The Year of Living Dangerously

Sign in the paper shop window:


. . .

Fun With Amazon Rankings

DR G:  Oh my god. You're NUMBER ONE!

SHAUNA:  What?!

DR G:  Number one in…. Books most likely to be pulped by April!

SHAUNA:  Books most likely to prop up wonky bookshelves!

DR G:  Books most likely to be used as emergency loo paper!

Etc etc etc.

I've weaned myself off the lunchtime pilgrimage to the wee local WH Smith, as it's just too soul-destroying seeing the same four copies there day after day and fighting the urge to scream to all the shoppers, "SOMEBODY. PLEASE!"

. . .

Call it OCD or call it being an idiot, but for the past few years I've been enslaved to a Heading Off To Work ritual of 1) kissing Dr G three times then 2) grabbing a tissue from the box on the shelf in the hallway and putting it in my right pocket.

Once you start these things it is hard to stop. I wasn't even conscious of the routine until one day I turned back halfway down the road because I'd forgotten The Tissue, convinced that without it I'd be mown down by a garbage truck or Gareth would leave his lunchtime beans on the stove and perish in flames. It's not even that dramatic, really. It's just that – my days have been okay while ever I've had three kisses and a tissue… so why mess with the formula?

We've been painting the (evil, bastard, neverending) hallway lately, so The Shelf has been moved to the living room. Today I was running late and huffed in the manner of a martyred corporate slave, I just don't have TIME to take another three steps to the living room! So I left without the tissue.

The old heart was clattering as I slinked down the street, wondering which speeding car would leap off the road and into my arms. I regarded every tree suspiciously, waiting for the falling branch. But then I arrived safely at work and I felt quite exhilarated and devil-may-care. I might try it again tomorrow.

About Shauna Reid

Ahoy there! I’m Shauna, an author, copywriter and content mentor. I love telling stories about life and helping others to tell theirs.

Find out more about me and how we can work together – I’m now booking for January 2022.

19 thoughts on “The Year of Living Dangerously

  1. I don’t think you should take TOO many risks. Maybe you could try four kisses and the tissue in the left pocket? I’ve led a cautious life and it’s got me to 57 without incident. (Goodness, doesn’t that sound boring?)

  2. Goodness, you certainly live on the edge, venturing out sans tissue. Next you’ll be sporting holey underwear.

    As for the bookshop shelf…don’t you know EVERYBODY buys their books online?
    Well, I mostly do.
    (like, Manly Angus and Robertson doesn’t stock, say, Susan Sontag’s On Photography, for instance. funny bout that.)

  3. Silly question: How do you know they’re the SAME four copies? πŸ˜‰

    That either questions your deviousness or gives cause for hope πŸ™‚

    I’m sure you’re doing well elsewhere…and it could be worse – you could be painting ceilings!

    Scott F πŸ™‚

    PS: Hope you didn’t think my PDFs were spam.

  4. Well Shauna, while you’re standing there anxiously willing those books to be snatched up, other books are flying off the shelves in other countries and let’s not forget Amazon sales.

    Be happy my friend. You are an ORTHA. You have a book that is being sold world wide. You have an audience. You are alive, happy and healthy and you have the fabulous Dr G by your side. You have the love of your family and friends. What else is there?

    Maybe another book? My life as a Scottish Lass and other debacles! πŸ˜‰

  5. I wish I had your courage! I’ve been wearing the same pair of lucky pants (the british kind…) on every flight I’ve taken in the last 7 or 8 years, and I travel ALOT. They used to be quite cute. Even though I’m a scientist, I’m not sure I’m willing to risk it without them. Lets hope they (and I) make it another 50 or 60 years!

    btw, I am loving the book so far! I bought a copy from Amazon UK for me and a friend this xmas.

  6. Anon/NJ dear, I am HAPPY! I’m just taking the mick out of me and my anxious book stalking!

    And lucky PANTS, Kathleen! Wow. That’s a tough one to be locked into, you don’t want to mess around with flying πŸ™‚ Glad to hear you’re enjoying the book, woohoo! πŸ™‚

    Hiya Scott, what PDF’s are you referring to?

  7. You ventured out sans Tissue?! Are you a mental?!!

    I’m getting cold sweats just thinking about it…

    And yes, book was bought online and I’m loving.. the photos! Great to put faces to names, hello Rhi! hello Mothership!!

