Tuesday, 4 March 2014

COFFEE TO GO ... DO ONE

So I know it’s unreasonable, even sociopathic.  But as March 2014 is Caffeine Awareness Month, now seems like a really good time to share my feelings on the subject of ‘to-go-coffee’ culture, or more specifically, the people (by which I mean tosspots) who partake in it.  

I mean, what’s the deal with ‘to-go coffee’ anyway? Is anybody really so busy micro-managing the shit out of everybody else that they can’t SIT THE FUCK DOWN at the table like any other self-respecting human being? Huh? Or is rushing around the place clutching a signature Triple Grande Quad Shot Espresso Macchiato With Ten Extra Shots of Salted Caramel JIZZ Foam seen as proof of one's success? A way of communicating to others that you are too important, too indispensable, to sit still?

It’s not that I don’t appreciate the need for caffeine, of course.  It’s just that as with most things in life, there’s a time, and there’s a place.

Take the other day. There I was, strolling around the place with my three-year-old daughter, when I stepped into the path of a hurrying businessman who looked like Big out of Sex and The City (you know the type gals, likes to engage in hilarious willy-bashing contests with workplace rivals but is also sensitive and likes art, etc.) This ubersexual was taking his first power-gulp of a steaming hot 'coffee-to-go' (judging from the unfeasibly large head on it - it must have been one of those Trenta Ten Pumps Extra Hot Drizzle With Ten Inches of Extra Whip), when suddenly he had to manoeuvre out of my way. The coffee-to-go missed its target, scalding his cheek. 
"Awwww!" he shouted. "Watch where you're going!"  






Afterwards, after apologising, I was fuming. OK, I know I should have been more vigilant. But I wasn't the one running about the place on an accelerated schedule, talking into my smartphone about 'performativity', whilst also attempting to transport a towering cup of boiling liquid from one place to another, when there were little kids about, and human flesh. 

Fucking cockmonkey.  

But, I suppose my real issue with 'to-go' coffee culture is not a concern over the health and safety implications of carrying hot fluids around the place. Neither do I really care if you want to demonstrate your extreme productivity and fast sexy lifestyle with your 'to-go coffee' accessory. (Even though it makes you look like a jerk-off. Just saying). My real beef is with the fact that 'to-go coffee' culture – and our addiction to caffeine in general - is symptomatic of a society hell-bent on promoting the idea that faster is always better.  A society in which people who stick to the speed limit get tailgated; a society that has created speed dating, and one-minute bedtime stories, and guides to achieving an orgasm in thirty seconds, and now Speed Yoga! Grrr. And yeah, I know I'm a bit of a slow coach and a hippie and I prefer tea (which according to a survey by coffee company Nespresso is not the drink of choice for "high achievers".) But I’m also saying it because everyone I know is knackered, because we now have ninety minutes less sleep than we had a decade ago, because  according to Carl Honore in his book In Praise of Slowness, fatigue played a role in disasters like Chernobyl, Exxon Valdez, Union Carbide, Three Mile Island, and the space shuttle Challenger. And, well, because we obviously need to slow the fuck down - not speed up. 

Or, as my favourite super-tramp and prolific Welsh poet and writer W H Davies put it, in his famous poem 'Leisure':

What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare?

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night:

A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Now, I’ll go stick the kettle on. And we’ll have some tea. And a nice biscuit. OK?


Tuesday, 11 February 2014

C is for Cats

Cats slaughter hundreds of infants every year. It's a fact. Their all-time favourite modus operandi is to position themselves over the sleeping body of a newborn baby and suck the breath out of its body, but, as if that weren't enough, they’re also into chest compression, suffocation, and spraying toxoplasmosis all over the fucking joint.

In short, they have a rap sheet that would dismay even Herod. 

A weight of new evidence suggests that cats may be shapeshifting witches 

My mother, who is a regional health and safety overlord, told me this as we were leaving the hospital, following the birth of my firstborn.

“I’ve been thinking”, she said, turning to me. “About Winnie and Patsy.” (my cats)
“Oh, ok. What about them?” I said.
“Cats can suffocate babies”, she said, suddenly gripping the infant carrier. “So, I’m happy to take them to the vet for you, for, well, you know what. And I’m happy to pay for it. As a Christmas present.”
“You want to kill the cats for me?” I said. “As a Christmas present?”
She looked away from me for a moment, and then nodded, her eyes filling with tears.
“For god’s sake mami, please don’t cry again”, I said, impatiently. “I bought a cat net from Mothercare. It’ll be fine.”
Just then, the baby started crying. I grabbed the infant carrier from my mother’s hand, a little too roughly. 
“I can’t believe I’ve got to feed her again!” I said.
“You’ve always hated me”, said my mother, nursing her fingers. “And I’m only trying to help.”

