Better Belt Up Boy

13th November 2017

Dear Octavia

I know that you are an agony aunt for old wrinkly people over the age of 30 but I am doing a project at school about geriatric life expectancy so I thought you'd be the best person to ask because you are so ancient. In fact, it's amazing you're still alive because you are nearly 100.

Shouldn't you be dead by now?

Belton Upton

Dear Belton Upstart... sorry, Upton

Listen here, you obnoxious little whippersnapper, didn't your mother ever tell you never to refer to a lady's age? I strongly object to your use of the word 'geriatric' and the implication that I fall into that category.

For your information, sonny, I may be a bit older than you but that doesn't mean to say I'm past it. On the contrary, I have many times been complimented on the quality of my complexion which has been likened to fine crocodile skin, and many of my numerous admirers have compared the texture of my wig to the thick silken tresses of a 20-year-old woman (which indeed they probably are).

So as to whether or not I should be dead by now, you should not assume that you yourself are immortal just because you are still wet behind the ears. A cheeky little boy with a big mouth and rather too much to say for himself may meet his maker sooner than he thinks if an irate 'geriatric' should find out where he lives and come and wring his neck.

Do you have a problem?

Do you need advice?

Octavia has a slight medical problem for which she has to imbibe copious amounts of wine throughout the day. She has lived life to the full and at 96 years of age is convinced that her vast life experience qualifies her to offer other people her own brand of worldly advice.

Click here to contact 
Octavia Now

A Quick Fix

23rd December 2017

Dear Octavia

I really hope you can help me. The other day I set off for work as usual, leaving my husband at home watching TV as usual - he was made redundant two months ago - but, my car broke down on the way to the office for no apparent reason, and because the miserly bugger would not pay for AA or RAC breakdown service, I had to walk all the way home as my mobile battery was flat. And then, when I got home and went upstairs, I saw my husband with the next-door neighbour’s 16-year-old daughter in bed and clearly having sex.

I am 33 and my husband is 36, and we have been married for 11 years. When I confronted him, he admitted he had been sleeping with her for the previous 10 months. During a very frank discussion when I suggested we should go to marriage guidance, he just refused.

I am now a total wreck and desperately need your advice to sort my problem out.

Minnie Carr

Dear Minnie

I am Octavia's next-door neighbour. I have been her gentleman companion off and on for many long years and I have intimate knowledge of her inside out. Sorry to say the lady herself is currently indisposed having suffered one of her turns while she and I were enjoying a tipple together. As your problem is urgent and an area upon which I am particularly knowledgeable (they don't call me Motoring Mitch for nothing), I am taking the liberty of responding to you on her behalf as she is likely to be out for the count for the next 12 hours at least.

When a car stalls after driving it for a few miles, the first thing to do is ascertain if you have sufficient fuel. If the fuel gauge is showing way above the minimum level, do check that there is no debris in the fuel line, especially between the fuel pump and the fuel injection pump. If all seems okay in this respect, you will need to check that the ECU has not developed a fault. This can be quite a common problem as water and oil ingress into the wiring loom can actually affect the electronics in the circuitry. If you are sure that all is well, then, if I were you, I would suspect there is a little water in the fuel, so take this matter up with the fuel station where you last filled up. I think that is where your problem lies.

Tyrone Mitchelin 

Three peas in a Pod

20th December 2017

Dear Agatha or whatever you call yourself 

I have two rotten mutts (cats) who are the most ungrateful delinquent undeserving brats on the planet.  I  brought the black male into France from the United Kingdom at great expense and trouble to myself some years ago expecting some kind of gratitude and loyalty in return, as cats are meant to give, aren't they?  The other younger one appeared in my garden several years ago, having been residing in a tree outside my kitchen.  She was little more than a kitten, abandoned, terrified, starving, dirty, tick ridden, etc.  Since then they have been cosseted, spoiled, doted on, only to return my affections by adopting the most appalling behaviours and attitudes. 

They are given various premium foods each day, the most part of which they leave, and consequently it is thrown away each day.  They fight with each other in the house which results in chasing, scuttling, jumping on the furniture (including the worktops in the kitchen), breaking, scratching and scattering stuff as they go.

They rarely go outside in the cold, but when they do they leave dirty paw and skid marks all over my cars and tread leaves and grime on my clean lino in the kitchen.  They piddle in the log basket or my large pot plant if they can get away with it. They pass wind when it suits them, even when I am in the middle of a meal.  They are provided with soft clean blankets and warm baskets for which they show scorn and contempt.  Although they approach me when I am seated, it's only to use me as a springboard to get somewhere that pleases them better, usually the top of my china cabinet.  They are indifferent to me.  How can this be?  They are not fulfilling their contractual obligations to me; no way.

