Eye Candy….


I never thought it would happen to me.  One day you are reading the fine print on Calpol bottles in low light, and the next minute you can´t read a menu in a romantic restaurant without squinting ferociously or holding it up to the nearest light source.

I have always prided myself on having 20/20 vision.  I could read approaching motorway signs minutes before Husband could, and felt vaguely smug that I didn´t have any glasses to lose, or contact lenses to get stuck behind my eyeball (yuck!!)  But how the mighty fall with the passing of time.

After months of telling myself that I was just tired when I struggled to read my book in bed or check the carbs on a yoghurt pot in Waitrose,  the realisation dawned that I needed, horror of horror, READING GLASSES!  I admit that I procrastinated for a couple of weeks and tried to put it off.  After some thought,  It became clear that it was pointless for me to go to the Opticians and be sold some glasses for hundreds of pounds which I would loathe and despise, so I did the next best thing.  I went to the chemist.

The selection was fairly narrow with the usual NHS looking offerings but after trying a few on and deciding that I could actually read fine print with a prescription of 1.5,  I saw them.  They were the antithesis of attractive, and not the sort of thing I would ever normally consider, but something about them drew the eye.  They were what might kindly be called Edna Everage glasses –  leopardskin print with slight wings and diamante on the top. Fabulous!  Trying them on only confirmed my suspicions, I had to have them.

Now a few months later, I am getting used to the idea that I am someone who occasionally needs glasses.  When I whisk them out to read something in the bank I do get the odd raised eyebrow and there was the memorable flight when Husband had forgotten his own and borrowed them to read the FT,  but I can honestly say that I can read in comfort.  And that has to be good for one´s crowfeet, right?

My buttocks are not firing!!



It started so well.  I got up incredibly early to make sure that I was ready for my first personal training session.  I had laid out my kit the night before, black capri running tights, black sports bra (industrial strength), black T shirt and shoes.  I had a light breakfast with blueberries for extra antioxidants and then walked the seven minutes to the gym.

As I waited in reception I smiled encouragingly at at least three young men whom I thought were my trainer, all of whom looked at me in confusion (and slight horror) and continued on their way.  Finally my trainer did arrive, all six foot 3 of him. Once we had introduced ourselves he sat down and we went through a series of questions about my exercise history, past injuries and what I wanted to achieve.  This last question made me want to point at a very lithe thirtyish woman who was running on one of the treadmills and say “I want a body like that” but I went with the more realistic “I just want to get fitter and lose some weight”.

He then took me into the gym, and made me lie facedown on a mat.  As I lay there thinking that the session wasn’t going to be so hard after all, he grabbed my legs and attempted to  bend them into various unnatural positions.  Seeing his face fall after failing to place me in what I can only assume is a very advanced yoga pose, I asked if I had a problem. Apparently my hip flexors are too tight and therefore my buttocks are not firing correctly.  Apparently buttocks have to fire to push you forwards.  Who knew?  The solution in my case is endless squats with a kettlebell.

The day after, I can say that my beleaguered buttocks are still not firing and are now incapable of carrying me up and down the stairs.  I am so stiff that every step is agony.  But as the saying goes, “no pain, no gain”.  Next week my trainer says we will concentrate on my core.  He’ll have to find it first!


You have to start somewhere..



Well it was inevitable really.  The birthday that I had been dreading finally came around and luckily passed with a whimper rather than a bang.  But on paper I am officially no longer a “spring chicken”.  Nothing much changed in the mirror from the day before to the day after, but as the months have passed it has dawned on me that now is the time to grasp the nettle, before too much food and creeping stiffness make getting back into shape impossible.

I want to ski like a lunatic this winter and go surfing with my family next summer, and not be that sedate mother who watches from the mountain cafe or the beach.  I want to put on my favourite shirt and not be convinced that the buttons will fly off and take someone´s eye out when I sit down.  There is also the small matter of groaning when I bend over  (a dead giveaway of getting old so I am told by my delightful children) and being frightened of my back seizing up and having to walk around bent over after loading the dishwasher.

So I have joined a gym (I hate gyms but it is better than bootcamp), booked in my first personal training session (oh the horror of being weighed and measured by a twentysomething fitness fanatic), have sadly put the gin bottle out of reach (midweek only, there is no point in making myself completely miserable) and I am ready to go.  How hard can it be?