I have been following Bear Grylls, The Island recently. Brief synopsis: he drops 14 men and separately 14 women off on remote Pacific islands with 3 machetes, 3 knifes, 8 fishing hooks, a bow for fire lighting, 2 days survival training; and watches them starve. Essentially.

It makes for interesting if somewhat lively viewing. Bear interjects at various intervals outlining the perils they are in, repeating himself often but looking fetching in his rugged, Chief Scout way.

Apart from being amazed and appalled at the amount of rubbish the islands collect (which actually forms the basis of the survival of these people) it also makes plain major differences between the sexes. The hackneyed stuff we all know about. Women would rather befriend piglets than kill them. Men fight for dominance. Women cry (although conditions are such that the men are not immune to this). Men are obsessed with bowel movements. Women hug and support each other (mostly). Men are galvanised by the thrill of the hunt.

I have always been keen on men (steady on) and have many male friends. I can relate to them, I have brothers, I am not interested in traditionally girly pursuits. In fact other than a very few, very old girl friends I have the most female friends currently than I have ever had. And that is because I am a mother- the role that actually binds women together more than any other.

But that doesn’t mean I understand men. Or can get into their heads. Oh no most of that is still a mystery.

I have now lived with one man for nearly 15 years. Mostly we rub along fine. I am sure that he finds a lot of what I do and say  intensely irritating. The feeling is mutual. I guess marriage is like that. My current girl friends and I discuss our menfolk regularly. Here are just some incomprehensible male ‘things’ we struggle to, well, comprehend…

  • Putting the glass on the counter above the dishwasher is actually almost as much work as placing it in the dishwasher upside down
  • When opening a new 100m roll of Clingfilm that will last about a year it is better not to ruin the box. Thereby not allowing easy perforation of the film going forwards. For a year. Nearly always by the partner who didn’t break the box.
  • The suggestion on a Friday night of ‘doing something’ at the weekend means a trip out to a National Trust property or a local walk, not an overnight stay on a camp site in the Peaks. (see packing below)
  • If you need to spend 30 minutes on the toilet you need to see a GP
  • When the kids are calmed down for bed it is not a good idea to instigate a Nerf gun battle/ sword fight/ tickle torture session.
  • After packing ALL day for a holiday/ night away at a campsite in the Peaks the comment ‘have you packed xxxx’ is not appreciated.
  • The inability to find things. Ever.
  • Cooking is feeding a family day in day out to high nutritional standards, and involves planning, shopping and boring hours of chopping and stirring for no reward. What you do is  ‘chefing’. And no you don’t deserve special praise for it.
  • Looking after your own children is not babysitting.
  • No one over 20 looks good in lycra on a bike. Just accept that. Sundays are full of men of a certain age rekindling their youth in lycra (which probably wasn’t invented then) and getting in my way on the roads.
  • Please finish the old tomatoes before you start the new ones (see ‘finding things’ above).
  • Please check the stores before buying food items (see ‘chefing’ above).

I could go on but this is now turning into a serious rant. And although I have called this blog musingsponderingsandrants there must be a line somewhere. I am determined not to cross it so early.

My husband and I enjoy The Island. We shout at the screen. We believe we could do better. I know this is not true. In my case I would faint after about 3 days from low blood sugar. And my husband would loose his glasses rendering him entirely useless.