Hot at 100

Last week London’s Selfridges played host to an Intelligence² debate concerning the possibility of looking attractive in old age, yes even at one hundred!

There’s a broad perception that female beauty and glamour have a sell-by date, I can’t imagine why – but does that have to be the case?

In a world where anything can happen, anywhere, and anyone can watch there should be room for everyone.  If you’ve got the time, inclination and money you can choose Botox, liposuction, plastic surgery, dermal fillers et al to hold back the effects of time on your body, but if you just can’t be bothered, why should you?  One of the most beautiful faces I have seen is of an old woman with a serene smile on her very wrinkled face; the wrinkles, so fine, detailed and lace-like, were permanent evidence of a life lived well and happily. What could be nicer?

However I think that if you are doing all that hard and painful work for yourself, that’s fine, but if you want to be the object of admiring gazes then please don’t be fooled.  Young men and old men alike will always choose to see a beautiful young woman reflected in their gaze and not a good-for-her-age granny.


My idea of real beauty.


A Writer’s Bottom

It must happen to anyone who sits in an office chair for long periods of time.

Or is it just my ageing bottom that complains if it has to take my weight for hours on end?

Whilst I write, research or socialise, the time I sit there is regulated by my back-side; a tyrant bum that forces me up and out.

If I am absorbed with something I’ll lie on the bed (luckily I work from home) with the laptop on my knees, but my typing speed is much slower this way.  If it’s a nice day I’ll don my helmet and take to my bike, where, with no pen in hand, inspiration is sure to flourish; memorising a nice phrase or a plot progression, I rush back and take up position once again.  Can we get to the bottom of this?  Is it

just me or is there such a thing as a writer’s bottom?


Women’s Work

Women’s work is a term used particularly in the West to indicate work that is believed to be exclusively the domain of women and associates particular jobs with women. It is particularly used with regard to work that a mother or wife will perform within a family and household.
The term may be pejorative, when applied to men performing roles which are largely designated for women.
The term “women’s work” may indicate a role with children as defined by nature in that only women are biologically capable of performing them: pregnancy, childbirth, and breastfeeding.
It may also refer to professions that involve these functions: midwife and wet nurse. “Women’s work” may also refer to roles in raising children particularly within the home: nappy changing and related hygiene, toilet training, bathing, clothing, feeding, monitoring, and education.
It may also refer to professions that include these functions such as that of teacher (up to the age of puberty); nurse, governess, nanny, care worker and au pair.
“Women’s work” may also refer to roles related to housekeeping such as: cooking, sewing, ironing, and cleaning. It may also refer to professions that include these functions such as maid and cook.
Though much of “women’s work” is indoors, some is outdoors such as: fetching water, grocery shopping or food foraging, and gardening.
When they leave the domestic environment “women’s work” has usually been involved with the low-status microprocesses of textiles production (Spinning the yarns, weaving the yarns, sewing the material and selling the clothes); secretarial work (typing, shorthand, telephonists, accounts, post office); the production of miniature components (micro-chips, valves, cogs, wheels); women were supposed to be the insignificant and inconspicuous, invisible and unconnected element, kept apart by demands of home, family and husbands, isolated in this way they couldn’t organise themselves into communities, unions or pressure groups after the fashion of men.
Middle-class jobs like teaching and nursing were “women’s work” but working under the guidance of  patriarchal hierarchies like doctors, headmasters and managers.
The guerrillas in their midst were missed, ignored or overlooked, those apparently well-behaved creatures who spent their time making lists, detailing procedures, typing, sorting, coding, folding, switching, transmitting, receiving, wrapping, packaging, licking the envelopes were thinking all along.