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Balaclavas, avocado proposals and the Alexa Chung jumpsuit

We need to approach this new balaclava trend with trepidation. Not just because it's a challenging look to pull off and the words, "I saw Joan in town and she was wearing a rather fetching balaclava", are seldom heard. But because of what the balaclava signifies.

This reporter fears it is no co-incidence that, as we run the daily risk of waking up in a nuclear missile-shaped crater with tattered pyjamas and only half a packet of prawn cocktail crisps and a cockroach for company, the fashion world has thrust this woolly-helmeted symbol of war upon us.

Let us trot back in time a moment and recall that the balaclava actually originates from 1854 when British women knitted and posted out to Balaclava, Ukraine, head coverings for unprepared troops fighting in the bitterly cold Crimean War. Now they are being sported by models prancing the catwalks of designers like Calvin Klein and Gucci.

Meanwhile, the mind-boggling appeal of the avocado continues to flourish, with romantic-types now using them to pop the question. We, naturally, have Instagram to blame for this, as it appears not enough for millennials to propose to the one they love. They must also score maximum views on the social networking site with the photographs.

And they have worked out there is no better way of doing this than using both the most-highly coveted Instagram tags "proposal" and "avocado". This has led to people embedding engagement rings between two avocado halves. Nothing says love more than mushy fruit I guess. It's bananas this reporter feels sorry for.

Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn has finally conceded Labour will officially support Britain remaining in the customs union post-Brexit after the most drawn out "will he, won't he" since the world waited to see if Brad Pitt would get back with Jennifer Aniston after splitting with Angelina Jolie (well, Jennifer is single again).

This move is a vital one as it means Prime Minister Theresa May now faces huge opposition on the issue when Parliament votes on it in the spring, as many Tory rebels have already spoken out in favour of the Pitt-Aniston reunion, sorry, customs union.

As for the single market, this is still a no go as far as Jezza is concerned as keeping in it would scupper his plans for economic reform, should he become Prime Minister.

Talking of which, the first female Prime Minister of New Zealand is having to battle against misogyny. The world is not surprised but it is incensed over journalist Charles Wooley's cack-handed attempt at interviewing Jacinda Ardern, who just happens to also be pregnant.

Viewers branded the TV interview "sexist" and "creepy" after Mr Wooley opened by saying he had met a lot of prime ministers in his time, but none as young, smart or attractive as Ms Ardern. Declaring he, like the rest of the country, was "smitten" by her, he went on to ask how such a nice person had got into the sordid world of politics, before clinching it by making uncomfortable allusions to the date of conception of her baby.

Putting to her the fact people had questioned whether it was wise to conceive a baby during an election campaign, Ms Ardern, visibly uncomfortable, was forced to retort: "The election was done. Not that we need to get into those details."

This reporter thinks it may be time to acquire ourselves one of those balaclavas. Failing that, Alexa Chung has come out with an oversized straight-leg cotton-blend jumpsuit which has something of the land girl meets partisan about it. Highly practical for digging bunkers or secretly infiltrating enemy territory and it's a little more forgiving than the balaclava.


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