Exasperated, Haute Vienne

Dear Sucker or whatever you call yourself,

In your ultimate paragraph you state that these pets are much loved and you cannot live without them.  I find this baffling as everything up until that point in your letter suggests that these revolting creatures make your life a misery.

In an effort to unravel the issues, therefore, I have endeavoured to analyse the situation scientifically in the following table using the information that you yourself have supplied.




They look cute when they areasleep

As you can see, the only positive quality you attribute to your 'brats' is the fact that they are cute when they are asleep.  To state that you love them, therefore, is totally illogical and suggests some lack of intellectual capacity on your prat… sorry, part, as they are clearly unlovable, and the fact that you can't get my name right adds to my conviction that you are probably as thick as two short planks.

However, it's not your fault that you don't have the wit that you were born with (if indeed you were born with any), and if you can't get your head around my inescapable logic and you continue to maintain the assertion that you 'love' these horrid creatures, I can only assume that there must be some redeeming feature about them that leads you to that conclusion.

I myself keep cats because their characters and behaviours coincide exactly with my own and I share a deep affinity with them that I could never share with a human being.  In short, we understand each other.  I would presume to suggest that you and your cats are more alike than you care to admit.

Don't Lose Heart

3rd November 2017

Dear Octavia

My best friend is gorgeous looking and I am mousy and ordinary. When we walk down the street she gets loads of wolf whistles from the boys and I might as well be invisible. We have grown up together and always got on really well, but now I feel embarrassed and humiliated every time I go out with her.

If you were me, what would you do?

Jemima Pipsqueak

Dear Miss Pipsqueak

We have at our disposal today a huge array of beauty aids, techniques and prostheses, capable of transforming the appearance of the less comely amongst us in ways unimaginable just a few decades ago, and quite mind-boggling results can be achieved.

Apart from the obvious things like dyeing your hair or getting a wig, it is possible these days to have plastic surgery on pretty much any part of the body from a mere tweaking to a full reconstruction.

As for skin problems, I personally have found tattoos to be very effective in covering up blemishes and pockmarks, and these days it is acceptable, even fashionable, to display them anywhere on the body, even in the most intimate of places.

I know these things can be expensive, but you can cut costs on things like having your teeth fixed.  This is really not necessary because if you keep your mouth closed all the time men will absolutely love it.

Another cheap but effective technique is to avoid standing next to your friend as this will accentuate your unattractiveness. Instead, surround yourself with shorter, uglier people than yourself. In this way you will stand out as being the best of a bad bunch.

So don't lose heart, Miss Pipsqueak, there are very few completely hopeless cases. I myself am living proof of this.

Kinky Leanings

1st December 2017

Dear Octavia

I am sure you can assist me on this delicate problem so bear with me.

My husband, Ben, on our anniversary and our respective birthdays (and those of our seven kids) is always asking me to do it 'doggie style'.  Now I'm no prude, but at the young age of 68 I am not quite as agile as I once was.  What with both hips being recently replaced with plastic ones and my knees being rather bony, this can be a painfui exercise for me, even with a shag pile carpet.

I don't want to disappoint my lovely man but what can I say to him?  Suggesting we take it a bit easier these days doesn't seem to work, so to assist in cooling his ardour I now ensure that when I put on my undies or stockings he is downstairs somewhere so that he doesn't get a glimpse of my naked bottom.

Eileen Dover (Mrs.)

How sad, Eileen, that at a mere 68 years of age your body is in such an advanced stage of deterioration that you are unable to enjoy your wonderful husband Ben Dover's lustful leanings. I've got at least 20 years on you and none of this would pose a problem for me.  Indeed, I would consider the discomfort well worth it.  In fact, I often find that a bit of pain can actually add to the thrill.

However, if you feel you really can't manage it, you have a perfect opportunity with Christmas coming up to slip a little filler into Ben's stocking.  Why not treat him to a life-sized blow-up rubber doll?  These products come in a variety of shapes, colours and sizes, and are capable of being moulded into an endless range of permutations to satisfy every man's kinky desire.

If you were to opt for mail order, the item would come in a compressed, flat package with a pump for rapid aeration in an emergency.

I must warn you that these dolls represent perfect women in the eyes of most men as they are compliant, uncomplaining, cheap, and they can have as many as they like.  In addition, they can be easily deflated and stashed away in a cupboard when not in use. Alternatively, a favourite doll could be left up all the time as I'd wager it would be in constant use.  In the latter case your husband might have to pump it up from time to time to prevent sagging.

