For 25 years, I’ve earned a living as a professional writer. Words are the tools of my trade.

And yet – to be honest – I’m terrible with words. Particularly the spoken word.

I can write about pretty much anything, but put me face to face with someone and ask me to chat about anything personal, intimate or emotional, and I’m worse than useless. I’m like a destructive force of nature.

Writing gives you time, doesn’t it? To consider and measure the words you use. To add a drop of humour into a difficult topic, to edit your words until there’s just the right amount of self-deprecation, or sympathy.

Face to face, I panic. I’m pathologically uncomfortable with public displays of emotion, and I have a tendency to revert to sarcasm when put under pressure.

So I was intrigued by the a survey of 2,000 adults conducted recently by one of my clients, Andrex Washlets, which found that as a nation, most Brits are just as awkward and tongue-tied as me –  47% of us don’t like talking about bathroom habits, apparently. Although I bet the percentage of us that don’t want to hear about your bathroom habits is even higher.

Anyway, Andrex Washlets also found that women are better than men at talking about difficult things. Did I ever mention that I have a wildly slightly over-developed competitive spirit?

I love a good contest, so I agreed to take part in a Google+ challenge with a bunch of bloggers and friends, which pitted men against women in a virtual game of Taboo. I was paired with my friend Simon, who’s married to Lindy from Squidgyboo.

Want to know who came out on top? Take a look at the video below.



Lindy says it’s three each BUT I think Simon should lose a point for using “je m’excuse” for “excuse me”. Blatant breach of the rules. Shameless, even. Victory (even if just the moral kind) is mine.