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If your parents are rubbish enough to give you a crap name like Deirdre you can be sure as hell there’s no hope for you and not much for them either but it’s never been the least use telling them that since Mum only listens to what dead poets tell her and Dad only listens to what Mum tells him and so you’re stuck with it because Mum used to have a thing about this Irish poet called WB. Yeats who wrote about someone called Deirdre which only goes to show what a twat he must have been.

Mum’s moved on since then and now she wishes you were Beatrice as she’s got like some random crush on Dante since Dad took her on a coach trip to Italy even though she’s always tutt-tutting about that old lecher Silvio Bareyourbosom (whatever) who most likely can’t get it up anyway so what’s all the fuss about a pathetic geezer pretending he still can and now she’s always going off to her class at the adult education centre to learn the Italian for The Divine Comedy which isn’t like funny at all, but about hell so much like life in our house I’d say shit it turned out that Dante wrote in some weird medieval version which is enough to do her head in good and proper mind you Mum never lets it go it’s like there’s a never-ending supply of poets writing about their numpty mistresses so it’s a dead cert you’ll get called a whole pisspot of names in her head before you can get away from home for good and that’s got to be soon please God.

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Handling heroes: Learn from the Bard New series: An insider's view of publishing Written your book? We'll help you sell it! How to: • Write better features • Sell and re-sell your writing overseas • Create a screenplay from your novel Pen pushers: Ideas and exercises to inspire your writing Star interview: Scandalous historian Halle Rubenhold WIN! A 6-day Arvon writer's retreat worth £600

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