Category Archives: Culture

Christmas Snapshots

I always enjoy the idea of winter. I like cuddling up by the fire, wrapping up in woolly jumpers, stuffing my face with mince pies, and being able to work from home in my pyjamas because of icy train tracks. (Especially that last one.) But on rare days where the sun shines through the bleak midwinter, I light up like a Christmas tree suffering from seasonal affective disorder. A brief cloud burst is all it takes to make me realise that when the world is grey, I feel grey. I like sunshine, and blue skies, and warmth on my face. When that isn’t an option, I use Christmas as a nicotine patch for summer.

Gem's tree 2014
Gem's Christmas Cake 2014
Christmas with a control freak can’t be an easy affair, and after countless tinsel based tantrums the rest of my family can’t so much as spy a misplaced bauble without shooting me a panicked sidelong glance and rushing to fix it before I explode like some kind of meticulous monster. I told my extremely dubious looking little sister that I didn’t mind what colour scheme we did this year, and managed to last about two whole minutes before admitting defeat and also admitting that we would be having a “natural, rustic theme with red and gold highlights”. I am not proud of myself. But you can’t deny it looks nice. (Well, you could deny it, but you would need to be confident you could take me in a fight.)

After the decorations are hung and the cake is iced (and the bowls are licked) getting outside into the cold is my idea of heaven. Ashridge is my favourite place for autumn colours, wintery walks, and a café full of home cooked snacks. Ted enjoyed getting his paws filthy, but didn’t very much like watching me and Rhys eat mince pies and hot chocolate. I’ve missed them both a lot, so an afternoon catching up with one and letting the other lick my face (I’ll leave that to your imagination to decipher) was seriously lovely.

Ted in the woods

Ashridge mince pie

Ted and Gem

After that there’s nothing much left to report other than wintery sunsets, evenings in front of the fire, cuddles with my cat, snoozing in my Christmas bed set, and chain smoking my White Company ‘Winter’ scented most-delicious-smelling-candle-in-all-the-land.

Sunset from Gem's bedroom

Bird decoration

My Cat

White Company Candle

Boat decoration

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year everyone!

 

First Impressions & Animal Impressions at NHM

(Disclaimer: I take the business of museum-ing very seriously. Very seriously indeed. I’d like you to bear this in mind throughout this post. Oh and I definitely don’t wear my red tea dress too much.)

Through some sort of massive oversight, up until a few weeks ago I’d never been to the Natural History Museum before. I don’t really have much of an explanation, other than the fact that my home town houses part of the collection, but that isn’t really a fantastic excuse when you consider how much I love nature, history, and museums in general. So when we were done chasing butterflies, Niki and I went in search of dinosaurs.

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum Entrance Hall

Natural History Museum Entrance Hall

Natural History Museum

Entrance Hall at Natural History Museum

The main hall was absolutely breath-taking. I was having such a nice time ooohing and ahhhing at the architecture (not to mention the Diplodocus) that I didn’t even really mind the gargantuan queue to get into the dinosaurs section.

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

Natural History Museum

T. Rex at Natural History Museum

T. Rex at Natural History Museum

I especially enjoy these photos of the giant animatronic T. Rex, because it sort of looks like he’s told a joke and is then giggling at himself. I think my amusement at this may have been what triggered the next set of photos…

Niki at Natural History Museum

Gem at Natural History Museum

Niki at Natural History Museum

Gem at Natural History Museum

Niki at Natural History Museum

Gem at Natural History Museum

Remember what I said about how seriously I take museums? Yeah.

I was back within a few weeks for a mammoth visit with Rach. (A visit to the Mammoth Exhibition that is, rather than like a really giant trip.) We wanted to see baby Lyuba, the wonderfully preserved month old mammoth who died when she fell in a bog 42,000 years ago. There were strictly no photos allowed of her little body, which still had ginger hair clinging to her knees and inside her ears. I’m sure the no photo rule is for some kind of science based reason, but when you’re there and looking at her, with all the information on her short life, and the animated videos of her with her herd, the ban on photography seems like a mark of respect.

Thankfully the rest of the exhibition proved entertaining enough to stop us from turning into two emotional wrecks.

Mammoth Exhibition at Natural History Museum

Mammoth Exhibition at Natural History Museum

And then, well, what can I say? I obviously just can’t help myself.

