Tag Archives: women


Due to the popularity of ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’, the sales of ‘loveballs’ (properly known as Ben Wa balls) has skyrocketed. Luckily, as a bright young thing with her fingers firmly on the pulse, I am totally aware of what Ben Wa balls are*.

As far as I can work out, Ben Wa balls are variously-sized, weighted balls which are inserted into the front bottom. This, according to Wikipedia has two benefits- it strengthens the vagina, which reduces incontinence and increases your propensity to orgasm. These, admittedly, are very nice benefits, but, personally, I think Wikipedia might have undersold these love balls. Only two benefits? From walking about with balls inside you all day long? Just off the top of my head I can think of many, many more:

1. Excessive weight loss due to day-long panicky sweating about said balls falling out of your front bottom.

2. Heightened awareness of sound, due to constant fear of balls clinking inside yourself and the subsequent horror of having to explain why your vagina is making clinking sounds. ‘Oh that? No, don’t fuss about that. I have simply inserted some metal balls into myself. Please enjoy the delicious pasta I have made.’

3. Wikipedia ends its entry on Ben Wa balls with a thrilling fact: the world champion for vagina strength can lift 35lbs. Great! Because what women all over the world need most is for another body part to be held up to an impossible ideal.

I could go on, but the effort of clenching my legs together while writing this has started to take its toll. ‘50 Shades of Grey’, for your continued and unrelenting ability to make women’s lives that little bit more difficult, I salute you. (Though from my chair, I’m scared to stand up).

*Understand how to use Google*

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No need to be naked

This morning, I had a meeting with Nike. Initially, I misread the email, so thought the meeting was from 8.30-10pm. i had been told I could bring a guest, and, unable to find anyone decent who wanted to be awake at such a hideously early hour, I invited my Mother.

As it turns out, it was less of a ‘meeting’, and more of a ‘Train to Run’ class, with an ‘Nike Master Trainer’. This was annoying for several reasons, the first being that I had to stop laughing at my Mother for turning up in running kit.

The class was a Women’s only training group.

I personally can think of few more competitive, judgemental situations a person can put themselves in. Luckily, I had brought my Mother. We had a perfectly splendid time, falling over in the balance drills, yelling in the strength portion, laughing while we failed to understand the partner training bit.

By the end of the hour, we had achieved the perfect ‘instantaneous-move-from-lounging-to-doing-the-proper-exercise-because-the-coach-was-approaching’ manoeuvre, and were feeling tremendously proud of ourselves.

‘Quick,’ I whispered to my Mother. ‘There’s going to be a rush on the showers.’ In a burst of speed unseen in the actual running class, we dashed from the studio to the changing rooms.

I grabbed my towel, my Mother grabbed someone else’s washbag, and we hopped into the showers. ‘This is not my washbag,’ My Mother called out to me. ‘I know,’ I replied, slathering myself with the fancy free shampoo attached to the wall. ‘I thought you were upgrading.’ Apparently she was not, so she hopped back out of the shower and returned with her own toiletries. (I personally feel that everyone uses far too many toiletries. There is only one thing you need in a shower. Shampoo. It is the all-purpose washer. Think of it as the ketchup of washing. It goes on everything).

Due to my Mother’s unusual approach to other people’s possessions, I had plenty of time, bored, fully-dressed, in the female changing room. Here are my observations:

1. No-one is able to look elegant when trying to remove their knickers whilst holding a towel around their waist. It is the most ungainly and attention-drawing position of all poses, despite the forced nonchalance of the performer’s face.

2. There are women who, if I looked like them naked, I would never ever bother to clothe myself, but instead occasionally, Anna Karenina like, drape the odd fur across my exquisite body if I felt chilly, yet are bizarrely shy in public changing rooms. (Naturally, as they hid in the corners and tried to change without an ounce of skin being on show, I sought to put them at ease by staring at them and smiling broadly).

3. I am all for body-confidence. However, there simply is no need to lovingly blow-dry one’s hair stark naked. it is almost impossible for the women who are sharing your mirror to apply their eye-liner in a straight line.

4. Not enough women, despite my continued, bullying efforts, are wearing matching underwear. I am considering spot checks on the tube in the morning. I am pretty sure Boris will back me.

5. My Mother takes forever to get showered and dressed. I am not sure if this is because she is tall, or because she is old. Either way, I had very much outstayed my ‘casual observer’ position by the time we left the changing room. I hope you all enjoy these insights, because I’m not sure I’ll be in a position to make any more anytime soon.


Gil took us through drills from Nike Training Club’s new running specific classes. These specialised drills will be available for all runners free through the Nike Training Club app and Live classes around the UK –

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Women go to the toilet together, and hate football

‘Ugh,’ My friend’s housemate said exasperatedly. ‘Can’t one of them just get a bloody goal?’

Her boyfriend, already cross at watching the England game with a bunch of girls, shot her a look of hatred. ‘I’m sorry,’ She said, unapologetically. ‘I don’t want to be stereotypical, but this match is bloody boring.’

It was a boring match (until the inevitable, and heartbreaking last 6 minutes), so I had plenty of time to think about stereotypes. People are unfairly biased against stereotypes. Personally, I love them. I use them in abundance, because they’re always* true, and free up my mind for other, much more important things, like whether salt and vinegar or cheese and onion is the best crisp flavour.

