Sunday, 29 September 2013

Bare your Bush

Is the bush back? Recently I've been reading a LOT about Gwyneth Paltrow's pubic hair: I seem to remember somewhere around 2001 her saying a brazilian wax changed her life, but recently on the Ellen show she described her lady garden as 'rocking a 70s vibe.'  Meanwhile writer Caitlin Moran has come out and said that everyone should have a 'great big hairy muff' and be proud of it. 
Now, I've got say, there is nothing groovy about being in the local swimming baths and your son telling you "Mummy, you have a spider working it's way down your thigh" - when it aint a spider... However, there is also nothing good about the pressure to be bald as a coot down there... Isn't that some dreadful porn fetish; somewhat infantilising women? Who wants to look like the last plucked turkey in Tescos on Xmas eve? Now, I'm fair haired, not that hairy - but when I had my first brazilian in 2001  it was more painful than both my C sections put together. The woman used pouring wax which she then ripped off me in huge clumps, as searing pain shot across my groin. At the end she held up a pretty little hand mirror for me to inspect my lady - not so much garden - desert. Then came the joy of ingrowing hairs, (OUCH!) and - she forgot to mention this - peeing like a watering can. Pubic hair is supposed to act as a funnel, and without it - well, you can imagine. (Sorry Matt Evans, TMI??)
Getting waxed is so intimate and embarrassing I have to talk through the whole thing. There is no dignity in slipping into surgical style knickers and then having someone bend your knees and fiddle with parts of you that rarely see daylight. I tend to rest a magazine on my stomach and babble about the article I'm reading, trying not to focus on what's going on down there. It aint as bad as my friend R, (who goes to Cheryl Cole's waxer apparently). R has to rest on ALL FOURS as she gets waxed from behind! THE HORROR. Why go through all this? To please a man? What if you leave him and get with someone who loves the full package? I read a story recently where some poor woman tried sticking false eyelashes on down there, in her quest to appease her new boyfriend - having had the whole area lazered off forever. Surely to god there must be nothing less sexy than post coital, her man wandering around covered in fluttery black lashes?? 
All this razoring off (itchy as hell in the grow back stage) or depilatory creams (smell BAD) or lasering (still grows back apparently) or waxing (ohh that STINGS) - in the quest for a full muff/porn star/hollywood/vajazzle/landing strip etc etc is frankly WRONG. I'm all with being tidy ladies, but at what cost? Financially and also personally. Can't we just all have the nether regions that we want - without feeling there is a WAY we should be?
Creative agency Mother London has launched Project Bush, where they hope to trigger "a modern day feminist debate through the lens of a Brazilian." They are taking feminism by the short and curlys and inviting women in London to get their lady gardens photographed in a custom made private 'bush booth' (isn't that name AMAZING?) on Thursday 3rd October, at their offices. Photos will be taken by top female photographer Alisa Conan and will be shown in an exhibition at a later date. If you are interested lovely readers, then check out Mother London's website or book a 15 minute slot anytime during the day or evening of the 3 October by emailing As they explain, "We're not pro-bush or anti-bush. We're pro-choice." 
I totally support this idea - but am aware that whilst some will find the idea of anonymously showing off their bits somewhat erotic or hilarious, others might be horrified by it. But what I think is fab about this whole getting it on the table idea - is the range of women's triangles that they will surely see. So it doesn't matter if you are a jurassic park of bushes, or totally smooth, or all the shapes and colours in between (or even sport a merkin). What matters is, you are celebrating what is yours - and your choice. Isn't it about time it was cool to have whatever type of beaver you fancy? Now, what am I doing on Thursday??

Wednesday, 25 September 2013

Confession: I hate summer.

Just as felt like it was safe to chuck my fitflops back into the wardrobe and haul on my hunter wellies, the bloody sun came out again.

WHAT IS WRONG WITH THE WEATHER? I mean come on, it is October next week - I need that cold crisp air, heavy with bonfire smoke, the sun shining only to warm the sky, on a clear blue Autumnal day. That back to school feeling. Except the kids have been back for over 3 weeks...  I need the shops to fill with Halloween tat, and for the temperature to dip enough for me to argue with husband that it is OK to turn on the gas fire that he says we 'may as well pour £10 notes on to it as it costs this much to run it.' He really has turned into Scrooge when it comes to all things gas bill...