Just make sure that you have thought things through carefully before you make the irrevocable step of giving Ben one as once he has experienced the joy of ownership, you will only see him when he gets hungry.  He will cease to have eyes for you and you are likely to become surplus to requirements.

Zits A Shame

30th November 2017

Dear Octavia

I am 15 years old and small for my age.  To make things worse I have terrible spots all over my face which my mum says are called acne.  All the other kids make fun of me and call me names like Pizza Face, Shitty Zitty and Spotted Dick.  Have you got any suggestions?

Richard Whiteheadz

Dear Dick, so sorry to hear about your acne.

Adolescence is indeed a difficult time but be thankful that statistics show that you are likely to grow out of it soon.  Have a thought for others like myself who have suffered all their lives with abscesses, boils and carbuncles not just on the face, but all over the body!

One of my earliest memories is of my beloved mother (now departed) calling me names such as Zit Mug, Pustule Features and Spotty Botty, and within the last week, whilst in the midst of a romantic interlude, a boyfriend (now ex) came up with the charming little endearment 'Pimple Bum' for the first and last time.

Although unkind words such as these have the power to cut to the quick if you let them, try to rise above it as I always do and recite the following rhyme to yourself.

'Sticks and Stones May Break My Bones But Words Can Never Hurt Me.'  

If that doesn't work for you, I can only suggest that you grow a long fringe, wear a false beard if you can't yet grow your own, skip school and avoid going out of the house wherever possible.

Rising Above It All

16th November 2017

Dear Octavia

I am a very tall woman, almost seven feet in height. Both my parents were six-and-a-half-footers so it was inevitable that I would follow suit.

I have been very successful in my career and from a young age I quickly rose up through the ranks, making it to the top of my profession.  I am, indeed, a High Court Judge, now on the verge of retirement. 

This ability to look down on the rest of mortality has instilled in me a sense of superiority, omnipotence over ordinary humankind.  I walk into a room and the conversation stops. I open my mouth to speak and people hang on every word.  The world watches me wherever I go. 

Despite these advantages, my love life has been an unmitigated disaster. Most men prefer smaller, more petite women so my opportunities to find love are somewhat limited.  I have been out with the odd male of the species from time to time, but the relationship, if you can call it that, has never lasted for more than a day or two. They generally see me as some sort of trophy, a curiosity to show off.  I have even been asked out a few times as a result of a dare between buddies so that they can have a good laugh at my expense.  As you can imagine, this is very hurtful.  Even High Court judges have feelings.

In actual fact, shorter men do nothing for me.  It's just that there are so very few in the taller-than-me category. Indeed, I have never met one.  How can I find a decent man who I can look up to and with whom I can spend my twilight years?

The Hon. Mrs. Justice Lofthouse

Dear Lady Lofty

I don't fancy your chances, love. However, I have done some research and come across one society that may be able to offer a glimmer of hope.  It's called FREAKS, short for the Federation of Retired Elephantine Altitudinous and Kinky Singletons, and it provides an online dating service for unfortunate people in a similar situation to yourself.

However, I must warn you not to hold out too much hope because at the last count, the total number of registrations on the FREAKS website was only three, two of whom were listed as 'female' and the other one 'not gender-specific'.

Best of luck.

All In A Good Cause

15th November 2017

Good evening, Octavia.

I'm rather hoping that your splendiferous blog site may be able to assist in the endeavours of someone like me who is seeking to raise just £65,000 for a charity expedition to the Andes in South America.  All proceeds, less of course my expenses, would go to the up and coming charity which I alone have set up - Ladies in Need of Loving Exceptional Understanding Men, or LINOLEUM for short.

This would not only pay for my flight from London to Rio de Janeiro (together with my man friend who is a great photographer), but also the very necessary leased, air-conditioned Range Rover to get us to the base of the first mountain. Hotel costs will be at a minimum as my companion and I will only require in the region of 45 nights. To keep costs down to an absolute minimum, we intend to share just one bedroom.  Obviously we will also need to eat.

So here's hoping that your wonderful readers will see fit to credit my De Vere bank account with any sum they feel they can.  The sort code is 01-01-99 and the account number is (Swiss Account) 456123789001.

Yours most sincerely

Teresa Wareness

Octavia Says:

Alas, madam, I don't fancy your chances.  A cause in aid of 'ladies', worthy though it is, cannot compete with the preposterous over-abundance of infant and animal fundraising scams currently in existence solely designed to fleece the proletariat. In order to get the plebs to part with their pennies you need to put the word 'children', 'cat' or 'dog' in the title of your charity.

