AA Gill penned 1,000 or so words last weekend about everything he has learnt from and about women. I'm inspired to capture everything I know about men but it'll take fewer words.

Men are happier, kinder, gentler, wiser, more loving, more considerate and more generous when they are having enough sex. It may be obvious but no one says it. It is also true of women, of course, but not quite to the same extent. Men muttering that a grumpy woman needs to get laid always seem to be imposing their own thought processes on to her.

Yoga wino
Children can drive a woman to drink and yogaistock

Tolstoy saw hard physical labour as an alternative. My yoga teacher assures me that Ashtanga yoga was invented to release the tension in young male monks. My mother has always said young men need to take lots of risks – and do a bit of fighting.

So contrary to the patterns of modern life, I reckon that to be happy, men need some combination of digging, tough yoga, risky sport and sex. Probably not in that order.

Over the edge with a Pinot

Meanwhile, research shows that mothers of small children are drinking too much. Which perhaps surprises no one but me. I can barely cope with how irritable, tired and impatient my three small children make me without adding midweek and mid-afternoon boozing into the mix. A celebratory post-school Pinot Grigio would push me over the precipice. Worse than another baby.

It does strike me, though, that most of the mothers I know are very, very tired and many sleep badly. Maybe we should all drink a bit less and spend a bit more time with our grumpy husbands.

A friend did mention recently that she and and her husband had sex and she actually liked him for 24 hours. Of course, this could be high risk for those of use who have enough children to cope with already.

Binning granny

And back to digging in the shape of death trends. A man who runs a burial company tells me it's the height of fashion to have a small, family only crematorium service in the morning, followed by lunch and then an afternoon woodland burial of the ashes. The ashes burial is open to all, billed as celebration of life.

Which sounds a jolly efficient approach when you hear most funeral parlours are full to bursting with uncollected ashes no one dares dispose of for fear of binning granny.

The downside of this done-in-a-day route is, he tells me, that the ashes arrive piping hot from the flames. A bit weird. But not as odd as his mug, which reads: Keep calm and dig a grave.


Christine Armstrong is a contributing editor of Management Today, author of Power Mums (interviews with high-profile mothers) and founder of www.villas4kids.com. She can be found on Twitter at @hannisarmstrong.