In hindsight, of course, I should have thanked my mother for offering to take the cats to the vet. After all, it wouldn’t have been the easiest of jobs. (“Hey there, Mr Vet, would you mind awfully putting these hellborn fuckers down?” etcetera etcetera) I should have told her that I loved her. But, in my defence, I had just squeezed a baby out of my front bottom. What's more, I was already ridiculously busy worrying about all the other threats to my infant’s wellbeing, such as formula milk, overheating, dehydration, failure to thrive, co-sleeping, cot bumpers, sunken fontanelles, germs on toys, prolonged use of car seats, dummies, second-hand smoke, Staphylococcus, paint fumes, vaccinations, antibiotics, television, Norovirus, pollution, carbon monoxide, toxic moulds, pesticides, paint fumes, radon, and FUCKING NIPPLE CONFUSION, and I knew it was only a matter of time before my mind darkened under the pressure...

NO. PLEASE NO. I DON’T WANT TO GO INTO THE RUBBER ROOM ... OH, HI MAM.

Needless to say I spent the following year or so policing the door of the dining room, where the cats slept. Some nights, I’d worry that the cats might master the door handle, and like Nosferatu, tiptoe silently up the stairs towards the nursery.  Or, I’d obsess over the possibility that they were already upstairs, biding their time in a cupboard, even though I’d already seen them through the glass door, minutes earlier. In my dreams, they took liquid form, like the T-100 in Terminator 2.  They could flow through gaps, and under doors, and do all sorts. The bastards.  Of course, in the end, nothing happened. But it could have …  it so easily could have …  miaw ha ha ha … miaw ha ha ha … miaw ha ha ha …. 

PS I dedicate this blog entry to my cat Patsy, who died on Sunday 19 January 2014. Aged 16.


My daughter's elegy. Now in a jam jar above the grave.
PPS: And if you're wondering why there are no reported incidents of cats harming babies, it may well be because of an evil cover-up by a network of witches working undercover in law enforcement. Or not. 



(This is an extract from the er, epic work in progress that is 'The Extremely Over-Protective Mummy's Handbook')


IF you like the blog, please consider nominating me for the 2014 MADS Blog Awards in whichever category you fancy (although the Most Entertaining Blog category is probably a better fit than say, the family travel category, as I never leave the house ...) 

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

THE 3AM GIRL. NOT.

So we all make mistakes, right?

Here’s mine. Last Saturday, I stayed up until 3.30am, drinking.

Now for some of you, this is normal. For some of you crazy-ass party bitches and crack hoes, 3.30am is an early night.  But just to put it in context, the last time I stayed up until the wee hours doing drugs n'shit, was during labour.

In the beginning, I thought I’d gotten away with it. On Sunday morning, despite flushing a sock down the toilet mid-morning (normal, right?), and a mild to moderate hangover, there were no obvious symptoms of brain damage. But then, at around 3pm, something happened. Something bad.

It started with a 'conversation'.

“The bins out, your turn it is. Fucking knackered, I am”, I spluttered to my partner, who was shuffling around the kitchen at the time, with no discernible sense of purpose.  
“Me Out Go Now” he said, descending into a kind of protolanguage not heard since Paleolithic times.

You see, in less than an instant, I realised that we had both lost the ability to string a sentence together; that in short, we'd become doodooheads. 

Throughout the rest of the afternoon, the effects of the previous night’s festivities proliferated. Frazzled, bad-tempered, and still, with only a rudimentary command of English, we started arguing. We argued about money, housework, and parenting styles. At some point in the proceedings, I brought up the idea of living in a self-sufficient, low-impact, off-grid commune and opting out of the capitalist bullshit altogether, which is the kind of deranged fantasy I always have when I’m pooped to the absolute max (along with signing up for online courses on basket weaving, putting the house up for sale, and quitting my job).
“Ugh!” said my partner, jabbing his forefinger in my direction. “You Crazy. Like You Mother.”
‘Separate then, maybe we should. Heh?” I drooled, like some overwrought, premenstrual Yoda.

