Let’s hear it for the girls

Sorry I was absent last night. I hit my Thursday night wall again for the second time. I have this wonderful boss who is very charming and this helps in his powers of delegation. He askes me to focus on one project and then keeps adding to my task list, forgetting that I work 22 hours a week. I’m not the modern day Cinderella, my work more resembles the ugly stepsister trying to squeeze work into the petite shoe that is my part-time hours. I’m sure part-timers the world over are nodding their heads in sage agreement.  I also got a dose of what it is like to be a single working-mum, as hubby was away. Hence me hitting the deck as soon as possible. Single working mothers I bow down to you all in awe – hats off girls and keep up the good work!

Of course I also took advantage of hubby being away by organising a girls night in. I also gave myself a night-off from checking the nutritional info o the back of pre-prepared food, so just chucked some dips on the table and breadsticks and let the girls let rip. I had my fair share too plus a couple of glasses of wine. So I was incredibly puzzled when I found myself upchucking over the toilet bowl in the small hours – has my diet made my tummy completely intolerant of anything mildly rubbish? I don’t know, needless to say I haven’t touched the dips since, I am also a bit scared of the crisps …and rose wine.

In my bid  for the bed and rest, I missed the England Men’s football, what a shame….lost again.

But on the flip side, look how well the women are doing:

England’s Women are just one point away from next summer’s World Cup after a narrow 2-1 win in Ukraine.

Mark Sampson’s side have won all eight qualifiers to date and are five points clear of second-placed Wales with two Group 6 matches remaining. A draw in Wales in August will seal a place at Canada 2015. (source: thefa.com)

Read more here

I am already looking forward to next year when I am hopeful the women can show the guys how it is done….and on (shock horror) less than £300k a week (or whatever Rooney earns).

I shall tell that to my daughter when I pick her up from football after school today, she is gradually receiving more passes from the boys having inspired the girls to get involved, come on we are in 2014 people!

As I missed last night’s post another £1 to Unicef. If you can donate to the campaign – great!

Thanks for reading.

Own goal for Sports Direct

Dear Sports Direct,

Thank you for sending me another giant mug that I do not need and a magazine that seems to assume most of your customers are male. When I placed the order for football boots and socks, I saw that you had pulled your trick again of sneaking another item on the bill and was glad to see that you had the decency to allow me to press ‘the remove from bill button’. Last time it took me so long to figure out how to remove the unwanted items, that I gave up. This time round, however, it still snuck its way back onto the check-out section.

Searching for and finding football boots on your website wasn’t great. The only way to navigate the boots on offer was to click individually on each brand. One brand appeared to have wiped out 50 per cent of the population when displaying boots for ‘men’ and ‘boys’. I can’t remember exactly when women started playing football but I’m pretty sure it has been a while, so you might want to update your records, hence why my daughter is playing football (and why I was searching for football boots).

My daughter loves her new boots but i’m glad she didn’t read the magazine. I had a glance through it and came across the double page about Andy Murray playing tennis in ‘a dream world’ where all the ball girls are models. Next to the article was a full page picture of a woman in lingerie. It ended with a ‘loaded magazine’ style leer about this particularly scantily clad woman appearing on the tennis courts in future and once again the writer mused at ‘what a dream world’ that would be. To avoid ‘sexism’ he inserted the word ‘ball-boys’ although the picture of Andy Murray surrounded by lots of pretty ball girls did not include boys as well so that was an extremely lazy attempt to avoid being sexist.

Two things irritated me about this article. First, the writer assumed the readership is male and heterosexual (I am not a lesbian so, being a heterosexual woman, I do not consider female models being ball girls a ‘dream world’. Lets stick to boys and girls, preferably those kids who thoroughly deserve to get close to the action in professional tennis.) Second, I had to close the magazine when my daughter walked into the room as I was worried about her reading the article and thinking a man’s job is to play a professional sport and a woman’s job is to look good on the side-lines.

The magazine has now taken its rightful place in the recycling bin.

So in writing this letter, I expect you to think about the following:

– Review your customer base, particularly for football goods (I think you will find some of them are female)

– review your editorial policy for the magazine (I am assuming the editor is male, if so he should know better)

– stop putting items in the online basket that have not been selected by the customer

I hope you will take my comments on board.

If not I will shop elsewhere and forward this letter to a few people who may test the capabilities of your PR department.

With regards

Tom Marter


This blog is for UNICEF.

Thanks for reading.

Girly heaven with the boys

“I was the only girl here today”, my daughter announced proudly as I picked her up from a day at an outdoor activities centre. She was on her own in the changing rooms and was worried that she would be left on her own if the boys changed quickly. Turned out it took her 10 minutes and she had to wait for the boys outside.

When we were out on the boat today we witnessed a regatta of teenage sailors. I admired the way one girl recovered from a capsize with such style that it looked as if she had planned it. As the boat went over she saw what was coming, clambered over the side as it rotated into the water, jumped onto the keel and hauled the boat back upright with ease. It was textbook. I wish I had filmed it and put it on YouTube. The sight of this appealed to me for so many reasons. First, it was a bank holiday and rather than being inside, bored and chomping on chocolate the teens were put in the fresh air and sun and occasionally getting dunked. Second they were using their brains and body simultaneously- not a regular occurrence with teenagers. But best of all it was seeing boys and girls competing on equal terms and when a girl gets herself onto trouble, she jolly we’ll gets herself put of it without any bother or interference.

Sailing is one of the few sports where men and women can compete on equal terms and when I see such sports in action it gives me a hint at what is possible of this equality was broadened out to society at large.

My daughter absolutely loved her day with the boys today because she was enjoying the day as their friend and equal. When she plays football she complains that the boys are reluctant o pass to her and she takes this on the chin. Today she got the bullseye in archery, made her raft flat and was the only person to reach the top on all the climbing wall levels. Then came home with one of the boys, who is also n her class, and played on the trampoline and then later on PS3’s ‘Need for Speed’. She was in ‘girly’ heaven.

I am blogging every day for UNICEF – see the campaign here.

Thanks for reading.

No Golden balls – why is this country so crap at football?

So Korea has beaten Great Britain at football in the Olympics. I don’t quite understand Olympic football. I thought it was meant to be amateur but with Ryan Giggs on the pitch and Stuart Pearce on the sidelines you would think we could have pulled a good score off. But no, once again we hope for much more than we can achieve. I personally don’t enjoy watching football except when it is performed by teams like Real Madrid who pass the ball with such finesse that it looks more like a performance than a match. Our footballers are paid so much yet give so little on the pitch – it is pants.

Thank God then that we happen to be good at other sports that don’t get anywhere near as much television coverage in-between Olympiads, yet us Brits clearly know how to play the game and play it well. Athletics, shooting, sailing, cycling, swimming, Judo to name but a few – but all considered minority sports in the eyes of mainstream television channel producers. There are some sports that don’t receive the Beebs attention despite success. Take dressage – Team GB have NEVER won an Olympic medal in dressage and it looks like the team are on course for a Gold medal before the final event of the series. Was this fact reported in the Beeb’s highlights of the day? a big fat NO – I hope Clare Balding had something to say about that. It is just not good enough. Hopefully they will get the gold and finally get the attention they deserve.

Let’ s hope that these sports that are thriving in Britain thanks to amazing athletes get the attention they deserve long after the Olympics are over in the form of better TV coverage. So can we please have more athletics, cycling, swimming, equestrianism and less of football played very badly – maybe the sudden drop in TV coverage is the kick up the arse that our complacent and over-paid footballers need.

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