I'm over this Indian summer. Maybe that is terribly un-British of me, to wish for colder, wintery-er (new word there) weather. I don't care - I think summer is over rated. There, I've said it.

What is so freakin' good about a sticky hot summer, when you aren't lying by a rippling infinity pool and you aren't drinking cocktails? Think on: you are holed up in a sweat box office, desperately hoping that the 'extra strength' deodorant that you bought will live up to its advert. Or you are crushed like a battery hen against some sweaty smelly man on the tube, as every other man glances at your wet cleavage reflected on the curved tube door windows. As your bosom heaves as you try to gather a morsel of air to breathe in the stagnant humid fetid tube air. Every journey becomes a bind - an epic desert cross, where you have to carry water, a change of clothing and make up supplies to get you from A to B. Because there is NO point in plastering on the slap before you head out - it will have melted off your face by the time you get to that hot date - like a victim from the House of Wax. (Good movie - honest).

Then there is ALL the pressure - to be slim, to have waxed all regions, to remember to apply fake tan (not when you're pissed so you look like marble cake legs) and all that exfoliating and toenail painting and finding a bra that works with a summer dress - it is all STRESSFUL.  Some women - the 6 foot flippy ponytail type with olive skin and a smattering of freckles, they DO summer well. California girls with their sunny sunny faces and figures. Us Brits, or lily white Irish - we do blotchy. We don't even tan after a month in Mexico. We just get weird heat rashes and red patches and the odd burnt nose that peels for eternity. Not a good look.

Plus - all those FEET on show! Now you can dress them up in a pretty sandal or two but at the end of the day - they are there, looking all crooked and dry and gnarled. Oh, just me then?

The heat makes everyone cranky and the only decent thing is being able to hide sneaky glances at hot boys (24 and up obviously) behind a pair of massive shades. No for me, Autumn is the best season. When bikini angst (because no sarong looks great - it just creams - I am hiding my large ass in this teeny bit of see through material. It is now hidden. NO babe, it isn't) has gone. When the sweatiness has subsided. When it is totally cool to wear old baggy jumpers and cashmere socks and great big stonking boots.  When lying in hot baths is important - with glass of red natch. When the dark nights march in and one doesn't feel the need to HAVE to be social. When it is ok to let your kids rot in front of the telly for a whole day. When Sunday roasts become a MUST. When mulled wine starts appearing in shops. When trick or treating comes upon us. When decent films and not blockbuster trash start hitting the flicks.

When we can all stop talking and obsessing about the weather and pretending to enjoy picnics. When we can lie in front of fires watching cracking Autumn telly and be the grouchy grumbling hibernating Brits that we love to be.

*finally takes a breath*

Saturday, 21 September 2013

Things I have learnt this week...

In no particular order:

No1. Maybe it isn't the best idea to sink a bottle and a half of red at a work do, and then go up to your boss and ask them quite earnestly who they would like to shag in the room? (*I must add, not in a flirtatious way, more in a 'let's gossip about hot boys' kind of way...). Maybe keep to small talk about the weather or bitching about fellow workers. MUCH better.

No. 2 Infer and Imply. (Thanks to Thea at work, I now am totally sure which one is which). In case you are wondering, you can imply something, but only I can infer this. Someone who infers that something is the case receives information and forms their own conclusions).

No. 3 Now, I am as honest as the day. This was proved to me this week, when I met a great writer who I'd never had the pleasure of actually working with, but he said he knew all about me, as 'I read your blog.' He described it as funny and honest, which made it all the more bearable that I was looking directly at someone who knows that I never get to change a tampax alone, while to me, they are a virtual stranger. But I'm ok with that, I am the Queen of the overshare. If you gonna blog about your life, then it should be of no surprise when folk think they know you. Talking about such intimacies is always an ice breaker anyway. Here's to oversharing.