By Monday morning, Saturday’s night of debauchery (and a further night of anxiety-related sleep-deprivation caused by a combination of cognitive distress and constant arguing) had also taken its toll on my body. Even at the best of times, dark circles under my eyes make me look like a fucking raccoon, but now, what with the circles, the hollowed-out tear troughs AND the gruesome discoloration of my skin, it was as though I’d used black bile extracted directly from Satan’s kidneys as a concealer. A night of sleeping on my daughter’s pull-out bed had also given me crushing neck and spine pain, resulting in a gait reminiscent of Boris Karloff.  

“You look, erm, pale”, said the school secretary, buzzing me in through the school doors at the spectacularly late hour of 10am.
“I was sick in the night”, I said, lurching lopsidedly towards her. “Sorry I’m late.”
“Erm, well, I hope you’re better now”, she said, obviously frightened.

So, folks, I hope you’ll understand me when I say that for me, any future late-night revelry is out of the question. To function properly, I need to be in bed by 9.30pm on weeknights, and 11pm on weekends. Furthermore, the only parties I can attend are ones that take place between 2pm and 4pm on Sunday afternoon in places called Ants Inya Pants, whilst late night drinking will be restricted to a cup of hot chocolate sprinkled with chilli flakes, which I can always pretend is heroin. As for a sex life, well, this is a horribly tricky one gals, because the only window of opportunity in our house for playing 'mummies and daddies' is between eleven and midnight on the weekend, after we’ve watched our Sky Plus recordings, and although it’s almost never a long drawn-out tantric experience it does, sadly, clash with my scheduled time for horizontal refreshment of a different kind. So I’m thinking of saying to my partner, “Ur, look love, honey bun, sweetie pie, you know where things are by now, so, you know, help yourself …”, which I’m hoping he’ll be cool about. 

Zzzzzz …. 




Gee whizz, I won't ever be going out with those drug sluts again!



Tuesday, 3 December 2013

IRONING

The other day, my six-year-old found an antiquated travel iron, still in its box, in the sideboard.
“Mammy, can I play with that boat?” he asked, studying the picture.
Now I am the first to admit that basic object recognition has never been one of my son’s strengths, but in this case, the explanation is simpler. The fact of the matter is this:

I. NEVER. EVER. DO. THE. FUCKING. IRONING.

Ironing is pointless. Ironing is neurotic. Ironing is boring. Ironing is a pursuit carried out by maniacs like:

  • The Amish
  • Pingu’s dad (Listen up, you featherheaded chump, nobody in your family wears clothes, even, so why the fuck are you ironing?)
  • Anthea Turner. Atrocious Freak.  


Oh look. Pingu's dad is using a wicker basket to store linens. I'm guessing he must have seen the show where Anthea Turner tells everyone how "wicker baskets are good for storage". Wow Anthea! We didn't know that!


Perhaps what I’m trying to say is this, folks. If you happen to be one of those people who irons a lot, but especially if you ever iron hankies, socks, sheets, duvet covers, or for chrissakes, your leggings, you are basically dead to me. Ditto if you are one of those 'ironing martyrs' who likes to post pictures of their Ironing Pile on Facebook. Aaaaaaaaargh. Just do the ironing then. Or don't. *wipes specks of foam from the corner of mouth*

I should probably add that I’m not as skanky a slag as I sound. (Unless by ‘slag’, you’re thinking of someone who has had a lot of boyfriends. Cos I have had a lot of boyfriends. No, seriously, I have had LOADS. Justsayin.) But just because I don’t iron, it doesn’t automatically mean that there are humongous horse-sized cockroaches galloping across my kitchen, or that I store bags of excrement in my freezer, or that a lack of feminine hygiene has made my vagina die.

The truth is that I spend a considerable proportion of my life doing housework. And I hate every single minute of it. Sometimes, when I’m taking out the bins, and I get a little bin jus in my eye, I actually want to die. But if I didn’t do the housework, my family would be breaking out in boils, nobody would come to our house, and my mother would go totally utterly apeshit. Again.

Ironing on the other hand, well, there’s no functional advantage to eliminating clothing wrinkles, and all you’re really doing is trying to achieve perfection. Which is impossible, and not good for you. So for fucksakes, just quit. Please. 


On a more magnanimous and forgiving note, cos I love y'all really, I have heard that hot-ironing the gusset of your knickers vaporizes all those pesky candida spores, which is useful information if you get raging candida, unlike me. Ahem. 