I speak from personal experience.  The finances of my own charitable venture, SHAGPILES (Sad Hairy-Arsed Gits Poverty In Little Evidence Society), have finally hit rock bottom.  In fact, they have been hovering on the brink of doom for some time now and never really had far to tumble. In retrospect, I suspect that some people might have been put off by the word 'hairy'. 

My own Swiss bank account today lies comatose with funds contained therein amounting to a mere £2.37, despite numerous efforts to promote the above worthy cause in every free paper or online platform in existence.

For this reason, I am about to register three new fundraising schemes entitled:

  1. FLEECE, Family Living Ever Easy Children's Endeavour

  2. PINCH, Poverty In Neutered Cat Homes

  3. FIDDLE, French Institution for Dead Dogs Living Eventually

To avoid further hardship, contributions to any of these admirable enterprises would be very much appreciated and should be deposited straight into my own De Vere account, sort code 01-01-99, account number 456123789002 as a matter of urgency.

Simply Irresistible

12th November 2017

Dear Octavia

My problem is an addiction to chocolate.  I simply cannot resist it.  For some people it's coffee first thing in the morning, but for me I can't function until I've had my first chocolate fix of the day, a full-sized family bar of Cadbury's Fruit and Nut.  The effect lasts for an hour or so before I find myself heading robot-like towards the hoard of Wispas and Chomps in my tool shed, or the Curly Wurlys and such like tucked beneath the spare wheel in the car.

It's not just the garden.  I have stashes of this divine substance hidden all over the property, inside and out, housed in ingenious locations. I have even cunningly adapted the mattress of the marital bed by removing some of the stuffing and manufacturing a secret compartment which can accommodate up to 20 small night nibbles.  Thus if I wake up in the night shaking with insatiable desire, which I invariably do, I simply have to reach out and there they are, the little beauties, just sitting there patiently waiting for me to fall avariciously upon them.

My wife, who weighs only six and a half stone, has absolutely no idea. She can't understand why my weight has spiralled out of control and all my teeth are rotting despite the fact that the only meals she ever serves up consist of a range of light salads in minute portions, devoid of dressing, and has never once in our entire marriage countenanced the idea of having any sugar whatsoever in the house as she thinks it is carcinogenic and the food of the devil.

I now weigh in excess of 40 stone and it is becoming increasingly difficult for me to move around. My car, a 1973 Fiat 500L, creaks ominously when I get in and the suspension is shot. I worry that soon I will not be mobile enough to access all my supplies, let alone get to the shops to replenish stocks.  I am staring into an abyss.  What on earth can I do?

Tubs Bottomley

Octavia Says:

Dear Tubs

Yes, indeed.  I see what you mean. This can't go on.

Your letter seems to imply that you think that it is your chocolate addiction which is the problem. As an outsider looking in, it's clear to me that it is your wife who is the big black bluebottle in the ointment here. All you need to do is remove her from the equation and your life will be transformed... separation, divorce, manslaughter... whatever.

The only reason you feel obliged to hoard is because of her. There would be no need for all this furtive creeping around, or in fact any other manner of self-transportation at all, if she were simply 'not around'.  You could remain motionless on the couch all day vegetating to your heart's content. Your weight would cease to be an issue. And as for teeth, who needs 'em? Don't need 'em to suck on a Maltezer or two. Let 'em succumb to gravity and think no more of it.

As for the car, get rid of that too. You could probably get a few bob for it as some sucker could be duped into thinking of it as a classic vehicle (even though it's too small to meaningfully entertain a friend in), and you could spend the proceeds from that on a hired lackey to do the shopping and bring in the goodies.

Voila!  Problem solved.

A Good Old Hoot

11th November 2017


I have been involved in the theatre world (amateur dramatics) for many years and am on the horns of a dilemma. I have made a breakthrough and am now, at last, chosen to take the leading role in a new musical based upon the life of Salome.

This is the problem. My director requires me to strip off for the role. Completely. But should I do it at my age? I am not the spring chicken I was at almost 80.

I do not wish to relinquish the honour of appearing in this epic to a younger actress.

What is your advice?

Pamela Bassett-Jenkinson

PS I DO suffer with a hip, but can get around if the weather is not inclement.

Octavia Says:

My Dear Pamela

I don't really understand your dilemma. If I were to find myself in a similar position it would come down to two questions.

