Monday, 31 October 2011


Since becoming pregnant, I have taken up a new career as a sloth. I move slowly, expand rapidly and spend approximately twenty-two hours a day asleep. (Well, I would, if I had my way.) My widening arse is permanently attached to the sofa, and I have to be practically peeled out of my pyjamas when the need to go outside becomes urgent (i.e., when I am late for work).

The consequence of being glued to the sofa is an exponential increase in TV watching. With a wedge of Edam in one hand and half a pizza in the other, I alternately goggle and doze through Come Dine With Me, The Origins of Us, Supernanny US, Snog Marry Avoid and endless repeats of Jeeves and Wooster. And naturally, many of these choice televisual morsels come with Adverts, many of which are repeated over and over and over again until I am maddened to foam-mouthed rage.

So, in the spirit of sharing my pain with you, dear reader, here are five adverts that are driving me buggering mad at the moment:

5. Perle du Lait, and other yoghurty rubbish
It is yoghurt. Just yoghurt. Slightly soured milk with a flavouring mixed in. It is not a sex aid. It will not make you substantially more beautiful. It is not a secret to share with your friends. If you did, they would think you were a bit demented. Getting Martine McCutcheon to sell it doesn't make it any better than basically, Munch Bunch for grown-ups. Don't try and sell me yoghurt as a treat. Have a Ben & Jerry's Cookie Dough and shut the fuck up.

4. Uniform Dating
Now, I'm not against internet dating. Some people find it a valuable way to meet a partner, getting the chance to try out interaction before having to meet people in person. Which is valuable, and believe me, I have no intention of knocking it. But dating someone purely because they're a police officer, or a nurse? You are basically wearing a big internet label that says "SHALLOW AS A PUDDLE IN A DROUGHT." Why anyone in a uniform would sign up to be loved for the clothes they wear is beyond me, although I'm betting that traffic wardens probably don't get much loving on there.

3. Mazuma Mobile
Be persuaded to sell your barely-bought smartphone by cockneys shouting euphemisms for money until you want to put your foot through the plasma screen. Only worth it if your phone is a very new model indeed, otherwise you'll be lucky to get the price of a Wham bar.

2. Anything with car insurance
I don't drive. (Well, I'm just learning now, but I have to fit my lessons in around the nervous breakdown I give my instructor every time.) I have never driven. And yet, every time I turn the television on, I'm inundated by yelling moustachios, talking meerkats cynically marketed to the lolcat generation and people singing to the tune of YMCA. I have never used a price comparison website. I have no issues with third party indemnity. Why would I? I've never driven. And yet, due to exposure, I could probably get car insurance in a hurry quicker than I could whip up a treacle sponge. It's frigging ridiculous.

1. Kindle
Remarkable less for the product than for the hugely ire-inspiring advert, the Kindle ad features a smug gadget-twat slagging off a woman for carrying an oversized handbag. She retaliates by listing all the millions of books, magazines etc she can fit in it and eventually agrees that it would be oh so much better to get a Kindle. I have no issue with Kindles. I do have an issue with know-it-all wankers telling me I'm a Luddite for carrying a modest paperback in my smallish bag. If he comes near me, I give you fair warning that I will snap his stupid Kindle into and use it to sever every vein in his testicles.

You have been warned.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

bump in the night

Change can be scary. There's no two ways about that. For male teenagers, change can be so frightening that they forbear even to change their mucky knock-off Calvin Klein pants for days (or weeks) on end. For me, an alleged grown-up, change is less scary than that, but still, y'know, pretty unnerving. I don't like moving house. Come to that, I don't like moving desks. So it's kind of odd that I find myself undergoing the biggest change a person can go through...
...I'm growing another head in me.
Now, the boy and I have been hoping this would happen for a while, and so it's not a total surprise that I am, in fact, pregnant. Even so, it is part amazing, part, wildly exciting and part rather scary.
I'm not scared by raising a child. Rather, I'm scared by what's happening to my wardrobe. I'm now fifteen weeks pregnant and already have a sizeable baby bump. I went into maternity clothes very early, and this is my primary irritation. Maternity clothes, unless you're able to pay Isabella Oliver prices (ie, sewn from cloth-of-gold by nuns), are almost universally ugly. Leggings feature prominently, as do horizontally striped tops - surely the last combination of garments to put on anyone who is expanding rapidly. The clothes veer between "plain and utilitarian" or "hysterically fashion-conscious". The selection for alt or goth mums consists of ugly slogan t-shirts with coy, bump-related slogans. I'm 29. My days of suiting slogan t-shirts went out years ago. In blue jeans (the only alternative to leggings) and whatever black tops I can get my hands on, my much-loved alt identity is subsumed.
Why, though? Why aren't clothes made to flatter and hug the beauty of the pregnant shape? To play up the enhanced boob and play down the bloated cankle? Instead, we are offered clothes that tent, not skim; played down versions of the latest fashions which frequently uglify the body enceinte; and slogan t-shirts and pyjamas which feel kind of undignified when you're nearly thirty, and in any case, forget that the primary aim of clothes is for the wearer to look deathlessly chic, rather than to advertise that she will be giving birth within the sixmonth.
If I had the chance to design my own maternity range, it would be full of v-neck tops, long fishtail skirts and not a single pair of fuck-ugly leggings in sight. Anyone who wants to employ me to do this, I'm available now. Go on, you'd be doing a favour for pregnant women everywhere.