Friday, 6 September 2013

I HATE DRIVING


Look, I know I’ve probably mentioned it before - once or twice at the absolute most  - but here’s the thing guys:

DRIVING. SUCKS. ASS. TO. THE. MAX 

Driving sucks ass so badly that I’d rather be doing any or all of the following, all of which also suck ass:

1) Housework – Doing housework is like being trapped in an eternity of hellish unending frustrations of the kind meted out to that bastard Sisyphus in the Underworld.  And yet, compared with driving, housework is Pure Unadulterated Joy. For example, if someone came up to me and said, “Would you mind awfully scooping out the gungy hairballs from the shower plugholes with your bare tongue whilst I nip to the shops in the car?” I so would. Like, totally. Moreover, I would be so stupidly grateful not to be driving to the shops in a farkin death trap of a vehicle that I would also lick out the sludge from their flange, and eat the bits caught in their trap, all of which are parts of a domestic bathroom or kitchen sink. That's how bad driving is. 

2) Reading The Sun – everybody who reads the Sun is a fucking imbecile and everybody who thinks it’s okay to stare at some Page 3 topless beauty's whamdanglers in public is not only an imbecile, but a boorish twat who deserves to have their bugfucker of a penis whipped out in public and ridiculed. Right? Having said that, if you’re willing to give me a lift to Swansea so that I don’t have to use the M4, or worse still, merge with the M4 via The Slip Road (or as I prefer to call it, The Riverbank of Hell), I’ll happily pop out at the services to get you your copy of The Sun, and we can drool over some fun bags together. That’s how bad driving is. 

Singing God Save the Queen – to be fair, we don’t do a lot of singing God Save the Queen over by 'ere in Wales, but whenever it threatens to happen, something happens to me that I can only describe as a psychotic episode. At first, I hear voices. The voices tell me that the royals are a bunch of freeloading horsefaced inbreds who also happen to be the UK’s most brazen benefit cheats. Then I get delusions of grandeur in which I imagine I'm a citizen, not a subject!! Wow. That's some crazy shit right there, yeah! By the time the song starts, I have such a hate hard-on that I just can't sing it, and I will never ever sing it, unless of course, you agree that we can take a taxi home from the concert and leave my car on the roadside and forget to come back to get it. Forever. Then I'll be so happy I won't be able to help myself. That's how motherfucking bad driving is. 

Bon voyage!


In case you hadn't noticed, and why would you cos I haven't used it as a title, this is kind of part of a blog meme called Room 101, in which bloggers list the things they would consign to Hell. Nobody tagged me to write for it. But in what is probably a terrible and unforgivable breach of blogging etiquette, I've written a version of it anyway, and I'm also gonna tag a trio of funnee bloggy folks to do the same:

  




Wednesday, 31 July 2013

THE GREAT (GUINEA PIG) ESCAPE


A couple of months ago we acquired two baby guinea pigs - my eight-year-old daughter's reward for learning her times tables. For a hutch, we bought an adorable Bavarian-style des res with an attractive tongue and grove exterior, an enclosed sleeping area, large recreational/ living spaces, and extensive views. Every day, we prepared vibrant medleys of organic cucumbers, peppers, and cherry tomatoes, served with oodles of aromatic chamomile grass.

We even bought a pigloo to die for, ffs.  

But then, a couple of weeks ago, on one of the hottest days of the year, the little fuckers escaped.

At first, I was kind of relaxed, partly because I could hear them speed-talking in the flower border, congratulating each other on their escape, comparing it with the great historic escapes of Colditz and Alcatraz. And in spite of having a whole day’s work ahead of me, a couple of deadlines, and a pile of shitty housework, I figured that a food trail of cunningly placed cucumber chunks leading back to the door of the open hutch would do the trick.

Right? RIGHT? 

Well, actually, NO.  

Because what I didn’t know was that cucumber chunks are as nothing compared with the dark secret pleasures of the flower border and that guinea pigs  – it’s totally true folks - are amongst the fastest creatures on Earth, second only to cheetahs, with the ability to accelerate to speeds of between 50 to 60 mph in less than three seconds. Especially when poked with a twig. In fact, the smaller of our guinea pigs, Gabe, travels at a speed that basically violates the laws of physics.

