Why You Won’t Find Love On A Plane

No one wants to gain all of life’s single-girl learnings through personal trial and error, so we owe it to the sisterhood to share life’s hard-won lessons.

Here’s two

One – Don’t date John Mayer.  Granted, probably not a stumble we are all likely to make, but bear in mind that girls more famous than us fell into this trap. Rebound guy, professional heart-breaker and kiss’n’teller,  Mr Mayer is only useful as short-term breakup-recovery fodder.

john Mayer

Bet Katy Perry wished she knew this before releasing that cringeworthy duet with him. (just google it, I am not going to legitimise it by posting it here)

Two – You won’t meet the man of your dreams on a plane. 

Logically, if your airline travel takes you to grown-up capital cities frequented by savvy business travellers, you would think that you’d be more likely to meet an intelligent eligible male with prospects than in a random bar because:

  • you are not travelling Garuda Airlines with hordes of ‘end of footy season’ lads clad in Bintang singlets, headed for Bali.
  • If you are mingling with the frequent flyers you are likely to encounter the ‘been married but too many airmiles put paid to that’ set who hopefully have no more baggage than that carry-on-limit-flouting mini-tank that they are trying to wedge into the overhead compartment.

ie …its just not to going to happen.

The reason why a long haul flight won’t magically matchmake you with a compatible co-traveller?  That co-traveller will be this guy:

 One – Mr Chatty

Before you even set butt on seat, Mr Chatty is eyeing off your magazine collection, your paperback, your hand luggage brand and has his head cocked to one side to take in the scent you are wearing.  Why?  He knows them all.  Not in a creepy ‘has stalked you since check-in’ kinda way but because he just knows everything. Period.

Your paperback, only released two weeks ago?  He’s read it and he’s going to talk you through it in excruciating detail (ncluding spoilers) before you are even through the safety briefing.

He knows your destination.  How? He’s read it upside down from the boarding pass clenched in your teeth as you awkwardly tried to stow your cabin baggage to avoid exposing your midriff (you regrettably wore a T-shirt a touch too short for airline travel).

Re: that destination, he’s preparing to tell you every immunisation you should have had before this journey if your work schedule had only permitted a window to consult with the travel doctor.

t shirt geek

There’s no escaping Mr Chatty.  You can pull on your fab, noise-cancelling headphones (Note: his are better) and try to watch your fave chick flick where you already know the ending so he can’t spoil it.  He’ll still tap you on the arm and tell you the 10 things no one knew about Julia Roberts before the movie Pretty Woman.

Unless you have a large dose of the celebrity-snooze-aid Stillnox, you aren’t going to be able to pass the time easily.

 Two – Mr Quirky

This guy is slightly less annoying than Mr Chatty, but will subject you to a long-haul parade of random.

He’s a faith healer that sensed ‘a distortion in your aura’ from the minute you sat down. In reality?  That distortion in your aura was the speed-wobbles caused by descending the aerobridge in heels after three sneaky Sauv Blancs in the airline lounge.

He’s a life coach that can sense that you are not in fact on a journey that will fulfil your life’s purpose. (anyone could guess that from the fact that you are carrying a copy of Gourmet Traveller and you are headed to Townsville)

He’s got a fear of travelling that will cause him to grip the armrests, go rigid, and rummage in your seat-pocket for an extra sick bag at the slightest hint of turbulence.

None of these seem to immediately resonate with you.

Three – a colleague

Much as we may enjoy the daytime company of our colleagues and even chit chat over a 5pm beer, no one ever really wants to fly, eat, sleep next to, and wake up drooling beside a colleague on a long-haul flight.   There are precious few in the world that I would share that level of intimacy with and none of them are on the same payroll as I am.

No one wants to hear office rumours come back about the weird ‘phhhhrruuugh’ sound that you make whilst sleeping.

I have been known to take extreme evasive action to avoid being seated with a colleague on a long haul flight including (but not limited to)

  •  Hiding in the Ladies upon seeing a colleague in departures so that they don’t beckon me to join them in a shared check in
  • Declining the opportunity to car pool which would again imply joint check-in by suggesting that I was coming not from home but from a non-existent bayside holiday house
  • Choosing to travel Melbourne to Singapore via Perth

Do these things.  No one wants to find an unauthorised photo of themselves slack-jawed and dribbling on the office gossip’s instagram.  (that was so #lastyearsxmasparty)

 Four – an eligible version of George Clooney

george 3

This all sounds good, and you may have to paper-cut-slice-yourself with the corner of the infight magazine to make sure you aren’t dreaming, but be aware that all you have here is some mocking at the hands of the airline gods.

Why?  Pretty as HE may be, these are not going to be YOUR finest hours.  You might start all freshly made up, clothing neatly ironed and with the sparkle that is the combination of some bronzer-testing in duty free and a Bollinger in the first class lounge, but its all going to go downhill from here.

You won’t be wearing the skinny jeans that have a spanx-like effect on your thighs, simply because the last time you did this on a long-haul you felt like you gave yourself an entire-lower-body case of deep vein thrombosis.  Therefore your thighs will spread horizontally, taking all available real-estate with the zeal of Lindsay Fox reclaming some Portsea foreshore.

Instead, you’ll be wearing a cargo pant.  In a stretch this means you have something in common with the off-duty supermodel but only if paired with high heels. You know you won’t do that as you’ve already learned that trying to stuff fluid-engorged feet into stilettos has all the grace and finesse of  trying to get a sleeping bag back into its little sack.

No one can do this.

