Working Life: What's your problem?



My husband and I have recently acquired a car, which is great - getting the train everywhere was getting to be such a drag. The problem is the car radio. When we are out and about, I like listening to inspiring rock 'n' roll stuff, whereas he likes classical stations. We spend every journey arguing ferociously about whether we should tune into Virgin or Classic FM. How can we resolve this?

Sara, London SW19

He says: I am sorry to hear that you have forsaken public transport for a car, filthy, polluting and anti-social machines that they are. Trains may be a little less convenient but sometimes you have to put the planet above your own petty personal considerations! As for the radio situation: marriage is all about give and take. If you can make your shared car-radio listening into a bone of contention I shudder to think what will happen if and when a really serious area of conflict comes up. Perhaps you should consider couples counselling now, rather than waiting for a crisis. In the short term I suggest that you compromise by allowing whoever is actually behind the wheel to choose the music. This will also encourage you to share out the driving equally.

She says: Tune the radio to your required station and snap off the tuner. Or, if it's a dial, fix it in position with Superglue. Or, when you next take your car into the garage, get them to fiddle with the seatbelt inertia in your husband's seat so that it's supersensitive. It will take about 15 minutes to get the seatbelt on, by pulling it out very gently and slowly, but once it is on it will be rather like a straitjacket, holding him firmly (and safely) in his seat but preventing him reaching out to fiddle with the radio. Or make your husband travel in the back.


Just before Christmas I took my girlfriend shopping to a market in London where she bought three bras, size 38DD. Alas, tried on over the holiday they proved too small. Analysis showed that they were in fact mislabelled and were paltry 36Cs. My girlfriend didn't get a receipt, but I gallantly said I'd get them changed or get a refund. I now have them in my bag, but I've discovered I'm too shy to go back to the stall and argue cup sizes and suchlike. My girlfriend doesn't have time to go back to the market to sort this out for herself till next month. What on earth do I do with these bras in the meantime? Are there other uses for large bras?

RS, via e-mail

He says: Why are you too shy to take these items back and demand your consumer rights? A brassiere is a garment like any other. I would diagnose an unfortunately macho failure to keep in touch with the feminine side of your nature, resulting in a childishly giggly and immature attitude to female underwear. You have offered to take care of this situation and it is now your responsibility. When you return to the market, I suggest that beforehand you prepare psychologically with some role-play, imagining how you would deal with the situation were you returning a gender-neutral type of clothing: perhaps a sweater or a pair of jeans. Ask a male friend to help you by taking the part of the stallholder, then take him along for moral and psychological support. You can do it!

She says: Hang them in the garden for birds to nest in. Fill them with ice cream mixture and freeze them, to make an attractively shaped ice cream bombe dessert. Suspend them from a securely fixed hook outside and plant a creative and charming hanging-basket-type flower display. Weave them together to make a cosy baby-carrying sling. Stretch them across the stairs to trip up burglars. Take up a new career as a pantomime dame. Offer them to homeless people to shelter in. Or put them back in their bag and pop them into a handy drawer at home until your (I suspect long- suffering) girlfriend has a moment to take them back. On a practical note: I reiterate my advice from an earlier issue that it is impossible to buy bras with confidence if you do not try them on before purchasing. If everyone actually took note of my excellent hints and tips the world would run far more smoothly.


I have recently had a rather drastic change of hairstyle, from rather long to rather short with a colour rinse on top. I am very unsure about my new look and feel quite alarmed every time I look in the mirror, but everyone else says they think it's great. Should I believe them?

Chloe, via e-mail

He says: It is always sad to encounter yet another person (and there are many) whose self-worth depends on some arbitrary notion of "good looks". So often women place far too great an emphasis on haircuts and such, and very little on personality. Never mind your hair, cultivate yourself as a person! After all, looks don't last forever.

She says: No, I'm afraid you shouldn't believe them. People will always enthusiastically say they like your new haircut, whatever it's like. It's a kneejerk reaction, and the least positive response you will get from anyone is a tactful silence. (This does not include your mother, who will always insult whatever cut you have and exhort you to get a nice perm.) Follow your own instincts - if every time you look in the mirror you feel miserable because you think you have a dead rat on your head, it won't enhance you in any way whatsoever. After all, beauty is often as much a function of confidence as anything else.

Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
Tovey says of homeless charity the Pillion Trust : 'If it weren't for them and the park attendant I wouldn't be here today.'
Rhys Williams
commonwealth games
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Employment Solicitor

    Highly Competitive Salary: Austen Lloyd: MANCHESTER - Senior Employment Solici...

    Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

    £600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

    Commercial Litigation Associate

    Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

    Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

    £65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

    Day In a Page

    Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

    The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

    What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
    Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

    Finding the names for America’s shame

    The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
    Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

    Inside a church for Born Again Christians

    As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
    Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

    Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
    Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

    Incredible survival story of David Tovey

    Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
    Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

    Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

    The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

    Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

    Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
    German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

    Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

    Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
    BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

    BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

    The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
    Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

    Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

    Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
    How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

    Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

    Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
    Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

    Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

    Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
    10 best reed diffusers

    Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

    Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

    Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

    There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
    Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

    Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

    It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little