A break in the coffee routine

I can’t take out loyalty cards with coffee outlets. It’s too much responsibility

‘I have had a very jealous week’

We all have our faults, certainly. But when we start to display new faults, it is worth asking why

Holding the line

If someone doesn’t want to reach you, there are at least five different ways for them to make this known. That’s brutal

Measures of rightness

When you go to sleep, instead of counting things that went wrong, why not count those that went right?

The best cure for January blues

One strange day in New York City in 1986, there were rainbows in the sky, everywhere you looked

The only one in the loop

I lived alone for most of the time between 18 and 26 and hardly anyone ever knew where I was

How to ‘take a cloud and pin it down’

We think of it as ephemeral, but production of data or Google searches is as solid and material as concrete

Bin and bear it

Being taught to put up with stuff is like being excellent at typing — it’s not a skill you want to lead with in life

Dream of a salesman

It is a complicated thing to buy a dress for another woman. It can backfire

Wise words from an expert on fools

It is a fool’s job to take you down a peg or two, and that is probably the ugliest of the English bloodsports

Making each moment sublime

‘I’m less reticent about pleasure now. I am plotting for it, hailing it like a taxi, grabbing it by the lapels’

Christmas and I, we can’t go on like this

‘I know children of six with yule-grief because it doesn’t make them feel the way it did when they were four’

A turn-up for the books

‘If invited to talk about your work, can’t you assume people like it? That people are at least interested?’

Ways and meanings

Like an apprentice on ‘The Apprentice’ who’d be ashamed to give only 100 per cent, you need to go in very high

The Apple of my eye

‘I feel tenderly towards my laptop. It is not long for this world and so it is deserving of my sympathy’

The young and the restless

‘Teenagers now have to run publicity campaigns for themselves with the vigour of Hollywood agents’

A dance to the music of time

‘I wish I had applied some pale blue eye shadow. I hadn’t even thought to put my hair in a bun’

A lion, a wizard and a wardrobe

‘I did not tell John Lahr I love Judy Garland because I suspected he would say she was a nightmare’

A rocky horror picture show

Recently hypnotised out of swearing, I am now incapable of swearing. Could I do the same with fear?

My bureau of joy for all-comers

‘Doctors, priests, a man who’s brilliant with cracked skin on hard heels — I have their numbers’


Susie BoytSusie Boyt writes a column on shopping for the FT Weekend supplement. She is a novelist and lives in London.

E-mail Susie Boyt

To receive an email alert for Susie Boyt , sign up at the top of any hercolumns.

Enter job search