‘I would never have got this far in my career if I had got into my first choice of University’

‘I would never have got this far in my career if I had got into my first choice of University’


Here are Team Marie Claire’s stories…

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A-level results were announced today, and as always there have been just as many tears as celebrations up and down the country.

Some people will have got their grade requirements and already be packing for their first choice of uni, but for others, today will be a long day of scouring remaining university choices via clearing and crying into comfort food.

To those people, we say – we get you.

Just talking about our dreaded A-Level results days this morning, Team Marie Claire realised that few of us actually had good memories. A lot of us didn’t get the results we wanted and ended up going to our second, or third or even fifth choice of university. But that’s ok, and without that happening, we wouldn’t have got to where we are now.

Whether you go to Exeter or Cardiff and whether you go to university or not, you’re still going to experience the same rites of passage.

You will fall in love, you will make friends for life, you will find your career path and at some point you will be so poor that you will have to share a pot noodle for breakfast with your housemate.

Nothing will change those facts.

No matter what you got in your A-levels, everything is going to be OK, so take a deep breath and read our stories because we were once you.

Here are some stories from Team MC…

Jenny Proudfoot – Junior Digital News Editor

‘My A-level results day was one of the worst days I can remember – I’m a slow developer and at 18, I just wasn’t ready. I didn’t get the grades I needed, and got a D in French – the one subject I wanted to pursue. I spent the whole day crying on my sofa eating brownie batter, feeling like my life was over and that I had let everybody down. All of my friends were off to university and I wasn’t going with them. That day changed my life and entirely for the better – I literally developed an insane work ethic overnight and ever since have worked as hard as I can to make sure I never feel like that again. I worked in France for a year, became fluent, retook my French A-level and got a place at the University of East Anglia to study French with International Development. None of my school friends had gone there and as a city it wasn’t on my radar until it was my only choice, but looking back I can’t imagine going anywhere else. My days at UEA were the best of my life, and it was there that I met my best friends and discovered journalism as my career path. I don’t know where I would be if I hadn’t initially failed my A-levels, but I don’t think it would be as good as where I am now, and I definitely wouldn’t have got as far.’

Lucy Pavia – Entertainment Editor

‘I’m embarrassed to admit I thought my university applications would be a cake walk. I had 4 As at A-level in the bag and a lovely glowing reference from my headmistress. Come and get me, boyz! Then the rejection letters started to hit the doormat. A quick no from Oxford (not much of a surprise given my car crash interview), then Edinburgh, Exeter and finally Durham. The two remaining universities – Leeds and Newcastle – I had put on my UCAS form without any thought of actually going to one of them. Now they were my two options. After visiting both campuses and cities I picked Newcastle. What came next was three years studying English Literature in an incredible place, making friends I’m still close to a decade later and drinking more Glens vodka than any human should in a lifetime. I know it can seem the end of the world when things don’t go to plan, but it can also teach you to adapt to a new (and often better) reality, a really valuable experience to have under your belt when you’re released into the world of work, where very little is a given.’

All the fun with my favourite Sis @kpavia at the @BAFTA telly awards 💃🏻💃🏻

A post shared by LUCY PAVIA (@lucypavia) on May 13, 2018 at 5:09pm PDT

Megan Hills – Digital Lifestyle Writer

‘When I found out I missed my offer, I hid in a quiet corner of my aunt’s house and cried for hours. I was super lucky though and Warwick wound up letting me in anyway, however I had this massive chip on my shoulder because I didn’t feel like I’d earned it. I became a more driven person because I felt like I had something to prove, but now nobody can tell me I didn’t deserve to be there because I walked out with a first. It’s not your results that define you, it’s the way you deal with your challenges that do.’

Katie Thomas – Digital Beauty Editor

‘My father went to Cardiff University and regaled us with tales of the incredible time he had there. When I found out that a) they did a journalism course and b) three of my best friends were planning to go there, I applied straight away. I visited a few other places and put them as my other options just to make my career advisor happy, but all I wanted was Cardiff. When I got my A-Level results and found that I hadn’t got the grades they required my whole world fell apart. Give me some credit, I was 17 – this was the end of my world! I rang up Clearing and got through to the department head at Cardiff who told me that he couldn’t admit me, as I had expressed my deep hatred for critical thinking in my personal statement (d’oh) and one of the key modules on the course was exactly that. So I was forced to attend my second choice, Bournemouth University. At school, we were encouraged to apply to Red Brick unis, so Bournemouth was not ideal in my mind. However, it was quite literally the best thing that could have happened to me. The year before, the Bournemouth University media school had won a lottery grant, propelling it and its courses to number one in the country. Because I was so obsessed with Cardiff, I hadn’t even researched Bournemouth and its credentials. Rather than learning about critical thinking (yuck), we were the first students in the country with access to an HD TV studio. I was exposed to radio, TV, news, features and online journalism in all my three years on the course and the connections that the school had made with the real journalism industry was second to none. Oh and p.s. I did all my revision on the beach. So that was fucking great.’

Andrea Thompson – Deputy Editor

‘I applied to Cambridge with dreams of becoming a lawyer but completely flunked my interview. I was so nervous that I totally clammed up. My head was spinning and found it impossible to answer the first couple of questions. I ended up going to York University instead and studied English. I had the most amazing three years and met some of my best life-long friends as well as having a healthy social life I don’t think I’d have had at Cambridge. But most of all I developed my love of political and feminist literature from a really inspiring lecturer there, which spurred me onto a career in journalism, which has taken me all over the world and been a lot of fun. Im not sure being a lawyer would have been for me looking back.’

