacks and using it to paddle the raft, get on it at night, in the dark. This makes the adventure more realistic and you’ll use more muscles because being on the open sea at night with Jaws swimming round and round you isn’t safe.


I haven’t written about other things to do on your raft yet until you master the basics which will give your arms, legs, torso etc a really good stretchy work out. Next week we’ll move on to Part 2 – How To Catch Your Dinner On A Life Raft © ™ ®. The following week will be Part 3 – Where’s The Bathroom On A Life Raft? © ™ ®.



If you do this exercise without due care and attention you’ll break your neck or lose a leg to Jaws or drown or something and how would that be my fault? It wouldn’t be, it would be YOUR fault for being so stupid so don’t bother trying to sue me (I don’t have any money anyway so you’d be wasting your time). In fact if you do try to sue me I’ll sue you back for causing me unnecessary stress and anxiety and for you being an ungrateful git after all the time and trouble I’ve gone to inventing The Dotty Way To Exercise © ™ ® for you. Bloody compensation culture, that’s why everything’s so SHITE nowadays and no one says sorry any more. 



The Shrink Who Shrank When Dotty Shrunk His Shirt


Once upon a time Dotty had to see a psychiatrist. She can’t remember his name but she can remember his tie, a purple and orange strip of silk with a small knot that could have been made much smaller if someone (not Dotty) had decided to give it a substantial tug. She also remembers his shirt. It was green like a lime, also made of silk. People had made Dotty go to see him, she wasn’t that keen to be honest.

Oh stop it. Stop-stop-stop. Writing about myself in the third person is insane. It’s all right doing it when I’m giving instructions or advice or tips or orders, but when I’m writing a serious post for my blog it’s just silly – it makes me look like I’m a Multiple Personality Hermit when I’m not, (there’s only the two of us and I haven’t heard from the other one for a while, she’ll be watching the Eastenders omnibus again – she idolises Jean Slater). Okay, back to what I was writing and this time do it properly, Dotty.

His office was in a flat above a laundrette. The stairwell was dark and I had to hold onto the railings so I wouldn’t fall, (this is not a metaphor, there was no bulb in the landing light). His office had once been a bedroom, I could tell by the tatty Magic Roundabout wallpaper. It was faded and peeling. Zebedee-boing was torn off at the waist, his spring was missing; Ermintrude’s flower was gone too. The room smelled foisty and damp – the smell rose up from the carpet, a cloying scent of the despair of the mentals who had trodden there, a miasma of every single one of their fallen tears gone rotten. Or it could have been the wet washing hanging up downstairs.

As soon as I set eyes on him I knew. I just knew. I was proved right when he stuck out his hand for me to shake: what sort of shrink does that? Didn’t he know what a handshake would do to a hermit? Of course he did, he knew very well. I counted how long he stood there trying to psych me out with his sadistic, fat hand. Forty-eight horrendous seconds. The fingers were like … no, I won’t think of them as being like sausages or my dinner will be spoiled. They were like huge, slithery white slugs. He got the message that I wasn’t going to touch him and slinked his hand into his pocket then introduced himself (still can’t remember his name) and asked me if I wanted to sit or lie on the couch in the corner of the room. His politeness was fake like his big white teeth (they looked American) that appeared whenever he smiled which was whenever he wasn’t talking. I needed a lie down by then so I got on the couch and curled up on my right side for a sleep.

My face was turned to the wall but I could feel him watching me and I couldn’t doze off. His eyes were lasering into the back of my head, I could feel the burning. The longer it went on the more I realised that the pasty-faced creep had me pinned, mentally, to the couch. I couldn’t move. I sensed him behind me, slobbering at the thought of the juicy black secrets he knew he could psychiat out of me, (yes, that is a real word, I decided it is), wheedle, wheedle, wheedle, prise, prise, prise. I knew I had to do something or he’d make me talk but the bit of wall I was looking at was yellow and yellow always makes me feel sick. Really sick. Really, really sick. (Yes, it really does, but this IS a metaphor and I’m not afraid to use it). I felt so sick I had to close my eyes against the yellow. I couldn’t speak. And because I couldn’t speak and he could, he kept on and on and on, his voice dinning through me like a barrage of machine-gun fire. I concentrated, not on his words, just his voice, ratta-tatta-ratta-tatta-ratta-tatta and it did work, it calmed the yellow-sickness enough for me to think ‘What would Harry Hill do, Dotty? What would Harry Hill do?’ and it came to me right away, like a kiss from Baby Jesus or from a rose, this is what Harry Hill would do —





Who wins?

There’s only one way to decide …




Of course I knew I couldn’t hit him or I’d have been arrested again, but that didn’t stop me wanting to stuff my elbow down his throat and leave it there for the remaining 55 minutes. If I couldn’t twat him one, I was going to have to beat him with my sausage-sharp mind. He still wouldn’t stop staring and yakking, but I gathered all my powers and KAPOW!! I sprang off that couch like a wild sheep off a standing stone and jumped in front of him, but as I did so I felt overwhelmingly yellow-sick again and — well, what happened next wasn’t nice. His tie and his shirt got it. All of it. The shock was too much for him, he stopped talking mid-jabber with his mouth still half open on a word. His American teeth slipped slightly in his mouth, settling back at an odd angle so he looked like a picture of The Godfather by Picasso. 