Needless to say, an hour later, I still hadn’t caught the little motherfuckers. Worse still, the cats, until then sunning themselves on the kitchen windowsill, decided that it was now high time to investigate the situation. They tiptoed across the lawn towards the hutch, shuddering along the length of their bodies, like angels of death.

"Fuck off cats!”  I shouted. “Just fuck off will you!”

I’m not saying it was a nice way to treat the cats, both of which are pretty old. But equally, the thought of my daughter returning home from school to find her beloved guinea pigs weltering in their own blood, with their guts hanging loosely from their assholes, was stressful, to say the least.



So I began to panic. I lost perspective. I texted a client to reschedule the day’s work commitments, blaming a sudden but horrifying migraine. I phoned my partner to explain to him that the burden of caring for two young children, one pre-schooler, two geriatric cats, two runaway guinea pigs, a starter business, and a house that always smelled weird - really fucking weird - whilst he was away at work all week, was just too much for me.  I ranted on about the impossibility of being a good mother and good at my job, and that if my daughter lost her guinea pigs, it would be because SOMETHING. FINALLY. HAD. TO. GIVE. I might have cried. I might have got hysterical. It’s entirely possible.

“Use the hose”, he said. “They won’t like the water.”
“I’ve only got two hands!” I screamed. “If I’ve got the hose in one hand, how am I supposed to catch both guinea pigs when they come running out, eh? I’m not a fucking octopod.”
“I can’t talk to you when you’re like this”, he said. “I’m in the middle of work.”
“Good. It’s just as well. Because I’m going to totally quit my work tomorrow”, I said. “I’ve so had enough. To be honest, I can’t wait til I’m ancient and totally past it. I can’t wait to be in a retirement home, waiting for the three-o-clock cake trolley. I. CAN’T. FUCKING. WAIT.”
"Are you on the rag?” he said.
I hung up.

Meanwhile, the guinea pigs were having a lovely time of it. Holiday of a lifetime. I practiced some deep breathing techniques. I googled “How to catch a guinea pig” and followed the instructions. I built a box out of a cereal packet and filled it with cucumber and meadow hay. I placed it on the periphery of the flower border.  I lay motionless in the grass alongside the border with the midday sun beating down on my back.

At some point – by now I had lost all sense of time - I heard the squeak of the neighbour’s washing line.
“You ok there?” asked my neighbour.
“Uhuh” I said. Yeah fine, yeah ok. Totally fine, yeah.” “I’m just trying to catch the guinea pigs.”
“Oh”, she said, bemused. “I see.”
I could feel her staring at me - like I was some giant freakoid.
”I’ve got to flip the box up when one gets into it”, I said. “I tried everything.”
But then, just as I was babbling on about something else, Gabe ran right into the box. Just like that. I cried out of sheer relief.
“If you need any help I’m always here”, said my neighbour, quickly disappearing into her house.

I phoned my partner.
“I caught Gabe", I said. “I made a box.”
‘Great”, he said.  “Sorry I shouted.  I was just worried about you.”

I made myself a cup of tea in the kitchen. It was almost half two. Almost time for the school run. Ok, I knew one of the guinea pigs was still out there, at risk of a fatal bite to the neck, a snapped spinal cord, disembowelment. But the fact that I’d succeeded in catching one of them made me feel less incompetent, a better mother. I tempted the cats into the house by shaking the biscuit box. I locked down the cat flap. I blocked up the gates so that there was nowhere for the other guinea pig to go. Suddenly I was a turbo-charged super woman, like that Sheryl Sandberg gal, or KaRRRRRen Brady (or however many farkin Rs it is).

Afterwards, I made my daughter and her best friend catch Timmy, warning them about the perils of leaving the hutch door open.
“It was sooooo easy mami”, said my daughter, less than ten minutes later, clutching Timmy.
As she spoke, I couldn’t help picturing the three-o-clock cake trolley again, with its selection of jammy sponges, moist Madeira cakes and bara brith. I imagined long days with nothing to do; no guinea pigs to rescue; no looming deadlines. At the same time, I was mesmerized by my daughter’s confidence, by her impish smile, by the way she twisted her hair around, over and over. I loved her so much. I loved them all.  I didn't want to miss a minute of it.
“You better go and give them some fresh water now", I said. “They’ve had a busy day.”
  






Thursday, 6 June 2013

ARE YOU BIKINI-SHY?


