Women in survey are being led by images in the media

Zella's garden fence took a battering from Storm KatieZella's garden fence took a battering from Storm Katie
Zella's garden fence took a battering from Storm Katie
A survey popped up all over the internet last week. It was apparently commissioned by the House of Fraser, which has developed a framework for a modern, successful woman.

It featured a whole list of tickables which were thought up by 2,000 women.

Who are these women and what are they thinking? Let’s guess that the sample is drawn from House of Fraser’s own customers as the trite nature of the answers really irked me.

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I suppose you could argue that I’m irked because I’ve been found wanting in the modern woman stakes.

Financially, ‘independence is key’. So I’ve failed there, then. My husband and I have been married for 20 years and our finances are so solidly intertwined it’d take a masters degree in unknotting to untangle us.

So I’m off the success ladder already, even though I earn a decent amount.

The one about ‘looking your best at all times’ rather riled me, especially as it came hot on the heels of ‘keeping in good shape’.

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Does that mean if I sweat while running – which I do – I’m not successful because I’m not looking my best?

And seriously, why does looking my best make me successful?

Not only do I have to have a senior position at work, make people laugh and be able to do DIY, but I also have to have a better car than my friends. Oh, please. I hardly know what type of car I have, let alone what my friends drive.

And you know what? I don’t care. My friends are my friends because they’re people who I’ve grown with, who accept me (as I accept them) for who they are.

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It was when I got to ‘having an immaculate home’ that I began to wonder quite who these 2,000 women really were. Could they be that shallow?

And then came ‘having a great sex life with a partner who prefers to spend time with you than his friends and who is devoted to you’.

That’s when it struck me. The women questioned are being led by media images of what a successful woman should be like and are yearning for Instagram and Facebook validation. And that is certainly not my definition of successful.


Storm Katie’s been and gone, but not before taking out a fence in the back garden in the process.

It’s been a year of wind disaster for our house.

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A window blew in from its frame – cunningly fixed temporarily with a large piece of carpet – and we’ve got water seeping in.

There is something to be said for the European use of shutters.

I’m convinced that they would save my windows and their infinitely expensive frames from the worst ravages of Mother Nature.

Now I wonder if I can convince the entire street to follow the plan, with a pragmatic approach to conservation?

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Because I have a feeling that we’ll all have to be in on the plan in order to make it work.


Pity the cat who survived eight days in a parcel.

A couple had packaged up some DVDs and sent them off to a buyer.

But while putting together the parcel, their cat had apparently hopped into the box and found its way into the postal system.

It has since been returned to the original owners, but it does make you wonder about the weight of the parcel.

I mean, wouldn’t you notice?

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Luckily (or, on some days, unluckily for me), my dog is more likely to shred a piece of cardboard than curl up in a box, so that’s never going to happen to me.

But like the cat, he’s microchipped with up-to-date contact details.

So even if the worst happened, we’d be able to get him home.