Sarah Barnes – Beauty Assistant

‘Having been at military school, I was used to structure and regiment so when it came to deciding on my degree I was recommended straight Journalism as it was a more academic course. Following this advice I got accepted to Winchester university which was my first choice. However after a month there I realised I was not happy and was not getting to be creative in the way I dreamt of. After many nights awake worrying I decided to transfer to UCA and study Fashion Journalism. Starting university is such a nervous time and I did I twice in one month – I can only say that it was the best decision as I wouldn’t be where I am now otherwise. I’ve made amazing friends, learnt about the fashion and beauty world, travelled to incredible places for photoshoots and I get to be really creative every day. So follow your gut and don’t be afraid to change your degree if you don’t feel it’s right – its so important to do what you love.’

 

So basically, whatever results you received today, you are going to be fine, and you will still get to experience all of the same exciting life moments.

Just take a deep breath and find your next step.

The post ‘I would never have got this far in my career if I had got into my first choice of University’ appeared first on Marie Claire.



Don’t you dare witch hunt older mums but praise mature dads

Don’t you dare witch hunt older mums but praise mature dads


It’s 2018.

richard gere

I woke up this morning to the news that 69-year-old Richard Gere was reportedly becoming a dad for the second time, with the baby set to arrive just before his 70th birthday.

Well, no offence to the Pretty Woman actor, who I’m actually a fan of, but reading through the reports on my commute to work, I was livid.

Don’t get me wrong – I have no problem with Richard Gere, and it wasn’t his age that bothered me. Instead, it was the disparity in how he has been treated for becoming a mature father, as opposed to how he would be treated as a woman.

‘Congratulations’, ‘Gorgeous’, ‘Best news’, ‘Sending you love’.

These were the comments dominating the internet today – and that all seems well and good, right? Of course, when someone’s having a baby, you congratulate them.

Except, those weren’t the comments that flooded my newsfeed two months ago when Brigitte Nielsen became a mum aged 54.

‘Disgusting’, ‘selfish’, ‘sickening’ – those are the ones that stuck with me, anyway.

Personally, I find the double standard ‘disgusting’, ‘selfish’ and ’sickening’.

Our precious little Frida, our true love. ❤

A post shared by Brigitte Nielsen (@realbrigittenielsen) on Jun 27, 2018 at 6:38pm PDT

It’s 2018, and mature mum shaming should be long gone.

While fans celebrated Richard Gere’s news by taking their bets on whether his new arrival would be An Officer and a Gentleman or a Pretty Woman (get the references?), the great debate on Brigitte Nielsen’s camp was whether she would look like her child’s mother or grandmother.

Why is it ok for Richard Gere to create another child just because he has the Y chromosome whereas Brigitte Nielson was practically burnt at the stake for it – and she was the one who actually pushed out a human. She should be congratulated.

This is of course something that Brigitte has spoken out about, because to put it bluntly, she had to.

happy time ❤ positive vibes #happyness #positivevibes

A post shared by Brigitte Nielsen (@realbrigittenielsen) on May 30, 2018 at 10:07am PDT

‘Some women think, “Oh my God, I’m too old,” But how many men have their first kids in their 60s and 70s and they never doubt it?,’ Brigitte explained in an interview with People. ‘I totally respect that not everybody likes it, but it is my life, and my husband and I have a solid relationship.’

What’s the betting that this is an issue that Richard Gere won’t have to address, ever?

So, I’m not saying we shouldn’t congratulate Richard Gere. I’m just saying, if you’re going to shake the actor’s hand for his exciting baby news, you BETTER extend Brigitte Nielsen the same courtesy.

The post Don’t you dare witch hunt older mums but praise mature dads appeared first on Marie Claire.



Dear Dolly: “My overbearing mother-in-law is ruining our relationship”

Dear Dolly: “My overbearing mother-in-law is ruining our relationship”


What Would Dolly Pawton Do?

Dolly Pawton Marie Claire Columnist

1.30pm Sloane Square.

I’ve nearly got rid of all the glitter from Pride parade. Glitter is like sand it gets in all crevices and no matter how many times you shower there’s another piece that appears on the side of your face or stuck to your nipple three weeks later, like why!?

The rainbows may have faded commercially but I am here to keep the colours bright.

As I walked through a sea of love one week just under a week later I was walking in protest to stamp out negativity and hate. London is the most amazing place to display all kinds of thoughts and we are lucky enough to be granted freedom of speech. Everybody knows I have no problem with speaking freely and supporting all that I believe to be true.

I loved the Fashion Panel talk I was asked to be part of at J.Crew as part of their Love first campaign. Regents street was not ready for my Liberty print customised neck-tie, I think they should make a come back – stop tying them in your hair and get them around your necks. Name one air steward circa 1980 who didn’t like a neck chief. I’m bringing it back.!

The talk was entitled ‘Expressing yourself through fashion

It was a discussion and also a debate on what it was like to be an influencer, a campaigner & how fashion has hindered or helped you be you and it got me thinking on so many levels as my own questions started. Is there loyalty in London or has everyone got a price? Has originality gone out the window and is any opinion valid even if taken from someone else’s lips? What makes a view more or less valid and how can the true voices be heard over the white noise of commercialism?