(No, obviously not you Beyonce, ffs ... *rolls eyes*)

The summer holidays may be just around the corner, but for those suffering from a devastating, poorly understood condition called Bikini-Shyness, frolicking around on the beach in front of a gazillion dribbling strangers, won't be an option.

Although there are no precise figures available, it is estimated that this summer, the vast majority of women, including all those who are over size 6 and don't spend the entire day munching grapes, will avoid the itsy-bitsy teenie-weenie two-pieces available on today's high street, preferring to keep their nipples, aureoles, vaginas, and frankly, the whole region around their vulva to themselves. (Thanks. All. The. Fucking. Same.)

But according to fashion experts (whose views we should never dismiss as the unceasing prattle of a bunch of nonces and knobheads), sufferers of bikini-shyness are denying themselves crucial opportunities for self-expression and self-advancement.

“Bikini-shyness can have serious consequences for the emotional, social and professional lives of the lay-deez”, says Dr Hans Rudi, swimwear designer. “Wearing a bikini, like my very own favourite, the cheeky Peek-A-Boo bikini, which uses a length of fabric no wider than a string of dental floss to delicately screen off the asshole, makes a lay-dee feel more confident, more powerfully feminine.”  

Listen, I know that some people say that the bikini is a ridiculous garment aimed at making most women feel like a huge hatful of assholes, but as you can see from my body language, I feel on top of the world!


Dr Rudi points to the example of Beyonce, whose latest photo-shoot for H&M sees her dressed in a variety of tiny two-piece numbers. “Beyonce shows other women, especially depressives and neurotics, that by being liberated from the shackles of ugly normal clothes, and giant knickers, they too can achieve their dreams", he says. 

Beyonce, too, acknowledges the bikini's ability to communicate the complex reality of women's lives. Describing the bikini photo-shoot in an interview for The Daily Mail, she said,“I really loved the concept we collaborated on (during the shoot) to explore the different emotions of women represented by the four elements – fire, water, earth and wind.” (Wow. Slow down Beyonce. I know you is, like, a radical feminist n'all, but are you seriously telling us that women have, like, FOUR emotions?!!! Cos that is some crazy shit girl... ) 


But it's not just Beyonce and Dr Rudi who claim that the bikini is a modern-day powersuit. Kimberely Garner, from 'Made in Chelsea', has been totally spazzing out over the idea of designing bikinis since the age of nine and claims that her new collection of bikinis and monokinis will confer on the lucky wearer the power to inspire other women. "I wanted to make my designs wholesome but also sexy and cheeky, and provide an aspirational image for young girls", she said. 

Critics, sourpusses, and the bitter, obese legions of the bikini-shy, however, point to scientific research from Princeton University that demonstrates that far from being an empowering garment, the bikini literally objectifies women.

Uh? Come again? Are you sure? 

Well, yes, because as it turns out, when men are shown pictures of bikini-clad women, a region of the brain associated with tool use lights up. The same brain scans reveal ZERO activity in the part of the brain associated with assessing another person’s intentions, thoughts, or feelings. Scientists at Princeton have seen this “dehumanizing effect” only once before, in a study where people were shown off-putting photographs of homeless people and drug addicts. 

Dr Hans Rudi is of course dismissive of the findings. "We shouldn't take these so-called scientists and their stupid boring facts too seriously", he said. "What do they know of fashion, or the feelings of the lay-deez?" 

He may have a point. For many sufferers of bikini-shyness, the prospect of not being able to wear a playful scrunch-butt bikini, or a pubikini, or a monokini, or a microkini, or a peek-a-boo bikini, or one of those real hot and sexy cameltoe bikinis, is just too painful. "This summer, I'll probably have to wear normal underwear, and a normal T shirt, and probably a normal hat, cos I don't want to get cancer, which will make me look a total fucking plonker", said one bikini-shy mummy blogger. 

Others are more philosophical. When told about the research on bikinis, one bikini-shy woman simply said,"I could have told you bikinis were shit."   



PS: OK. I made up Dr Rudi. But there is a fashion historian called Oliver Saillard who claims that "the emancipation of swimwear has always been linked with the emancipation of women." But he is an utter cock. 

PPS: Many old-school feminists argue that Beyonce forfeited her right to speak on behalf of other women when she wrote these lyrics: 
"I know when you were little girls/ 
You dreamt of being in my world/ 
Don't forget it, don't forget it/ 
Bow down, bitches".

They might say she is a fraud who can Go Do One. Just saying.