About mid-way during the flight your facial skin, perfectly prepared for the journey with hydration that would green the Nullabor and a raw food vegan diet that would have Gwyneth genuflecting, will FAIL in its ability to wake up with acceptable plane-face.  You will look like you put your face into a 90 minute industrial tumble dry cycle on hot.  Every hour of plane travel ages you a year.  I know this.

So your Clooney-like neighbour will dismiss you from contention whilst ogling your trash-mag to see if there is a Di Caprio cast-off he can snag *

(*men do not suffer the aircraft ageing process)

But don’t despair.  Just regard your likelihood of meeting a new partner on a plane as low as snagging an unexpected upgrade from economy to first class, and you won’t be disappointed.

Valentines Day – Step away from the Selfie

And it’s rolled on by again.

The yearly ritual of Valentine’s Day.

Someone coined the alternate phrase ‘Singles Awareness Day’, which earns itself an unfortunate acronym and succeeds in making it sound like some kind of disease for which we should all raise money.

There’s nothing like Valentines Day to bring out the insecurities in the single woman. Despite career achievements, physical accomplishments, travel adventures and cultural intelligence there’s just that teeny feeling inside that you’d just like Simon from the mailroom to call and say there’s been a delivery for you.

In the feelgood blog of the V.DAY weekend, I’m here to point to the ‘have-it-all’ celebrity women who are twice as insecure as you are. We know this not by tell-all interviews or heart-wrenching blogs. How do we know this?

By their selfies.

These selfies are on a scale from the most innocuous to those that scream shrilly for likes like a fishwife screams at a deadbeat husband.

The everygirl selfie

This is the selfie that aims to demonstrate that the celeb is tremendously normal, dateable, quirky and loveable. Relatively harmless, it will see the celeb posing with an everyday prop, undertaking regular-world activities or being, well, just normal.

Take Taylor Swift for example. Being photographed with a donut is really like being photographed with a bestie isn’t it? Every single chick surely has a carbohydrate of choice right?


I’m yet to front up on instagram posing with a plate of Spaghetti Amatriciana, but I can kinda see where she’s headed. Love me, love my carbs / refined sugars?

The ‘Clayton’s’ Selfie

For the non-Aussies in my readership, Clayton’s was a non-alcoholic beverage that tried to pretend it was as good as booze. The catchphrase was ‘the drink you have when you are not having a drink.’

For those 40s chicks who find that anachronistic, bear in mind that it was hip in the 70s and 80s and now has faded into inevitable insecurity.  We have no time for fake booze.

So the Clayton’s Selfie is the Selfie you have when you are not having a Selfie.

It’s the celeb selfie where you are pretending its about something else other than you. Case in point was the recent Kylie Minogue pic. Artfully disguised in a series that illustrated her ah-mazing shoe collection, she posted this.


40schick was totally sucked in.

I saw those red soles, thought: Louboutin.

I saw those coloured sparkles, thought: Arnotts 100s and 1000s biscuits.

Every man in the world, thought: Kylie still has hotpants-butt at age 45.

I’m fairly sure, with her heart still suffering its recent puncturing at the hands of Andres Veloncoso, that she was aiming for the latter.

The Ralphie

Ralph is a fairly icky Men’s magazine. Hence the Ralphie is the Selfie where you’d like to think you are just a moment away from featuring on the front cover.

It’s the selfie where you apply the best instagram filter you can find, where you secretly sneak your pic off to photoshop to lop off some arm fat, fill in some stomach creases and apply an all over tan that even your fave tanning salon can’t nail. You do your best work in a bikini, find a great background and then post it for all the world to see.

If you are Miranda Kerr, there’s no need for this fakery: you get the real deal.


If you are the Kardashian matriarch, this is what you get.


Honestly. If this is what Gran is up to, I fear for North West.

The Kardashelfie

Shorthand for the Kardashian selfie, everything about this reeks of the need for validation. Even in your darkest Valentines Day, vodka-infused, chick-flick watching despair you are by no means as desperate as this. This is a posting that is all about likes, about going viral on the interwebs, about being talked about: good or bad.

In Kim’s case? I want to try to explain it but I just can’t.

Nope. Just can’t.

Its potentially post-partum hormones gone wrong (of which I have no experience) or the need to keep Kanye on his toes (of which I have no experience)


Demi Moore has been guilty of similar.

In Demi’s case, I guess its just “Damn, I paid a lot of money for this body and I may as well post it”


The moral of the story? By this time next year we need to come up with some kind of singles ribbon badge to proclaim singleness with pride and join forces with the other ribbon-wearers.  Over cocktails and war stories about Tinder.

Anything to keep us all off Instagram.

If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.

Dodging the Wrecking Ball

The recent train wrecks amongst our more junior celebrities has caused me to ponder the advice that I would now give to my 20 year old self about to who to date and how to conduct myself.

Although there’s plenty to learn from in my own history, learning from one’s own mistakes is nowhere near as much fun as indulging in celebrity disaster stories. Besides, mine aren’t plastered across the interwebs for google to find (and my facebook account only goes back to 2008)

Dear 20 year old version of 40s chick, 

Have vision

I know you have no apparent psychic tendencies, but you need to be aware that what is appealing now can turn bad as quickly as you can say Disney starlet meltdown.




There’s a theme here – it’s the talented clean-cut ones that seem to go horribly wrong. Pick a Mr Average and they are unlikely to do a Bieber on you.

