Nathan said something today which made me think. As observant people will have no doubt noticed, he is currently sporting shaved hair and a massive beard, and I am wearing what can only be described as a handlebar moustache. Here's the issue: there seems to be a tendency for women in this country to see a man with a changed look and think it's appropriate to tell him how awful he looks. If I had a pound for every time a woman has negatively commented on my hair, the clothes I wear, or the length of my beard, I'd be a very wealthy man. I don't really mind, of course. It used to upset me enormously and make me feel really shy, but I got so used to it, it became water off a duck's back! You learn very quickly as a man that vulnerability is something to be suppressed at all costs.
Can you imagine if every time a female friend had dreadful caramel slices or a dodgy perm put in her hair, all her male friends told her how ridiculous she looked? And yes, I know that women on the telly get unfairly and routinely criticised for their taste in clothing, but I'm more talking about the things that I've noticed happening on a domestic level.
As an outsider looking in to the murky world of heterosexuality, I sometimes wonder how men and women ever manage to forge decent relationships! Perhaps a little too much thought goes in to identifying the differences between men and women when we ought to be trying to work out what actually makes us similar: what upsets us both.
We're at Brother Edward's house listening to the Thames crashing against the wall below his flat every time a boat passes by. There's a lovely breeze coming off the river which is tickling the back of my neck. We're watching Eurovision again. Don't judge us! Edward and Sascha were there in Stockholm and haven't yet seen it on telly, and Nathan and I are obviously more than happy to watch it again, particularly with a pair of people giving us the inside scoop, telling us how affable some of the contestants were in the flesh, and how certain performances came across in the room. One of their friends was the man holding the Welsh flag which seemed to be prominent in most shots of the arena. The ludicrous Eurovision ban on the Welsh flag was lifted at the last moment, just as said friend was wondering if he needed to wear a onesie with a Welsh dragon on it to express his nationality. On that note, if we exit Europe, I have decided to henceforth refer to myself as Welsh. I shall be ashamed to call myself British.