How to Be a Failure (Part V)

V for vodka and vibrators, with a bonus naked picture.

Annie Trevaskis
5 min readApr 7


A handwritten list of things beginning with “v” including vegan visitors, vacuum cleaners, viruses (computer), vermin (mice), VIPs, voicemail, vehicles, vegetables and vintage goods.
Photo by author of some of my many V failures

WARNING: This starts with an update on a Failure that is NOT funny. But there is a bit of humour further down.

Value for money

I know you have probably clicked for the vibrator failure, but bear with me. It has been almost a full month since I published anything here on Medium, and so many of you have been kind enough to check in and ask if I am OK. I have decided to kill two birds with one stone and use this V episode to update you on why I have been so absent.

Feel free to just scroll down to the fun later, but if you want to know about my biggest failure to date, the one I am slap-bang in the middle of right now, then stick with me. It is all related to my failure to get Value for money.

I am not OK. I was sure the flat (US translation: apartment) we bought and moved into in November was worth every penny. It had this view, for goodness sake:

Photo of an arched window with a stunning view of the sea. In the foreground is a table with a bunch of pink tulips.
Photo by author.

I have never lived in a flat before and was looking forward to being part of a community and having neighbours.

Alas, it rapidly became clear that we had moved into a war zone, one where neighbours felt it was OK to sue each other.

I have spent the past six months trying to harmonise things and have failed. I went onto the Board of Directors of the Residents’ Association, and now the Board is being sued.

There is an Abraham Lincoln quote I like: “I don’t like that man, I must get to know him better.” I have got to know the most spiteful neighbour better, but it hasn’t helped. My efforts to listen, to get to know him, to try to fulfil his many demands have left me depleted and no closer to reaching any kind of compromise, let alone harmony.

So my husband, Roger, and I have decided the only sensible solution is to move. Again. The previous owner was not honest in the forms he had to fill out related to any potential disputes in the house. And he had the sense to move without leaving a forwarding…



Annie Trevaskis

Retired UK acupuncturist, autistic, curious seeker of truth and laughter. The older I get, the less I know. I write sporadically. She/her