Liz Hoggard: A game of love and betrayal for men only

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The Independent Online

I feel like I'm living in a parallel universe. Or at least a male romantic comedy. Normally taciturn men phone and email me every day. "Isn't it terrible," they groan. "He betrayed his best friend, slept with his girlfriend, and now morale is so bad they may never be able to see each other again." "He should resign the capataincy imediately," insists another. "The whole future of the World Cup hangs in the balance."

No, sorry, you've lost me. Does any woman really care about the John Terry story? I know it's gripping men – with its grand narrative of love, loyalty and embattled teamsmanship – but every woman I spoke to this week just doesn't care. The media obsession is frankly mystifying. Grubby people doing grubby things.

While half the country is staying in screenprinting their "Team Bridge" T-shirts (showing solidarity with Terry's ex, the cuckolded Wayne Bridge), the rest of us are out drinking cantaloupe martinis and shopping. "But you should mind," my male friends say incredulously. "You love stories about tortured passion and infidelity." Not this one. Where are the glamorous, larger-than-life characters? The exotic locations? We're hardly talking about Madonna or Angelina (or even Katie Price). '

Like most women who lack the football gene, the story doesn't really make sense. It appears that Bridge and his girlfriend had split up when she tangled with Terry. So really the only hurt party is his wife. I hate to see a woman humiliated. But sadly that's what happens when you marry a footballer, and join the circus. Of course Toni shouldn't take him back, but she will. Women without economic independence have little choice.

I imagine Wayne and Vanessa Perroncel, the improbable French Wag, might just patch it up (especially if Max Clifford is waving his cheque book). No doubt a Hello! cover shoot beckons. Good luck to them. Many "manly" men can cope with a blip, or the fact their ex has a new partner – think Norman Cook or Michael Sheen.

But for red-blooded football fans, the sight of a man cuckolded by his best mate is just too painful to contemplate. They are actually the bruised romantics – the ones who get most upset about adultery and turn it into a big old loyalties grudge. As news breaks that Vanessa Perroncel may have "betrayed" them both with other team-mates, I can sense it's tears all round.

I hate to mention Pinter and John Terry in the same sentence. But his play, Betrayal, has some very interesting things to say about alpha males who prioritise their squash matches and pints over any woman they might sleep with.

Sorry boys, you can talk about moral relativism and the lynch mobbing of a love rat until you're blue in the face. But we just don't care about Terry. Frankly it's a dull man too far. We tried valiantly to get to grips with the Tiger soap opera – hard to escape it, really – because it was about complex sexual pathology. And race. And international travel. But as a female friend said to me bluntly: "Liz, it's only GOLF!"

Office workers beware the web of temptation

The shaming of stockbroker David Kiely – caught on live TV ogling near-nude snaps of the model Miranda Kerr – has caused much mirth.

But every day is a near-miss for many office workers. Be careful what you've got on your screen. Whether it's Facebook, Sainsbury's home delivery, internet dating sites or the Figleaves underwear sale ("20% off on all Fantasie lingerie"), juggling those windows is a genuine artform. You need a trigger finger.

A friend had her office totally redesigned so she could look up dating profiles without anyone else standing behind her (result: one husband and one baby). Human resource managers may disapprove. But as office hours bleed into our weekends, many of us are just trying to get a life.

Bold and beautiful art without any fuss

One of the most exciting art exhibitions opened this week. It's bold, dreamy, wickedly sensual. And the painter is 80.

Gillian Ayres is described as the finest abstract artist alive in Britain. She was a contemporary of Roger Hilton and Patrick Heron, taught Gilbert and George and Yoko Ono, hung out with Angela Carter. Collectors snap up her pictures on the black market. Andrew Marr and Eric Clapton are fans. And yet like so many women artists – just read the obituaries for textile artist Lucienne Day this week – she makes very little fuss. Quietly, doggedly, she gets on with the modest art of slapping oil paint on canvas from her home in remote Cornwall. "One is just terribly lucky," she insists. "And lucky to be alive, too, anyway. Some of us do paddle on."

Her paintings are abstract, but she doesn't stick to a pure geometric grid. Look closely and you can make out recognisable symbols – triangles, arabesques, hearts, discs, starfish. It's as if a tableau has been frozen for a moment – allowing us to look properly – before the whole cycle of life starts again.

Go along to the Alan Cristea Gallery in London's Cork Street and marvel.

* So Tesco bans customers under 21 from buying quiche? Quite right too. Quiche is about the only bloody thing I can cook/reheat for dinner parties. Should be kept as a rare delicacy.