Bad Words

Chalk words

Just another day at Addicts’ Mansions, the manservant and I taking turns at spraying each other with that legal high Magnesium Oil, having a wee whine about stuff we hate, when my dentist called to invite me “up the Amazon”.

“Just two gals having a laugh,” Max said. “We could take our teeth whitening kits!”

Regenerate is the only thing that’s allowed to clean my teeth and gals is one of many words that I can’t stand. I’d like to hurt everyone who shouts Enjoy! after selling me a cup of coffee. I want to kill men who use the l word. Euphemism. Three letters. Starts with l ends with o.

You start using words ironically, like gosh and crikey, then catch yourself doing it for real. I’m not a fan of gloom balloons but I can’t stand aggressively cheerful people either. Or singing washing machines. Or unisex names. Or beards.

Pogonophobiacs are always at the back of the queue when phobia sympathy is dished, but we suffer every time a beard moults. I was confronted with one in a library book today. I may have to give up my borrowing habit.

Books were forbidden in our house, Maddie called them “germ traps”, so I was dying to get into the library and read a book! I crawled under the shelf that separated the children’s section from the adult books and sat under a plant reading Wuthering Heights and Valley of the Dolls and a biog of Mary Queen of Scots that was bigger than me.

I wanted to take a stick to Jane Eyre; and drink a martini with Jordan “let the other drivers be careful” Baker in The Great Gatsby. I could never love anyone who doesn’t love my favourite book Two Serious Ladies, a gift from Dangerous on our honeymoon; another word I can’t stand.

A good book leaves blank space for the reader’s imagination to interact with the words on the page. Reality is over-rated.

Crazy K de-stresses by stuffing her face with lettuce, a natural opiate; but when I’m up tae high doh I prefer escaping into the zero calorie worlds of fiction. Though I am pure gutted that I can’t try SOS Pearl Drops because valerian makes me aggressive. Dangerous had to stop me hurting a pharmacist who gave me melatonin with added valerian. That chemist fell well short of Mr Shabir’s standards; though maybe the iron golf club was overkill.

Reading ruins you, really ruins you said Mao Zedong who stayed in bed all day reading while his followers smashed up the Forbidden City. Traditional Chinese beds have an oven under them so the Chairman was nice and toasty while re-reading Confucius.

He may have launched ten billion fashion disasters with that Mao suit, but he earned his place in Chinese heaven with his literacy revolution; teaching China how to read by introducing pinyin (a system which makes Chinese characters more accessible to the adult learner).

Knowledge is power but despite being a bossy boots Mao shared the power of words with the illiterate masses. When he heard the word culture the wee megalomaniac may have reached for his chopsticks and stuffed his face with more Hunan chow, but he democratically chose Mandarin as the official language even though he didn’t speak it properly; his speeches had to be subtitled.

But I’m not a dictator so when I stay in bed with Machiavelli my short attention span manservant disturbs me every 30 seconds with annoying questions.

“Are men allowed to use Feminine Happy Oil?” Yes if you want me to hurt you; steal some of mine.

“Richard 3rd is unfriending you again.” Richard 3rd is my bitter and twisted friend who lies about her height.

When a paranoid loon diagnoses you bipolar because you don’t want to listen to another moan on the phone, it’s time to hit the block button and get back to your book.  Books don’t insult you or suffer from skin envy. If they bore you, just close it and open a new one.

So I lost a friend. A short friend. One who uses the p word – six letters begins with p and ends with r. But I gained an afternoon with Chroma, Derek Jarman’s poetic meditation on colour written while he was dying in the grey lunar landscape of Dungeness.

It pure cheers me up when I see a tramp reading. Chicken Man, who lives in my street, is working his way through Harry Potter though I can’t resist giving him a copy of Songs of Innocence and Experience because he sits on a Soho step near Blake’s birthplace.

I’m using tramp in the English sense but I look over the shoulders of sluts to see what they are reading too.

Reading is so unfashionable it’s almost cool. Print books are the new vinyl, exotic collectors’ items to be displayed and sniffed. Words and their multiple meanings have seduced me since I learned to read.

First you learn to read and then you learn to write, joining the dots to form words on the page in your head. Everyone has a book in them and sometimes it’s best left there along with your liver and kidneys.

I’m not a book snob. I read online too and haven’t strained my eyes since taking Eyebright as recommended by Mr Shabir; and copied Empress Jo’s computer specs.

IRL I don’t need specs, apart from my vintage YSL shades, but have had no headaches since getting my Miss Moneypenny jobbies for screen glare. OMG I’ve been living in London so long I’ve started using jobbie in the English sense! In Scottish it means shite.

Ok, I’m weird. I can hear you! Just remember. One person’s weird is another person’s special.

Carole Morin’s books include Spying on Strange Men and Dead Glamorous


glass with ice

My dad died today. Of course he didn’t die today; he died on this date three years ago. Deaths are easier to remember than birthdays. Or they were before Facebook gave everybody a prompt.

Daddy gave up dialysis to spend more time in the pub because he didn’t want to spend what turned out to be the last year of his life with “a bunch of boring old guys in an ambulance”.

He had a list in his wallet of all the people who have died doing a detox and sang a Scottish version of Amy Winehouse’s Rehab. “The cheese tried to make me go to rehab but I said naw naw naw.”

When the doctor told him he had two weeks to live he rolled his eyes and said, “Two weeks! In this place! Can’t you give me a jag?”

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May Newsletter

Red Tullips

Welcome to the May newsletter where we celebrate NIOD’s second birthday with the launch of a product that crept under the radar and decided to take the spotlight, which may well surprise many of you, but you know how it is, you can’t keep a great product down. So we’ll do NIOD first, The Ordinary second and then we’ll head into some new product launches, one of which has already gone wild before I have written one word about it. We mourn the loss of yet another product (and this one may well make you gasp), there are a few treats throughout the newsletter and we have a new columnist who has somehow managed to enter the inner sanctum, but first NIOD:

So Happy Birthday NIOD. Two years old, multi-award winning and we celebrate all that NIOD is and all that it will be because we are about to embark on another NIOD journey, which will see the launch of three (or more – who knows!) products over the next few months. It has been exceptionally difficult deciding the order of launch, but we are going to begin with a new version of Multi-Molecular Hyaluronic Complex, MMHC2, for several reasons, not least because there is a groundbreaking first, direct ‘hyaluronic acid’; here it comes: Read More…