Placeholder THE TOYL TOUR STARTS! - Time Of Your Life


March 25, 2023


Today is the first day of the TOYL Tour 2023.


Brighton, the sunny seaside capital of the south.


76 mph winds are predicted along with rain.  Lovely, but off we go regardless - it takes more than a wet March to put Paula and me off!


The tour is the culmination of around nine months of work.  Will it be a success?  I genuinely don’t know. What I do know is that it is very important to me because midlife women need to be heard and there aren’t that many people listening to us. 


You may have seen Carol Vorderman in a spat with minister for women Maria Caulfield.  Apparently Ms Vorderman accused Ms Caufield of “not being bothered” to turn up to a Select Committee meeting to discuss the menopause.


In case you missed it Carol has also taken shots at equalities minister Kemi Badenoch, who said during a discussion about whether the menopause should be a protected characteristic compared the request to others made by carers, single people or those who had ginger hair or were short.  


Vorders wasn’t happy.  ““This was like going back 100 years to when women just had the vote.  Women make up almost half of the workforce. And yet, these are the two women in government who are meant to be representing the female population. I was disgusted to be perfectly honest, by both of them, absolutely disgusted.”


I’m going to assume that the government thinks we’re all about to fake severe menopause symptoms to get extra days off which is why they are so dismissive.  That’s a very sad situation so here are my thoughts.


First, our business is 90% aimed at midlife women (we do some offers with other partners) and it is very, very rare that we get a customer service issue that sounds fishy.  Hardly ever does someone say that their box hasn’t arrived in order to get a second sent out free as it’s just not in the nature of midlife women, they’ve got more important things to do than this kind of malarkey.  In short, TOYL has a wide cross section of midlife women as our subscribers and they are a really honest bunch, not likely (in my opinion) to fake symptoms for a few hours off.


Second, a third of midlife women don’t get any menopause symptoms but if you do there are some you really, really know about and there is nothing you can do.  For some of these symptoms not even HRT will help and the physical and mental agony of them is real.


Third, many of the people making decisions about the menopause are never likely to have the symptoms i.e. they are men and you can’t help wonder if they had to go through all the hoo ha of periods, childbirth and menopause if women’s health wouldn’t be in a more positive space.


TOYL isn’t a menopause box because I strongly don’t believe that midlife for a woman is all about the menopause.  Midlife is a rich, changing, challenging landscape full of wisdom, heartbreak, joy and a bit of menopause, but menopause is not the entire landscape of these years.  What I do know is that not many people are listening to what we, midlife women, have to say which is why the TOYL Tour is so important to me. 


Everyone today in Brighton will hear me talk about how and why I founded TOYL and what I hope it brings to them each month, but what they don’t realise is that it is every bit as important for me to listen to their stories.  Not many people are listening these days, but let me assure you TOYL is, which is why our events are free, because money shouldn’t be a barrier to being heard. 

If you can, come along to any of the events, I’d love to hear what you have to say.


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