I shouted, ‘I’ve won, you weirdy fuck-arse, I’ve won. And you’re not getting paid’.

And then I legged it, down the dark stairs (I didn’t fall), through the laundry, into the waiting car, and home, where it took me three weeks to recover enough to speak to anyone again.


Moral of the story — There isn’t one. I don’t know why I wrote that.



Cumberland Sausages I Love You


I make no apologies for the length of this post. It’s about Cumberland sausages and Cumberland sausages are my favourite, favourite food. Nothing can take away from the sheer joy of eating a Cumberland sausage, even the psychotic killers Asda can’t spoil them for me, (see Dotty Will Soon Be Done For). I limit myself to a packet a day, just a small pack of eight. I could eat and eat and eat them. They are beautiful.

What makes a Cumberland sausage different from other sausages? I’ll tell you – apart from their superior taste they have the versatility of no other sausage. They’re so well-made that they’re not only a Cumberland sausage, they can be anything you want them to be – not like Lincolnshire sausages that contain unidentified green bits. When I tried to make a Lincolnshire sausage curtain pole the links weren’t strong enough to hold up my cream Jaquard curtains, (I used Lincolnshire instead of Cumberland because I thought the green bits would set off the cream. Never again). Also, Lincolnshire sausages taste like green, in fact they were probably named after the colour Lincoln green because they do taste like Lincoln green which reminds me of my dear dead Daddy’s Land Rover that he cried over when some random teenage delinquent stranger borrowed it one day to go for a little drive to Beachy Head, but the driver’s door would never catch properly and stay shut unless you knew the trick to it, and she fell out half a minute too early onto the cliff top. Maybe that’s what the green bits are in Lincolnshire sausages, bits of old car. Hmm, yes, I believe so.

The unlimited versatility of Cumberland sausages really is unlimited. I’ve been eating them for years but six months ago, when I learned they can be cooked, a whole new world was opened up to me. Besides discovering my frying pan and my grill and my George Foreman (except I don’t use that now, it looks like a big toothless mouth when it’s open), I realised that when cooked the Cumberland sausage is better than any food of the gods. If Cumberland sausages had been invented when the gods had only boring old nectar to sup I’d bet my right ear on which would have been the more famous of them today because think about it, can nectar replace a broken door handle like a Cumberland sausage can? No it can’t. Can you make a pretty nectar over-blanket? No you can’t. If you’re roasting a chicken and, during the testing-to-see-if-it’s-cooked bit you accidentally break it, can you weld the leg or the wing or whatever back on again with nectar? No you can’t, but you can with a piping hot, carefully pricked, carefully aimed Cumberland Sausage Welder.

Many items that we take for granted in our daily lives could easily be chucked out and replaced with Cumberland Sausages. For example —-

 (NB – I shouldn’t have to explain what to do here, but for normal readers who lack the imagination and creativity of we who are mental, I will).

Humane mouse-traps – Throw them out. Bung Cumberland sausages into the mouseholes. Yes the mice will eat them, that’s the point. Keep bunging Cumberland sausages into the holes the second you see they are empty and soon the mice will be too fat to move and you can just pick them up with a shovel and throw them outside. This will be a great personal sacrifice of part of your own daily portion of Cumberland sausages but it’s worth it in the end.

Nails – Throw all your nails away because PVC doors are no good for nailing notes onto if you’re the social butterfly type and go out to the shop once a week and it happens to be the day when the gasman is due and you need to tell him never to come back. Heat a Cumberland sausage until piping hot, make a thin slit about 5mm from the end to slot the top of your note into. As the fat cools and congeals it will fix your note to the Cumberland sausage. Secure the other end of the Cumberland sausage into your letterbox with the note on the outside of the door. Result, the gasman won’t be back and you have a cold Cumberland sausage for when you get back.

Spoons – Throw all your spoons away. Learn to sculpt your Cumberland sausages. Keep your metal ladle for when you make Cumberland sausage stew and dumplings because no matter how well you sculpt your Cumberland sausage spoons, they’ll never be big enough for a good helping of stew.

Ice grips for the bottom of your shoes – Don’t buy them. Measure how many Cumberland sausages you need for ONLY ONE SHOE. Cut the Cumberland sausages in half lengthways and now you have the required amount for two shoes. Staple them onto the soles. You can also use Cumberland sausages instead of buying Party Feet gel pads.

Ergonomic laptops or keyboards or mousepads, in fact all ergonomic items can be thrown away and replaced with your own custom-fitted Cumberland sausages items.