Trend is one thing and something we all follow to a degree. But being you is not a trend; being you can be easy, hard, life changing or ending.

I think the biggest lesson over this glitter induced period is fighting for what you believe in will always be hard if not following the masses and could be even harder when it’s on trend. The louder the voices the more insignificant a message could be. Social media has a big part to play in this; some speak out for personal growth while some stay silent in fear of losing limelight (This frustrates my whole family); some for self gratification and glory and some for the real meaning of a cause. I guess the real question I was left with was “How do you continue to keep shining when so many want to steal your shine?” My answer, it’s nobody’s to take, it’s yours darling, keep the glow and grow!

 

What Would Dolly Pawton Do?

 

Dear Dolly,

I’ve been in a relationship with my fiancé for over 3 years.

He is a everything I’ve wanted in a man and never expected to fall so hard for someone after being in some pretty horrendous relationships.

The problem is I’m not just in a relationship with only him. I’m in relationship with his Mother.

She is a medlar. She constantly puts me down and is interfering in our life choices. Our future plans are not moving in the direction we have discussed together and even the wedding has been put on hold!

I didn’t want to see it but he is a Mummy’s boy and I can’t cope any longer with him allowing her to talk to me like I’m shit. Like he could do better. Like I’m holding him back. She always dictates to me what I should wear and has even compared me to his ex fiancé.

I’ve tried to have this conversation with him but he just ignores it and says, “It’s just who she is, don’t overthink it” and then accusing me of wanting to start arguments.

He even suggested we move back to his childhood home with his parents so we could save money quicker to buy the house we want in London. I couldn’t believe it.

Help Dolly. I am in need of your guidance and wisdom.

Anna – London ‘

 

Dear Anna,

Whoa, whoa, whoa! Comparing you to the ex fiancé? This woman could potentially be the nightmare of all Mother-in-laws.

Not quite the threesome you may have expected huh?

No but seriously, this is categorically unacceptable behaviour on your partner’s behalf.

He clearly wants to make his Mother happy and is therefore forfeiting your happiness.

I’m going to be brutal here. You need to speak the hell up and tell this Mother what she is doing is wrong and stop allowing her to treat you this way. Take back your power. I noticed you said “he” is allowing her to talk to you that way. No, you’re allowing it.

You just want him to defend you, which he should, but this isn’t the days where you don’t have a voice, you better lay your cards on the table and have a conversation with his Mother too.

I know you’ve tried speaking with him already but make this the time that counts.

In my experience Mummy’s boys don’t change and Mothers like that get worse if you don’t say how you feel. So if you really love your partner you need to be vocal. If that doesn’t work and he continues to brush aside your feelings and the Mother doesn’t stop controlling him and you then you’re going to have to reevaluate your relationship because you shouldn’t be second on his list. Your feelings are valid and important. You are his future bride ffs.

I’m going to be honest, if this was me, I’d be off quicker than Usain bolt in a 100 metre sprint. Girl, know your worth.

Keep in touch.

 

London love

Dolly Pawton xx

Dolly Pawton

Don’t forget, you too can ask Dolly a question.

Nothing is off limits so consider me your Dollylama (spiritual guru) here for all the real talk. Write in at dollypawton@gmail.com

Don’t worry you can be anonymous!

 

The post Dear Dolly: “My overbearing mother-in-law is ruining our relationship” appeared first on Marie Claire.

Enough with positive thinking: here’s the surprising power of positive drinking

Enough with positive thinking: here’s the surprising power of positive drinking


Actually doing your bit, made easier.

thirsty planet

Words by Izzy Palmer

People talk a lot about positive thinking without really meaning much. It’s in danger of slipping into becoming an active hindrance, and an irritatingly-saccharine buzzword. Positive thinking doesn’t bring food to the hungry, after all, or make any difference whatsoever to a polar bear. If someone claims with pride that they ‘don’t preach’, but prefer to focus on an optimistic attitude, it can raise eyebrows. Are you essentially admitting that you don’t believe in doing anything concrete, but want to somehow feel helpful anyway? A positive outlook is all well and good in theory, but when it comes to charity, it sounds dangerously like making excuses for doing nothing.

So what can we do? Well, luckily, there’s another option: positive drinking.

We haven’t lost our heads – it’s not all as barmy as it sounds. In a nut-shell, doing our bit has turned out to be a whole lot easier thanks to water bottle brand Thirsty Planet.

With every Thirsty Planet water bottle purchased, you make a guaranteed donation to Pump Aid, thereby helping bring water to disadvantaged parts of Africa.

thirsty water local

This means people are giving to charity perhaps without even thinking – seduced instead by the convenience of the three different sizes and the ergonomically designed bottle. Doing your bit has never seemed so appealing.

Thirsty Planet, launched in 2007, has already raised two million pounds and brought access to clean water to 1,350 more people. Pump Aid are now responsible for supplying over 10% of the entire rural clean water supply in Malawi and Zimbabwe. Crucially, they work with local communities so that they then know how to maintain their water pump using local resources. This isn’t a short-term solution; it helps individual lives and works with communities at a minute level, bringing independence as well as water.

thirsty water community

With reducing single-use plastic being the zeitgeist of the moment, it might seem controversial to be recommending a water bottle company. The truth is, sadly, society is a long, long way off from cutting plastic water bottles out of daily life – and denying that helps in no way. Rather, let’s make sure that when we do buy a water bottle, we buy one like Thirsty Planet: 100% recyclable, and making a difference elsewhere.

