5 Tips To Be Successful At Work

  1. Be cheerful. Everyone loves to work with a cheerful person. Cheerfully greet your colleagues, cheerfully perform your duties, cheerfully decline the extra work that your bosses will dump on you as they think that, if you’re smiling, you’ve not been given enough work. 2. Be honest about your limits. ‘If I try to…

How To Be More Attractive

In movies, the ugly heroes/-ines turn into stunning beauties just by changing outfit and ditching their bottle-thick glasses. The actors haven’t changed, they’ve just switched to ‘acting attractive’ (and wearing better make-up). If they can make themselves more attractive, can we too? Attractive is as attractive does. Act attractive and you’ll be attractive. People who…

Beauty Fades, Kindness Stays

My grandmother had been a very beautiful young woman. Unfortunately, by the time I was born (and she was only 46) the battering of a lifetime’s worth of sunshine and seas salt had etched deep wrinkles in her face. But the Sicilian proverbs she had inherited from her own grandmother were also etched in her…

The Bikini Test

We Italians spend lots of time and energy getting our bodies ready for the infamous ‘bikini test’. With 3400 km of coastline, most Italian end up on the beach at some point or other during the summer. I remember looking at shop windows and saying to myself: “I’ll buy that swim suit and get rid…

Are You A ‘Claire’?

I can’t count the times I’ve set off for the high street in search of sensible, flattering clothes and returned home empty-handed, with the suspicion that there was something wrong with me. How else could it be that, with all that bountiful array on parade in all the shop windows, I couldn’t find anything suitable?…

7 things you should do before becoming a mama

Hello, This is a guest post I wrote two weeks ago for Cheila, of Pink for Days:   “I bet she’s going to say “save up”, “party hard” and “travel a lot”,’ I can hear you thinking. But I’m not going to say these things because they’re obvious. We all know that you can’t go…

“Are you a good driver?” Test

Why do I keep going on about driving? Because, unless we live in a large city with good public transports, we spend ages behind the steering wheel. Also, as soon as we become parents, we turn into the kids’ default taxi service. So let’s see if we are up to… speed with our driving. Have…

“Don’t wash during your periods” and other menstruation myths

The most mystifying of all the bad pieces of advice that we’ve collected this week is the advice about periods: don’t wash your hair, don’t have a shower, don’t touch plants during your periods. Where does this cleanliness ban – which, from your comments, seems to have spread from Italy to India to Scotland –…

How To Join A Fitness Class (with dignity)

If the idea of joining a fitness class makes you feel like a child starting a new school, you’re not alone. Joining an ongoing fitness class is not just like starting a new school, but like joining a new school half-way through the year: you don’t know the rooms, the routines, the other people, but…

How To Argue With Your Partner

Move away from fragile items. Stick to the original topic. If your started off about dirty laundry and, after a while, you find yourselves arguing over money, unless you’ve mentioned a launderette along the way, you’ve gone off topic. Mentioning in-laws, each other’s friends or pets grants an instant penalty shoot to the adversary. An…

Taming The Driving Jitters

When I have to drive my husband’s car or a rental car or any car that’s not my trusted little one, I feel like I’m eighteen again. I don’t mean young/fit/adventurous eighteen. No, unfortunately not. I mean scared-to-drive eighteen. So this is my advice to you who are: eighteen (or seventeen) and harbour homicidal impulses…