Rach at Mammoth Exhibition at Natural History Museum

Rach at Mammoth Exhibition at Natural History Museum

Gem at Mammoth Exhibition at Natural History Museum

Having unleashed our inner ice age, it was time to head back out into the summer evening. As we walked through the emptying main hall, I turned to say goodbye to Darwin.

Entrance Hall at Natural History Museum

At first I thought he might have been glowering disapprovingly at us, but at second glance I reckon I caught a twinkle in those marble eyes.

 

Kensington’s Flamingos

On Monday, a project I’d helped to work on won an Institute of Fundraising Award. This came as a rather large shock to me, as those in the know had knowingly and humbly informed me that we most definitely would not win. We were up against baby tigers and Christmas crises. I don’t know very much about, well, anything really, but I’d already mentally picked the baby tigers as the winner. Because they’re tigers. And they’re babies. Baby tigers. Not even the scientifically correct ‘tiger cubs’. No. These are baby tigers. Bonus points for the tugging-at-the-heart-strings factor.

So our lovely little team had graciously – and, as it turns out, rather prematurely – accepted our defeat and gone out to lunch to celebrate our nomination. (It’s an honour to even be nominated, and I’d like to thank my mum, my dad, my mouse mat…)

Kensington Roof Gardens was a highly enjoyable but rather surreal experience.

First off, as the name helpfully suggests, the venue is several storeys above Kensington, so the view’s a bit of alright.

View from Kensington Roof Gardens

It was a trainer-and-jeans-free zone inside.

Sofa Kensington Roof Gardens

Seafood bar at Kensington Roof Gardens

Centrepiece at Kensington Roof Gardnes

Spot the Gemma.

I then had a lovely time stuffing my tummy full of yummyness, and snapping Suze and Hannah’s food as well as my own.

Food at Kensington Roof Gardens

Food at Kensington Roof Gardens

Risotto at Kensington Roof Gardens

Food at Kensington Roof Gardens

Dessert at Kensington Roof Gardens

Dessert at Kensington Roof Gardens

Petit fours at Kensington Roof Gardens

It was only after the Alice in Wonderland inspired petit fours box that things started to get curiouser and curiouser.

I discovered that there’s a fish tank built into the wall where you’d normally expect to find a mirror behind the sinks in the ladies’.

And the garden – presumably due to it being a party venue – made me feel a little bit like Samuel Taylor Coleridge having some sort of laudanum induced hallucination. The best way I could describe it would be as English country meets a kind of watered down vision of Xanadu.

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

Kensington Roof Gardens

I really liked this strange little garden. There was something very British about the faux exoticness of it all. We Brits do love our pastiche.

But then we walked around a corner and it got really, really odd.

Flamingo reflection at Kensington Roof Gardens

Guess who…

Flamingo at Kensington Roof Gardens

Nope, that isn’t an ornament. That’s an honest-to-god flamingo. Living in Kensington. On a roof.

Flamingo at Kensington Roof Gardens

There’s something sad about how beautiful they are. And something extremely unnerving about how much they look like artwork rather than living creatures.

Don’t get me wrong, I was very, very excited about the fact that I was going to be able to see flamingos. I was excited about the fact that I was going to work in London, and then popping out for a spot of lunch, and then seeing flamingos. It was the wildlife equivalent of going to a supermarket rather than an independent grocers: a little bit cheat-y but ever so convenient.

And then, when I was done trying to take a photo where the poor creature didn’t look like it had been purchased at a garden centre, came the worry. Then came thoughts of logistics: of space, or lack thereof; of pollution; of loneliness; and – worst of all – of clipped wings and what it would mean to fly and then to never fly again. I felt physically sick when Suze told me the disgusting rumour of a drunken party-goer having thrown one of the flamingos from the roof, to its death presumably, its ornamental life extinguished in a puff of pink feathers and pain on the pavement below.

I hope this isn’t true. I hope they have a lovely existence in their little urban oasis, on their rooftop corner of Kensington. I hope they have as much joy in their lives as they bring to those of the people taking photos of them for their Instagram accounts and their personal blogs.

Positive thinking is quite the power tool in the fundraising world. And you can take it from me. As of Monday, I’m award-winning.