Resist the bad-boy

Just as every head of lustrous locks could be sheltering inner demons and beneath glossy sparkling skin there could lurk a layer of festering rebellion, there’s no reason to go the opposite direction and date the out-and-out bad boy. It might seem like dating the unapologetic damaged rock star or your local recreational weed smoker at least means you know what you are up against, but no.

Take Pete Doherty, lead singer of a band that no one can remember, proven to be even too rock and roll for Kate Moss in her hard core rock chick days. Largely credited with Amy Winehouse’s downfall. You don’t want this.

You might find your local equivalent of a Charlie Sheen, refreshingly upfront about his womanising tactics, to be a known quantity and consider a dabble on a light hearted basis. Consider his philandering ways as an inbuilt safeguard which will eventually grow tiresome for you, hopefully long before he starts to look like someone you’d report to the police if he was hanging round a primary school when the kiddies are let out.


Never overlook the power of a decent wardrobe and a haircut

Even with the beer goggles on, there are some candidates you would never give a second glance. I don’t want to be all Nanna about judging and books and covers, but remind yourself that it is ALL ABOUT THE RAW MATERIAL.

Poor Jon only needed to tone down the animal print and barber the bouffant.


Even George was in trouble whilst he was dabbling with polka dots and a mullet and benefited greatly from letting go of the eyebrows and indulging in some stubble.


Recognise that a moustache is disposable – just know there’s a risk they’ll re-grow it in the 2013 hipster craze


Dear younger version of 40s chick – I promise you, someday the 80s will end

For you? Here a are couple of words of advice.

No vodka before lunch

Much can be learned from the tribulations of Lilo. Most notably, that booze before lunch is a slippery slope. Start early knocking off the vodka and OJs, everything starts to resemble your favourite tipple – orange tan, orange hair


orange jumpsuit


Above all, embrace your inner Disney Princess

Bear in mind that there is nothing wrong with hair extensions, a friendly smile and some prom style fashion.


Shiny polyester in a nude colour does no one any favours and the only person who thinks Miley Cyrus looks better in the second photo is Miley Cyrus.

Good luck!
Love 40s chick xo

If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.

Finding love (or carbs) in a self-help book

I’m at a health retreat, (and no, its not rehab) Health-retreat characteristics abound

  • the superbendy yoga instructor who completely lost her zen trying to wrangle my runner’s hamstrings into something beyond perpendicular and sustained a kick to the forehead
  • the chef who, in a nanosecond in the cooking demonstration, whipped up something resembling a rum-ball but with only coconut, lime and dates (and the only time those three things could go well together would be speed-dating over summer cocktails)
  • that fragrance wafting from my pores that switched from an early-days tincture of vodka-and-potato-chip-sweat and eventually became redolent of asparagus and minted pea
  • the diet that eliminates so many of life’s little toxins that you feel a bit guilty when applying your sticky strawberry lip gloss.

And no, this is not going to be a blog about how to meet a man at health retreat, as from my periodic stints I have observed that the male clientele is comprised of male-male couples and forlorn husbands who have enticed here on the promise of the relationship-renewal that occurs during the shared extreme carb-deprivation. Alternatively it’s the false hope that they’d escape the compound and get a round in at the tantalisingly placed golf course next door. Yes, I’ve seen them pressed up against the chain link fence, trying to flag down a golf cart for so long that the fence creates a faux-6-pack imprint on their stomach….. (if only they had the social-media savvy to instagram it as a little bit of merry retreat-pic-fakery like these pranksters)


What the retreat lacks in available male talent, it makes up for with a dizzying array of self-help books to assist you to snag / keep one. I was trying to prise myself away from the bath-bomb selection in the gift shop (given its not healthy to look so longingly at a bath product purely because it looks like moulded fairy floss and comes in flavours like chocolate and coconut ice) when I stumbled (and yes it was a proper too-much-running –before-breakfast stumble) upon the book selection.

This caused me to ponder and rate the relationship self-help books on offer.

One – He’s just not that into you.

A useful collection which became that bit more consumable in the movie version thanks to the concept of a assembling a stellar ensemble cast – first trialled in ‘Love Actually’. Fabulous by-product in that it got The Cure onto a sound track.

Points for that chilling lesson: that when he says ‘I’m not really into relationships’ he actually means ‘I’m not really into relationships’ which is exactly what those of us with an ‘I’ll change him’ gene needed to hear.

Two – The Secret

Leads with the tag ‘Everything is possible. Nothing is impossible’ I’m there with the theory that we create our lives with every thought of every day. However every thought of every day was not strong enough to manifest Ryan Gosling in a Santa suit bearing a chilled margarita and a chick flick last year and I’ve got very little hope that he’s going to appear this year either.

Ironically, I firmly believe that the mantra chanting may have been just enough to result in his breakup TODAY from Eva Mendes,which I don’t think means he’ll be boarding the first flight to Australia to get here in time for some mistletoe action but will simply serve in making him available to date other Hollywood starlets.  Law of unintended consequences.

Ryan and Eva take time apart

Three – Eat Pray Love

Whilst I’m not even sure this qualifies as a self-help book, the carb-fiend in me is happy to recommend it to anyone who is looking for a reason to hang out in Italy and repeatedly take on a skinful of pasta. Always happy to think, talk and read about carbohydrates, or in fact any other simple sugars. (right now, in my mid-retreat-week food hallucinations I swear I’d snort bath salts if I thought it would elevate my insulin levels)

I’d skip the India bit and move right along to the love part – hopefully sans Bali Belly and the obligatory Australian hooligans getting their Bintang-bogan on.