Other uses —-

Finger puppets – Cut the ends off your Cumberland sausage. Carefully scoop out a little of the sausage meat but not too much or you’ll only have skin. Wiggle your finger inside until the sausage fits. Repeat with each finger you want a puppet for. Decide which Cumberland sausage will be mother (usually the one that fits the index finger – daddy is in the middle). Make her face by pressing on bits of burnt Cumberland sausage that you saved from the frying pan and repeat for all the family. Make her boobs by sticking on two of the ends that you chopped off earlier. Ends can also be used as a hat for daddy, knee-pads for skater-boy son, hairstyle for daughter, or a family pet such as a dachshund. (See Warning/Hobbies For Hermits)

Emergency toothbrush – When you drop your toothbrush down the loo and you’ve none left in your stockpile, use a Cumberland sausage.

Ditto above when you’ve used your last drop of moisturiser.

Use Cumberland sausages to plug taps that drip and drip and drip and drip and drip and drip until you don’t know whether it’s the tap dripping or the ghost of the dead pirate drowned at sea coming to get you.

Use Cumberland sausages as emergency fake moustaches /teeth/witches fingers when people say they are coming to visit you and you need them not to.

Use Cumberland sausages as cake decorations, for those posh cakes decorated round the sides with upright Cadbury’s Fingers. Cumberland sausages are a pretty alternative.



Oh, I could write and write about Cumberland sausages. But I’ll stop now and let you discover wonderful things about them for yourself. I’ll just say one more thing – you are in for such a treat.

Bon appetite, bloggy people!




A Letter To My Brain


Dear Brain,

Where have you gone? Are you hiding from me? I think I last heard from you three weeks ago when we had to calculate how much we owe everyone and work out how to pay them. You did well and I thought we had come to an understanding, that you could idle around for most of the time but would come to the rescue when I really, really need you. What happened? Was the adding up too much for you? Did I make you do a wrong number?

I keep knocking but you never answer. Taptaptaptaptap. Bangbangbangbangbang.

Where could you hide? There’s nowhere for you to go, you’re the same as me – you live in a vaccuum, dark and sealed. Did you find an escape route and run away when I was sleeping? Did you buy a French breast implant and sneak it under my skull hoping I wouldn’t notice in time to stop you? Well, it worked. Inside my head feels all woolly and dense, like a bulging, overstuffed mattress and if someone jumped on it they would bounce and bounce and bounce.

Trying to figure out where you are is hard without you. I know I haven’t treated you well lately and I don’t blame you if you have run away, I’d do the same myself if I could get out of this house. I know you miss the Outside just as much as I do, but we have fresh air when we open the windows and the sun shines through the house for much of the day. Isn’t that enough for you? I know we can’t go for walks like we used to, up on the moors to ride the wild sheep, to feel their springy power as we gallop over the tussocky hummocks of grass, the wind ragging through our hair and their fleece; to see their little faces as we bleat and baa to them in their own language, alleviating their loneliness for a short, sweet time. I miss that too, Brain. You’re not the only one.

If you come back I will make you a promise. For one day in the week I will eat fish instead of Cumberland sausages. And I will buy Omega 3 supplements and take them every day. That’s actually two promises, but you’re worth it. Also, I will buy a book of Sudoku puzzles, the hard ones. And I will never, ever watch television again (except clever programmes like University Challenge and Top Gear).

Please come back.

All my love,

Dotty  xxx



Dotty Will Soon Be Done For


I am trying to remain calm. I am trying not to panic so that when I phone the police I can explain exactly what is happening in a way that will make them take me seriously without them threatening to charge me with wasting police time again. But in case something happens to me before I can make my statement, or if the police refuse to come to my house again and then something happens to me, I am writing it all down and publically pinning it up on this blog and then the police will be sorry, won’t they?

Asda is trying to kill me. Or to be exact Walmart is trying to kill me, that big American shop that bought Asda. They’re trying to kill me with their Cumberland Sausages that contain more heart attack fat than Tesco Cumberland Sausages but milk is cheaper at Asda so I have to do all my online shopping there or I’ll have to pay another fiver for delivery. If you add up all the extra heart attack fat I’m consuming every day when I eat my packet of Cumberland Sausages, Asda will have killed me by the time I am 79 years old. 79! If I could get Tesco Cumberland Sausages without having to pay their milk prices I’d have another 3 months of life to live in my house. (I wonder if the police would pick up and deliver some Tesco Cumberland Sausages for me? I’ll mention it – you don’t get if you don’t ask.) Asda shouldn’t try to kill people, it’s not fair to take a hermit’s money every week and then take their life. Oh. Oh. I wonder if they need my life FOR their Cumberland Sausages. That would explain it. Yes.

I’m ringing the police in a minute after I’ve finished my sandwich. Think of me here, dying with every bite. Asda, you should be force fed your own Cumberland Sausages, you sly, evil murdering supermarket. Shame on you.