Best of all? They also come in a glass bottle range.

Thirsty Planet is available at Waitrose. 

The post Enough with positive thinking: here’s the surprising power of positive drinking appeared first on Marie Claire.

MEET THE PUKKAS: Our new columnists on talking *feelings* with your other half

MEET THE PUKKAS: Our new columnists on talking *feelings* with your other half


Is discussing your feelings always the right thing to do? New columnists Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson – also known as Instagram’s @Mother_Pukka and @Papa_Pukka – battle it out

In a new fortnightly column for marieclaire.co.uk, Anna Whitehouse and her husband Matt Farquharson, will be going head to head on the most pressing issues of the day – relationship curveballs, the gender politics of cheating, and what the hell would Love Island be without cosmetic dentistry? Welcome to #TrueRomance, where the couple known as Mother Pukka and Papa Pukka will be getting to the bottom of all those niggling questions we always wanted answering (but perhaps couldn’t be arsed to ask). This week: Is it always good to talk, or should we sometimes just shut up?

She says…

By Anna Whitehouse

When it comes to a quick jaunt to the corner shop, Matt and I have got our communication nailed. After years of yelling things at him (‘Don’t forget the bog roll and feta’), only for him to return with a sweaty mozzarella ball and some pork scratchings, we have established a system to stop relationship breakdown. I now text him The List, he purchases items on The List and marital harmony is maintained.

But transferring that watertight set-up to matters of the heart is a trickier task. The minute I edge into ‘do you have five minutes for a chat?’, Matt’s eyes glaze over, his lids descend and a little of his spirit disperses as he realises we aren’t about to watch another episode of Glow. No Netflix, only grilling.

‘No Netflix, only grilling – I need to know what’s going on in his mind’

Matt is a nice man, but he dislikes talking about his needs or feelings: why waste time blathering when you could be fondling? And he does have a stellar point but the issue is, to fondle, I need the blather. I need to exchange thoughts and catch insights into his day that go beyond life insurance angst and running out of bin bags. I get turned on by a laugh or a story about a pigeon wreaking havoc on the Tube – it doesn’t take much. In short, I need to know what is going on in his mind. While he assures me it’s just ‘sandwiches, mainly’, I read the subtext as: complex web of emotions that requires unravelling. I overheard him say once to a mate, ‘I just swallow emotions and shit them out.’

I don’t think this is something that only afflicts women – my friend Gemma has a ‘cuddle pillow’ for her husband Jude to hold when she hasn’t got the emotional headspace for his daily request for ‘a chat’. But I have learned how to navigate life with my emotion-wary partner. A few years ago, I was having a miserable time at work. One evening I cornered Matt and delivered a 45-minute monologue about my potentially psychopathic colleague at the time. Part of me wanted a place to unload frustration. Part of me just wanted to look at his face and say words so that we would feel more connected. It seemed to make sense to focus those efforts on something practical like work, even though I wasn’t really seeking an answer.

In Matt’s ideal world, I would deliver The Issue and he would respond with The List of Solutions. In my ideal world, I would present The Issue, we would discuss it, he would empathise, say something witty and then know exactly the right moment to cup my left buttock.

Perhaps if we’d spelt this out ten years ago, we might not have been stuck so often ricocheting between ‘you don’t understand’ and ‘what you need to do is this…’

feelings

He says…

By Matt Farquharson

In the early years of Facebook, when trolls were still just imaginary creatures with extravagant hair and a fondness for bridges, a picture of an old magazine cutting did the digital rounds. It was Housekeeping Monthly from 1955, and an article called ‘The Good Wife’s Guide’. The list of to-dos for wives on their husband’s return from work – arrange his cushion, have dinner ready, put a ribbon in your hair – stopped just short of demanding a quick blowie while simultaneously removing his shoes. It was a fake: too much even by the ‘traditional’ standards of 1955. But there is one line that stuck in my memory: ‘Don’t greet him with complaints and problems,’ because, very quietly, I agreed.

I don’t really want to talk about feelings, because I’m not sure I have many. I’m quite often hungry or horny, and occasionally both at once (which can make mealtimes confusing: cheese sandwiches not being a traditional object of lust). But hunger and horniness are physical symptoms, rather than emotional feels. If I have problems, I prefer to let them stew in the back of my head until I know how fix them, not parp them into the ear of someone else. When times are tough, I’d rather just swear more at technology. During one particularly stressful spell of work and life, I shouted ‘twatty little bastard’ at an Asda self-service till and felt much better for it. To the outsider it looked like a minor breakdown, to me it felt like therapy.

‘I prefer to suck up any problems, and then let them pass while reading sports apps on the toilet’

I’m of the view that a problem shared isn’t a problem solved, but instead one that you’ve now lumbered on to some other poor schmuck. I understand that this is an emotional failing on my part, but I’ve found that the best way for me to handle strains and unhappiness is to inhale them, sucking them deep into my core, and then let them pass while reading sports apps on the toilet. Within the sanctity of my meditation chamber, troubles ease away, and no one else has been bothered in the process.

I spent my formative years in an otherwise female household, and have been in healthy(ish) long-term relationships for most of my adult life. The idea that men are from Mars and have different needs to women has always struck me as the laziest of cliches, but in matters of emotional wellbeing, it seems Anna and I fall plumbly into gender stereotype.

