Real life

Melissa Kite: a crazy woman is living inside my head.

Is this what they mean by change of life empowerment?

27 September 2014

9:00 AM

27 September 2014

9:00 AM

A crazy woman is living inside my head. It’s not just the normal crazy woman who camps out there from time to time and argues about parking tickets. It’s a new crazy woman who thinks she can avoid parking tickets by fighting men in the street. Physically, with her bare hands. Is this what they mean by ‘empowerment’?

You will feel wonderfully empowered, they keep telling me. They being women who have been through the change of life before me. Well, all I can say is, if I go on getting any more empowered I am going to wind up in jail.

In my latest adventure, I picked a fight with two burly cab drivers who were blocking the road outside my house. And just to be clear, I haven’t been taking any kind of testosterone supplement, which is apparently an option. Personally, I can’t see how it can be at all legal to give an aggression-related hormone to a woman who is already turning into an ape, but there we are.

Readers who have very kindly written to me with suggestions of how I might navigate my way around this awkward juncture have suggested many different cocktails, plant and artificial, and I have taken note of them all. But the one thing I’m pretty sure I don’t need is something to pump me up. And when you hear about this I’m sure you will agree with me.


I was sitting in the back of the slowest cab in the world, which was attempting to drive me from the Sky studios in Isleworth to my home in Balham via, for some reason, Sheen. Now, of course, if the driver had asked me I would have told him to avoid the A205. I would have said, ‘That way madness lies.’ But he didn’t. And by the time I looked up from my iPhone and realised we had been meandering through that lovely suburb and were now making a stately lack of progress through Putney it was too late.

‘What are you coming this way for?’ I asked, consulting my watch and realising I had only half an hour until it was time to move my car. Yes, I’m still refusing to buy a £300 permit to park outside my house and moving the Volvo every morning to a nearby street in Streatham. What can I say? It works for me. I will do almost anything to experience the smug satisfaction of knowing I am doing Lambeth Council out of £300.

But the down side is, if I forget to move it before the control hours begin I’m pretty screwed. The men in motorbikes swoop at10 a.m. sharp. It was now 9.30 a.m., my car was outside my house and I was on the A205.

‘Is very good machine,’ said the driver. ‘Is latest TomTom.’ There wasn’t time to argue. Well, there was. There was half an hour to argue. The blasted satnav was forecasting arrival at 10.01 and the motorbikes were going to swoop a minute earlier.

So after we got through the Wandsworth one-way system I started directing the driver to take cut-throughs. We hit Balham with ten minutes to go and I started to get palpitations, imagining the men in black on motorbikes lying in wait. As we turned into the street before mine, we had one minute to go.

It was like an episode of NCIS where they defuse the bomb with only seconds left on the timer. I was sweating (well, obviously, no change there) and urging the driver on. We turned into my street with 30 seconds to go and …disaster. We came up sharp behind two minicabs, parked exactly side by side in the road, blocking it completely, while their drivers had a chat.

My driver beeped his horn but they wouldn’t move. He beeped again. One of them stuck a finger up through the window. My man shook his head and started to turn the car. ‘No!’ I said. ‘We haven’t got time to go round.’ I could get out and run but it was a long street. And I was in fiendish stilettos. To my astonishment, I found myself getting calmly out of the car and marching towards the minicabs. ‘Hey you!’ Strange voice. Don’t know whose it was. Both drivers looked round and shrugged as if to say, ‘What you gonna do about it?’

And then I pretty much changed into the Incredible Hulk. They froze. I didn’t even swear. Much. I just told them they needed to move with so much conviction — I’m fairly sure there were swirly flames in my eyes — that they did move. And as the obstacles in front of me just melted away, it did occur to me that in some ways this mid-life crisis isn’t altogether a completely bad thing.

Got something to add? Join the discussion and comment below.

You might disagree with half of it, but you’ll enjoy reading all of it. Try your first 10 weeks for just $10


Show comments
  • Liz

    Sounds entirely sane to me.

    • Gwangi

      Speaks the mental manhater crazy woman!