Dotty’s Consonant Swap Game


A good game for hermits to play is Consonant Swap. It’s a bit like Countdown, it keeps your brain from shrinking and also you can laugh at people, but it doesn’t have Nick from The Apprentice on it (I liked him better than Margaret). It has no rules except you have to swap AT LEAST the first letters of the christian and surname but no vowels can move. If either of the names begins with a vowel, ie Andy Roper, (a nutter who used to chase me down the street every day), you just move the consonants on the surname and voila, Andy Roper becomes Randy Oper which the weirdy perv should have been named in the first place (it might or might not be coincidence but many swaps produce very apt alternatives). Some hermits might choose to move a vowel but that’s the bastard version, unlicensed and illegal, and the game is called CONSONANT SWAP. Idiots.

Consonant Swap isn’t merely an amusement, it can double up as a weapon (see Weaponry). If family and friends persisit in visiting you what you do is you point your finger in their face, laugh like a witch (or if you are a man, a witch’s bitch) and call them by their Consonant Swap name, always. This works wonderfully – an ex friend of mine was able to alienate her mother forever by using this game as a weapon – her mother’s name is Maggie Slater, her Consonant Swap name is Slaggie Mater.


My Consonant Swap name is strange and creepy. No one should laugh at it.

Dotty Headbanger = Hotty Deadbanger.



Here’s a little list to say out loud. Friar Tuck is not on it.

David Cameron = Cavid Dameron (boring either way round)

Nick Clegg = Click Negg (ditto above comment)

Kate Middleton = Mate Kiddleton (awww)

Jude Law = Lude Jaw (HAHAHAHAHAHA – I like that one. I’m so funny)

Robert Pattinson = Pobert Rattinson (from cool to fool)

Justin Bieber = Bustin Jieber (makes no difference, I don’t know who he is anyway but my niece likes him)

Calista Flockhart = Flalista Cockhart (????)

Katie Holmes = Hatie Kolmes (yes she does, looking at the state of her hair)

Britney Spears = Spitney Brears (but she’s mental, she’s allowed to spit)

Meryl Streep = Streryl Meep (not funny)

Christie Brinkley = Bristie Chrinkley (well she is knocking on a bit)

Will Smith = Smill With (even not funnier)

Kelly Brook = Belly Krook (in what way? does she do grafitti on it when you’re not looking?)

Bruno Mars = Muno Brars (sounds pervy)

Nina Dobrev = Dina Nobrev (ahemmmmm!)

Sean Bean = Bean Sean (if you say this correctly first time I’ll give you a lollipop)

Jack Black = Black Jack (I don’t like him)

Rooney Mara = Mooney Rara (this happened to me in the 80’s when my rara skirt blew up in the wind)


I can’t think of any more. I need a lie down now anyway, the memory of that gust of wind has traumatised me.



Ode To Prozac


Fluoxetine, Fluoxetine,

I cherish thee, olde friende of mine.

Methinks thou hast a magick art

that banished demones from my heart.


Thy brought to my dimme worlde a shine,

uplift’d me from deepe decline,

my sicken’d soule ail’d greatlye till

I founde thee, little happye pill.


Oh, dearest friende, Fluoxetine,

thou sav’d me, and now I art thine…

I owe thee honour and respecte,

e’ermore shalt I stay in thine debte.

The Friar’s Tuck


 The Friar’s Tuck


Dear Story Reader,


Please excuse this intrusion into ‘The Friar’s Tuck’. I saw you were about to choose a story to read and I am writing myself into this one because I am a desperate, kidnapped woman who has been taken from her home. I need help to get back there and you seem like a nice person who will do your best to find me and return me to my family.


I am writing to you from somewhere. I do not know where but the damp feel of the wind tells me that I am still in England. I know I am not in Australia because funnel-web spiders are not trying to eat me. I am not in Spain because there are no castanets here, and I am not in the Forbidden City because I have not been reincarnated as a tree frog. I am definitely not in Ireland because the man who gave me this pencil and piece of paper was not a leprechaun. He was either an elf or a pork butcher. Do you know this man?


I will give you clues to my location. If you know of a place like the one I am going to describe then please stop reading at once. Put on your coat and come and get me. Please bring a spare coat. And a packet of Dry Roasted Peanuts because I have not eaten for six days and my ribs are now showing through my t-shirt.


Here is a clue: the field I am in is a big field. It does not have a wall, or a fence, or a boundary of any type. This field does not know where to end itself. It goes on and on to places my eyesight cannot go, and it is filled with rapeseed and poppies and teabags, but no kettle. In the centre of this field there are seven trees, possibly elms. They are planted in a circle. There is a small rock at the centre of this circle and this is where I am. On the rock.


I am sitting in a position. I have one leg drawn up and I am using my knee bone as a hard leaning surface to stop my pencil from poking through and ripping my piece of paper. My knee is hairier than usual and lack of a Ladyshave is causing me to cry. Please bring one with you. If you do not have a Ladyshave, please bring a Bic Orange razor and a bar of soap. It is vital that you do not bring a Bic in any colour but orange because I have very sensitive skin and I am liable to break out in a terrible rash if I scrape at my leg with, for instance, a green Bic.


