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Laura Craik on the dubious joy of baseball caps, police on the dance floor and how the angst isn’t over for schoolchildren

Now that I’ve bought and eaten every crisp variant, artisan chocolate bar and obscure, overpriced cheese that London’s delis have to offer, I’ve moved on to a new phase: the purchase of ridiculous clothing. On the plus side, at least this consumerism is calorie-free. On the minus side, I don’t know why I’m bothering to buy clothes for a body that’s the heftiest it has ever been.

Although that’s not strictly true. In the mirror, it doesn’t look any different: it’s the scales that tell another story. Maybe the 7lb weight gain is a tumour. If you haven’t spent March convinced you’re going to finally come out of lockdown and be diagnosed with a terminal illness, can you even be said to have lived through a global pandemic at all?

Browsing the internet for new acquisitions, I did what any fat, bored, paranoid person would do and bought a baseball cap, on the basis that whatever else is going on with my body, surely my head can’t have put on weight. It won’t have escaped your notice that baseball caps are the new trainers.

For a legion of middle-aged Londoners, they’re also the new facepalm. You’re not really supposed to buy your first baseball cap at my age, and yet there I was, 15 tabs open at once, agonising between a Stussy (classic), a Prada (also classic, but without the lame ‘I’m so street’ connotations), a Sporty & Rich (ironic), a Noah (niche), a Nike (normcore), a Yankees (Gigi Hadid) and a second-hand Polo Ralph Lauren from ebay (Eighties Princess Di).

“I don’t know why I’m bothering to buy clothes for
a body that’s the heftiest it has ever been”

In the end, poor, blameless Christopher Kane will be saddened to know I plumped for his black More Joy baseball cap, because we all need more joy in our lives and because channelling 30 Rock’s Frank Rossitano is never not a good idea. Well. I have to say my new baseball cap is a game-changer.

It keeps the rain off my face when I run, hides my greasy hair when I can’t be arsed washing it and if I pull the brim down far enough, it even allows me to blank everyone I hate (‘sorry — didn’t see you’). I can’t believe I waited until I was 93 to buy one.

Peak performance: 30 Rock’s Frank Rossitano

Disco detectives

You’ve finally made it to a club. Your roots are done, your stimulant of choice is working and the DJ’s just dropped Frankie Knuckles. After 18 months of dancing to shitty speakers in your kitchen, nothing can bring you down. Wait. Who’s the bloke in the bad shirt lurking in the corner?

Why, it’s PC Groove, 2021’s incarnation of PC Plod, sent by the Government to watch over your safety. Where to begin with the flaws in this new initiative? Maybe with the fact that it doesn’t address the issues that put women in danger in the first place?

School’s out… or is it in?

Coronoia (n): the terror that, just as your kid has finally made it through the school gates, they will be sent home again because someone in their class or bubble has tested positive for Covid. The stress is real.

While it’s every colour of amazing that secondary schools have the resources to send kids home with a bagful of testing kits (during her first week back my daughter was tested at school: now she does it at home, although it’s voluntary), you can’t help but worry about when their luck will run out, and what another period of incarceration will do to their psyche. One friend’s 12-year-old was back at his desk for a grand total of 24 hours before a classmate tested positive, and all 30 pupils were sent back home to isolate for 10 days. Necessary, yes, but God it’s hard.


From X Factor rejects to activists, their Twitter account is fire.


Useful for counting calories, unless your girlfriend notices you burned 500 at 2am and realises you’re cheating — as happened to one bloke.