A Miserablist’s Guide to Modern Life

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By Daniel Devine on 8.2.2024

A Miserablist’s Guide to Modern Life

1) Have monumentally low expectations of a “nice day out”, anywhere in England. If, like myself you are a whining, snotty aesthete whose day can be ruined by walking past a concrete car park, then my advice is stay at home. Here you are safe, warm and with easy access to a fridge and the Internet.

2) Rather than visiting any new places you can just look at pictures of them on their tourist information website, whilst enjoying a sandwich that is not soggy, and overpriced. You can immerse yourself in the tourist board’s fantasy of what their city or town would look like in an ideal world. The attractive and historic, but probably countable on one hand buildings feature in every picture, set to a blue sky backdrop of smiling people having a picnic, and tidying up after themselves, courtesy of a massive dose of photo-shop magic. In reality it will almost certainly be grey and raining, you will run out of things to do in one afternoon (unless you are in London and you are rich)

3)Should you be foolish or brave enough to venture out, here are some tips for minimising disappointment. First shopping. England is supposedly a capitalist country, yet there is a hidden communist agenda somewhere directing that every high street must look exactly the same on pain of death. This is another reason to not leave your home, as all the shops are ubiquitous and uniform, meaning that you have already seen everything before you have got there. If you have a particularly kind friend you could ask him or her to lead you around blind folded, until you come to an independent boutique of interest. The blindfold will of course have to be laminated to catch the tears of joy, when your eyes behold the wonder of a consumer outlet you have never seen before.

4)If you visit any museums, go for the free ones to avoid any sense of value for money disappointment. Often you will find yourself paying with real coins for the privilege of seeing some coins that are of no use to anyone anymore. Any person of “historical importance” is a holy cash cow and anywhere they happened to have breathed upon on becomes ripe for the milking. Jane Austen, for example seems to have lived in almost every cathedral town in the South of England. A visit to a museum celebrating such persons entails looking at bits of their hair and a toilet they used through heavy glass, just in case some die-hard fan cannot restrain themselves from touching the hallowed flakes of preserved dandruff.

5) Avoid at all costs any attraction that has “experience” in the title, especially one that features “live actors”. These are bitter individuals who failed to make the local amateur dramatics society, and who get their revenge by spraying water in your face, pretending that it is “eye of newt” or something equally silly.

Tim’s following 5 tips will be published on Friday next week


  • ps: I have attached a disclaimer now to it for you so you know I am not a nasty lady really

    By kirstylyn on 15.2.2024

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  • Reminds me of a Morrissey quote: “I would never, ever, do anything as vulgar as having fun.”

    By Kerowhack on 9.2.2024

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