Gwyneth Paltrow’s privates!

Madonna was always Queen of the Vajayjay,  the amount of times that woman has had it on display we should call her Vadge not Madge but she’s been beaten firmly into second place by Gwyneth Paltrow.

Not your typical hitch-hiker

On a side note, should I ever get to meet Madonna I will be dropping my drawers and insisting she take a look at mine as she’s been shoving hers in my face* for the past 40 years and it’s time for payback! 

Anyways back to the subject in hand (excuse me) and the latest product to come out of Goop, Gwyneth’s health and well being corporation.  Taadaa, I present to you ….


When I first saw the article I thought there’d been a terrible misprint and sniggered over my breakfast until I looked again.  The Countess of Conscious Uncoupling is selling a candle that smells like her vagina, which, if to be believed is citrusy, with lingering aromas of rose and bergamot. 

No doubt about it, she takes her privates very seriously, they’ve had a lot of coverage.

Firstly, the jade egg you popped ‘up there’ which was promoted along with some spurious health claims

Then the recommendation that we steam ourselves; which was quickly discredited by health professionals for various reasons, most notably 3rd degree burns

And now we have the fanny candle – for burning not inserting.  If you’d like your room to be scented with Gwyenth’s vagina you’ll need a strong pocket as well as strong stomach, it comes with a hefty £40 price tag. 

However, it will be no surprise to hear its sold out, which only reinforces what we already know about American’s IQ level.

I’m terrified to think how she’ll style a mag rack! Watch this space.

*Figuratively, not literally – disclaimer in case National Enquirer journalist  is reading this.

When looking for work is a full time job

Since arriving in NZ I’ve landed some fabulous jobs and have learnt, seen and experienced more than I could have ever wished.  However, it hasn’t been without its trials.  Finding temporary employment is like running for a train in extremely high, uncomfortable shoes –  you can do it, but you question why you’re bothering .

Recruitment agents the world over seem to have come from a generic womb, that belonging to a passive aggressive woman.   Predominantly women but sometimes men, with pained smiles and a degree in patronising behaviour.

You want a job? Really?

Them : The client is looking for someone with project co-ordination experience

Me: I’ve run my own company, organised product launches, managed international events and worked on company rebrands – all within timings and budgets.  Yes I think I’ve had some experience with project co-ordination.

Them: Hmmm, it’s just that they’re looking for someone who has exclusive project co-ordination experience.  You seem to have dipped in and out of it.

Me : That’s why it’s called a project, it has a beginning and a defined end date!

At my last assignment I met two fantastically capable women, one who given up her position of HR Director to acquire a degree in business communications and a teacher from the UK who has spent the last 25 years teaching alternative ed and heading up programmes to better engage with learners experiencing a variety of difficulties.  Although we came from different backgrounds we shared identical frustrations and feedback from different agencies whilst searching for work. This ‘feedback’ included:-

  1. That job doesn’t actually exist, we call that a generic advert it’s just to get suitable staff on our books should the job arise
  2. I’m not sure you have the exact qualifications my client is looking for – this response for a receptionist position, what skill set do you need to pick up a phone?
  3. They really liked you but think you’re over qualified for this role.  Translation ‘they’re pooping themselves that in 2 weeks you’ll show them up to be incompetent’.
  4. We’re really very quiet right now, there isn’t much work around at all.  See point number 1.

My favourite job search experience was being interviewed for a 6-week admin role and getting asked, ‘what is your motivation for wanting this job and why does it appeal to you?’. 

‘Seriously?  My motivation is money and it appeals to me because you’re paying it’ was the response I wanted to give but I came up with a neo-politician spiel about how I’ve always found the New Zealand Parole Board a source of inspiration and its been my dream to become a beacon of light for this much under-rated department in the Corrections and legal system. 

Sort of like Meghan Markle in Suits but without having to emigrate to Canada.

Another awesome role is about to begin, and you know what, these people trust me enough to answer the telephone!

My first triathlon

Very exciting news, only 5 days into the New Year and I’ve already completed a triathalon.

Best foot forward

Thursday – 5km run

Friday – 800m swim

Saturday – 15km bike ride

View from yesterday’s bike ride

I believe I’ve completed the necessary disciplines and do I feel good about myself.