So, the next time you unfairly let your own prejudices stop you from making a stereotypical comment, remember this:

1. Women do prefer to go to the toilet together. This is mostly because the queues in women’s toilets are so enormous that we have to operate a ‘buddy system’ simply in order to survive the ordeal. Also, we like to gossip. And lipstick.

2. Foreigners are odd. I know this, because my therapist is one. Actually, it’s probably not fair to make sweeping, uncorroborated statements like that. Kiwis are odd.

3. Foxes are wily.

Now, with this one, I can’t claim a personal relationship, as with the Kiwis (yes, I know, I only know one, but how many are there, really? Even on their own island, they’re subservient to the local sheep), but yesterday I was eating a curry at my friend’s house, and a fox brazenly walked across her garden wall. ‘Well,’ I thought to myself. ‘That’s not very cunning at all, is it?’ It was only later that I noticed all the naan had gone. ‘Ah,’ I said happily. ‘The classic re-direction.’

4. The British are very polite, and love to queue. I was in the States recently, and driven nearly to distraction by their inability to follow the simple ‘stand on the right, walk on the left’ escalator rule. Obviously, I didn’t say anything. That would have been terribly rude. Also, I had to conserve my energy for pushing my way past the hordes of New Yorkers.

*factually inaccurate*

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What women want (according to the US)

HuffPost Women have created a slideshow, entitled: ‘What women want from a man’s apartment: the biggest turn-ons’.


They have asked their readers to contribute, and willingly, their readers have. (Actually, I have no idea if they contributed willingly or the entire slideshow was made under brutal office tyranny by the beleaguered intern, but I’m giving them the benefit of the doubt).

These, apparently, are the things women want to find in male apartments:

1. Photos of him and his family
I have no idea why. The only possible explanation is to check if his Father is bald, and see whether he is likely to age well. And possibly to reassure themselves that they are hotter than his Mother.

2. Good books (and a nice bookshelf)
Presumably in case he is dreadfully boring- in which case they can unobtrusively start reading one of his ‘good books’. I imagine the ‘nice bookself’ is a euphemistic way of saying ‘I don’t want large items of furniture falling on my head when I visit him’.

3. A Big Bed (Ie: Not a twin bed)
The caption under this photo reads, ‘His bed. If it’s too small, I can’t work with that.’ I see now that ‘bed’ is the HuffPost Women’s chosen term for ‘penis’. I am still somewhat mystified by ‘twin bed’, but hopefully someone will clear that up for me.

4. A subscription to ‘The New Yorker’
This is a pretty self-explanatory continuation of point (2). Although possibly with a more toilet-reading oriented slant.

5. A Nice coffee machine

Presumably so they can take it with them when the relationship heads south. Those things are expensive.

The slideshow continues (apparently for 23 more slides), but I think you’ve got the idea. American men are obviously insufferably dull. And often come with odd encumbrances, such as a ‘twin bed’.


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WIE and working for my Mother

I flew back from NY yesterday, which sounds terribly glamorous. Unfortunately I went straight from the airport to my Mother’s office, because in a moment of weakness (and poverty) I agreed to cover for her PA.

I arrived at my desk at 9.30am, to be greeted by a note from my Mother. ‘Welcome! Much work for you. Please do. Will be in at 11ish.’ I was not precisely sure what to do, so I pottered around the office showing everyone the excellent salt n pepper shakers I had purloined from Virgin Atlantic. 11am came and went, and I was still having a lovely time. At 11.45 my telephone rang imperiously. ‘Hello,’ My Mother shouted cheerily. ‘Please come up to my office. I have arrived.’

 (My Mother believes she is so sylph-like that it is imperative she announces her presence at every occasion, to save being over-looked. I would like to point out that my Mother is enormously tall, wears absurdly bright colours and shouts a lot. It would be easier to over-look a rat running across your face while you slept.

 The rat-thing has actually happened to my little sister, who prefers us not to bring it up. Naturally, I try to mention it as often as possible).

 ‘Hello Mother,’ I said politely as I entered her office. ‘Something has happened to your hair.’ ‘Oh darling,’ My Mother replied. ‘I have just been to see my hair chap. (My Mother’s life is littered with ‘chaps’, all of whom perform various tasks most normal people do for themselves). She proceeded to offload work onto me, metaphorically and physically (‘No darling, it really would be much easier if you took all of the files at once. Can you not pile them higher then just feel your way down the stairs?’).

I need a new job. Ideally, I need my Mother’s job, but she seems to be pretty firmly ensconced, so I’m looking elsewhere. In fact, tomorrow I will be looking all day, at the WIE symposium. (For those of you sadly out of the loop, this is the Women Inspiration and Enterprise symposium, taking place in celebration of International Women’s Day).

I expect the stellar line-up, who are there to ‘equip women with the tools and confidence to succeed’, and who include  Jo Malone, Kathy Lette and June Sarpong will be completely prepared to pass their impressive, well-paid jobs to me. In fact I notice that they will be launching the WIE Mentorship Scheme- I would be the perfect candidate for this. (I would like to run it, naturally).

For tickets: www.wienetwork.org. But don’t come if you want to steal my job.

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