I sometimes (unintentionally) zone out her voice, and see the disappointment in her face when I return from the corner shop with the wrong kind of soggy foreign cheese. She likes to talk things through, I like to ignore them, or try to fix them. A few years ago, Anna once worked in a place where she was deeply unhappy, and every night she would detail her experiences of terrible atmospheres, blame-shifting and whispering cliques. I would tell her she should quit, we’d be fine, and did she fancy Thai or Indian take-out? This, it transpired, was not what was required. Sometimes, she wasn’t even hungry. It took many tears for me to realise my error.

But now, slowly, I am becoming a listener. I resist the urge to say, ‘This’ll fix it’, and against all my natural instincts, instead I ask, ‘how did you feel?’ I just hope she doesn’t ask me the same thing, so that I can keep swearing at inanimate objects.

Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson are the authors of Sunday Times bestseller Parenting the Shit out of Life, published by Hodder & Stoughton.

The post MEET THE PUKKAS: Our new columnists on talking *feelings* with your other half appeared first on Marie Claire.



MEET THE PUKKAS: Our new columnists on talking *feelings* with your other half

MEET THE PUKKAS: Our new columnists on talking *feelings* with your other half


Is discussing your feelings always the right thing to do? New columnists Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson – also known as Instagram’s @Mother_Pukka and @Papa_Pukka – battle it out

In a new fortnightly column for marieclaire.co.uk, Anna Whitehouse and her husband Matt Farquharson, will be going head to head on the most pressing issues of the day – relationship curveballs, the gender politics of cheating, and what the hell would Love Island be without cosmetic dentistry? Welcome to #TrueRomance, where the couple known as Mother Pukka and Papa Pukka will be getting to the bottom of all those niggling questions we always wanted answering (but perhaps couldn’t be arsed to ask). This week: Is it always good to talk, or should we sometimes just shut up?

She says…

By Anna Whitehouse

When it comes to a quick jaunt to the corner shop, Matt and I have got our communication nailed. After years of yelling things at him (‘Don’t forget the bog roll and feta’), only for him to return with a sweaty mozzarella ball and some pork scratchings, we have established a system to stop relationship breakdown. I now text him The List, he purchases items on The List and marital harmony is maintained.

But transferring that watertight set-up to matters of the heart is a trickier task. The minute I edge into ‘do you have five minutes for a chat?’, Matt’s eyes glaze over, his lids descend and a little of his spirit disperses as he realises we aren’t about to watch another episode of Glow. No Netflix, only grilling.

‘No Netflix, only grilling – I need to know what’s going on in his mind’

Matt is a nice man, but he dislikes talking about his needs or feelings: why waste time blathering when you could be fondling? And he does have a stellar point but the issue is, to fondle, I need the blather. I need to exchange thoughts and catch insights into his day that go beyond life insurance angst and running out of bin bags. I get turned on by a laugh or a story about a pigeon wreaking havoc on the Tube – it doesn’t take much. In short, I need to know what is going on in his mind. While he assures me it’s just ‘sandwiches, mainly’, I read the subtext as: complex web of emotions that requires unravelling. I overheard him say once to a mate, ‘I just swallow emotions and shit them out.’

I don’t think this is something that only afflicts women – my friend Gemma has a ‘cuddle pillow’ for her husband Jude to hold when she hasn’t got the emotional headspace for his daily request for ‘a chat’. But I have learned how to navigate life with my emotion-wary partner. A few years ago, I was having a miserable time at work. One evening I cornered Matt and delivered a 45-minute monologue about my potentially psychopathic colleague at the time. Part of me wanted a place to unload frustration. Part of me just wanted to look at his face and say words so that we would feel more connected. It seemed to make sense to focus those efforts on something practical like work, even though I wasn’t really seeking an answer.

In Matt’s ideal world, I would deliver The Issue and he would respond with The List of Solutions. In my ideal world, I would present The Issue, we would discuss it, he would empathise, say something witty and then know exactly the right moment to cup my left buttock.

Perhaps if we’d spelt this out ten years ago, we might not have been stuck so often ricocheting between ‘you don’t understand’ and ‘what you need to do is this…’

feelings

He says…

By Matt Farquharson

In the early years of Facebook, when trolls were still just imaginary creatures with extravagant hair and a fondness for bridges, a picture of an old magazine cutting did the digital rounds. It was Housekeeping Monthly from 1955, and an article called ‘The Good Wife’s Guide’. The list of to-dos for wives on their husband’s return from work – arrange his cushion, have dinner ready, put a ribbon in your hair – stopped just short of demanding a quick blowie while simultaneously removing his shoes. It was a fake: too much even by the ‘traditional’ standards of 1955. But there is one line that stuck in my memory: ‘Don’t greet him with complaints and problems,’ because, very quietly, I agreed.

I don’t really want to talk about feelings, because I’m not sure I have many. I’m quite often hungry or horny, and occasionally both at once (which can make mealtimes confusing: cheese sandwiches not being a traditional object of lust). But hunger and horniness are physical symptoms, rather than emotional feels. If I have problems, I prefer to let them stew in the back of my head until I know how fix them, not parp them into the ear of someone else. When times are tough, I’d rather just swear more at technology. During one particularly stressful spell of work and life, I shouted ‘twatty little bastard’ at an Asda self-service till and felt much better for it. To the outsider it looked like a minor breakdown, to me it felt like therapy.