      • Liz

        Says the deranged misogynist with a teeny tiny brain. At least.

        • Gwangi

          Nope, it is YOU who are the misogynist – like all manhating feminists. Because you infantilise women and project your precious victimhood status onto them – you do NOT treat them as equal to men, or needing to have the same level of responsibility, legal and otherwise. Most women agree with me, not you, feminut.

          You really have no idea how most women hate feminists like you, do you? How about reading the NUMBER 1 women’s paper The Daily Mail to find out, sister. Most women really don’t want to live in Sapphic communes hating men and hugging muff-munching mad menopausal saddos like you.

          (and btw men have on average bigger brains than women; there are twice as many men with above average IQ than women; and 95% of those of the top 10% IQ are male. FACTS, dear twisted sister loopy loo feminut, FACTS).

  • John Lea

    “I will do almost anything to experience the smug satisfaction of knowing I am doing Lambeth Council out of £300.”

    Brilliant. I have a similar nose-cutting, face-spiting attitude to my own council, who now shamelessly charge an extra £20 to collect larger household refuse items, despite the already colossal council tax bill we pay, which is meant to cover – in fact only really does cover – refuse collection. Over the past few months – on Sunday mornings, usually -I’ve hauled TVs, bits of fencing and coffee tables to their premises and dumped them outside the main door. ‘Public sector wasters’, I mutter under my breath, ‘screw the lot of you and your twenty quid’. Yes, the process is inconvenient and tiring, but always leaves me with a warm glow inside. Do try it.

    • AtMyDeskToday

      Satisfaction guaranteed. However, assuming you might have used your real name as your nom de plume, they are probably reading this and thinking… that’s the guy we’ve been looking for. Is that a knock at the door?

      • John Lea

        Cheers, but I doubt very much they read the online Spectator blogs. More likely to scan The Guardian, or Socialist Worker.

    • Teacher

      Mine charge thirty quid a year for a formerly free green bin collection. They don’t collect in the cooler months and when they do deign to pick up the green waste they only do it once a fortnight, neither of which they spelt out when they were after my cash.

      • Roger Hudson

        Do you live in a flat? Is the ‘green’ bin all the recyleables?
        A compost heap and an incinerator reduce my waste to next to nothing. Only the plastics are a problem.

        • Teacher

          I do not live in a flat.

  • Teacher

    Good for you. They deserve it. I had a go at my local PCC for introducing an entirely useless, ugly, flashing 30MPH sign to my beautiful village. The speeders ignore it and the only people who take any notice of it are those who drive faster to make it flash. Meantime, it squats menacingly announcing the encroaching urbanisation of everything rural and lovely. I am in my fifties and, having retired early, have time, opportunity and malice enough to bother the botherers on behalf of the rest of humanity.

    • John Lea

      More power to your elbow! I have a similar philosophy – bombard these lefty council idiots with an endless stream of emails and letters, and demand that they explain themselves. It can be quite therapeutic, and very often their response is so pompous and free of logic, it can make one chuckle.

  • Gwangi

    Count yourself lucky – if you were a man you would’ve been punched or nutted by now. Because you’re a woman, any man who even ARGUES with you is liable to be arrested for harassment, assault or whatever fake crime the pc plods are using to boost their arrest stats now.
    How about a campaign by feminists for GENDER EQUALITY in the law and the criminal justice system eh sisters?

    • Liz

      Oh another idiotic wanker who thinks equality for women is being hit by men.

      • Gwangi

        Oh dear, more false accusations (which sort of suggest the same false accusations can and do happen with the R word eh?)
        I am responding to an article where a woman says it is OK for her to abuse and hit men. I make the point that if a man did that he’d be arrested.
        Now, I know you are special needs, Liz, love, and need your medication – but how about asking nurse for an extra dose? You may be having an episode. On the other hand, you’re probably this stark raving bonkers all the time. HYPOCRITE CRAZY WOMAN!

  • mandelson

    Not a good idea to try that in London – just a matter of time before you meet reality.

  • trace9

    Thanks for the tip..

Close