Four – Dr Phil’s ‘Love Smart – Find the one you want, fix the one you got’


Don’t even start me with the poor grammar in that tag line, and while we are on tag lines, what is about self-help books that require epic titles?     ‘I Need Your Love – Is That True? How to Stop Seeking Love, Approval and Appreciation And Start Finding Them Instead’ Even reading the cover is exhausting.

I already feel I know a lot about Dr Phil’s take on relationships via his TV programs ie

On online dating – ‘An Online Impersonator Faked Her Death and Sent Me Ashes’

On unhealthy obsessions – ‘Dr Phil Confronts My Stalker’

On relationship misunderstandings – ‘I Did Not Try To Blind My Wife’

…and his all-time classic documentary-esque examination of a healthy marriage and how to bring up well-adjusted children (who can rock a mugshot) ‘The Lohans’


Save your Dr Phil time for pure entertainment around Beauty Queens Gone Bad and Baby Mama Dramas.

In reality? If I bought any of these they will join their brethren (7 Habits of Highly Effective People and You Can Heal Your Life) and serve their greatest purpose as a replacement for the dodgy leg of the chest of drawers that dislodged itself some time back.

Sticking with my mum’s sage advice that practice makes perfect is probably relevant for all in the dating scene. In the meantime, I swear I’d fall for the first person to bring me a pastry.


If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.

The Dating Downside of the Billionaire and the Supermodel

The Aussie trash mags were agog this week with the unqualified rumour / dead-set certainty that Miranda Kerr and James Packer were an item, nay, truly in love.

Miranda – Aussie model made good by being blessed with the revered Victoria’s Secret Angel wings who shortly cemented her celeb-status by marrying and bearing an heir to Orlando Bloom, only to have her marriage undergo dignified disintegration two years later.

James – spawn of famous yet aesthetically challenged Packer media-mogul family, he of a procession of brunette wives, an OTT superyacht and the taint of scientology via his friendship with Tom Cruise.

Associated hashtags trended up in the down-under realm of the twittersphere. Given the unnerving timing of Miranda’s split from Orlando and James’s de-merger from his third wife Erica Packer AND the fact they all already knew each other, there was an element of alleged chronological impropriety. Hose that down all you like and you are still left with


As anyone who has tried to get back on the horse, so to speak, after even the most anonymous split, where there was no divvying up of superyachts, harbour-houses and LA-pads, will tell you that the first relationship post marital implosion is fraught. Even if all you are quibbling over is the meagre pickings of a couple of superannuation funds, a cream-brick house with an outdated kitchen and 1997 Holden Astra, the first relationship you dabble in after signing the documents is as likely to be successful as Lindsay Lohan’s next rehab stint.

Take a model and a billionaire and the rebound relationship has platinum status #firstworldproblems

Here’s how the difficulties of model- billionaire rebound relationship differ from your own.

One – the relationship nickname might not work.

My first recollection of this was Bennifer – the ill-fated pairing of Jennifer Lopez and Ben Affleck, who in my opinion deserved to go down in flames after the production of the execrable Gigli which took 121 minutes out of my life that I will never get back.

The Oscar-winners of the super-couple nickname stakes undoubtedly go to Brangelina who after similarly dubious relationship timing vis-à-vis Brad’s marriage to Jennifer Aniston (#teamJen) managed a nicely multi-syllabic melodic combo that has precisely the number of consonants as the number of children they have.

Miranda and James? I’ve got nothing.

Jamiran – sounds like Jamiroqai’s unloved stepbrother

Packerr – entirely lacking in imagination and, depending on which way you look at it, reduces a Victoria’s Secret Angel to a single letter.

Miracker – which is their best hope but means they will go down in history as a misspelt Spanish percussion instrument.

Two – the tabloids know about your relationship one millisecond after you do

In your average suburban relationship, you can keep knowledge of your new relationship to only your besties and those who happened to be on FB in the 3 minutes where you drunkenly posted a premature couple pic (before the grown-up in you kicked that #nofilter pic to the kerb given the sense you had that it might not last until the next change of season)

If you are a model/billionaire coupling, you have less than a single heartbeat before your digitally welded picture is splashed on a mag cover, especially if its in an off-week for the Kardashians.


Three – everything that’s gone before is public

With your average suburban soccer dad, even your best online-stalking efforts will likely turn up nothing worse than some ill-advised lycra in a cycling/triathlon phase, or a litany of boring-sounding administrative jobs on Linked-in.

Google James Packer and you have everything from a period of overindulgence in pretty much everything that is high-calorific in life before he went through his recent body transformation,


a lifetime where he has not nailed a decent hairstyle,


and a hint of what might be instore in the unlikely event you grow old together – in the form of his father Kerry Packer.


Four – you become part of a cliché.

James is now known as serial modeliser, having dated

  • Model Jennifer Flavin who had been ditched by Sylvester Stallone
  • Model Jodie Meares who learned so much career-wise from their time together that she progressed from swimsuit model to swimsuit designer and her spiritual progression dictated that she reinvent herself from eastern-suburban Jodie to Himalayan-meditation-retreat-dwelling Jodhi.
  • Model Erica Baxter who hailed from the same teeny country town as Miranda. Did both of them rate in the year-book as ‘most likely to snag a billionaire’?

Not on the same scale as Leonardio De Caprio, but unless Miranda is about to become a honey-blonde, there’s no danger of being enticed into his world.


So listeners, much as you might be balancing the edgy thrill of a rebound relationship with the ennui of kindy-drop-off, the weekly grocery run and the unenviable challenge of just trying to keep up a summer-sandal-worthy pedicure, bear in mind it could be worse.

