Why I was too busy to make one f**king phone call, by Dominic Raab

From the office of Dominic Raab, foreign secretary for the time being.

Should I have made one quick phone call which might have helped translators evacuate Afghanistan? We’ll never know. But let me explain why I was too snowed under to do it.

First of all, making a phone call isn’t as simple as pressing some buttons and saying words into a mouthpiece. You’ve got to think about what you’re going to say, psych yourself up, and if you’re on a mobile you’ve got to find some good reception. No easy feat, I’ll think you’ll agree.

Critics will say it would have taken two minutes to pick up the blower and bark some instructions, but there simply wasn’t room in my packed itinerary of waking up late, strolling along the beach, and topping up my suntan.

Also I was in a holiday mindset, which would have impaired my judgement. There’s a real chance I might have phoned up the Foreign Office and mistaken them for the room service of the Cretan five-star resort I was staying at.

Could you imagine if I’d rung them and asked for another boiled lobster to be brought out to me as I dipped my toes into the cool, refreshing waters of the Mediterranean? They’d probably think it was coded permission to launch nukes. So if anything it’s fortunate I did absolutely f**king nothing.

Look, if I’d done one iota of work on my holiday then it would have set a precedent. Do you want to be on your boss’s beck and call while you’re trying to kick back in your shitty holiday cottage? Didn’t think so. So stop complaining.

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'Did I lock the door?' and five other things to be paranoid about all day

LIFE is a never-ending trauma of worry and paranoia. Here are some things that will eat away at you all day long. Enjoy thinking about them.

Your friend’s kid’s name

A chance meeting with a friend on the street should be a happy occasion. If only you were certain you’d called their little girl the right name. But all your friends started families at the same time. Was it Milly, Molly or Maisie? Wait – no, wrong friend. That was definitely Ella, Ava, Ada, Ida, Eve or Neve.

Did I lock the front door?

This fear normally strikes when you’re not yet at your destination but too far from home to go back and check. In reality you’ve definitely locked it. And you don’t have anything worth stealing anyway.

Did I pick my nose during the Zoom meeting?

With 18 months of Zooming under our belts, you’d be forgiven for getting a bit relaxed. You’re pretty sure you absent-mindedly picked your nose then ate it. In front of a dozen colleagues. Did that actually happen? Karen from HR looked disgusted, but then she always looks like that.

Last night’s work drinks

The morning after work drinks can be a psychological rollercoaster. Especially if you got a tiny little bit absolutely hammered. There are vague memories of someone getting the MD in a headlock and saying he was ‘Alright for a boring, bald bastard’. Is your P45 on its way?

Have I left the oven on?

This one always strikes at the worst possible time. Like, during your outbound flight for a two-week holiday in Florida. You didn’t leave the hob on, of course. It’s just your brain’s way of trying to ruin your fun by making you ride Space Mountain while thinking incessantly about the charred, smoking remains of your home.

Does my breath smell?

Maybe it does, maybe it doesn’t. Even if you were gobbling Greek salad, garlic prawns and stilton last night. Just buy some chewing gum and stop being a paranoid bastard.