 

 

 

Not Pregnant

I’ve been pretty quiet for a while. In non-virtual life there are generally only three reasons for this: I’m eating something; I’ve reached a level of hunger-based anger that has rendered me incapable of speech; or I’m asleep. (I like food.)

In cyber-space however my only excuse is that I haven’t done anything especially embarrassing of late. I mean, sure, I did accidentally shout “I can’t drink, I don’t smoke, I’m single: SUGAR’S ALL I HAVE!” across the office. And I did recently move a meeting to a stairwell so I could – mid Fortnum & Mason food hall induced hot flush – hang my head out of the window like a dog. Aaaand due to thinking I’d dropped a chunk of cookie down my top whilst in the vicinity of an evil genius with a camera, there’s a photo of me on the Twittersphere checking out my own boobs. (I like food.)

But y’know. Nothing really embarrassing.

These days I’m apparently too busy doing grown-up things like buying crockery or worrying if I’m investing enough money in my pension to make too much of a fool out of myself. Sadly, the same cannot be said for the rest of the world, so I thought I’d tell you about a run-in I had with a couple of guys who hadn’t remembered to bring their dignity with them when they turned up at The Black Dog one sunny Wednesday a few weeks ago.

The Black Dog, Vauxhall. I love those lamps.

The Black Dog, Vauxhall. I love those lamps.

I was there with one of my favourite eating buddies, the lovely Liv, lamenting the shortage of hollandaise sauce, and wishing the soup of the day was their legendary cauliflower cheese. (I should mention that The Black Dog is my absolute favourite brunch/lunch spot in Vauxhall; that up until that day I had never noticed a dearth of hollandaise on the premises; and that the cauliflower cheese soup is THE BEST soup I’ve ever eaten. One day I will get the recipe and then I will die happy. Fat and happy… Or maybe just fat.) We were sat outside munching away merrily, and catching up on months of gossip, when the Dignity Schmignity Duo arrived, and asked if they could put their drinks on our table while they went back inside for a moment.

Of course they could, we chimed, and carried on our conversation. Then, in the twinkling of a lack of manners, they joined their drinks at our table, and sat down next to us. Being British and polite, we opted for an awkward acceptance of the situation. They then started trying to force a conversation with us, which is probably going to be burned into my memory forever.

It transpires that the barman had been “rude” to them, which the drunker of the two (who from here-on-in shall be referred to as Slurry) maintained was because “I’m not white”. If I’d thought for a second that Slurry was being discriminated against based on the colour of his skin I’d have abandoned my salad to give the barman a big ol’ chunk of my mind. But I know this place. The staff are lovely. And I was willing to bet my salad that if the barstaff had a problem with Slurry it was because he was far more inebriated than it’s normal to be at 1pm on a Wednesday. Slurry kept swearing about the situation, which his companion – who I’m going to call Sleazy, for soon-to-be-obvious reasons) kept chastising him for, as Sleazy had assumed we would be offended, having correctly observed that Liv and I are each in possession of a uterus. (Sigh. I can’t even. I’m just going to roll my eyes.)

Liv looking lovely, pre-awkward encounter.

Liv looking lovely, pre-awkward encounter.

In between telling off Slurry for swearing, Sleazy lost no time in telling Liv she was gorgeous; chimed in “You!” in response to me asking Liv “What do you fancy?” for dessert; and enquired as to whether we were single. (Sigh.) Slurry was meanwhile telling us how much he hates his baby’s mother, and how she doesn’t know what’s good for their daughter. He then looked quite mournful and said he wouldn’t want his little girl to see him drunk. This all made for some fairly awkward small talk, but nothing particularly earth-shattering.

But then, while Liv and I were debating whether to share a pudding, Sleazy opened his mouth and, interrupting us, asked a question that I have never been asked before, and that shall haunt me when I browse dessert menus for many moons to come.

He gazed into my eyes and said, as though he were asking nothing more extraordinary than what the weather forecast was, “Are you pregnant?”

Time slowed down. I saw Liv’s face crumble into sheer disbelief, as Slurry’s eyes widened in horror, and a bitter taste of adrenaline chased away the memory of my pear and Stilton salad. Sleazy was gazing at me attentively, as though nothing out of social-norms were taking place. In a voice a few semi-tones higher than usual I dispelled his belief that ladies don’t swear, while Liv spluttered and Slurry slurred my defence, insisting that I don’t look pregnant, with Slurry apologising profusely for his friend’s behaviour. (Thank you, Slurry. I love you.) When I’d stopped repeating “What the…?!” like a particularly indignant parrot, Sleazy had the sheer audacity to tell me I was getting upset over nothing.