You could be reading about your new relationship in media more permanent than an ill-advised instagram pic viewed through a suburban cut-price-vodka-hangover.


If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.

Date preparation – then and now

This weekend saw a get together, in the teeniest of country towns, under the auspices of the infamous ‘Girls Weekend’ of a bunch of girls whose worlds had first collided in a working class suburb of Melbourne some 30+ years ago. Since we first met we had borne every bad hairstyle of the 80s, our fair share of fashion hits and misses, a dozen children (with a spectacular lack of contribution on my part), and we now represented every available relationship status offered by Facebook. Shenanigans were contained to only overindulgences in a tremendous home-made lasagne and Woolworths lamingtons, though there was a slight brush with the law when my arrival complicated things by inexplicably getting us locked out of our accommodation. This resulted in two of us having to traipse down the road and plead with the local constabulary (me aghast at having no shoes on and appearing only in stockinged feet) to call the owner to allow us entry back in again. About as close as I want to get to Lindsay Lohan when it comes to undignified legal entanglements.


There is nothing like a catchup with the besties that have been your friends since Primary School to lay on a little bit of reminiscing about times past. As one of them opined about how they didn’t envy those on the dating scene again at our age we were drawn in, as girls so often are when softened by a little white wine and sunshine, to debate whether it was easier then or now.

Honing in on the theme of date preparation, most were on the side of it being far easier back in the day. Debate ensued. And over a veritable volcano of Philly Cheese erupting sweet chilli sauce over Savoys, here’s the collective wisdom of those gals when it comes to first date prep – then and now.


Back in the day, it was enough to sit in the bath, taking in the ambience of a mosaic of brown and beige tiles, listening to one of these

cassette tape

and applying the seventy-seven kinds of chemicals (none of them actually carcinogenic, but certainly tested without regard to the welfare of our animal friends) that were present in Palmolive’s high end leave-in conditioner.

From there a vent brush

vent brush---2

was applied to wrangle that 80s perm into something that would never resemble natural hair. It was almost always necessary to hold the hair up and SPRAY EVERY SINGLE SUCKER in place with a grim abandon knowing that tomorrow you’d feel like a sticky Pop Tart had taken up residence in your hair. But, people, that was tomorrow’s problem. The fact that a can of Silhouette lacquer could be used to stop a huntsman spider in its tracks by clagging up its legs and spakfilling its breathing apparatus was just a well-understood side-benefit.

It it didn’t stick – fry in it place with a crimper.

crimped hair

Today, you need to either emulate Jen Aniston’s flat-ironed locks or the Victoria’s Secret runway curls, neither of which can ever be achieved in your own home, and will therefore require a pre-planned hairdresser visit and the presentation of an appropriately bolstered credit card.


Back in the day, eye colour came in a crème pot, and once Lady Diana started rocking the blue eyeshadow and started crayoning a matching blue to her inner eyelids, we knew that doing the same placed us only a moment away from finding our own Prince.

blue eyeliner diana

We all conveniently overlooked that her prince was actually the uninspiring Charles and re-oriented ourselves to trapping George Michael via his endorsement of peacock eye-shadow.

blue eyeshadow

(it took many more albums and a number of tabloid articles before we realised that George Michael was not going to end up our Prince either….. Not sure why we didn’t realise earlier…)

or gloves

Back then, we could leave eyebrows completely unattended, to the point where, following the influence of Brooke Shields, we could pretty much allow beings the size of two mutant furry caterpillars to roam our foreheads at will.

Brooke Shields Eyebrows

Now we must allow overpriced beauticians to apply boiling wax to our eyebrows and tear out all those errant hairs with careless abandon, at about the price of $1.50 per hair (depending on how hirsute you are)


In the early 80s, the word pedicure was about as well used as the word sun-dried tomato. You painted on successive layers of Cutex until a chisel was required, then you started over.

These days, it starts at your feet. Any woman in her 40s that has gained a few kilos, knows that the fastest way to improve your BMI is to wear super-high heels. If you are in the Southern Hemisphere, your new year’s resolution to MEET SOMEOME will likely mean that your high heel of choice is going to be a strappy sandal – which means your toes need to be in order.

Whilst tarting up your feet is going to be inexpensive due to the invasion of cheap nail salons, it’s not without its level of discomfort, especially if you are a runner like me, whose feet have a more tenuous grip on their surface than a truck with the cheapest of budget retreads

Despite my apologies to the ladies, there is a twittering that goes on when they spy my feet that makes me think that this insidious new eruption of cheap nail salons comes with its own ‘Klingon’ style language. It’s disturbing, and although they are inclined to sometimes trumpet reassuringly at random ‘you so skeennny’, nothing can make me feel good about all this.


These days, its about exfoliation, fake tan and some kind of sparkly skin cream that allows you all the shimmer and tan of a stint in the Bahamas without lapsing into something that suggests you’ve emerged from the local Tandoori restaurant’s oven and rolled into a field of glitter.

Back then, you did a bit of an Aapri scrub, and, if he was special, you splashed some Reef Oil sunscreen into your bath water and swanned around for the rest of the evening like an overheated pina colada, all the while giving off a whiff of Arpege.


In short? We think it might have been a little easier back in the day. But I think it might take another Girls Weekend, with obligatory carbs and vino, with only a fleeting visit from the constabulary if we REALLY DESERVE IT, to figure out the answer for sure.

Time to Train up!

Lets face it readers, meeting someone special is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN if you remain on your couch at home.  Even if you try, one of your besties will eventually parade past your couch, scooping up the guilt-inducing remnants of your Noodle Box carb-fest, clinking together the empties of your single-handed tour through the Marlborough wine region and take it as a personal mission to GET YOU OUT THERE.

