I don’t wear sportswear. I did once, God — I REALLY did. I was a one-time Nike ambassador, I ran the San Francisco half marathon on the Nike team, I worked out; yoga, circuits, spinning, running, weights. Then I had a baby, and my hips and knees gave way to the crushing weight of post-natal cake, my brain lost out to fatigue and my motivation vanished along with my six-pack (it’s been almost two years and, note to self, the excuse is wearing thin).
I’ll get back there — I’m determined to recapture that lusty morning hop-out-of-bed zest, that shot of being invincible and at one with the pavement, listening to 99 Problems on repeat and just begging someone to get in my way (I’ve been known to “air- box” while traversing the steps of Lewisham shopping centre).
But in the meantime, despite it being aimed (temporarily) at someone else — namely millennials — Nike’s new #nothingbeatsalondoner advertisement had made me feel as if I was watching London win the Olympics and crossing the marathon finish line all at once.
The three-minute short starring champion runner Sir Mo Farah, footballer Harry Kane, rapper Skepta and hundreds of Londoners in a representative, authentic, funny, socially and politically astute bit of advertising set the Twitter timelines of the metropolitan elite alive this weekend.
For those who haven’t seen it, 200 or so young Londoners star in the advert, which tracks the city’s street sport stars, from tennis courts in Camberwell to pitches in Southgate and ice rinks in Streatham, across Brixton, Peckham and Hackney.
From goals to sprints, hockey to rowing, the sports stars are each playing their game of life, proving that the city is the perfect pitch upon which to live out your sporting ambitions. It’s modern and young — albeit not perfect.
The Twittersphere took a more sombre tone when the Asian community noted their under-representation — 18 per cent of the greater London population identified as Asian or British Asian in the last census.
Meanwhile, the rest of the country remains up in arms. Mancunians on Twitter were beside themselves posting screenshots of Man U spanking Arsenal — #nothingbeatsalondoner, eh? — while Liverpudlians claimed they wouldn’t buy the brand again. I say they should be happy for us.
It’s about time a global brand started treating Londoners differently. We support this country; although it’s tricky to measure, in 2013 the Office for National Statistics reckoned that the average Londoner contributed 70 per cent more to Britain’s national income than people in the rest of the country — a difference of £16,000 each a year — which I bet stands at more today.
Most of us didn’t vote for Brexit, we have huge buying power, we are politically more liberal, culturally more diverse and we deserve a bit of favouritism. Let us have our moment, because this was mine: about two years ago the senior executive from Nike flew into London for a “London Summit”. Being the editor of ES Magazine (and an athlete), I was invited to give a seminar on the capital, our social tropes and how we knit together as one community.
I actually said each area had its own personality — rowing is more likely to happen in Richmond, for example, than basketball but the one thing that binds us beyond class, colour or medal count was the fact that we live HERE.
That was when the idea was in part germinated and the result is this campaign (she says giving herself full credit where it’s due — I was paid in a pair of trainers, in case you’re wondering). So watch the video and see what you think. I defy you to let anyone to get in your way after watching.
Bravo to the Scots leading the fight against period poverty
So, nearly one in five Scottish women can’t afford sanitary products, according to research by grassroots group Women for Independence. Instead many are resorting to using newspaper or ripping up clothes, making rags or nipping into pubs to nick loo roll because it’s free.
The survey also revealed that 22 per cent of respondents said they weren’t able to change their products as often as they would like to, affecting their hygiene and wellbeing — one in 10 said they had been forced to prioritise buying food, over buying sanitary products.
The issue is a much deeper one, of course. Sanitary products should as a rule be free (they are classed as luxury items, although I can think of nothing less luxurious), and while the Scottish are trialling such initiatives, it’s time for them to lead the charge on a free sanitary product policy for all.
Menstruation is not something that women can control.
Who needs fake friends and idea stealers in the office?
We’ve all got that colleague you can’t stand. They come in different breeds, I find.
My most hated is the “idea stealer” — it’s an away day, you’re chatting, and then, wham, it’s a team meeting and “Lizzie” has a brainwave — stolen from your actual brain.
Then there’s those you judge to be a “fake friend”, who is perhaps the worst.
See the Instagram post from actress Kim Cattrall warning her former co-star from Sex and the City Sarah Jessica Parker to stop posting messages of condolence when they’ve been feuding for years.
Grief is personal, and a social media comment is like an email — it’s never an entirely un-hostile act.