Women: A A Gill is one of my favourite columnists. Writing in The Times yesterday on what he'd learnt about women, he cited the following:-
- There's a right and a wrong way to fold socks
- When buying clothes, you should go for a size smaller than they are, as they're always going to take them back anyway
- If you're asked "Have you noticed anything different about me?", you'll never get the answer right even with 10 guesses.
- Never leave a roll of gaffer tape on the passenger seat of your car on the first date
- Flowers are a thoughtful gift but a plant pot isn't
- Paying for a mani-pedi is thoughtful but buying her a pair of nail-clippers isn't.
- Working for a woman is less fraught, less fractious, more cooperative and generally kinder, more forgiving and less competitive than working for a man.
- Women find it much easier to give compliments than men.
Gill also makes the point that the irony of the women's movement is that it has benefitted men more than than it has women. Little boys now grow up in inclusive, sympathetic families that don't demand a lot of Kiplinesque manning up and emotionally stifling, competitive bollocks from them. Girls still have to navigate a society that expects contradictory things and offers equivocal support. Perhaps things will have improved by the time my new granddaughter is a teenager.
Journalists: One of these, James Delingpole, has defended himself against the criticisms he's garnered for snitching about David Cameron smoking pot at Oxford. Was this naive, irresponsible and impulsive of me, he asks. And answers: Well, of course. That's why I chose to be a journalist rather than, say, a diplomat or a senior civil servant or a lawyer. The whole point of being a hack is that you never grow up. You spend your whole life in a state of arrested adolescence, forever the cheeky fifth-former at the back of the bus, waving for attention, gurning for easy laughs and flicking two fingers at authority. Sounds about right to me. I knew early on I'd gone wrong in aiming to be a lawyer.
Driving in England: As ever, no irritations and only one minor incident, when a guy objected to my line on a roundabout. Inevitably, he was a white van driver. More to the point, he was probably right. The best news is that I didn't lose another 500-quid wing mirror in the narrow lane I had to negotiate at least 20 times, en route to my mother's flat.
France: I gratuitously slighted the French yesterday but this was before I read that, if you choose English as your preference on the web page of the national railway, you'll be charged an awful lot more than if you'd chosen French. The fault was laid by SNCF at the door of that well-known hacker, Mr T Hitch. Bien sûr.
Finally . . . Seasickness: Looking for some tablets on Saturday, my eyes fell on a pair of wristbands which allegedly prevent or cure the condition via acupuncture pressure on the relevant spot. As there were (coincidentally?) no pills on the shelf, I plumped for this and duly paid the heavy price premium. Et voilà, no seasickness. But, then, the sea was once again as placid as a millpond and it might just be they were a waste of money. This time, anyway. The good thing is you don't have to swallow them before re-using them.
Note: Sorry this is late today. I couldn't get wi-fi on the boat, though several other people could. I blame it on the boogie.