There is a little ragged rascal running round and round my rock. He is the size of a paper clip but his voice is booming out a song that I do not know the words of. The tune goes like this… ‘Da doo deeee, diddly wop dop doo, rappa dappa pom pom pom.’ Do you know this song? Do you? When I had a piano I used to play Eine Kleine Nachtmusik with my toes. I have long toes that hang over the edge of my Jesus-creepers. They are perfect for piano playing but it is virtually impossible to find shoes that fit without the fronts being modified with my shoe modifier. But I am without my modifier and other vitally important items, because my kidnappers did not allow me time to pack. Shoemaker, shoemaker, wherefore art thou? Did they kidnap him too, I wonder?


Another clue for you, dear S. R. Are you paying attention? Please do because these clues might save my life and earn you a medal and also an afternoon at a royal garden party where you will mingle with other heroic life-savers and sup tea with the Queen. Read carefully. Above me there is sky. Please look out of your window after the count of three. One, two, three. GO.


Is your sky cloudy and dull? If so, you are not looking at the same sky as the one above my head. Try a window at the other side of your house. My sky is blue and the sun is bright and burny-hot. I begged for Factor 30 or above but the Angel who went to the chemist brought back Factor 8. I do not yet have a malignant melanoma, but it is only a matter of time. Please bring a big bottle of After-Sun.


Are you taking notes? Do you have a bag to put my things in? I ask because I do not want you to forget a vitally important item, or drop anything on your way to rescue me.


When you get here, be careful of the man who is standing a short way from the trees. He thinks he is hidden amongst the leaves, but I can see him clearly. This man has no lips and he is wearing a white coat, white trousers, and white shoes. I do not know how he lost his lips or if he had any lips in the first place, but they are not there now. In their place he has stapled on a patchwork of grape-skins, black, purple and green. The staples are catching the light of the sun and dazzling my eyes as I write. Sun-brightness blinds but I am not blind yet so please bring a pair of Fendi Hot Pink sunglasses. They must be Hot Pink. No other colour suits me. I also need a tube of Germolene and a strip of sticking plaster. I bled yesterday whilst trying to escape through a bed of Scotch thistles. The thistles were scratchy and I may have contracted beriberi because my reserves of Vitamin B were taken from me as punishment when I was recaptured. The cruelty of my kidnappers knows no bounds.


The man with no lips is standing next to a big Sherpa tank that he drove into the field. There may be another man inside the big Sherpa tank because the gun is pointing in my direction and I can see down the barrel. His eyebrows are black. I think if I run at the man with no lips and try to overcome him, the black eye-browed man in the big Sherpa tank will fire and shoot off my toes. Please bring a bullet-proof vest.


I have a husband and children who are searching for me as you read. Please do your very best to find me, or my children will fret and be motherless for the rest of their lives. I cannot write any more because I have used both sides of my paper and my pencil is just a stub. Please accept my apologies for spoiling your enjoyment of ‘The Friar’s Tuck.’ It was a good story and I am sorry I had to write all over it.


Thank you and please hurry.


Yours truly,


Dotty Headbanger


Help, I’m Following Myself


What do I do? What do I do? I am following myself. I clicked my own ‘Follow’ button to see what happened and now I can’t make it stop no matter how many times I press ‘Unfollow’. I’m frightened. I won’t be able to get a bath or a shower and I’ll have to buy a screen to get dressed behind. And I won’t be able to leave half my sandwich on the plate for later because the me who is following me will eat it. I don’t like it. I just caught myself reading over my shoulder. I need to ask Google all about stalking laws and find out if I can get an injunction out on me.  What if I can’t? How will I get rid of me? Shoot behind me and hope I hit myself? I can’t, they took my guns away after I shot Simon.

Oh, goddyjesus, help me, I don’t know what to do. I wish I would go away.


A Statement From The Accused


oedipus is simon is a mummy’s boy, and he wears her belly-knickers when he thinks i don’t see. boiled owls and shoe broth and cornflakes at midnight, my washing machine’s packed up, bloody bosch, botchy bosch, i need a new one but simon won’t let me, and i should run away, but it’s cold out there and there’s nowhere to leave to, nowhere to run.


call me ishmael, call me a mere dalliance, two ships that pass in the night. love is puny and i’m dying of cabin fever in a rush hour train, tens of sweaty people who smell of 9 to 5ness, keep fetishes in their briefcases, their pockets, their eyes. i want to be home with my music.


when i met him he was gorgeous and frightened by my smile, but he married me anyway. then he grew boring and mean, and mean and boring, and i cried and cried, and i haven’t cried like that since my waters broke on my new pink shoes.


skippy. skippy. skippy the bush kangaroo treads in a stinking pile of pessimism while speaking in forked tongues that fry up nicely with an onion and a bamba la bamba. simon doesn’t like my songs but if i could shag music i would never leave the house, and of this i am certain… the power of a named thing is in it’s name. pass the salt please simon


my name is Kitchen and i am a sink.