I wasn’t.

He attempted to convince us that it was a perfectly reasonable and not at all rude question to ask.

It wasn’t.

Of my many faults, being over-weight is not one of them. I’m reasonably confident that I look pregnant only once a year –  after I’ve just eaten Christmas dinner. I was wearing full length dungarees, but they’re pretty tight and frankly rather fabulous, so when he tried to blame it on them I was even more deeply unimpressed.

Eventually Sleazy realised that apologising was the best course of action, and the conversation moved on. I was pretty much ready to forget the whole thing – although I was wondering if the dungarees should be consigned to the back of my wardrobe – by the time the hot chocolate fudge brownie with salted caramel ice cream (pause here to lick your lips) that Liv and I had ordered to share arrived in all its gooey melty glory.

Sleazy looked at this piece of dessert heaven, smiled the kind of smile that one would imagine to see on the face of the devil himself, if you were ever unfortunate enough to bump into him over a lunch date, and said; pointedly; maliciously; looking straight at me – “Just think about how many calories are in that!

I felt hatred pouring into my heart like icy cold quick drying cement. This man had taken it a step too far. Flirt with me against my wishes, ask rude questions all you will, but don’t you dare make me think about calories before I’ve taken my first spoonful of dessert.

I wish I hadn’t stopped after asking him if he was trying to ruin my lunch. I wish I’d carried on ranting after I’d pointed out that it felt like he was actively trying to make me feel fat. I could have thrown in pressure from the media; the horrors of photo-shopped models; the fact that most women I know are on a near-permanent diet; and that I’m a size 6 yet I have a recurring nightmare where I eat too much pizza in one go.

None of those things are his fault, but I wish I’d stood up, climbed on the table in my dungarees (I had heels on so this would have been an especially impressive spectacle), and given a rousing speech – much like Hugh Grant’s character in Love Actually does about David Beckham’s right foot – about the injustice of a world in which, from where I’m standing anyway, the female form is more scrutinised and under more pressure to conform to a type than the male counterpart.

As it was, my deeply frustrating tendency to get tongue-tied and my hatred of confrontation meant that the inevitable outcome was that, after my initial outburst, I returned to civility; no scenes caused.

As I glared at him over my (absolutely bloody delicious, thank you very much) brownie, with a stream of gender equality angst running through my head, Sleazy gazed back at me, utterly unfazed, and said cheerfully “You have lovely eyes.”

If looks could kill, my lovely eyes would have finished him.

(… Finished him faster than we polished off that brownie, too.)

 

Martin Creed’s Balloons

Is there anything better in the world than an art exhibition which is pre-empted by the question “Are you allergic to latex?”. (Pause here to imagine all the different exhibitions you might not be able to visit if you had a latex allergy. Finished? Kindly remove you brain from the gutter/dungeon and continue.)

The Hayward Gallery is currently home to Martin Creed’s exhibition ‘What’s The Point Of It?’. Niki and I took ourselves over there at the weekend to see what the point of it really was, and it is hands down the most fun I have ever had in an art gallery.

We arrived bright and early before the doors opened, and sat in the sunshine listening to sellers setting up shop at Southbank Centre Market and the sound of classical music blasting delightfully (in a way that only very loud, very classical music can) from a nearby parked van. Summer in the city. Bliss.

The doors opened and the patiently waiting motley crew – comprised of families with young children, artsy looking student types, and us – trotted inside.

You have to walk through most of the exhibition to get to what was really the point of it for us, so we decided to do everything backwards and start at the end. Like a pair of sniffer dogs homing in on a scent (or like us homing in on a cheesecake) we headed straight for the balloons.

On paper, a big white room filled almost to the brim with big white balloons might not sound that exciting. In reality, well, this happened.

How excited are you, Gem? Oh y'know, moderately...

How excited are you, Gem? Oh y’know, moderately…

Niki was similarly chilled about it all…

...

Er yeah…

...

So chilled.

In fact, you could even call her nonchalant.

See?

See?

Nonchalant.

Nonchalant.

I stopped spinning around with my arms in the air for a second and tried to look a bit sensible.