According to husband you’re meant to complete each event sequentially, ON THE SAME DAY!

I’m now getting in contact with Guiness Book of Records to see if I qualify in having completed the world’s slowest and shortest triathlon event.

New Year, new me that’s what I say!

Image by Hans Braxmeier from Pixabay

Today I am sad

Sitting at the bus stop I was alongside two teenage girls who were scrolling through their social media feeds speaking and swearing loudly – a teenage rite of passage.  They were also labouring under the misapprehension that they invented sex, when of course we all know that every generation before them actually invented it, ask anyone who’s been a teenager.

After making some extremely graphic comments about various people they started ripping apart a girl who was apparently a friend to both of them.  They belittled her choice of sexuality in the cruellest of language and pilloried her for her choice of partner.  They were a proper pair of teenage bitches, spiteful and shrewish.

The bit that made me sad was that the girl they were ripping apart was straight.

After years of the LBGTQ+ community fighting against bigotry which was abhorrent, they were actively taking part in it themselves.   Where previous generations had stood up against petty prejudices and worked hard to remove walls of hatred and ignorance these two were rebuilding them.  Their language and tone mirroring the very people who, had in the past, had taken delight in bullying and shaming people for who they chose to love.

 I had truly believed that this teenage generation was a progressive, collaborative thinking and most importantly free loving one.  Where colour, creed or sexuality were not to be used as weapons against each one another but differences that were to be celebrated.

Understandably people will argue they’re entitled to those opinions and why shouldn’t they speak like that, after all it’s no different from the humiliating terms LGBTQ+ were and no doubt still are spoken about and I get that. And all teenagers are gossipy and cruel and the chatter is usually meaningless that I understand and having been on both sides. But …

It’s just I was hoping for a generation that was kinder. And it made me sad.

For the record I don’t care who you sleep with, provided it’s consensual.

Photo by ATC Comm Photo from Pexels

Less is …. less

Last night we went to see the Queen of Burlesque, Ms Dita von Teese.

Husband who is usually reluctant to accompany me to theatrical productions was exceptionally keen to come along to this event, I can’t imagine why?

She appeared on stage snaking her way out of a giant 4-tiered black and gold baroque styled cake; a shimmering, glittery, sexy Tinkerbell hypnotising the audience with her very first finger wiggle.

From the top of her perfectly arched eyebrows to the soles of her 8 inch heels, she combines old school glamor with something a little more base, confirmed by the riding of a giant red lipstick, the metaphor of which was lost on nobody.

As for what she did with that giant olive, I’m not sure I’ll be able to look a martini in the eye ever again.

I suspect the most common sentence spoken between couples outside the Opera House in Wellington last night was ‘ABSOLUTELY NOT!’

At last …. Something I don’t like about New Zealand

New Zealand is famously free of venomous animals.  Unlike its neighbour across the ditch which is full of reptiles and arachnids desperate to kill, New Zealand is a poison free oasis, allowing you to wonder forest and beach without worry.  Or so I thought …

Last week we visited the South Island.  As per our previous visit in winter we were enchanted by the scenery and scale of the landscapes which enveloped us.  Whilst standing on the beach one glorious morning I was aware of some midgey insects flying around, but shoo’ed them away and didn’t give it anymore thought.

On our visit to Lake Rotoroa we got out the car to admire the view when we were besieged by black midges.  Husband got furious, wind-milling his arms, swearing and hopping from foot to foot, a strange dance hereon known as the sandfly shuffle.  To be honest I didn’t take much notice as he’s perpetually grumpy and this behaviour is not uncommon,  as anyone who has witnessed him in a supermarket queue can testify.

In hindsight I should have followed his lead but I ignored them and let them land on my feet and legs occasionally flicking them off.

He skulked back to the car and when I went to get in he shrieked like a teenage girl* that I was letting ‘them’ in and could I please hurry up.  Maybe not those exact words but you get my drift.  He then went on to bore remind me of the time he was bitten back home and the resultant pain.

I thought he was talking nonsense, very annoyingly he was right.