No. 4 I learnt a valuable lesson this week when I decided to rid my life of those who aren't honest with me, who don't level with me. Because I'm a heart on my sleeve kinda girl, I say it like it is. You pretty much always know where you stand with me. Husband says he can tell IMMEDIATELY when I dislike someone. I thought only he had such telepathic powers, but it turns out no, I am just wildly obvious about how I feel, about EVERYTHING. Those that lie or can't just be straight with me, have to go. In most things I am shades of grey, all 'well I can see both sides, blah blah..' But on this one thing I am black and white. It has been a while since I have enforced this rule but this week, out it came. Through my foggy haze, I saw some light and clarity and frankly, it was a relief.

No. 5 It is ok to like Miley Cyrus's new song. Not for the video, which makes me worry for her mental health - as no one should be licking DIY tools - who knows where they've been. It is ok to like the song though. Isn't it?

No. 6 I am a great wing woman. Oh yes. After aforementioned bottle and a half of red I went into cupid mode and helped score a mate a date. Just call me Cilla. I warrant that if you need a date, all you need is me with you for an evening and a credit card for my bar tab. Hot date guaranteed. Most people are afraid to approach those they fancy for fear of making a twat of themselves. That is where I come in. I am not afraid of being that twat. After I've talked their ear off for twenty minutes anyone else looks positively sane in comparison. They will be so desperate to get away from 'the mad Irish blonde woman' that they will be relieved to talk to you. Then - date. Nailed on certainty. All for the price of a few old fashioneds. Who needs internet dating?

No. 7 The character that most resembles me is the drunken next door neighbour in the sweet little film The Way Way Back. A borderline alcoholic with a penchant for younger men, and an ability to say inappropriate things at all times... Horribly like looking in a mirror. The ghost of the future...

No. 8 Another thing NOT to do, is when a concerned colleague says in the pub,  'how are you getting home, I'm worried about you?' (as you try and focus on them but fail miserably), DO NOT grab the next man walking past - a total stranger - and cackle insanely, 'With him.' Thereby confusing the poor earnest fellow who then wonders why this drunken woman is manhandling him. You may make a hasty exit, but then your concerned friends have to chat to him for 20 minutes explaining your drunkenness, and it turns out this 'stranger' is in fact a colleague of sorts. Embarrassing, well, it would be if I vaguely remembered what he looks like...

No. 9 It is OK to like Miley's new song isn't it? Well ISN'T it???


Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Get set for winter....

I've committed the cardinal sin at home, one I am hoping that Husband can forgive (fingers crossed): I've put the heating on before October 1st.

I know, I know, I'm sorry, but it is fecking FREEZING and I am unwilling to try and move around our drafty Victorian house wearing blankets, three pairs of socks and a scarf. The heating switch has been flicked and will remain on the ' ON timer' button until March. Ok, July of next year.

To be honest, this is my favourite time of year: we can at last let out the stomachs we have been holding in since June, give up on pedicures and brutal waxing and instead haul out the baggy comfy jumpers and heavy leather boots. Brilliant.

The other thing we can do, apart from salivating over the latest offering on The Great British Bake Off (it is back - much joy!) is begin nesting. Once September's cooler temperatures have made themselves known, it is utterly justifiable to start splashing the cash on throws, cushions, soft lighting and any item that will make your home that bit cosier as winter descends.  So with that in mind, I thought I'd share a few of Autumn/Winter 2013 must-have nesting essentials:

No. 1 The rug The coolest shop I have recently found on line for all things housey is this one. Currently I have two durry rugs sewn together that I sourced from Denmark, as my lounge rug. I love them/it. Husband HATES them/it. May have something to do with the vivid pink colour thrashing through it. I have promised him that I will sort the rug situation, and while he claims 'we don't need a rug at all' - he is of Australian blood, and doesn't feel the force 5 gale blowing through the enormous gaps between our wooden floorboards. The man is never cold. I am permanently freezing. He is convinced I could feel a draft in a vacuumed room - I am merely convinced that we need a new rug, of course. A winter essential if ever there was one.