sorry. i got distracted. maybelline diamond lips pouting at me from the other side of the desk. GIVE ME BACK MY LIPSTICK, BITCH or i’ll harpoon you with my schaeffer.



oo, oo, i just want you, i really love the things that you do


i want to spin a hysteric round and round, right round baby, right round and WHY are there no gregorian chants on MTV? the sky is not a ceiling but a great big eccles cake, those who scream the loudest get the BIGGEST slice of cake, i like cake, lots of cake and i shall eat and eat and eat until i POP, no paracetamol and voddy cocktails for me, no head in the oven or on the track, wrist-slicing is too messy and i faint at the sight of blood, if i fainted i’d think i was dead but then i’d wake up.


never say diet.


pass the beans, please, simon. william morris patterned wallpaper, muted in red lamplight, dimmed, smoothed, suggesting silk stockings, seduction and rumpy-pumpy. a premonition whispers of an ancient ME, hips haunted by the spectre of sex, flaps of wrinkles fluttering in the breeze of the bed-chills, empty folds of dress where my titties used to be. there are many solitudes but they all merge into one and forever with Simon would have been such a long, long time.


what is it like when you start to shake? i’d ask my washing machine if the fucking thing was working, torn knickers, holy knickers, strandy knickers, knickers that my washing machine has ET, i’m going to buy a whirlpool next. insurance money, insurance money, when will i get my insurance money? i shot simon and his face erupted, crimson globs adding a 3D effect to morris’ daubs, brain chunks settling down on the sofa with a tube of pringles, waiting to watch a piece of scalp that was showing on tv. the redness of it all clashed terribly with the carpet.


nasty nasty simon

nasty nasty red dead simon




tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick tock tick

so many clocks making such a loud noise.




am I keeping you from something?


answer me this… do combustion engines spontaneously combust or was it just my granny who did that, sitting in her parker knoll one sunday evening watching songs of praise, it said in her will she wanted to be buried not cremated so the undertaker made a solid oak coffin big enough for her slippers, granny-ash in slippers in coffin in hole that was so small we can’t get a headstone to fit. what did thumbelina’s family do for a headstone, she has such a long name?


scooby scooby doo, where are you? my daddy was a sperm donor, he never shagged nobody.



meanwhile, back in the kitchen, the washer-man hasn’t arrived yet and i have kids to collect, shopping to buy and a big fuck-off pile of laundry, not to mention the simon-gooey-gooed curtains and cushion covers and the work to complete that they made me bring home.


i am Dotty the dot. just one little dot in this big mad world of dots, not quite tame enough for the table they make me stand at the wall with my knees in my pocket eating things from a tray, lumpy things fashioned by skeletal hands, crispy on the outside stodgy in the middle, suet dumplings in a thick brown gunk, and what would they say if i were to take off my clothes, leap up onto the table and make my head spin anti-clockwise? would i be sliced into polite portions of indifference and served up with the cheese? why are there no kebabs on the moon?

does coffee have morals? yes.

is there a god?

what is psychology? freudmund sig.

did i kill simon? yes.  


why are my arms bound so tightly?



Healthy Recipes For Hungry Hermits


Before you begin, keep in mind at all times that you are not an animal. Put it on a plate.




Bread (however many slices you want)

A bit of something to spread on the bread



If you have a toaster plug it in and turn it on. Put the bread in the toaster (if you have more bread than you have toaster slots you will have to repeat these steps). Set the timer and the how crispy you want it thingy and go and get your spread. Butter and marg. are in the fridge. Jam, marmalade, marmite etc should be on a shelf or in a cupboard. Get a knife to spread your spread with. When the toast is ready it will pop up and make a noise so bear this in mind and you won’t get a fright. Take the toast from the toaster. WARNING do not ever put the knife near the toaster or the toaster will blow up and maybe you with it, (this is not a reason to avoid making your toast). Put the toast on a clean surface. Spread your spread of choice on the toast (using the knife). Unplug the toaster. Put the lid on the spread. Put the toast on a clean plate. Put the knife in the sink. Go and sit down and enjoy your toast but don’t forget to come back later and clean up.

If you haven’t got a toaster you’ll have to make a sandwich instead, (recipe below), because I don’t know what to do. Who do you think I am? Nigella?





Bread (1, 2, 3 or 4, you decide)





Lay your bread in individual slices on a clean surface. Get a knife. Get your spread, (find butter or marg in fridge, mayo or whatever in cupboard or on shelf). Spread your spread onto your bread with the knife. Now, decide what you want for your filling. A good suggestion is that you use more than one ingredient because if you normally just slap a bit of meat on your bread you’ll get bored of sandwiches and sandwiches are a staple for hermits so you might end up starving. An example of a good sandwich is to put your bit of meat on top of some lettuce. Or you could slice a tomato and put the slices on top of the meat, (cherry or plum tomatoes are easier than big ones – you just cut them in half, less slicing). Think about omitting the meat. Cheese is good and it comes in all sorts of strengths and flavours, (actually that’s not true, it only comes in one flavour – cheese). Also think about using ingredients such as cucumber, rocket, spring onion, yellow pepper, radish etc (which also can be combined to make a SALAD which is another, different meal). Once you’ve decided on your filling, put it on your bread. Cover the filling with another slice of bread, cut in half with the knife. Put both halves on a clean plate. Because the sandwich is a cold one, (we’ll move on to hot sandwiches another time), you can tidy up before you sit down to eat it, saving the bother of having to remember to come back and do it later.