Those seemingly harmless critters (Austrosimulium ungulatum) are evil blood suckers who rip open your skin with tiny saw like mandibles. A potent combination of anti-coagulant and histamine delivers an itch that carries on for weeks.  It is impossible not to scratch, leaving chicken pox like sores over the body.  It wakes you up at night and even though you’ve scratched yourself raw you can’t stop, truly it’s horrible.

Nothing that will deter them, locals recommend rubbing yourself with a combination baby oil and Dettol – 3 parts to one, eating raw garlic or spraying a little petrol on the exposed areas.  That olafactory combination ensures nobody will be within 50 metres of you let alone a sand fly.

They are not keen on wind or rain which explains why they are NEVER found in Wellington.

Attracted to dark colours, penguins are their favourite food source which makes me feel so sorry for my little feathery friends, how do they scratch with those flippers – unfairly persecuted I think.

Image result for little blue penguin
How can these flippers deliver a good scratch?

So if you’re planning to visit the South Island over summer and want to avoid this malignant plague of vampire bugs, bring a companion penguin, shower in fuel and chomp a clove of garlic.  Let me know how you get on and if you make any friends.

*apologies to teenage girls everywhere

Going off the rails

Booked us on the train from Wellington to Auckland – 11 hours of sophisticated rail travel.  Harking back to an age where excursions weren’t rushed and you didn’t need to be stripped to your underwear to get through security, unless you really wanted to.

It all seems wonderful, feet up as the glorious New Zealand countryside goes by and we get to see parts of the country we wouldn’t from the car. 

Very excited, let the journey begin.

The day held such promise

10am  Two hours in the train and it’s glorious, the views are spectacular, so much to see

11am     Three hours – am enchanted by the vast mountain ranges that stretch along the central plateau. All the lambs are very sweet. What a country.

12pm     Four hours – these mountains just keep coming, think I’ll have a teeny pre-lunch drinkie.

1pm       Five hours – is there any end to these mountains?  Oh look, time for

1.15pm Five and quarter hours – not much choice at dining car but least managed to get lovely bottle of wine to go with my sandwich.  Will be wonderful afternoon watching the scenery.

2pm       Six hours – how much longer must I keep looking at these bloody mountains, they are all starting to look the same.  The wine is going down well though.

3pm       Seven hours – cant see wassa fuss ’bout the mountains, sheen one sheen them all.  Think will gerra anuvver wine

4pm – 5.59pm – ZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzz

6pm       Ten hours – husband bit cross with my snoring, said the whole carriage heard me.  Will go buy him a beer and we can ‘cheers’ each other for weekend

6.10pm The bar is closed!  Who SHUTS a bar on a Friday afternoon?  That’s damn rude if you ask me.  And now?  What am I supposed to do – the scenery hasn’t changed in 10 hours, in fact we could actually be going in reverse, I’m having a sheephog day. I WANT TO GET OFF THIS TRAIN! Whose idea was it anyways? Oh yes, it was mine – best be a little bit quieter.

When booking your dream holiday becomes a nightmare

Husband and I are unable to plan and book what should be this happy event without a fight.  Inevitably we’ll fall out over the accommodation, the budget, how many jars of Marmite I’ll be taking with me.  I chat to other couples for whom booking a holiday is a lot of fun, they perpetually seem to snap up great deals and secure 5* holidays for 1* prices, that is not our reality. 

This is definitely not us.

We are the couple who approach a holiday with trepidation and pre-resigned disappointment.  We book what we think will be lovely and end up staying in something that was once a scrapyard but has since been abandoned by the owner because it was too filthy.

Holiday discussions in full flow

My anxiety is compounded by on-line booking sites as I’m bombarded with holiday Armageddon messages.  ‘286,000 people looked at this room in the last two minutes’, ‘people from 96 different countries have shown an interest in this scabby 2-star apartment’.  And don’t get me started on the minute by minute increases; with 24 hours of your search starting a reasonably priced holiday suddenly ends up costing the same as a 2 bedroom semi in Surrey.   