‘I prefer to suck up any problems, and then let them pass while reading sports apps on the toilet’

I’m of the view that a problem shared isn’t a problem solved, but instead one that you’ve now lumbered on to some other poor schmuck. I understand that this is an emotional failing on my part, but I’ve found that the best way for me to handle strains and unhappiness is to inhale them, sucking them deep into my core, and then let them pass while reading sports apps on the toilet. Within the sanctity of my meditation chamber, troubles ease away, and no one else has been bothered in the process.

I spent my formative years in an otherwise female household, and have been in healthy(ish) long-term relationships for most of my adult life. The idea that men are from Mars and have different needs to women has always struck me as the laziest of cliches, but in matters of emotional wellbeing, it seems Anna and I fall plumbly into gender stereotype.

I sometimes (unintentionally) zone out her voice, and see the disappointment in her face when I return from the corner shop with the wrong kind of soggy foreign cheese. She likes to talk things through, I like to ignore them, or try to fix them. A few years ago, Anna once worked in a place where she was deeply unhappy, and every night she would detail her experiences of terrible atmospheres, blame-shifting and whispering cliques. I would tell her she should quit, we’d be fine, and did she fancy Thai or Indian take-out? This, it transpired, was not what was required. Sometimes, she wasn’t even hungry. It took many tears for me to realise my error.

But now, slowly, I am becoming a listener. I resist the urge to say, ‘This’ll fix it’, and against all my natural instincts, instead I ask, ‘how did you feel?’ I just hope she doesn’t ask me the same thing, so that I can keep swearing at inanimate objects.

Anna Whitehouse and Matt Farquharson are the authors of Sunday Times bestseller Parenting the Shit out of Life, published by Hodder & Stoughton.

The post MEET THE PUKKAS: Our new columnists on talking *feelings* with your other half appeared first on Marie Claire.



Dear Dolly: “Ten years with a marriage proposal on the line and a happy family’s existence. But is it enough?

Dear Dolly: “Ten years with a marriage proposal on the line and a happy family’s existence. But is it enough?


What would Dolly Pawton do?

Dolly Pawton Marie Claire Columnist

Old Compton Street. 5.47pm

Bursting with Pride!

It’s pride month! Whether you go, want to go, have never gone or don’t care to go – Pride month has definitely taken a huge dose of positive commercial power this year. Amen to that!

I have found it hard not to hear Pride off the lips off every person. Gay, straight or Queerly fabulous. Just as it should it be.

Now as you all know, not only will I be flying the rainbow flag with all its added inclusion colours from every home, car and float I can, but I will also be celebrating Pride attending multiple events throughout the month and will be kicking it off with the fully inclusive “Queer and now” at the Tate. I mean who doesn’t love the Tate?

If you’re in the mood for a little “Queer eye” head over to “sexuality late” at the Science museum. I was there last year and after hours means just that: Express yourself! We had a full on Madonna sing a long at closing. I knew my coned bra corset wasn’t over dressed, free the nipples! It’s one not to miss!

After all my gallery and museum Pride events I will be getting myself in full party mode for the parade itself. If you have never been, the only way to describe it is one huge marching, dancing wave of love. I can’t wait to strut my sequin ass and truly take pride in our London community.

So close to London Pride I couldn’t believe the LGBTQI+ questions and dilemmas I’ve had landing in my inbox.

I had to pick this one up from MD Moe….

What Would Dolly Pawton Do?

“Dear Dolly,

I have been with the same man for 10 years. I met him when I was 19 and he was 25. We are both masculine men, I am white, he is black, I’m a free spirit, and he is governed by a set of rules and plan B’s. We really are yin and yang. We compliment and balance each other well. That’s not to say we don’t have issues, but we do work through them and have grown together. At the end of the year I turn the big 3-0. He is in his mid 30s.

We both want to have a child and be a family and live the American Dream, happily ever after. But one problem – he is still in the closet with his family (and largely with everyone, like he is okay with being gay but feels like nobody needs to know about his personal life) I am known as the friend/roommate to them. His sister guessed we were a couple from the way we interact with each other, and he denied me to her. Which completely hurt. I on the other hand am “out.” My family knows and it’s not a big deal. I don’t make it a point to tell everyone but if it comes up, I am open about it.

His family lives 12 hours away, as mine live in the same town – so we are closer with my family, and they all know who he is and really like him. I’d like to ask him to spend our lives together forever. But I don’t know how one can have a wedding when one of the grooms is in the closet. I don’t want to force him to come out. I want it to be on his terms, and in his time, but we have always discussed this and he always said he will tell his family.

I’m starting to feel like I will always be the bridesmaid and never the bride! (Showing my age a little haha!) But after ten years, a marriage proposal on the line, and a happy family’s existence lays in the balance & it doesn’t seem to be enough to make him take the step. What should I do? Marriage is not the be all and end all in the situation. Progressing our relationship into owning a home together, having children together, etc – is what I want. But the same principles apply. Please help with some of your amazing guiding wisdom from across the pond!!

With love,

MD Moe”

 

As you can see this is one I simply couldn’t ignore…..