  1. Is the pay good enough?

  2. Is the place centrally heated?

For me to bare all and risk pneumonia the answer to the first question would have to be 'yes', and for the second it could be 'yes' or 'no' depending on the temperatures for the time of year... and, of course, back to question 1, exactly how good the pay actually was.

You have to ask yourself why they would want a decrepit old bat with a dicky hip to appear in the nuddy. It sounds to me like they want a jolly good laugh at your expense, and why not? Laughing is good for the health as it releases endorphins or something in the brain. What an incredible act of philanthropy it would be on your part because I'm sure you'd have the whole audience rolling in their seats. Who knows how many pimples, boils and in-growing toenails you'd cure in just one evening's performance?

In fact, I have a dubious-looking rash on my nether regions at this very moment so if you go ahead with it, let me know the details, as a good old hoot is just what I need.

Bloody Men!

28th October 2017

Hi Octavia.

My problem is, well, men. I've never been married but am looking forward to the day that I do . However, I am now 33 years old and the old biological clock is ticking.

When I find myself attracted to a man and have dinner, etc., and then, well, take him back to my place if you know what I mean, I then find out that he is already hitched/married with kids and I end up being so bitter and angry with the toerag that I can't control myself and physically attack him.

Fortunately, the police have only been involved once and I was given a suspended sentence.

How might I avoid getting involved with these horrid men?

Betty Asawife

Octavia Says:

Dear Betty,

You need to get this fixation with marriage out of your head. It really isn't all it's cracked up to be. In my long life, I was married only once, and once was quite enough, thank you very much! The marriage lasted all of 24 hours; long enough for one insane night of lust, filth and general sexual deviance, you know the sort of thing, the result of which was my one and only legitimate daughter, Sylvia.

As in your unfortunate case, Miss Asawife, it soon transpired that the love of my life already 'ad a wife, and as soon as I found out, I brained him senseless and dumped the body in the pit that had very conveniently been dug to house the septic tank that was due to be installed in the garden the following day .

The tank was duly interred on top of the body, completely concealing the grizzly evidence, and no one missed the old git because he had been an ageing tramp of no fixed abode, so I escaped prosecution. Even in the unlikely event of the body ever resurfacing in the future, no one will be able to identify it because it's completely toothless.

Despite this unpleasant episode, I have several times since been tempted to remarry, but something has always stopped me at the last moment. There are currently four bodies in my garden. One under the fosse septique, as described above, one under the patio, one at the bottom of the fish pond weighted down with a slab of concrete, and the latest one rotting in acid in the water butt. No one has any inkling that they are there.

The moral of this story is that if you are moved to violence, make sure you go the whole hog. Knock the bugger's lights out completely and get rid of the evidence pronto. If you let the sod live, the law will come rat-tat-a-tatting on your door, sure as fate.

She's Driving Me Batty

29th November 2017

Dear Octavia

My wife and I are both in our sixties and were only recently married, both of us having suffered failed marriages. Neither of us wishes to repeat the mistakes that we made in our previous relationships. In fact, we are very well matched in temperament and so far not so much as a cross word has passed between us.

However, I am finding myself under increasing strain as my wife is a compulsive knitter.  Every evening, I am subjected to the incessant click-clack of her knitting needles and this noise is getting on my nerves so much now that I really feel I can't stand much more of it.  However, I am reluctant to say anything to her as I do not want to upset her but it has got to the point where I do not want to sit in the same room as her anymore.

Aran Cable

Octavia Says:

Dear Aran,

Well, it's dead easy. Hide her knitting needles, duh!

Stay Chilled

22nd October 2017

A Kind Offer

25th October 2017

Why Would She Do That?

23rd October 2017

A Little Problem

23rd October 2017

Could You Be My Mother?

22nd October 2017

Wild Oat

25th October 2017

Double Booking

5th November 2017

Bloody Men

28th October 2017

A Good Old Hoot

11th November 2017

You Just Can't Get The Staff

27th October 2017

Simply Irresistible

12th November 2017

Better Belt Up Boy

13th November 2017

 © 2017 A. E. Johnson

Please note that Octavia's Perspective is not a serious advice service. Octavia is an imaginary character and any 'advice' is offered tongue in cheek and in the spirit of humour. If this kind of humour is not for you and you would like a more sensible answer to a serious question, go to Sylvia's Perception. If you are suffering from depression or have another serious problem, please seek advice from suitably-qualified professionals elsewhere. For further information, a list of helplines can be found on the Counselling In France website, or at Anglo Info.

Please also note that by making a submission to Octavia you are granting permission for it to be published on this site. Responses to submissions will be be published on the site and not sent to individuals.