Nailed it.

Nailed it.

But the ever-increasing static had other ideas.

...

This is apparently my ‘alarmed by my own hair’ face.

...

Look how crazy it is!

...

… And how crazy I look.

Niki’s hair looked only slightly less mad than mine.

...

Only slightly.

Niki Static2

But she was pretty happy about life.

And in the end we had no choice but to accept the craziness.

...

Little bit crazy.

...

Crazy crazy.

With big grins on our faces and huge tangles in our hair we stumbled back to the door and squeezed outside. Everything seemed a little more wonderful and a great deal more playful than it had done before the balloons. A car which every so often starts by itself, slams open all its doors and plays breakfast radio clips was absolutely captivating. A row of cacti suddenly compelled you to feel its spines with such urgency it was as if it had its own gravitational pull. A wall covered in different coloured prints of cauliflower made perfect sense.

We weren’t quite sure what to make of the balcony on which stood a huge screen showing a video of a slowly erecting penis, and stood giggling with a similarly bemused yet amused lady while we waited for it to it to reach the peak of its trajectory so she could take a sneaky photo, and cracked jokes about not putting it under any pressure.

The balcony is blocked by doors warning explicit content, but if you go with small children I’d probably recommend getting them to cover their eyes as you exit the exhibition too, unless you want to make potty training them harder than need be. I won’t be eating chocolate fro-yo any time soon, put it that way.

But other than that particular Nandos-dessert-ruining video, the whole thing was fantastic. Niki and I left feeling elated, buoyant as a pair of balloons, and about ten years younger. We headed down to the market and brought ourselves cheesecake for breakfast.

So if you want to be a big kid for an hour, then it’s well worth a visit. Book tickets here before it closes on the 5th of May.

Just promise me one thing if you do go? Don’t forget to take a hairbrush.

New Years & Deadly Sloths

Of the seven deadly sins, sloth is perhaps the most troublesome to the majority of us. Lust might compel you to make poor decisions, gluttony may force you to let out your waistband, greed can lead to tunnel vision, wrath will harm you and the people around you, envy can consume you, and pride can stifle you, but sloth – the greatest repeat offender – will lead to nothing. Not the innocent kind of ‘nothing’ that answers the question “What’s wrong?”, but the vacuous ‘nothing’ which quietly withers away your life, hopes, and dreams, without you even noticing. Sloth is the silent assassin.

With that in mind, the new year is not merely an excuse for a party, but a frequently needed nudge to turn over a new leaf. I’m not subscribing to the ‘new year, new you’ mentality (especially as the likelihood is that you will wake up on January the 1st feeling like a much the worse for wear version of yourself) but I do think that a new year is a chance for a new outlook. 2013 was a bit of a tough ride for me, but, as everyone’s favourite kung-fu master and turtle, Oogway, would say: yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift – that is why it is called ‘the present’. And if 2013 taught me one thing it is that life is beautiful, even when it is hard.

Wildflower meadows sooth the soul

I was unemployed, but wildflower meadows enrich the soul.

Autumn heals the heart

I was lovesick, but woodland heals the heart.

And friendship is the best way to stay afloat.

And friendship is the best way to stay afloat!

So my resolution is to defeat sloth. To stop waiting for adventures and to go out and find them. To try new things, to make memories, and to feel alive rather than simply being so. To think happy.

Arses and Asses: Lily Allen vs Robin Thicke

Six months ago I found myself in the awkward position of having a song stuck in my head which I found pretty repugnant. The lyrics made me feel queasy and the video was sort of hypnotising in its dreadfulness, like watching a car crash in slow motion. And I was wandering around humming it under my breath, singing it in the shower, and dancing along to it in clubs with all the enthusiasm of, well, a drunk girl who loves to dance.

I am of course talking about Robin Thicke’s piece of pop misogyny in the form of Blurred Lines. I actually sang the title as I typed it just now, and that is what upsets me the most. It’s just so god damn catchy. Sooner or later you find yourself rapping innocently along with T.I and realise you’ve just said – and it pains me to even type it out – “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two”, as though that’s a totally normal, socially acceptable, and non-rapey statement to make. (Does anyone else hear that and just think, episiotomy? Not sexy, T.I. Not sexy at all.)

Emily Ratajkowski posing a question in Blurred Lines. What does the car symbolise?