 

Hi MD Moe,

Firstly thank you for bringing this to me. You have explained your situation perfectly and I can do nothing but feel for you. It’s great to be out, feel confident with who you are and also having the acceptance of your family and friends. I guess the real question is what is your partner of ten years family and friends like? Are they open and liberal? Being truly yourself through coming out, isn’t always the answer for everyone.

If he feels or knows his family will not accept him this could be a very trying time he doesn’t wish to face now or possibly ever. That will be a challenge for you both either way.

Coming out is a very personal individual choice, whether you are in a relationship or not. You do not seem pushy or demanding for this to happen and I can see a hundred percent from your perspective in how can you move into the next phase or your relationship with only half the couples family knowing!?

Hearing the denial of who you are to him must hurt so much, but if he is in love with you and you explain this he must have good reason for doing so? Or why would he do it? You could get married and no one needs to know but the two of you if you wished. But having a family and bringing children into the world where there would proudly be two Daddies and one set of grand parents unknowing there is two Daddies, would be disrespectful to you, your relationship and completely confusing for your future children.

I guess the root cause for him staying in the closet should be your main focus. You are owed that conversation after a decade of love. Once you have that answer you can move into working through how you best support your partner living his most open and honest life with you. If he can’t do this with no real explanation maybe your future life plans are simply not on the same page.

Keep in touch.

London love

Dolly Pawton xx

Dolly Pawton

Don’t forget, you too can ask Dolly a question.

Nothing is off limits so consider me your Dollylama (spiritual guru) here for all the real talk. Write in at dollypawton@gmail.com

Don’t worry you can be anonymous!

The post Dear Dolly: “Ten years with a marriage proposal on the line and a happy family’s existence. But is it enough? appeared first on Marie Claire.

Dear Dolly: ‘I’m getting married in a few months and I don’t think I can go through with it’

Dear Dolly: ‘I’m getting married in a few months and I don’t think I can go through with it’


Our residence Agony Aunt answers…

Dolly Pawton Marie Claire Columnist

London. Covent Garden. 1:45 pm

So I would ask you what you’ve all been up to, but I already know as so many of you have written to me with your dramas to Dear Dolly.. well I can tell you one thing, I feel a lot better about my love life, fashion malfunctions and drinking habits now I’ve heard about yours! Not to mention the jokes. You filthy bunch!

Speaking of drinking… I attended the fabulous LGBT awards at the Marriott hotel, Mayfair in London and rubbed shoulder pads (yes they are making a come back) with Mel B, she gave us all what we really-really wanted! All the gossip on everything but couldn’t remember who she was wearing! She looked spicy as hell, but after having a root around in her dress where a tag should be! (That’s right I had my paws inside a spice girl) We were non the wiser! Phoenix her daughter is a super babe and her Mum wouldn’t take her eyes off – can’t blame her she was gorgeous in a fully transparent mini body-con dress with lace and beads to cover her best bits!

There were so many familiar faces at the event and is always one I go to as the red carpet is as long as my list of ex’s and the champagne flows, just like Cardi B’s lyrics.

All the love was flowing from google boxes Scarlett Moffat, not only was she the ‘I’m a celebrity get me out of here’ jungle winner she was the winner of love on the night. Wearing Vivienne Westwood and opted for a smart/casual look, teamed an over sized Westwood print shirt with skinnies and heels. With a red lip and loads of hugs her look was perfect for the event.

The much-awaited Sinitta arrived and to my disappointment not a leaf in sight to cover her modesty, but a muted silver chain top with satin black pants. She enjoyed the night with the likes of the only way is Essex Bobby Noris, Beverly knight and Rachel Shelly.

I drank my body weight in Champagne and spoke to everyone about how fabulous I was and asked the questions no one dared too.

This week I got an email asking a very common question.

This one came in anonymously and how can I blame them. It’s a difficult one and can only sympathise with the feels.

Dear Dolly,

I don’t know if you can help me and I am sure you will get hundreds of questions but I am getting married in a few months and don’t think I can go through with it. I have been planning this wedding for over a year. I have had minimal to no help with the choice making and now feel exhausted and not sure I even want to be married? Please help. Was I just in love with the idea of the big day? Or is this normal pre wedding nerves?

Anonymous, Philadelphia US

 

Dear Philli,

This is a bloody hard one! I would off the cuff say RUN for the Hollywood hills, BUT pre wedding nerves are the most common feels and questions arise like “Do I even like them!?” Let alone love them. Saying “I do” for a lifetime is like me committing to pizza every night of the week. I mean, I love pizza but every night? I like to mix it up bit on a Thursday. I know we are not talking food but seriously this is the norm for pre wedding questions. I think the question should be could you see yourself without this person? Would you like to wake up without this person? If the answer is no it’s simply nerves. Wedding planning can take its toll don’t lose sight of your relationship and the love you have.

If the answer is “Hell no I can’t stand this person, Dolly, how could I be so wrong? I don’t see this person in my future” Then I will meet you at the top of the hill with tissues and a large bottle of something strong!

Either way, do what you feel in your heart and trust your gut. You can’t go wrong with that!!

 

London love,

Dolly Pawton

Dolly Pawton

 

Don’t forget, you too can ask Dolly a question.

Nothing is off limits so consider me your Dollylama (spiritual guru) here for all the real talk. Write in at dollypawton@gmail.com

Don’t worry you can be anonymous!

 

The post Dear Dolly: ‘I’m getting married in a few months and I don’t think I can go through with it’ appeared first on Marie Claire.

