39 ways to be a modern lady

Country Life has published a new list on how to be a modern lady. Some of its suggestions aren’t as hideous as you’d think. But in my opinion it’s missed out on quite a few essentials, so here are my suggestions to make up the deficit.


My kind of lady…

  1. Doesn’t check her mobile or look at a screen during any meal (but isn’t afraid to look at it in the toilet.)
  2. Can do basic first-aid.
  3. Swims like a trout in cold streams and rivers.
  4. When really fit workmen come round to her house, refrains from sending ‘OMG I have a stud in my house come round nooooow’ type texts.
  5. For at least an hour. And then she shares the joy.
  6. Arranges for guests’ favourite newspaper to be delivered if they’re staying for the weekend.
  7. Isn’t afraid to confront people for throwing litter.
  8. In a passive aggressive slightly mad way. YOU DROPPED SOMETHING. etc
  9. Knows when to leave the fast lane but also stays put if someone is trying to bully her out of the way. When this happens, will use the power of hand gestures to indicate her sympathy for the fact that said driver is unfortunately underrepresented in the trouser department.
  10. When it comes to the behaviour of her friends’ children, knows when to keep her mouth shut.
  11. Thinks that Annie Hall is one of the greatest people that ever lived, even if she wasn’t real.
  12. Speaks up for the underdog.
  13. Uses the library.
  14. Has a brilliant voice on the phone.
  15. Donates at museums.
  16. Gets past the small talk.
  17. Can shrug off a shitty day with a really inappropriate solo grindy dance in the kitchen, even when sober.
  18. Doesn’t post selfies where she is pouting. Ever.
  19. Never moans about jetlag, dust from extensions, or au-pair or nanny difficulties.
  20. Can name trees, birds and flowers and helps children learn them too.
  21. Knows that an elegant eye-roll, when executed properly, is a thing of joy.
  22. Can quote stuff – proper stuff. Poems, sayings, lines from films, Maureen Lipman adverts.
  23. Plays board games.
  24. Gives good hugs. Proper, strong, squeezy ones.
  25. Knows how to complain properly.
  26. Doesn’t give a shit what state your house is in, in fact can sink into a big pile of squalor, pick off some empty cat food tins from your sofa and say “god, you really need to do less around the house.”
  27. Drops round for coffee without being asked.
  28. Has got at least one favourite category on Youporn. .
  29. Can talk about TV shows with enthusiasm and expertise.
  30. Says: ‘Can I help you?’ if she catches anyone leering at her.
  31. Eats like a horse.
  32. Can be a bit feral.
  33. Breaks the rules.
  34. Fully accepts that, once you’ve had children, you’re always working, whether you have a ‘job in an office’ or not, and gives all mums the respect they deserve, rather than saying: ‘How can you be tired, you’re at home all day?’
  35. Knows when people are sad, even when they’re pretending they’re fine, and does something about it.
  36. Doesn’t say ‘sorry’ automatically when she cries.
  37. Gives herself secret pep talks.
  38. Still gets misty eyed when talking about a pet she had a few decades ago,
  39. Has at least one slightly unhinged laugh that you can’t forget.

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