An apple



Wash it. Eat it.





A banana



Peel it. Eat it.



Friendly Mormons, Where Are You?


I’m thinking of dabbling in religion, specifically I’m thinking of getting to know some Mormons. I used to know some, a lovely couple. One of their children was in the same class at school as one of mine.

He was a Mormon priest. He lent me his reference books while I was studying. He drove me places. He did my garden every second weekend. All of this in exchange for a mere 30 minutes per fortnight (timed) of trying to convert me. Right from the start, when he first offered my child and I a lift home from school, I told him, ‘You’ll never get Dotty,’ and he knew he wouldn’t, bless him, but he kept up the pretense over a glass of fruit juice, a packet of Digestives and the copy of the Book of Mormon he gave me. He felt sorry for me. His wife did too. I let them. While he did the garden she cleaned my house. She kept it sparkling, and she also brought her own cleaning products with her which saved me having to buy any. One day she offered to decorate the bedrooms. I couldn’t let her do that all by herself so I asked if she wanted to bring her Sisters round to help. Lovely ladies, the lot of them, once they’d done the bedrooms they wanted to do the whole house. Who was I to stop their good works?

That was a lot of years ago. Since then I’ve become the she-hermit you read before you. But I miss my old Mormon friends. So do my carpets, my oven, and my overgrown hedges. 


Mud sticks …


…. but it doesn’t stick to cold-callers as much as I’d like it to.


Some gloomy untitled shite by Dotty



In my millionth incarnation

there are cinders in my voice

and wings on my back.


Mother, I was never a Goddess.

Why do you think that,

when my ghost still pole-dances

round your heart?


On some high mountain

of the waxing moon,

you will eat my blistered secrets

as my corpse bleeds blue,


you will gather cups and children

in the salt of your skin,

ancestral jewels in your belly,

amber waves of penance,

and four old dove hearts  to tie around your neck.


Please will you resurrect my fingerbones

without a twinge of longing

for the hours they were twined around your own.

I really would like to

gnaw at my fingernails again.


I wish you would shine a bright light

into my blackened lungs, just for a laugh.

But maybe not – my buoyant shriek

would push right into your guilt,

the famished blade twisting greedily

on the second plunge.


Where is my head?


All I can see when they lift the sheet

are two smiling tonsils, fat with memories of giggle-smoke.

And a toe.

But the coroner’s report will no doubt reveal

I had a heart I never knew.



Dotty the Dot


How small am I? Small enough to fall down the cracks and become lost in an underground labyrinth filled with ghoulies and beasts and screaming creatures that sound like me. Small enough to slip down the plughole and drown in the drain tangled in scummy clumps of my own dyed, dead hair. Small enough to be stepped on and squished into the carpet, but nobody ever scrubs away the little stain that is me because I’m the only one who ever cleans anything in this house.


Life’s Illusion (or, when Dotty is sad she writes mushy shite)


Nothing is truly what it seems. Love wears no righteous mask where sunlight creeps.

Water is air, to a fish, and dark is light when light absorbs gloom;

seconds span the night, and each step taken is a milestone passed and gone

as my wintered limbs spread upwards, my arms the branches of an old, old elm.

Seasons meet and merge, no word exists for those in-between days,

but time, in all its fickleness, is non-existent in a multi-layered dream.

Old lace and dainty pearls adorn the frilly hem of my chocolate dress,

and life, that frenzied satirist, pays lip-service to death.

I have grief at my window, in the form of a brand new day,

while I sit here, my well-worn soul too weak and settled in apathy.

Swifter than a dragonfly on wing, (know this),

the curve of a single tear, when touched, dissolves to dust.


Corpse & Corpses – An Injustice?

All day I’ve been thinking about how ‘corpse‘ is such a serious word. It has weight and dignity. It has an air of grand solemnness and gloom. It is dark with sorrow, with mourning, with death and all it represents. To read the word, or to say it, is to feel as though a great worm has crept down into the pit of my belly.

But the plural of ‘corpse’ is ‘corpses’. I say it out loud and it has a funny ring to it. Corpses. Corpses. It’s that last syllable, it forces a rise in inflection however much I try to keep my voice lowered to a suitable pitch. Corp-ses. Corp-ses. I try slow motion.

Corp —– ses. Cor ——p ———seeeees.

