Hey kids, listen up. We all love soft play, right? You can run indoors. Really fast. And not get told off. You can climb up stuff, jump down from stuff, and you can be loud. Anything your Mum won't let you do at home, you can do here. So here it is the definitive guide to soft play through the ages.
This New Year I have decided things will be different. Not for me the guilt-trip of recrimination that generally follows my orgy of over-indulgence during the Christmas holidays. In short, I have decided that come January I will no longer be making public declarations of unrealistic New Year Resolutions.
I am an American living in London. Aside from the obvious differences - we spell it color, soccer is football, it is tidbit and not titbit (you perverts) - the flagrant, haphazard, and frankly over abundant use of the ubiquitous 'x' (a kiss) sign-off in written correspondences leaves me baffled. What are the rules?
It wasn't until the end of the shift that one of the girls I was working with let it slip that I wouldn't be getting paid for my time. Yes, that is correct. Aside from a few pounds in tips, I wasn't getting compensated or my time. I might as well just have spent the evening engaging in my normal routine of obsessive cleaning and reality television.
I fucking hate cats, usually. Like men, they're either ugly, good-looking but dumb to the point of irrelevance, or else transparently cunning. And, also like men, they do that thing where they treat you with indifference, until you withdraw your affections, and then they're all over you like salt on chips.
Ashton argues that almost a third of under-16s have already had intercourse, so lowering the limit will send a clear message to 14s and under that they absolutely cannot have sex for another 12 months. But where does it end? Over a third of under-16s have tried booze, but that doesn't mean we should let them into pubs. For a start they can't afford to buy a round, the free-loading bastards.
Conversations are now elevated and scrutinized in an amphitheatre of social media. There are those that spectate, speculate, and jump on the bandwagon - whether that's with good intentions, or to kill the show. The Internet means that people don't forget words, and events are recorded forever at the end of a web search. Over time, the moment, context and goodwill crumbles away...
This week, the rumour is that the story of the Essex girls and their posh neighbour may be due to make a TV comeback. Those of a certain age and a certain sense of humour will have happy memories of the original TV series - but would the format transfer to the stage successfully enough to justify a new lease of life in a prime-time entertainment slot?
Once you start on this path of zero hair tolerance, you have in fact waged war on your follicles and in military terms, they are closely aligned to the Spartans. Now in my late forties... put it this way, if I don't wield the tweezers daily, epilate weekly and wax monthly, I look like Hagrid in lipstick. It's a battle I am losing.
I'd like to think that, if I'm lucky enough to exceed the age of 80, with all my marbles and my more important faculties all present and correct, I'll be cut some slack in the matter of my more treasured bad habits. I'll feel that, having survived so long indulging my relatively few vices, I might as well head for the exit in a like manner.
Writers are needy, insecure and desperate for approval. Just like everyone else, in other words, but because writers don't get out much they believe these challenges are unique to them, and tend to over-dramatize them. There's nothing new in all this; what's changed is that online reviews are reminding writers of something that, in the end, is probably good for us: everyone is different.