AS rites of passage go, here’s a list that may resonate. The Toronto-based feminist writer Anne Theriault has cited a slew of things that every woman should do by the age of 35.

Such as walking around the house saying, “Why is every single light on? Do I look like I’m made of money? Open a curtain for once, will you?”. Or wondering out loud why a room that she just tidied is messy again. As well as having developed what Theriault has dubbed “a library of sighs”.

It’s a decent start, but I’d venture it should also include owning a messy drawer filled with plastic food containers and mismatched lids. Ditto a big box of tangled cables that “may come in handy one day”.

Not to forget having a pathological hatred for “the big light” in the living room.

As in: “I didn’t spend hours painstakingly constructing a lighting concept involving multiple lamps, different-sized side tables and strategically positioned candles only for that blinding behemoth to be switched on. It’s like the Blackpool Illuminations in here. My eyes, MY EYES …”

Why stop there? By 45, an obsession for feeding the garden birds should be worn as a badge of honour. You will have accumulated a wardrobe full of fleeces but insist on wearing the same one at all times. Your eye rolls can convey 273 different emotions. Coupled with the library of sighs? Boom.

By 55, you should be able to bust out the big guns without flinching, stock phrases such as “I'm telling you this for your own good …” tripping effortlessly off the tongue. By 65, you will breezily refuse to dine anywhere that isn’t a garden centre or a carvery.

By 75, you will have honed the ability to voice a searing running commentary of every random thought that pops into your head, like shooing away “child doctors” in hospitals/GP surgeries and tutting loudly at anything not to your liking.

Ah, so many wonderful milestones to look forward to. I can’t wait.

Turn back time

IF there’s one thing I have realised from watching the comedy series Derry Girls, it’s how much I miss the 1990s. We all have our decade: that was mine. It was when I became a teenager, moved to the Big Smoke, went to university and *technically* became an adult.

Hearing a few soaring bars of the Cranberries – Linger, Dreams, Zombie – or Independent Love Song by Scarlet is akin to being teleported back in time. There I am, wearing a tartan mini-kilt, baby doll tee and Adidas shell-toe trainers swigging lemon Hooch in a student dive with sticky floors.

Yet, more than merely misty-eyed nostalgia, the hit Channel 4 show is a powerful reminder of how much those of us fortunate to pass through that decade have to be grateful for.

Gen X was the last to grow up in the relative sanctuary of an internet-free world. There weren’t people idly scrolling on their mobile phones at the dinner table. Or social media spats. Nor a hellmouth being ripped open by WhatsApp group chats.

When you wanted to share your thoughts urgently with another human not in your immediate vicinity, you had to use a landline (ideally after 6pm when calls were cheaper) or write them a letter and send it first class (hoping they weren’t a second class stamp skinflint).

Back then Duckface was a character in Four Weddings and a Funeral, not an exaggerated pout while taking filtered selfies for Instagram and Snapchat.

Granted, it wasn’t all peachy – I’m still rocking a wonky scar from a belly button piercing gone badly awry – but there’s so much the 1990s has given us: a killer soundtrack, adorable fashion vibes and a sense of self-worth that isn’t based on likes from strangers on the internet.

Top cat

POLITICS may be going to the dogs, yet there is some small comfort in knowing that behind the scenes at Whitehall, a dedicated cat contingent remains hard at work.

Well, most of them. Larry over at No. 10 Downing Street seems to do an awful lot of showboating. His nemesis Palmerston at the Foreign Office – with whom Larry had a very public spat in the past resulting in fur flying and a collar being ripped off – is by all accounts a better mouser.

The bold Palmerston is no stranger to controversial headlines either. He has been caught sneaking into No. 10 when the famous black door was left open and last year drew horrified gasps after he caught a duckling from nearby St James’s Park.

Then there’s Gladstone at the Treasury who, within 48 hours of arriving in 2016, recorded his first score in the mouse-catching stakes. Described as “a cold-blooded killer”, he has continued to rack up an impressive rodent elimination tally.

By comparison, Larry – despite his title as Chief Mouser to the Cabinet Office – took six months to catch a mouse. The brown and white tabby, who seems more fond of napping on antique furniture and enjoying impromptu photo ops with the press, can perhaps afford to feel he’s in with the bricks.

Already Larry has seen two Prime Ministers during his eight-year tenure at No. 10 and one might argue that it won’t be long until he sees a third.

Anyway, enough of Larry, Palmerston and Gladstone. Move over boys. Cabinet Office feline Evie – named after Dame Evelyn Sharp – has smashed her way through the glass cat flap in recent weeks.

Evie, who arrived in late 2016 with her son Ossie in tow, has been quietly working away in the background without the need for fanfare.

Earlier this month the Government Equalities Office moved to the Cabinet Office and Evie – Whitehall’s only female mouser – was there to graciously roll out the welcome mat while sporting a natty rainbow bow around her neck.

In these tumultuous and torrid times, Evie is the political heroine we all need.