If you want control your own destiny, this is to be avoided at all costs.  If you can summon up the teeniest level of proactivity and arise from your heartbreak-induced languor and do this before they swoop in, there is much to be gained.

But where?

Start with sports.

Here are five options to unlock a hidden pool of activity that will prise you off that couch, get you out in the air and mingling with the eligibles, complete with a  tip or two on how to get started and a couple of rookie mistakes to avoid.


 Watching golf on TV is something only slightly less tedious than alphabetically re-organising the spice cupboard and a sport where you could depart the lounge-room for a three course meal and still not have seen a change in the leader board.

Take in some live golf however and you open up a range of possibilities.  Firstly, if you are following this guide sequentially, this will be your first foray outdoors since the breakup and you will:

  • Allow sunshine on skin that has grown as pasty and delicate as that of an 80-year-old shut-in
  • Start to burn off that Ben and Jerry’s calorie surplus that you’ve accumulated via  golf-spectator walking, reaping all the aerobic advantages of a golf game without the frustration of trying to do something productive with that stupid white ball
  • Note that the vast majority of spectators are men.  If you are able to forgive an over-abundance of baseball cap-wearing you are well placed to scoop one up.

Just not this one.


The Olympics

The Olympics bring  a dazzling array of sporting prowess, a tremendous arrangement of live entertainment and a tribe of terribly earnest volunteers (and lets face it, we do love someone in a lanyard).


  •  I lack statistical evidence, but suggest you are unlikely to locate your life-partner in the stands at the Greco-Roman Wrestling or the male synchronised diving events
  • Lurk around the exits of the blue-ribbon events such as 100m finals and swimming, paying particular attention to those who emerge from the corporate function boxes

Case in point


Tasmanian wannabe-real-estate agent becomes PRINCESS as a result of chance meeting at the Sydney Olympics.

Throughbred Racing

High stakes, hats, style, celebrities who know nothing about horse-racing, branded marquees and you have all the glamour of the Milan Fashion Festival with only the teeniest whiff of portaloo and horse-effluent.

Take a few stiletto totters inside the front gates of the racecourse and if your single-radar still has a bleep left in it you will latch onto the fact that the ratio is vastly in your favour.

You have the perfect excuse to frock up, get your hair done (or if that fails, squeeze it into a hat that costs you about the same as your next three haircuts) and float about the lawn in a frothy dress.  Trust me, two glasses of bubbles and you will find a way to extract your stilettos from a grassy lawn with the ease of an ice-dancer.  Then simply glide from one bucks party to the next, avoiding any cluster of men in onesies, fluorescent suits or superhero costumes.

We might be all a bit jaded with the antics of Liz Hurley and Shane Warne, but lets take note that they met at a race meeting and appear to be still going strong at Ascot three years later


Just don’t go near this sort of display.

cup day


I’m being outrageously Melbourne-biased (but hey, its my blog) but AFL footy does have its unique advantages when it comes to re-entering the male domain.


  •  Treat the Great Southern stand as you would the Uruzgan province of Afghanistan and only venture into the shadows of the light-towers of the MCG if you have a sponsor that can ticket you into the hallowed halls of the MCC members.
  • You may find that you don’t actually venture into daylight and your viewing of the actual game may be the same as what you’d see if confined on your couch since you might not emerge from the Bullring bar but remember that its called the BULL ring bar and is entirely male dominated (else it would be called the Daisy the Dairy Cow Domain.  And that will never happen)

Just don’t try to match the blokes drink for drink and end up in this situation


Grand Prix Motor Racing

I have my suspicions that there is actually no discernable difference between the molecular composition of testosterone and that of high-octane racecar fuel.  Both have the ability to drive men to incredible feats.

Being at the car races you have the best of both worlds:

  • In the corporate tent – those that will challenge you from a career ambition and intellectual perspective (although likely with an accompanying ego that is never going to be able to cheerlead you on your journey through the glass ceiling)
  • In the outer – someone that will always have the strength to flip the top of your Crownie, change a washer in your bathroom tap and have the ability to indulge that latent curiosity you have about men in tradie shorts.

Just stay at the GP, and don’t think that it bears any resemblance to the Bathurst 1000 where you will find something like this:


In summary – find your sport and train up!

If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.

Meeting the parents – second time round

I was starting to feel that my blog was leaning towards pessimism of late.  Did you get that vibe, lovely readers?   Twitter splits, breakup grief, rookie mistakes and fashion faux pas ….It was starting to sound a lot like a Cure album in their more sombre early 80s era.  So this week I was on the hunt for something a little more upbeat – bit more like the ‘Friday I’m in Love’ flavour of blog-topic.

The universe presented me with this via a very entertaining chat with one of my friends about an event, had you not become single in your 40s, you would have left in the archives of ’awkward stuff you do in your 20s’ She described, in colourful language, the joys of  a late-in-life meeting of the new BF’s  parents.

So it’s an upbeat story, in the sense that it demonstrates the clear possibility that you can  enter a relationship so meaningful that you are willing to schmooze up to a set of new potential in-laws.  Again.

Alas, I can’t recount the tale verbatim as it would clearly identify my confidante, so instead I pondered how best to present your credentials to some new elders, when you cross that line into coupledom in your mid 40s.  Here goes:

Fair degree of domestic ability

No student-housing squalor, no frat-house behaviour – at this stage in your life you are likely to understand that a vacuum cleaner bag does need to be emptied at some kind of interval, that a bathroom requires more than just a twice yearly North-Korean style nuking with Exit Mould and that vegetables left unattended in the fridge will indeed turn into a festy and unidentifiable liquid.

