I know exactly how Helen Skelton feels

I don’t know Helen Skelton but I have admired her greatly over the years.

She’s a fearless pocket rocket who takes on physical challenges for charity and television shows in a way that I respected and terrified in equal measure.

I was really sad when I heard the news that Helen Skelton has split from her husband


I was really sad when I heard the news that Helen Skelton has split from her husbandPhoto credit: SWNS

I was really sad to hear the news that she has split from her husband Richie Myler — or he has split from her.

Whether it was her decision or his, an eight-year marriage falling apart, leaving one with three children, one of whom is just four months old, is not without acute pain.

I was there myself. When you have to hold the baby, either by your own decision or someone else’s, when the life you have envisioned grinds to a halt and the future couldn’t be further from safety, it’s hard not to to collapse.

One of the least favorite and least helpful expressions I’ve heard in my darkest hours is when people tell me, “You’ll get over this. You are strong.”

They are propositions that are not backed by certainty or knowledge. It’s what others are willing to be and do because it makes them feel better. They want us to recover and get through.

Just because people have shown tenacity, determination, and tenacity in the past doesn’t mean they don’t need a hell of a hug and are told it’s okay if they need a scream or can’t handle it.

Even the strongest need room to buckle and buckle.

I hope Helen is surrounded by those who allow her to do this. If she needs that.

Helen had been married to husband Richie Myler for eight years


Helen had been married to husband Richie Myler for eight yearsPhoto credit: Instagram

Imagine that… a woman going out at night and feeling safe

THE latest advertisement for a well-known mobile phone brand shows a young woman setting the alarm on her device to walk the streets of London at 2am.

Women’s safety activists and running groups have accused the advertising agency of being “tone deaf”.

It would never have crossed my mind to go running at 2am


It would never have crossed my mind to go running at 2amCredit: Samsung/Triangle News

Others claim it’s not “the truth for women.” So we just don’t dare to live our lives safely.

In response, the company said the ad’s premise is to empower people to pursue wellness on their own schedule. Which is all terribly romantic and pragmatic.

I would never consider going for a run at all, let alone setting a crazy alarm clock for it.

The Office for National Statistics says that half of all women have felt unsafe walking alone after dark.

This may have something to do with the fact that we were always on the defensive from a young age and on high alert for male attackers when we were out alone and in the dark.

Stepford women

I was told to keep keys or other sharp objects handy just in case.

I have always known that as a woman I have a vulnerable place in society and that looking over my shoulder is my first line of defence.

Walking in the dark was discouraged and because of this my movements as a young girl were always restricted. It wasn’t the same for men.

The killings of so many women – including the murder of 23-year-old Ashling Murphy in Ireland in January, who was on the run – only served to aggravate this state of affairs.

Women are also murdered in their homes. In general, there are fewer safe places for women than for men.

Ashling Murphy was killed while jogging


Ashling Murphy was killed while joggingCredit: company

And while I wholeheartedly agree with the concerns of activists who say the ad is completely improbable, I want to mention two things.

First, since when is advertising realistic? We’ve always had depictions of women looking just perfect, living their lives not a hair out of place, with perfect male partners and perfect kids in perfect homes.

And until recently, there was little representation of diversity—only white, middle-class Stepford women that we should aspire to.

Second, the conversation has turned on its head recently and we’re now talking about the fact that danger to women shouldn’t be an issue for them, it should be a men’s responsibility.

So why not show a woman exactly what she wants at a time of her choosing?

Why don’t we promote that as a concept – that we have and should have the right to go out after dark and not stay locked inside?

After the murder of Sarah Everard in March 2021 there was a big change in mentality.

It has energized many elements of society and brought women together as a collective.

In fact, we started yelling about shaking things up by writing a new version of how things should be for the next generation, so they don’t feel like they’re the problem, it’s up to the men to change their behavior.

Activists would do well to highlight invention, hubris, and the lack of realism in anything that might influence, impress, or persuade us the way advertisements do.

And it’s certainly no coincidence that the account managers in this ad were male.

But we can’t have both, where women are only represented in places that we’ve always found to be safe places, surrounded by safe people.

To me, the ad is a bit crazy. There was also a sense of freedom.

It showed a world I would like to live in. Obviously none where I’m forced to run – God no!

But one I could do if I wanted to. Middle of the night.

Without fear for my life.

MP’s porn accusation


Oh the hoo-ha about the male Tory MP watching porn on his phone in the House of Commons.

Of course it’s disrespectful and mean.

Could we take a moment to acknowledge the massive amount of porn that adults and children watch on a daily basis, whether at work or at home.

So, a sad, bored, seedy guy representing a constituency looking for dirt on his phone only proves he’s human and fallible.

And probably desperate for sex.

Of course I don’t agree. And I don’t want to downplay his lack of respect for women and his workplace.

But be thankful he sat down.

Imagine if he stood up to speak and it turns out he has a general election.

HRT is not just a lifestyle choice, it is essential to life

HRT medicine is very much a necessity


HRT medicine is very much a necessityPhoto credit: Getty

Ladies, I think we need a round of applause.

All of those “slebs” and “non-slebs” – I’m including myself of course – who have campaigned so brilliantly for better treatment of menopause symptoms have started to see some great results.

More and more women are seeking help and insisting on being prescribed hormone replacement therapy.

But now we are being told that there is a shortage of HRT.

It’s a sure sign of the success of activists, including Davina McCall, but a damning indictment of how bureaucracy and lack of preparation keep women stranded.

It’s worse than just being stranded because for the majority of women, the symptoms can be debilitating and extremely debilitating.

HRT can help alleviate all of this and make us feel like fully functioning human beings again.

It has taken years to force conversation about this difficult period in a woman’s life.

We haven’t let the doctor fobbed us off for decades because they think we’re depressed, when we actually need hormone prescriptions to help us.

And now we’re all flying around in absolute misery, afraid our symptoms will return.

We’re not talking a little cold or a little rash that can wait a week or so, the reality for so many is grim and complex.

I wrote in this article about how the onset of menopause caused me overwhelming anxiety, memory loss, brain fog, weight gain, and mood swings.

HRT is not a lifestyle choice. It’s not a cute little addition to the end of our workday.

It’s not a nice glass of wine or a charming hors d’oeuvre before dinner. It’s very much a necessity.

It feels so terribly unfair that just as we begin to get everyone on board – successfully spreading the message and getting doctors and workplaces to sit up and listen – many of us are being taken away.

Please unblock access to this cherished and brilliant menopause solution and don’t send us back over the edge we came from. I know exactly how Helen Skelton feels


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