Before the sun set on Thomas Cook I could shuffle in, pick a brochure and the travel agent’s brain, then make a decision knowing that I would be blame free.  ‘The travel agent said there was a view, I didn’t know it was a view of the landfill.’  The copy writer had sneakily called the apartment a bird watchers paradise. Do you know the type of birds who hang around European landfills?  Nothing that doesn’t usually have its head shoved in an animal carcass with a predilection for eyeballs and intestines.  In short not what you want sitting on your window sill or hanging from your bird feeder! 

Or, how about the apartment that came with a ‘en-suite shower’ which translated to a garden hosepipe from the bath taps to which a shower head had been attached.  The water tank was so small and the hose so short that husband had to rinse me down, turn the taps off whilst I soaped up and then spray me clean as I turned around in circles.  Romantic bath times don’t come any better than this.

I can only but dream

So here I am trying to book a holiday on the beautiful South Island of New Zealand where I hope, we won’t experience pubic hair on the soap (not mine), blood on the walls (not his) or a duvet that could blow out the UV bulbs of any CSI lamp!

Bon vacancé, I shudder at the words.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

You’ll Never Walk Alone

I read an article today about an Australian hiker who went out for a 3-hour hike and ended up being air lifted out the forest 2 days later with a severely broken leg.  

I can sympathise with his plight as it reminded me of an eventful walk, I experienced in January on my visit to Manly around one of Sydney’s National Parks.

The tramp began on a path running parallel to the main tourist beach, as I walked, I listened to the waves lapping the shore along with jelly fish warnings broadcast by the coast guard, you don’t get that in Bournemouth!  I carried on up the hill, into the bush and past the info boards educating me on the animals and plants I would see on my unforgettable hike. Ocean views colliding with big sky were so perfect it almost made me forget the extreme heat.  And it was HOT, as I moved along the sandstone pathway sweat was rolling off my knees, dripping on to the ground below, who knew knees could sweat?

It was round about then that the map and my reality started to part ways.  What should have been a picturesque track looked more like a junkie meet-up as I passed two badly stained mattresses.

Undeterred I carried on through brambles and bushes until I reached a dead end and then I started to realise;

  1. I’m lost
  2. I’m in a country full of venomous animals which live in this exact habitat
  3. I have no phone signal and nobody knows where I am
  4. If I get bitten and die, the police will assume I’m a middle-aged prostitute, because nobody else would be so close to a mattress in the wilderness

Pondering my fate, I heard scurrying in the undergrowth behind me.  I turned around and saw a long reptilian tail swishing over dead leaves.  It was camouflaged by the leaf litter, but being resourceful I took a photo in the general direction and then zoomed in on the playback screen to see this…

I racked my brain to remember what was on those bloody info boards, is it a flesh-eating lizard? Does it attack? Will it chase me?  S-l-o-w-l-y I started edging back down the path alongside the carnivorous, human-eating mini dinosaur, and then … I legged it.

Down another track, across the back of a very nice beach – past all the gorgeous 20 somethings – onto the road, all the while managing to wave my arms above my head and shout arrgghhhhhhhh.

Only then did I check to make sure it wasn’t following me, which of course it wasn’t.  But it could have been.

After letting my pulse drop below 300 beats a minute, I made my way back to our hotel on the other side of town, aware that I was still perspiring quite heavily.   This was confirmed by the other commuters who, even in rush hour, left a conspicuous no-go zone around me.

Walking into the wonderfully air-conditioned hotel reception I spotted husband enjoying an after-work beer with a couple of colleagues so I wave to him.  One look at me and his face registers shock and concern simultaneously, he runs out the bar towards me.

‘Oh my God, what happened, are you OK?  Do you need to sit down, shall I call a Doctor?’

‘No, I’m fine it was a long walk, I got lost, it was meant to be 3 hours but took me 5.  I’ll tell you about it over a beer, let’s go in the bar’.

His response was classic, as his face screwed up in distaste he snapped ‘are you freaking kidding me, you’re bright purple, you have twigs in your hair and you smell like a compost heap’ forget it.  He then stalked back into the pub to carry on enjoying his chilled beverage.

I went upstairs, took a shower and waited for my face to fade …. It took 3 hours!

And so, to the Australian hiker I say this, if you ever visit Wellington and fancy a walk, give me a call, we can compare stories.