To make matters slightly worse, I'm told by our land lord that the boiler engineer can't get to us until tomorrow, so we're going to have to do a lot of shivering.
The older I get, the more I find myself resenting reverse sexism on telly. I was talking to my mother about the subject this morning, specifically the hordes of glamorous women, now presenting sports shows, whose only claim to fame is that someone has schooled them in the correct answer to give when asked if they understand the off-side rule.
I'm not referring to gems like Sue Barker and Clare Balding, who can do no wrong in my books, but rather these vacuous and vapid young blondes who pout and gurn when the cameras start rolling, and have CVs which include presenting the weather on ITV and doing a stint on that shitty roulette show which is always a mind-numbing option when I can't sleep. These women, in my view, are single-handedly convincing the world that women are not equal; they're silly things who talk nonsense, but no one cares because they look pretty.
My biggest bug-bear right now is the way that men and women are stereotyped in advertising. It doesn't matter what they're trying to sell; the man is always depicted as the sex-crazed, slightly dim Neanderthal whilst the woman rushes about, multi-tasking like a saint, without a hair out of place, solving everyone's problems even when she's on her period. To show a woman with even a whiff of neurosis would be advertising suicide.
I'm bored of it. Equality should mean equality and true equality can only happen when we're advanced enough to acknowledge that there are key differences between men and women and that stereotypes exist, however much we'd like them not to. Men are, in the most part, stronger. Women are more likely to want to feel protected. In the latter stages of pregnancy and first few months of child-rearing, a woman's brain turns to mush. Women are no better at multitasking than men. Men like football. Women like chick flicks. Men are pretty bad at expressing emotions but far more likely to be direct when it comes to fact. A woman is more likely to nag. For the most part, however, we're just trying to stumble our way through life as best we can, whilst attempting to understand the eccentricities of life. Showing women in adverts as supercilious super-heroes doesn't help the cause.
Why don't adverts show men and women creating teams which complement one another and play to each others' strengths?
In my mind the advert which demonstrates most clearly how bad things have got is the one where the older married couple wave goodbye to their children, shut the door and breathe a sigh of relief. The man looks at his wife, gestures upstairs and says, lasciviously, "well, by my calculation, we've got 45 minutes." The woman follows his gaze to the ceiling, "I like the way your mind works. You get the ladder and I'll get the poly filler." The camera cuts to a crack in the ceiling and the woman gives her husband a withering glance which says, "it's wrong to think about sex. You know I loathe you and frankly if it weren't for me and my astonishing patience, the world would end."
Frankly, I'd appreciate the advert a whole heap more if the woman said, "look, I don't like sex anymore. Three children have ravaged my body. I feel dowdy and miserable and every time I've tried to look nice recently, you've barely noticed, so really all I want to do right now is eat cake and call my mate, Jen who always tells me what I want to hear which is basically that everything's your fault!"
Come on, people. It's 2013. We gotta work this stuff out!