In my case, you even have the ability to turn this

shoe crazy

Into this

shoe tidy

in the time it takes to polish off a glass of sauv blanc and listen to a Rod Stewart song.

In addition, I have an ability to turn out a meal.  Even more importantly, I have been taught by maestro Jamie Oliver that ANYTHING you wish to churn out is made remarkable by the simple act of serving it on a wooden board.

food on a board

Life skills people.

No notable meltdowns

With a degree of common sense and a truckload of luck, you are likely to have avoided demonstrating any one of the following destructive behaviours.

An impulsive hairstyle choice and wilful vandalism.


Naff hairband and a shoplifting conviction


A brush with too many sequins and some OTT competitive spirit.

nancy kerrigan

Or in my case your transgressions fail to attract any kind of public interest and remain off the record.

A rapport with the kiddies

Nothing will cause you to be the subject of a parent’s death stare and accompanying interrogation like the risk that you are not only whisking away their child, but are likely to subvert their grandchildren as well.

If, as in my case, you’ve had a life-long disinclination to spawn any miniature humans of your own, I suspect you will be in for double the drilling, as you lack any credentials whatsoever.  It would probably be preferable that you had an underachieving, substance-dabbling, likely to be perpetually-unemployable-as-an-adult, teen rather than be what was recently phrased in reference to our own prime minister as ‘deliberately barren’…



If needed I would offer up my ability to entertain children all ages, starting with my considerable experience in amusement parks.   I bond with children of all ages – especially over topics such as the perils of trying to keep fairy floss out of one’s abundant hair.

fairy floss

I’m fabulous in any theme park environment…just present me with the kiddie that is content with this and we’ll rotate around in crockery until the cows come home.


Just not this

spinny ride

…since most of us understand the risk of impromptu and disturbing occurrences  of projectile gastrointestinal upset. On my part.

No ongoing addictions

Sure we’ve all had our brushes with the phrase ‘too many vinos’, sure we’ve all had an occasional table-dancing incident, but at our age we are likely to have unrivaled reflexes in deleting a facebook tagging of photographic evidence and a subsequent de-friending.

If FB doesn’t know…it didn’t happen.

When it comes to obsessive behaviour, my obsession with running is far outweighed by my fixation with carbs, so you won’t see me rock up to family Christmas looking like this either.

nicole richie

So if you do reach relationship nirvana and have to brave the ‘parents meet-n-greet’, take stock of your credentials and go in confidently with the air of someone accomplished and balanced.   Better still, toss down two glasses of red wine, email them your Linked-in profile in advance and do a self-google-stalk to check if you are in the clear.

If you are taking your online dating a little more seriously than this blog, check out this website for fabulously simple online dating advice.

When Twitter knows you’ve split before you do…

It used to be a little simpler to pick up on the signs that your relationship was coming apart at the seams. A gradual drift apart, longer working hours at the office, a moving van appearing unexpectedly at the marital home….

In this era, it is entirely likely that social media is likely to register your impending relationship implosion before you do, and everything you needed to know about your couple-doom will be delivered by this chirpy little fellow.


For the uninitiated, prone to some new-age rookie mistakes, here are the five twitter clues that might indicate you are headed for #splitsville.

Early warning visuals

Body language is a funny thing, right? A reliable but subtle indicator that all is not well – and Twitter conveniently dishes this right up to you in photographic form. Take these examples….

kardashian body language

At the point you become more interested in holding your handbag with both hands rather than one of your boyfriend’s hands, disaster looms.

It is no defence to cite the fact that said handbag cost you more than a small luxury car.

Slightly further north on the scale of awkward body language is something like this.

body language

Death-ray stare from Katie, something between fear and sheepish from Tom and even the kiddie knows she doesn’t want to be there.

The warning signs need not be pictorial. Some of us have very predictable behaviour around a breakup. Daily infusion of Lindt almond chocolate anyone?

Despite her youth, no one demonstrates more entrenched breakup response behaviour than Taylor Swift. I give you:

  • ‘I knew you were trouble’
  •   ‘Better than revenge’, and
  •  if you were any doubt about potential reconciliation ‘We are NEVER. EVER. getting back together.

So if you were entangled with her and you saw this status

taylor swift-studio

you know its over and another #splitsvillesong is about to hit itunes.

Aberrant behaviour

Next step along from the early warning body language signs are the deliberately posted images of defiant behaviour.

A clear sign that perhaps you are not the same people as you were when you first coupled up is when you wake to a tweet that shows your significant other has morphed from this

hanna montana

To this

aberrant pic cyrus

…potentially in a bid to deliberately move away from the image they knew you fell in love with. If you hadn’t detected the subtle hair and wardrobe change, they are now visually bludgeoning you with it with all the subtlety of a Donatella Versace spray tan.

Alternatively it may come in the form of a reminder that they have joined a new crowd that you are no part of.

miley and the twerking kids

It could even be the simple donning of an outfit/coat of armour that screams I NEVER WANT YOU TO TOUCH ME AGAIN.

aberrant pics kardashian

Cryptic Tweets

Nothing says its over like not saying its over.

The twittersphere abounds with quotes from the vintage sayings of relationship gurus such as Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, to new age chaff that spews forth from the google relationship quote generator faster than you can brew a pot of tea.

obsucre tweets marilyn

obscure tweets - taylor

A touch of obscurity there. With any luck you may be less in the dark if you are on the receiving end of something more robustly obvious like Seal simply tweeting #theend.