Nope, no good. Surely this is unfair; don’t two or more corpses deserve more gravity  and earnestness than just the one corpse? Even the word ‘corpses’ makes a sentence sound brighter than it should in the circumstances – Undertaker says to Mortuary Man, “I’ve come for my corpses,” or “Can I have my corpses, please?”

‘Corpsi’ (pronounced corps-eye) sounds more appropriate. Who do you write to get a word changed?

Dotty’s Profound Blinking Blog


I love to blink. Blinking is fun. I blink, therefore I am.

Mother Nature gave us eyelids with little hairs poking out so we can blink to our heart’s content. I would like to share with my fellow blinkers some quotes and cultural information that I have gathered about that most pleasurable of actions. They are so strikingly true and revealing that as you read you will feel the greatest desire to blink. Do not suppress that desire. As Confucius said, “Be not ashamed of blinks and thus make them crimes.”


More Confucius

When we see men of worth, we should think of equalling them; when we see men of a contrary character, we should turn inwards and blink.

Blinking without thought is labour lost; thought without blinking is perilous.

Forget injuries, never forget to blink.

The people may be made to follow a path of blinking, but they may not be made to understand it.

Blinking is more to man than either water or fire. I have seen men die from treading on water and fire, but I have never seen a man die from blinking.

The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his blinking.

The cautious seldom blink.

Is blinking a thing remote? I wish to blink, and lo! Blinking is at hand.



In all things of blinking there is something of the marvellous.

To be conscious that we are blinking or thinking is to be conscious of our own existence.

It is possible to fail in many ways, while to blink is possible only in one way.


Sigmund Freud

America is a blink, a giant blink.



And now these three remain; faith, hope and blinking. But the greatest of these is blinking.

Corinthians 13:13


“You of little blinks,” he said, “why do you doubt?”

Matthew 14:31

Books – Fiction

The Unbearable Lightness Of Blinking – Milan Blinkera

Lord Of The Blinks – J.R.R. Blinkien

Blinkamorphosis & Other Stories – Franz Blinka

Around The World In Eighty Blinks – Jules Blink

War And Blinks – Leo Blinkoy

Veronika Decides To Blink – Paulo Blinkelho

The Blinks of Wrath – John Blinkbeck

Wuthering Blinks – Emily Blinke


Books – Non Fiction

How To Make Blinks And Influence People – Dale Carblinkie

The Origin Of Blinking – Charles Blinkwin

The Voyage Of The Blink – Charles Blinkwin

How To Be A Blinkestic Goddess – Nigella Blinkon



Blink Hawk Down

It’s A Wonderful Blink

The Godblinker, Parts I, II and III


Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Blink

The Silence of the Blinks

O, Blinker, Where Art Thou

To Kill A Mockingblink

The Blinkblank Redemption


Each and every one of us is guilty of taking blinking for granted. Breathing is a revered necessity and blinking has always fallen behind, in its shadow. But if we could not blink our eyes would shrivel up and fall out and then where would we be? Blinking is not a boring, inane function as many would have you believe; blinking must be acknowledged as a prime requirement of the human body. As we have seen, Confucius recognised the superiority of blinking, so I shall leave the last word to him…

“He who will not blink will have two agoneyes.”


Day One, 2012 – The Year Of The Slug


According to the Chinese Zodiac 2012 will be The Year of the Dragon (from 23rd January – 9th Feb 2013).

I don’t like dragons, they have big teeth and their breath smells of burnt ham, so I am declaring 2012 to be

The Year of the Slug

I’ll be the first to say that slugs are not nice – they eat my lettuces and pansies. They are made of squish and I can’t hear them coming, even in the dead of night when I hide behind the garden shed in wait for them armed with a tub of salt and a lump-hammer. They are ugly, even the babies. Also, they are ‘gastropods’, a noun which is too close to ‘gastronome’ for my liking – puts me off my dinner.


Slugs will not crunch my bones when they eat me. Slugs will not unexpectedly cremate me when I’m lying on my sofa watching Coronation Street. They will not gouge my face off with their claws, nor will they rob me and fly away to a dank cave on a high mountain to sit on my stolen treasure with their scaly bums. All they can do is slime me in trails of silvery wetness and what’s that compared to being treated as an amusing combustible by a winged, reptilian beast?

The greatest threat a slug presents is to my salad greens, my annuals, and my tender new shoots, but this can sometimes be prevented with little blue pellets. BUT if I owned fields of rapeseed or wheat or barley or corn, little blue pellets couldn’t stop a dragon who flew by one day to breathe his fire down on my livelihood until it was nothing but cinders and ash.

And the only sacrifice I will ever have to make to a slug is a saucerful of beer which is conveniently to hand at all times of the day or night. The five virgins required for sacrifice to a dragon would be impossible to source in my locality.

Support my declaration and this coming year will be a fat, succulent year of health and wealth and plenty, not a scabrous, draconian time of scourge, ruin and adversity, (like 2011 was). 


2012       The Year of the Slug       2012

Confucius say –

“Venerate univalves

and juicy happiness shalt be thine”

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