WHAT’S this?

An IKEA opening and making jobs for people. What next? Filling the car park with flat-pack furniture for the homeless?

Yes, I shall mention them. It’s jolly cold. I’m writing this with the fire burning and two jumpers on.

Last night I walked past a boy and his dog who were both trembling.

He told me it has to be minus 3 degrees for three consecutive days before he can get in at the hostel.

I only had a Curly-Wurly to offer him and small conversation.

Which reminds me, I read a wonderful description of myself this week: “Oh I know that Ericka Waller, writes rubbish for The Argus. Thinks she is saving the homeless of Brighton by giving one person a sandwich.”

You will always be disliked when you try to improve yourself or help others.

It’s seen as smug, and smugness is abhorred. It’s up there with racism, and Trump, and people who help themselves to your fruit bowl without asking first.

People don’t like other people doing well, looking well or being successful.

No one wants someone to progress or try and change.

Change is bad.

I’ve never been so popular as I was when my husband and I “took a break” for a couple of years.

My doorbell never stopped ringing with people wanting to “offer sympathy” (get the juicy gossip).

We don’t like to see people do well.

We like to see them fall over, or get fat.

If I post that I’ve been for a run on Facebook, do you know how many people will “like” it?

No one.

No one at all.

I can image them tutting to their dogs (in my mind everyone talks to their dogs): “No one cares you went running, smug cow.

“She’s a smug cow isn’t she puppy? Yes, yes she is (dog wags tail in agreement*)”.

You need to read that last bit out in the voice you use for your pet. Not that I am telling you what to do.

If it inspires one person to put their trainers on and go outside, then in my own small, irritating way, I have helped.

I’m raising daughters in this dangerous, dark world.

I need to do all I can to keep peckers up.

Which is also why I was saddened to read women knocking women for the signs they’d made for the Women’s March last week.

I can’t repeat which sign, or the word it was they took such

umbrage to but I thought it was marvellous.

We seem to have forgotten how to support one another.

I’m incredibly proud to be a woman right now.

We came out in droves with our banners and breasts and belief

that we can make a difference for

the better for everyone (except Trump).

Without the RNLI, Help The

Homeless and all the other charities and committees made up of selfless people who are trying to put something back, we would be in an even worse state.

Don’t knock people for putting their head above the parapet.

Knock them for wearing double denim or Crocs.

The Argus: A child walking to school

It’s flipping freezing but I refuse to drive the kids to school, despite their protests (scarf too itchy, hat too red, gloves too small).

Instead I regale them with tales of how many miles I had to walk to and from school each day and how I relished the opportunity to admire nature.

All lies.

I spent the whole time being

told to “pick my feet up” “put my bag back on my shoulders properly” and “do your coat up” – just as I tell my kids now.

The one good thing about this icy weather is it almost makes picking up the dog dirt in the back garden rather fun.

Every cloud and all that.

*On the talking to the dog thing, the husband came home early this week and found me pretending to be interviewed by Kirsty Young for my Desert Island Discs.

I was so into it I hadn’t heard him come in.

“Well Kirsty (small giggle), I know this song is a bit out there, but I just love how it makes my hips wiggle (Shush birds, I am trying to talk to Kirsty Young on the radio).

“They are big fans of yours too (another giggle).”