Radio silence

There are risks in dating someone who needed to go through tabloid humiliation to learn that flirty texts to someone other than your partner are messy when made public. That said, you might feel that the risk is mitigated when he went on to reform himself into a bit more of a monogamist and moved onto twitter knowing that everything said was public. Hello Shane Warne

If you then proceed to play out your entire lovefest on twitter, the way you will recognise its demise as  this


Complete radio silence –thus proving that someone is obeying Mamma’s advice that if you have nothing nice to say……………

You are unfollowed

Unfollowing someone is the overt gesture that demonstrates that you don’t care to hear from them ever again, even digitally. (although there is nothing to stop you from routinely checking his twitter postings anonymously every hour thereafter. No evidence, and no stalker charges under ANYONE’S  jurisdiction)

If your twitter following is limited to your immediate clan only, it may equate to a number where you will probably notice you’ve lost one and can reciprocate immediately in the hope it gives an air of mutuality to the decision.

If you are Liam Hemsworth, with a following of 443,403, you won’t personally notice a decrement of one, but the entire world media will let you know.


If all of this seems to be overwhelming and you feel you lack the savvy and commitment to apply these learnings to your twitter feed, close your account and go back to Facebook.

There’s no room for doubt the day you see this little icon pop up in your feed from your now-former flame.


Meeting a new partner – NOT IN THE GYM!

For those recently propelled into singledom in decades beyond the 20s, the plaintive cry of ‘where will I meet someone??’ is strong.  Sometimes the easiest way to find the right answer to that question is to examine the wrong answer to that question.

First wrong answer to that question is – in the gym.

Every piece of advice from well meaning besties will be aimed at prying your ice-cream engorged butt off the couch and getting a new hobby, getting some exercise, getting fit!!!!  (usually a line delivered in the lilting tone of a preschool teacher and with appropriately OTT punctuation), but make no mistake, the gym is not your friend when looking for a new partner. Here are just five reasons.

Reason 1 – Sneakers are not a gift from the fashion gods. 

Although there is no shortage of gorgeous sneakers, which can be impeccably co-ordinated with matching outfits, if you spend any quality workout time in them, they will soon take on the rancid odour of a wet possum / old drooling basset hound.  This is not attractive.  Additionally, if you have been in any way adventurous and worn them outside, in your next gym session they will deposit a neat pile of dirt behind your treadmill that resembles mice droppings or something the cat has flicked out of the litter tray.  Also not attractive. If you are a girly girl, perpetually clad in stilettos, your artificially shortened calf muscles will protest and you will feel unrealistically short and squat every time you enter the gym.  If you accidentally start to like this too much, the law of unintended consequences means you will shortly start wearing crocs to work which may mean you never date again.

 Reason 2 – you will check your self-respect at the door

There are two types of women in the gym.

  • Those who exclusively wear the latest workout designer de jour, in a range of hues colour-matched to their lip gloss with a precision that would make Elizabeth Arden skip in giddy admiration.  These gym participants often sport salon-fresh blow-waved hair, occasionally also adorned with a sparkly clip, fresh frangipani or Chanel headscarf, all artful devices used to obscure a complete lack of sweat.  Whilst these ladies will retain composure whilst in the gym, they will invite scorn from any self-respecting male gym member….except those men who are a little prone to sporting a headscarf or something sparkly of their own.
  • Those who actually work out in the gym.  If you are this type, your ability to attract a mate in the gym will be somewhat eroded if you have any kind of normal physical reaction to expending effort.  A personal example?  Einstein-esque hair that will escape from a ponytail as surely if you had poked a finger into that spare powerpoint next to the treadmill.   Face as red as an heirloom tomato, which will invite worried looks from those on gym duty for fear that you are suffering an aneurysm.   Sweat that will migrate from your face to the end of your ponytail and, in time to the cadence of your treadmill action, will then shower nearby participants. Although for a moment vaguely reminiscent of those childhood days of running through the sprinkler on the front lawn, this will not endear you to other gym members.  (will ensure however that you do end up with a two-treadmill demilitarised zone around you on future visits if that is what you are after)

Reason 3 – You will need a new wardrobe.

This will involve time, money, and a little research. If you are still in the newly-fragile stage, your judgement impairment may be even more extensive than merely a new addiction to drunk texting and you may turn up in something like this…..


…in which case you have ruined a perfectly good 12 month gym membership as any chance at creating a good first impression is now null and void.

Reason 4 – Gyms mess with your reality.

This is the end result of the methods they use to conspire to keep you there.  One of the most insidious examples are the ‘skinny mirrors’ which convert your very normal figure into something supermodel-esque so that you ALWAYS WANT TO BE THERE.  What you see in the sneaky skinny mirror.


What every other gym goer sees


 Reason 5 – the risk of an unflattering exercise posture is high.

Perils are everywhere, ironically most notably the machines that target favourite female trouble spots such as the thigh adductor machine.


You should never be seen in anything resembling this kind of apparatus by any male unless you are seconds away from delivering his firstborn child into awaiting arms.

Finally, do not be enticed by the new dating offshoot of the outdoor fitness crowd where fit singles train with other fit singles.  Many of the same perils as the gym but somehow you need to be fit before you get there.  Kinda like cleaning up the house before the cleaner arrives (and lets face it, WE’VE ALL BEEN THERE) which means signing up for a gym membership to train up for singles boot camp and reaching a whole new level of irony.