Thursday, 9 August 2012

Chewing on My Shin Pads

And so, after a glorious summer of worshipping tearful lady cyclists, cute blond judo champions, and plucky young female boxers, it is with a sigh that I realise the start of the football season is nigh.
I like the game, don’t get me wrong. It is a sensible, honest sport requiring little equipment, all-round fitness and a pair of feet. Much more equitable than, say “equestrianism” (horses, just call it horses).
But it is the dominance of the game – uniquely the men’s game – in our culture that gets me chewing on my Sondico shin pads in frustration. What are young girls suppose to think about  their potential relationship with sport if the closest they get to a role model is a handful of stunning Sharapovas in designer mini-skirts once a year at Wimbledon?
I know a lot of people who care about the footy – they are clearly desperate for those dreary Sunday Sportsline round ups on the news channels – but a lot of people couldn’t give a flaming referee’s toupee for it. Politicians have to be seen to enjoy it too, remember those pics of Cameron, Merkel and Obama cheering along at the Champions League final. I wonder who invited the photographers along.
The Olympics has been so refreshing – with the nation genuinely obsessed by everything from pingpong to pole vault. And why not? Wouldn’t it be wonderful to hear about these sports all year round? Wouldn’t it be great to have pictures of lady boxers in the sports pages every week? I’ve had enough of hearing about the exploits of hairy blokes doing a very narrow range of sports. I haven’t got time to decipher a three-day cricket match – give me a short sharp dose of slalom canoe any day.
Click here to see more about Stylist magazine's Fair Game campaign 

Saturday, 4 August 2012

Men in Orange Suits

The nation is wonderfully distracted. Many Londoners, at least, are living, eating and breathing the Olympics. Young girls across the country are watching the finest and most inspirational female competitors ever to grace our screens. Obsessed listeners rang BBC Radio London with the strange dreams they had been experiencing: winning a chocolate gold coin in the hurdles, throwing Victoria Pendleton in the javelin, and riding Zara Phillips around the dressage arena. My own dream involved weightlifting several large female weightlifters. Not sure I should reveal that one to a worldwide audience.
Anyway, it's all fabulous for morale, even if the killjoy Socialist Workers outside the tube are trying to put a dampener on things.
So, it's a perfect time for our leaders to entertain some Russian presidents and a controversial media mogul. There was brief outrage at Boris Johnson hanging out with Rupert Murdoch, but then we all just got on with staring at Jessica Ennis' abs. So, all political controversy has been put on hold. Only gripes about ticket sales are allowed.
Below are a couple of photos of the Olympic vibe around our way. We seem to have been over-run with very healthy-looking Dutch people dressed in orange. 
Many seem to be wearing suits. Or orange jumpers around their powerful shoulders. They all seem so bloody nice.

They are usually on orange bikes:

Or wearing furry hats or orange welly boots...

Then there's the Chinese: they like to paint their faces:


The army like shopping at Primark in Westfield Stratford City, between duties filling up the empty seats in the basketball. The Union Jack fleece jumpsuit might be a little warm for the time of year. Not great camouflage either.