Recipe for Heartbreak

(Apologies to any men reading this – you can always change the details to reverse the gender!) 

Serves One


  • 10 sheets of A4 paper (I find 10 works best, although some people need more.)
  • 1 pen – make sure the nib is sharp
  • Ink – blood usually works well
  • 8 ozs of anger
  • 4 ozs of hurt
  • 4 heaped tbsp of revenge
  • 1 litre of tears 

1.      List all the things he’s done to hurt you – you might like to have  some rough paper handy for this.

2.      Rank them in order of importance – eg, is the time he missed your mother’s birthday party more important than when he snogged your best friend?

3.      Select the worst 5 – five should be sufficient but taste the level of outrage in case you need to add more.

4.      Dip the pen in blood and begin Dear John. His name might not be John, but this sort of letter is usually more successful if you use the generic Dear John approach.

5.      Write the first sentence: You have hurt me more than I can tell you by … Finish the sentence with the worst sin he’s committed – He promised to take you to Venice but went on a stag weekend instead? Put that first. (This option is to allow for individual levels of hurt and misery.)

6.      Add 1 oz of hurt, 1 tbsp of revenge and 25 millilitres of tears. You might find the red ink will run at this stage, but don’t worry, as this will make the mixture richer.

7.      Repeat the above process several more times, making sure you knead your anger well between each stage.

8.      Combine any remaining anger, hurt and tears into a ball, roll it into a final venomous sentence and decorate the bottom of the last page with it. If you are stuck for ideas, check in your stock cupboard for any general insults: I hate you. I never want to see or hear from you again. You are an abject excuse for a man – any of these should do nicely.

9.      Fold the pages carefully. This bit can be tricky, but resist the urge to add love or kisses or any hint of doubt, as weakness at this stage will undermine all your previous efforts.

10.    Write his name and address on the envelope. Do this with a flourish. You need to convey your unadulterated joy that you are finally free of this lying toe-rag.

11.     Stick a stamp in the top right hand corner, secreting the smell of hydrogen sulphide beneath it.

12.    Walk rapidly to the post box. Do not be tempted to reread, wait till morning or any other delaying tactic. Shove your letter in the hole.

13.     Skip home. Pour a large glass of joy and relax.

This was written as part of a series of workshops run by Nine Arches Press – as was the nuns’ poem in my previous post. With thanks to Jane Commane and Matt Nunn.

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  1. ChelleY says:

    Brilliant! I love this post, made me grin and remember and frown in equal measures! And what perfect timing – you’ve released this, on leap year’s day! Mine would begin ‘Dear John, you wouldn’t propose and so you forced me to do it, therefore having to forego any realisation of my perfect fairytale proposal.’ A fabulous blog post Lindsay, thank you so much 🙂

  2. Lindsay says:

    Thank you – I’m glad you enjoyed the post. Must admit I had some fun writing it!
    Sorry to hear about your own lack of a fairytale proposal, but wonder how many of those there are.

  3. What an appropriate day to be posting this one, Lindsay! 🙂 Made me smile, somewhat wryly.

  4. Lindsay says:

    As I wrote on facebook, Polly, 29th Feb was traditionally the day for women to propose – okay if you’re loved-up, but what about if the reverse is true? But I think you’re right – the smile has to be somewhat wry!

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