  8. I sent through PDFs of your DG You Magazine piece to your pussycat * *shauny etc etc email for posterity πŸ™‚

  9. You’d be amazed how many people come into bookshops to browse, look at the price, go away, browse elsewhere in another book location and then buy the book at the cheapest price. WH Smith has Β£2 off, Waterstone’s shops on 3 for 2, Amazon you save Β£3.20, has that at the same price with free delivery… worst deal? WH Smith! I suggest hanging around a wee independent bookshop and telling them you love them. Yes, not many sales perhaps, but thank God they are still there and they will swoop upon a local author and give you love.

  10. We painted our (very short) hallway last week, I was thinking of your hatred of “decorating” and thinking “what’s the problem? this is easy and fun!” Then I stepped off the stepladder for the last time – I was FINISHED – and stood on the edge of the paint can, spilling most of a gallon of milk chocolate paint onto the carpet. Of course the can tipped away from the drop cloth.

    Pride comes before a fall. Or stepping on a can of paint.

  11. Oh noooooooooooo RG, you poor bastard! all over the carpet!? is it totally wrecked?

    bless you gordon! πŸ™‚

    scotty, i’ve been wondering why i’ve got no pussycat email for months, methinks it’s broken!

    donalda – come to think of it i don’t think i’ve ever seen anyone buy any books in this WH Smith… just the Sun πŸ™‚

  12. I was about halfway through your book and wondering which door it could hold open when I was done, when I started crying! You poked me with your words, you devil. And even though I knew some of the story, I was still on tenterhooks to see how it would all come out. :p

  13. Luckily the carpet recovered remarkably well, after an hour or so of rinsing the paint out with a teeny bissel carpet shampoo-er. I am going to buy a bigger drop cloth before we tackle the living room.

    Matt’s favourite bit is that I stepped into the paint can within a minute of telling him to be careful as he walked by me.

  14. I bought it! And the funny thing was, even though I’ve lurked on this site off and on since 2004, I didn’t realise Dietgirl was you at first. I just spotted the book in Smiths at the Gyle last week, thought oh that looks good, bought it and – holy hell, it’s her from the internet!

    I LOVED the book. I’m lucky in that I wasn’t brought up with any toxic relationship with food, and genetically I’m not predisposed to carrying much surplus weight. Which means weight has never been an issue of mine. (Hey, I got plenty other ones though, so don’t hate me!) But the book, well, for the first time in my entire life I think I’ve got an understanding of what it must feel like so awful about everything due to your weight. It’s certainly made me look at overweight people with a lot more understanding; in fact, it was a complete revelation.

    So, looks like your book is great for not only inspiring overweight people and motivating them to lose weight, but for people like me who had formerly been very harsh and judgemental of them. Double result! πŸ™‚

  15. In London on Friday morning it was lashing with rain. I was rushing through the City on the way to a meeting and I wasn’t paying attention being lost and very wet. I crossed a little street without looking and was almost mown down by a motorbike. It was so close I could feel the heat of the engine on my legs. Now the thing is I have to worry about which part of my morning routine that I forgot to do and make bloody sure I never omit to do it again.

    Maybe you should go into that wee branch of WH Smiths and offer to do a book signing?

  16. Bwahaha…I am known to have rather OCD behaviour but it’s so hilarious when things “move” or you can’t keep doing something. My partner loves challenging me πŸ™‚

  17. Got the book last week, started to read it last night and I couldn’t put it down, it’s almost like reading about myself….

    I just love the little DG logo on the bottom right hand corner of the page that get’s thinner as you read on! lol


  18. I’ve peeked at your blog on and off for the past few years and came back for a visit a couple of weeks ago. Saw you mention the book and decided to go out and buy it a few days later (it was the last copy left in the main WH Smith down in Brighton). I felt motivated by your weight-loss experiences, and appreciated reading about a fellow Aussie’s perceptions of moving to the UK. I really admire your strength and wit. Thank you!

  19. Shauna!

    I haven’t read you blog in a few months, but I got a work email the other day (I work at Borders bookstore in Sydney) and it had a little blurb about your book and I got really excited. CONGRATULATIONS. I know you don’t know me, but it warms my little heart to read about your life and know that somebody else who went to uni in Bathurst and struggled with weight problems and all that can end up living in Scotland and publishing a book and being generally glamorous and famous (but with so much more class than, say, Victoria Beckham). HOORAY. You give you hope to we plebs, slaving away in the muck.

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