In a sweat about sweat

There are many things in life that annoy me (people who stand on the wrong side of the escalator, how single socks disappear in the washing machine, my face’s inability to stay shine-free, to name but a few…), but top of my list at the moment are photos of celebrities leaving the gym.  Anyone who occasionally (or frequently, no judgement here) glances at the Daily Mail Sidebar of Shame will know what I’m talking about.  It’s not the fact that they’re leaving the gym that grates, it’s the fact that they do so looking bloody flawless.  Michelle Keegan, Karlie Kloss, Khloe Kardashian…  There they are, waltzing out of Barry’s or Lomax or somewhere else uber-fashionable, without a sweat patch or damp sock in sight.

The caption ‘they’re just like us!’ will frequently accompany this type of photo.  Erm, if they were really ‘just like us’ they’d be leaving the gym with their sweaty hair scraped back into a bun, glugging water out of an un-branded plastic bottle that should have been thrown away about a month ago, trying to gauge precisely how many minutes it will be until they can be home and in the shower.  Because, unless you’re the kind of person who goes to the gym to sit on a cycling machine to read a magazine (don’t even get me started on this), anyone who goes to the gym will pant, sweat, strain and grimace themselves into an unholy dishevelled mess.  And this is a GOOD thing!  No one pushes themselves whilst maintaining perfect makeup.

Now, I’m not implying that these celebs go to the gym and spend an hour sitting on a Swiss ball filing their nails.  A quick glance at most Instagram accounts will show that when these women work out they do it properly, mostly with personal trainers, and they’ve got the bodies to show for it.  But I have a strong suspicion that an hour so passes between the end of the workout and the departure of the gym – plenty of time to shower, wash your hair, apply no-makeup-makeup and put on some leggings and a top that aren’t soggy and beginning to ferment.  Again, no judgement here.  I nearly always change into a fresh top and make a vague attempt to blow-dry some of the sweat off my hair before heading home, mainly to save my fellow-tube goers the experience of having to sit next to someone who is a walking advert for rehydration.  But there is no way I’m even near photo-ready.  I really wish Kim, Cheryl, Doutzen et al would just admit it with a breezy ‘hey y’all, just did a quick touch-up before facing the hordes of paparazzi outside, we are human after all’.

Sweating is normal.  Sweating is healthy.  Most things that make us sweat are normal and healthy.  The heat wave a couple of weeks ago made us realise that a) the UK is woefully inept at functional air conditioning and b) everyone sweats at some point.  I can understand how Karlie and co will make efforts to disguise any kind of bodily moisture at something like an evening event (note to self: NEVER wear grey), but when one is sweating in context, i.e. at the gym, why bother?  I’d have a hell of a lot more respect for any celebrity who posted a red-faced damp-haired no-makeup selfie along with the caption ‘couldn’t get my ass sweat in the same picture, soz #perspiration’.  If we can witness the fitness, why can’t we get the sweat too?

Guess which one is the celebrity...

Guess which one is the celebrity…

Mind the gap

Ahh, the tube.  That miracle of engineering.  That transporter of industrious souls off to bring home the proverbial bacon.  That inspiration for poetry, art and music.  Sound familiar?  Thought not.

It is a fact of life that if you live and/or work in London, you will have to take the tube at some point.  If you visit London as a tourist, you will feel that you have to take the tube at some point.  And even if you claim to hate the tube and try to avoid it at all costs (cycling, bus, taxi, walking), you will still have to use it at some point.  The tube is omnipresent (except when you want to buy an affordable house with good transport links which is when there suddenly seems to be an unhealthy lack of tube stations in desirable parts of south London), and you only need to look at the state of near-panic we’re all experiencing ahead of the strikes this week to realise how much we’ve come to depend on that noisy, smelly, overcrowded network of underground passages that are essentially glorified cattle carts.

So without further ado, here are My Top Ten Most Hated Things About The London Underground:

1: PDA Couples

We’ve all encountered them, generally when you’ve just been through a break-up.  WHY do they need to kiss so noisily at 7:30am on a Wednesday??

tubepda

2: The Antisocial Backpack

Generally takes up at least one person’s standing room, and pokes you uncomfortably hard in the boobs with weird buckles and attachments.

backpack

3: The Lone Salmon

That guy who wants to get on the platform when everyone else wants to get off, or hasn’t sorted out his tube strategy and finds himself at the opposite end of the platform from where he needs to be

crowd

4: The Northern Line

Overcrowded, hot, smelly, never works properly, high chance of bumping into someone you don’t want to, confusing for first-timers with that whole ‘Bank Branch’ thing, and a veritable death trap if you want to get on at Clapham Common or Clapham North – why more people haven’t fallen onto the tracks at rush hour defeats me.

clapham

5:The Pole Hogger

That’s where my hand is meant to go!  Shame on you, Patrick Stewart…

pole

6: Over-efficient Heating

Clearly the bods at TFL who control the temperature of the tube have never had to travel on the tube at rush hour.  Mmmm hello someone else’s sweaty armpit…

hot

7: The Mystery Farter

Seriously people, do some squats before you leave the house or something, just get rid of it before you subject a packed carriage to the results of your inner gaseous movements.

smell

8: The Guy Who Stares

He flouts the no-eye-contact rule, he’s looking at you every time you glance in his direction, and OH MY GOD what is he doing with his hands?!

stare

9: Shit Earphones

Because of course everyone in the carriage wants to listen to angry metal music as well…

earphones2

10: Lad Soc

Drinking cans of Fosters, doing pull-ups on the bars, trying to engage strangers in conversation, tend to be Australian…

lads