Dear Janice,

My husband and I have been invited for Christmas dinner to his friend’s house.

Both are great company, so initially we were really excited.

But, we have since discovered that his girlfriend is a truly awful cook.

Her food is inedible, and we don’t know how we will get through three courses without being rude (Or ill).

Following the invitation, we have been to their house a few times for drinks. Each time she has dished up some petty dire offerings.

She gave us pizza which tasted dreadful because she forgot to take the plastic off it until we smelt burning halfway through cooking. She served up pakora which was so black we didn’t recognise what it was. She made loads and insisted we ‘dive in’, so I had to stuff burnt pakora into my handbag so as not to offend her.

Now we can only imagine how indigestible and disgusting our Christmas dinner is likely to be.

We have suggested going out, but they say it’s too expensive and insist we join them.

We don’t know how to survive this culinary disaster without offending anyone. Jess.

Dear Jess,

Do they have a large dog? This could be the answer to your prayers.

This situation sounds hilarious but a couple of hours chewing on unpalatable food will be torture.

Suggest they swap and have it at yours because your mum/dad will be nipping in, or you need to drop off food for an elderly neighbour.

Or try and persuade them that it’s only fair to share the cooking. You cook the turkey and a few other bits and that way you won’t starve.

Or offer to split a takeaway which will save everyone the hard work of cooking and doing piles of pots, and means you will all have more time to relax, play daft games, and drink.

However, if she insists on playing the hostess then it looks like you may need to endure your very own Festive Bush Tucker Trial!

Sorry, but I don’t have any other ideas other than taking a large Tupperware dish in a bag to hide food in, feigning an upset stomach, or suffering agonising mouth ulcers.

Just make sure you have a hearty breakfast! Enjoy!

Dear Janice,

I was very drunk and asked a girl in my local pub to spend Hogmanay with me. (I have a spare ticket). But when I checked out her social media profile, I don’t fancy her one bit.

I am working offshore until the Bells but she is texting me telling me how excited she is.

How can I get out of this without upsetting her as I’m sure we’ll bump into each other again? FD.

Dear FD,

Oh, the demon drink has a lot to answer for.

I don’t normally condone telling porkies but I see no other way of avoiding hurting this poor girl.

Tell her you are now working offshore until January. Stay out of the pub for a while. Stay off social media ……… and drink less.

Dear Janice,

Yet again I am single at Christmas and feel really sorry for myself. Everywhere I go I see happy couples holding hands, having fun, and snuggling up together.

And then there is me.

I promised myself that this year would be different. But it isn’t.

And everything looks to be the same next year and the year after that – just me at Christmas with no significant other.

I don’t usually feel so down, but I am sad to say that I am and wish the Festive period was over and done with.

I don’t expect an answer. I just wanted someone to rant to.


Dear MM.

I am sorry you feel this way.

What you see around you is how you perceive it to be, but truth versus reality has a very fine line.

Agreed, it can seem as though there are happy couples everywhere because people have mastered the art of masking unhappiness, especially at this time of year.

Some maintain a façade until the festivities are over so as not to spoilt anyone’s potentially joyous time.

We watch endless lovely-dovey cheesy Christmas movies which are no more than fairy tales. In a certain frame of mind, these movies are uplifting and heart-warming, but for others they can make us feel like we are the only single sad person on the planet.

The best way to get over these feelings is by keeping busy. Get out and about with people who are fun to be with and can help uplift your mood.

There are more singles clubs now than ever, so search for what’s going on in your area. Don’t be shy, remember everyone there is single too.

You, like many, are focusing heavily on this time of year which is making you feel the way you do, but trust me, there are many people who would love the solidarity and tranquillity you have. You have convinced yourself that you are destined to be on your own, but you can’t predict who you will meet in the future, and worrying about your future will only cause you endless anxiety. So live for the here and now. Take stock of the good things you have in your life, and start spending your time in the company of people who make you smile. Good luck.