No. 2 The throw Where to begin? If I had my way, we'd have a different throw thing for every day of the week. Husband calls them 'blankets' and doesn't understand my need to drop £120 for a pure wool one from Heals, because 'I like the stitching.' I am sure that if he had his way, we'd all sit in bin bags, reminiscent of Bradley Cooper's jogging outfit in Silver Linings Playbook (which I might add Husband has seen 6 times, as his love for all things Jennifer Lawrence knows no bounds). So the throws I love are here, here and ohhhhh here. You can thank me later... I actually have coveted that Missoni throw for at least a year. *Sighs.*

No. 3 Lighting - indeed, fairy lights. Now, don't tell me that you think fairy lights are very 2001. They were. Are. BUT you just haven't taken a browse through these guys. Whatever the occasion - they have a decorative light for you. (Who knew that there are USB fairy lights, but indeed there are).  I found them when I was browsing for Halloween decs (what do you mean, it's too soon to be thinking about all Hallow's eve? I start thinking about it as soon as Sproglet returns to school - when I force the kid to invite all his buddies to a Halloween party so as I can trick or treat, with a load of hip-flask swilling Mothers - but that is another story).

Don't get me started on cushions and candles. That my friends, is an entire other blog post. But do not let you other halves put you off from your purchasing. Winter is coming people and we need to saddle up. All you need is the above items and a decent bourbon and you're set. And in case you're asking which Bourbon - it can only be Woodford Reserve. Blanket or not, it'll warm your cockles, that's for sure.  Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.......

Wednesday, 11 September 2013

New housemates

So I'm house sharing. Yeah, it kind of crept up on me, but here I am - just like in certain flat sharing days, living with folk I don't want to be with. Listening to their endless complaints, having to put up with their irritating habits and their bathroom hogging. How did this happen?

Oh yes. I had children.

If only I could just change a tampax in peace, life really would be ok. But even that small dignity has been stripped away from me, as my daughter AKA The Shadow - follows my every move. Does a two year old really need to know about periods at such a tender age? Well, seems she does now.

My son meanwhile - AKA The angel - has begun to be less angelic. He answers back. Demands later bed times. Refuses meals. (This one aint so new to be fair). Every time I sit down, it appears I have lost control of the TV to either some godawful Fifa (spelling?) soccer game on the X Box, or actual football is blaring away.

My make up bag is pillaged on a daily basis by my 2 year old, who it has to be said, doesn't appreciate the cost of a LancĂ´me mascara - but likes to use it to streak her hair a fetching black. Regularly I look for my phone only to discover that it has gone - and so have 30% of my cherished photos on it, and half my contacts. Yep 2 year old Sproglette thinks she is fucking David Bailey - with an I phone as her camera, and insists on taking daily pics of her ears, the sink, a wall, a stray cat she has invited in, etc.

What else? These 'housemates' also like to get up early. Like 6am. And just scream at the top of the stairs for no reason. Or have dreams where Aliens take me away (I freakin' wish) and so crawl into bed beside me of an evening. They then proceed to demand Oreos for breakfast and scatter raisins liberally around the wooden floors - because standing on a sticky squished raisin is my FAVOURITE thing. Nearly as much fun as standing on a small toy car that is usually placed helpfully by them, on the stairs. At night. In the dark.

They also like on occasion to (in no particular order): piss their pants in the middle of restaurants, crap in the bath, sing nursery rhymes until they're horse, squabble endlessly, repeat requests in a Goebbel's Nazi-esque repetitive fashion until you relent, break anything within a 100 metre radius, steal copper money from your bag, eat the end of the ice cream you had hidden at the back of the freezer and draw over important documents and walls because 'I wanted to.'

Gone are the days I wake of my own accord; gone is any privacy, gone is any time to read or think without someone asking for a drink, a wipe, chocolate or a new mother. Gone is the time I used to spend alone - including in the shower - the house guests LOVE chatting to me as I try to shampoo my hair and then ask questions about pubic hair, 'why is your tummy wobbly?' and 'what is that star on your hip Mummy?' 'An legacy of New Zealand, a tattooist call Phil on the hill and too much liquor, child.'

In short: I fantasise about leaving this house share and going to live with some Kiwis who want to smoke bongs all evening and make home made potcheen (poitin). To only have to cook single girls' soup (covent garden in case you ask) for dinner and watch whatever I freakin' want on tv. To shower alone, and to never have to justify why it aint so cool to eat crap American biscuits for breakfast. And to never stand on a fucking mashed raisin again.