In defence of Brigitte Nielsen: why having a baby over 40 actually isn’t that big a deal

In defence of Brigitte Nielsen: why having a baby over 40 actually isn’t that big a deal


One older mum offers her advice to Brigitte Nielsen who is having a baby aged 54.

brigitte nielson

So, Brigitte Nielsen’s having a baby at 54. Congratulations, Brigitte! And welcome to the club for ancient mums. I’ve been a member for a while. I had my first child, Lucia, at the extremely average age of 34. Divorce and remarriage ensued, however, so it turned out that I had my second, Daisy, at 42. That already seemed pretty past it but wait for it, there’s more… Because I went on to have my third daughter, Matilda, at the grand old age of 45.

The chances of conceiving naturally – which Matilda was, in case you were wondering, which I know you were – were miniscule at that age. Using your own egg, even with assisted fertilisation, the odds are only 1 per cent (yes, you read that right. One. Per. Cent). The chances of staying pregnant were also slim – 60% of pregnancies at 45, I read fearfully, ends in miscarriage.

happy time ❤ positive vibes #happyness #positivevibes

A post shared by Brigitte Nielsen (@realbrigittenielsen) on May 30, 2018 at 10:07am PDT

But we made it and now, aged 50, I am the oldest mum in the classroom. There are more of us than ever, though – numbers of mums over 40 have doubled in the last 20 years. So Brigitte, here’s what you need to know:

1. While your friends are having grandchildren and/or affairs, you will be pushing a buggy around Co-Op (or Hollywood in your case, but you get the picture). The upside of this is that everyone will think you are younger than you are. The downside is that pushing a buggy demotes you to second-class citizen no matter what your age – although at least you do have somewhere to hang your shopping.

2. At a time when you might be expecting to focus on yourself – retrain as a landscape gardener, launch a start-up yoga app or write your long-awaited first novel – you will be learning a new skill. That of being very, very silly. This morning I had to pretend Matilda is a puppy called Fluffy who barks once for yes, twice for no, while Daisy imagined she was a cat called Mittens; I also had to talk to Matilda’s pet worm, called, um, Wormy. I know. It’s insane.

3. Exercise takes on a new meaning. Walking becomes meaningless at best, torture at worst, as you have to slow down to tortoise pace to accommodate the ladybird your child just coaxed onto her finger. You will make up for the lost calories chasing your child around with their knickers/tights/coat/shoes/hairbrush/toothbrush/flannel, however.

family getting larger ❤ #me #family #brigittenielsen #babybump

A post shared by Brigitte Nielsen (@realbrigittenielsen) on May 27, 2018 at 1:03pm PDT

4. You will lose some of your old friends who are discovering a second youth and partying too hard to be seen dead with you – quite reasonably, they will think you are too boring to hang about with any more as you have to go to bed at 9.30pm and believe that everything your child says is amazing and bears endless repetition (‘She was singing Frozen and she said “Let the strawberry jam” instead of “Let the storm rage on” – can you believe it???!!!’)

5. You will be tired. Yes, even more tired than if you were younger.

6. You will become obsessed with your own mortality – the thought that you will die before you’ve seen them all right in their lives is unbearable. This does mean you will be healthier – I now swim, run and cycle, don’t smoke and attempt to drink sensibly (although all the above does slightly drive me into the arms of Mr P. Grigio most nights, I do admit) in a bid to keep the Grim Reaper at bay.

7. There’s always an excuse to watch puppy, kitten and piglet Youtube videos, however, which is good.

Oh, and one last thing Brigitte. I don’t know if you get nits in Hollywood but if you do, Hedrin is your best bet.

Good luck.

The post In defence of Brigitte Nielsen: why having a baby over 40 actually isn’t that big a deal appeared first on Marie Claire.



‘Do they know each other yet?’ – a royal wedding review by our 5-year-old correspondent Beatrice 👑

‘Do they know each other yet?’ – a royal wedding review by our 5-year-old correspondent Beatrice 👑


‘Is that the one that’s getting married? The one with the orange beard?’

What a wedding! Prince Harry has married Meghan Markle on a gloriously sunny Saturday in Windsor.

Were you one of the two billion watching? Here’ s what our 5-year-old royal correspondent Beatrice Chadwick made of it all.

The guests

On Zara Phillips: ‘Is she going to have her baby at the wedding?’

On Princess Beatrice: ‘People call it RED hair but it’s actually orange’

Guests: ‘Everyone wants to see them. They must have made a long list of people.’

The Queen: ‘I think she looks old. I truly love her.’

Beatrice’s brother Teddy: ‘I like the bridesboys’

Our royal correspondent Beatrice with her little brother Teddy

The groom

‘Is that the one that’s getting married? The one with the orange beard?’

The arrival of the bride

Photo: Rex

‘She’s in a taxi! The girls are behind and the boys are in front’

‘They’ve been driving for a long time’

‘She’ll never get inside! She’s got such a long trail’

Photo: Rex

The royal couple

On Harry and Meghan: ‘Do they know each other yet?’

What do you think Harry is saying to Meghan? ‘I love you forever’

The carriage: ‘It’s like in Cinderella’

Final observations

‘I liked the Queen’s outfit best because of the purple flower on her head’

The post ‘Do they know each other yet?’ – a royal wedding review by our 5-year-old correspondent Beatrice 👑 appeared first on Marie Claire.