1. Obsessively check the Twitter feed of someone you absolutely loathe and detest. Enjoy the burning sensation of fury they inspire in you and the extra, delicious layer of self-hatred for voluntarily looking at something you KNOW is going to make you crazy.

2. Obsessively check the Twitter feed of your ex, causing yourself confusing feelings of distress, pain, and puzzlement at your continued attachment to someone who mainly tweets about server problems and sports. Ideally, stop following them on principle, because it is Bad For You, but then look them up approximately fifty times a day just to keep that wound nice and fresh and remind you how stupid you are.

3. Follow lots of prolific writers. Each time they tweet their daily word count will be another 2000! 3000! 4000! Tiny knives in your heart. This also applies to anyone successful in a field that causes you envy, particularly if they are likely to talk about their professional triumphs.

4.Become inordinately hung up on Twitter etiquette and find it personally offensive when people ceaselessly rewet compliments about themselves ("RT @sycophant: @massiveego is the most beautiful, intelligent person I have ever met and although I have never met her, she completes me") until you are purple and apoplectic like a retired Colonel on the letters page of the Telegraph. You must also constantly exhortpeople to read your latest blogpost: eg "for those of you who missed my latest post, here it is again". On no account should you simply save yourself the trouble and email it direct to your 81 followers.

5. Follow people whose tweets are so deliberately obscure and gnomic that you go half-mad trying to work out what they mean. ("@flaky I am singing that song tonight. The one from the night when everything changed", for instance. Or "@flaky That phone call was the hardest I will ever make"). This also applies to those in the habit of tweeting non-sequiteurs.

Ah, here's a bonus rule for the really dedicated misanthropist: If you get an email from someone you have chosen to unfollow, asking you why you've unfollowed them, you should always grasp the nettle and leave them with no lack of certainty about the reason why.



There are five things that drive me so insane with rage, it makes me rather thankful that guns are illegal in this country. I'd probably run amok with a Kalashnikov, otherwise.

Discarding teabags in the sink. Because, by Christ, it's so bloody hard to turn 180 degrees and flip them into the bin instead.

Dawdlers. Completely distinct from flaneurs, who idle creatively and decoratively, dawdlers simply have no sense of purpose. And nor are they capable of dawdling in a straight line, so one can skip past them. I have to summon up all my energy to imagine the ghastliness of a life behind bars as a disincentive for pushing them off the pavement and under the wheels of a passing taxi.

Tourists. Particularly those who pause at the top of the escalator in the underground, gawping hopelessly at their tube map. If I could possibly go undetected, I'd, erm, help them come to a decision about their journey by giving them a hefty push down the stairs.

People who both smoke and are vastly overweight. I'm sorry, but you're only allowed to commit one mortal sin at once. If you want to kill yourself, please do it in a swifter and more attractive fashion.

Grown adults who revert to teenage behaviour once they're in a communal kitchen or bathroom. It's the office - your mum is not going to come and clear up after you.


Green eyed blogger

I am monstrously jealous right now. In recent weeks I have been jealous of:

Writers. All of you, you bastards, with your words and your chapters. My half novel languishes, reviled and abandoned, on my hard drive. I have lost any belief it will ever see the light of day. If I already hate it, why should anyone else feel differently? And yet there you all are, with your '5000 words before lunch!' 'Out in paperback today!'. Begone. I hate you all.

A blogger whose blog is being optioned for a tv series. I was actually unable to speak for about 15 minutes when I found out about this, which was unfortunate since I was having lunch with the blogger in question.

People who like their jobs, and particularly the ones who had the guts and the self-belief to do something they love. Journalists, I am looking at you. Rich expat civil servants, I am sort of looking at you too, but I find it hard to envy your actual jobs. I just want your money.

Londoners. Exile is cruel, and I long for your wifi enabled cafes and for + J at Uniqlo and going to the newsagents on a Tuesday for Heat, Grazia and a chunky peanut butter KitKat.

People without children and dogs, who can decide to stay out all night, or go to Seville - or even just Sainsbury's - on a whim. People who do not have to try and remain cogent for the babysitter and get home by midnight. People who don't spend Saturday nights alone, fidgeting on the internet for some cold facsimile of companionship and wondering what the fuck is happening to their lives and whether it will ever get better, and if they even remember how to sustain a conversation about something other than Bakugans or balls.

People with confidence, who don't agonise for half an hour about how to ask for a cup of coffee, or replay every spluttered, fucked up conversation in their heads endlessly. Esprit d'Escalier? The escalier in question would have to be the Niesen Funicular (yes of course I had to look it up) to accomodate all my regrets and rehashings. People with social skills.

The dog, who does not have to worry about paying the rent or psychologically damaging his children, or whether he will be alone for the rest of his days, getting more and more bitter and eccentric. He just lies around licking his balls and having faith that the human will provide. Nice work if you can get it, you bastard.

I am stopping here to go and glare at some more people with nice teeth and fulfilling relationships.