Emily Ratajkowski posing a bit of a feminist problem in Blurred Lines.

So when I watched the video for Lily Allen’s new single, Hard Out Here, I breathed an audible sigh of relief. The deeply satirical plot of the video is, in a nutshell, that Lily is trying to make a post-baby come-back to pop and can’t do so without liposuction, twerking, and a lesson in sex-appeal from some overweight middle-aged men. In an apparent twist on the Three 6 Mafia song, Hard Out Here For a Pimp, Lily sings that it’s “hard out here for a bitch” – the obvious implication being that a woman in the music industry, or indeed in Western society on the whole, might not have to charge for sex but still has to sell her body. Objecting rather understandably to this mentality, she sings, with some seriously ironic twerking, “Don’t need to shake my arse for you cos I’ve got a brain”. (Take note, Miley Cyrus.) Hard Out Here is a song about objectification and the double standard between the sexes, and I’m really, really not saying that Lily is the music industry’s answer to Virginia Woolf, but she sure as hell stakes claim to a body of her own. So effective in fact is her pre-emptive strike against criticism of her body that any idiot who dares to imply that she’s “let herself go” will struggle to do so without admitting their own sexism. 

And, to return to my original point, she parodies the Blurred Lines video in its general attitude to – and objectification of – women as well as specifically, and most entertainingly, by replacing Thicke’s giant silver balloons spelling out “Robin Thicke has a big d**k” (overpowering temptation to replace ‘has’ with ‘is’) with her own giant silver balloons spelling out a statement which is, er, perhaps unsurprising considering that she’s given birth three times. She even mocks that episiotomy-like Pharrell line, sarcastically urging women to lose weight because: “Don’t do you want to have somebody to objectify you? Have you thought about your butt, who’s gonna tear it in two?”. In her lyrics and in her video, she continues the conversation Blurred Lines started about asses to make Thicke look like one.

HardOutHere

Lily hard at work with some ironic wiggling.

She parodies not just Thicke’s sexism, but inequality across the music industry. In a far less friendly version of R.E.M. writing ‘yeah’ as many times as possible into Man on the Moon in order to tease Nirvana, Lily raises questions about artists such as Britney’s use of the word ‘bitch’ – the swear word is repeated no less than 54 times in Hard Out Here, and it seems to become less normalised and more and more venomous as the song goes on. Miley Cyrus’s bum-wiggling and apparent desire to perform fellatio on random objects (see the banana moment at 2:31) are also put under scrutiny,  as the middle-aged actor playing the role of Lily’s agent is the driving force behind such antics.

It’s not exactly ground-breaking stuff. But the best bit about Lily’s criticism of the institutionalised sexism maintained by people such as Thicke is that she uses words to do it, rather than the silence of censorship. They might not be the most eloquent words ever spoken on the subject of equality, but then the Gilbert and Gubars of this world weren’t trying to make a hit single. Basically, it’s not perfect – but it’s a start. It offers no solutions, but at least it draws attention to the problem. So someone should link Hard Out Here (and post copies of The Handmaid’s Tale) to all the feminist societies who successfully campaigned to ban Blurred Lines at their university student unions. Seriously. Freedom of speech is crucial for equality. You might not like what Thicke’s saying but rather than silencing him, do what Lily has done: start a conversation. Better yet, do what Lily has done and show Thicke’s video to be a joke. Laughter is the most powerful weapon we have.

Hard Out Here is, in my humble opinion, the closest thing pop has right now to an antidote to Blurred Lines. Clutch at it like Indiana Jones in The Temple of Doom as though you’ve been desperately crawling around searching for it on the floor – which coincidentally brings the Blurred Lines video to mind somewhat. (Now pause for a moment to have an Indiana Jones based daydream where you don’t objectify him but deeply appreciate the fact that his intelligence makes him sexy. Done? No? Stop thinking about his whip: we’re trying to have a serious discussion here. But, er, if anyone does know an archaeologist who knows how to use a whip, likes an adventure, and happens to be as beautiful as Indiana Jones then please point him in my direction. Obviously.)

To summarise: Hard Out Here is not the perfect feminist video and neither is it, in my opinion, Lily Allen’s best musical work. But I kind of love it anyway because Lily makes Robin look thick by name and thick by nature. And by that I do mean dumb. Unlike him, I’m not talking about his penis.