For those who read this blog you will know I love food drink, dogs, music, dogs and my long suffering family and dogs but the one thing which has eluded me over the high days and holidays, low times and desperate days is the love of exercise. The need to don lycra and thunder over the pavements, inhaling great lungfuls of exhaust fumes or standing in a gym with the waft of rubber and old socks all around as forever been a mystery to me and my undulating thighs. So it has come as a bit of a surprise – nae shock – that I may have found my”thing” I am not claiming to be good at it, or changed outwardly – yet – but for the past couple of weeks I have been doing yoga.
Oh hark the middle aged Aberdonian has discovered yoga surprise surprise.
But I Have.
And I am so convinced that this will be a life – body changer – I am going to document my journey here.
From stiff, lumpy, stressed and hunched to a long languorous lithe young thing – no ok fair enough I got a bit carried away with the superlatives there but change is gonna come…..wish me luck!
P.S I know you don’t believe me
PPS written with a glass of wine in my hand – you could have apoint.
First off, thanks so much for all the positive feedback re the BBC Radio Scotland program on the peri-menopause. Amazing that so many women suffer in silence when it is something we will all go through. If you didn’t hear it then you can do so on Sunday or on i-player, the show is called Medical Matters if you click HERE you will get to it.
I do think I’m losing the plot though. Last week I went to the gym 4 times. Thought I might die of personal pride. A new me, a changed woman, someone who had got their exercise mojo after many years of trying. Well here I am 7 days later and I haven’t been near the place.
Actually that’s not strictly true. I did drive there on Monday morning and the car park was full and it was wet and rainy I did a couple of drive pasts and just came home for a warm drink and a muffin.
Shortly after that I drove off to Inverness for the night through stormy weather only to arrive at pals house where instead of going for a bracing walk I settled down to eat a fabulous meal. Really. Shaun is a farmer and one of the best cooks I have ever seen. I talked and sipped wine as he produced an amazing meal which consisted of lots of goodies left over from their wild weekend consisting of venison, which he served up with a giant yorkshire pud – his speciality and my fav! – and dauphinoise potatoes made with sweet potatoes. I know I hadn’t thought of that either- here’s the recipe just swap out normal tatties for sweet ones.. Anyway this delicious feast was all drenched in the most delicious gravy – his secret ingredient for the grazy is Chinese 5 spice – well not so secret now. I then collasped on the couch with two spaniels. Never happier.
The next day I was good and had a cup of tea for breakfast and then was scoffing a goats cheese tart by 10.30am. You will have detected the exercise mojo is long gone but the food mojo lives on.
Driving back down the road later the same day my car went into House of Bruar without me even telling it. Herbie Rides Again. I bought a tub of olives stuffed with sun dried tomatoes and a jar of lime curd. All the olives didn’t get all the way home, I made the usual mistake of putting them on the passenger seat so I had them opened and in my chops within 500 yards of leaving the House of Bruar car park.
Home to a salad and mineral water? What do you think? Walking today though….to meet a pal for lunch……..c’est la vie – joie de vie!
I always think I am allergic to something. Fact is I’m allergic to bugger all. It’s all in the mind. I know it. I just can’t face up to the fact that stuffing my face with chocolate, wine and bread is going to make me puff up. And that’s not an allergy that’s life. So as I spot the latest self help book in the bookshop – How to Have a Bum Like a Pair of Walnuts in 25 minutes by R.Yoo Mintal I put down my jammy donut, wipe my fingers and reach out for it like the 100’s of other misguided woman around me. STOP.
Diet and exercise – its not rocket science but the sad fact is it’s not fun so therefore I’m not interested.
A sea change of attitude is what’s required here I know that. But at this stage is it going to happen to me? I think not.
And anyway who wants to see a 47 year old dancing around half naked on a beach? Is it not about now it is acceptable to be seen lounging louchely in a dark coloured kafthan sporting a large brimmed hat, a huge gin and tonic and oh God a fag! Does that mean I have to start smoking again? How I suffer for my art. The art of growing old disgracefully.
I am fed up of reading how fabulous walking is for you.I have been walking since I was 15 months old and I still have a big bum. It’s nonsense.
Next on the list for all over toning and making you look 25, is swimming. I swam last year on holiday a few times and when I came home was so convinced that I was transforming into a dophin that I cancelled one gym membership ( because they didn’t have a pool) and joined another because they did. What an excellent idea. What a clever girl I thought. Fool. I haven’t been since September which by my reckoning means my dip today cost me a rather buttock clenching £240. Holy Tamoly.
The money makes me limp, it’s so much and so stupid and so predictable. If I added up the money I had paid to gyms that I haven’t gone to over the years I could have bought a great big house in a big hot place and as a result would be calmer, more relaxed and thinner anyway.
So by the time I got to the changing room todayI was sick of myself. Add to this the trauma of having to bare my winter body to the world and his wife. Of course when I say ‘the world and his wife’ what I actually mean is 15 drizzling toddlers and their parents all playing with giant inflatables in the shallow end as I bobbled past hoping against all odds one of the toddlers didn’t rush towards me thinking I was a pink and black inflatable Orca who’d bounced out of the pool in error. It was not a happy experience.
Once the body was submerged and the googles were strapped on I looked at the clock. 1.30 OK surely to God I could make it til 2pm. That’s just 30 minutes gentle ploutering for heavens sake. An 85 year old could manage that. Couldn’t they?
Well yes they probably could but not me. I was wheezing away like a daftie after the first 4 lengths. Well you may think you were ploughing up and down those lanes like David Wilkies secret sister – wrong! I was flailing with my top half floating and my bottonm half sinking fast. This was not poetry in motion this was an assault on the pool and all swimmers world wide.
So. How unfit am I? Answer very.Idid 30 minutes, clambered out, wobbly legged, got changed, pinged the googles up to reveal the elastic had done it’s worst and almost popped myeyeballs out, the mascara I had forgotten to remove was smeared all over my face and the exertion had turned everything else a worrying red. Hell it’s sunny and I’m starving I thought I’m off to the supermkaret to get the bare essentials I’ll just keep my sunglasses on no-one will even notice.
10 minutes later in the aisle holding a tin right up to my face trying to read labels with my sunnies on. I hear ‘Alison is that you in there? What the hell are you doing?’ Spotted, smeared, red, chloriney and hacket I would have said’ no it is not this woman Alison you speak of’ in a strange foreign tongue’ and limped away had it been anyone else but Fiona one of my oldest and dearest pals who had just returned from a skiing holiday.
‘Yes’ I hissed in her ear, ‘it’s me. Come to mine for coffee now I’m off’. and with that I put down the basket of stuff, and made a run for it.
I made the coffee, she took the biscuits and we sat outside and polished off a packet of Chocolate Hobnobs. I’ve looked it up I will have to swim for 5 and a half hours to work that off tomorrow. Bugger that. On the other hand an hour with a great pal laughing like a drain – must burn at least 500 calories so off to get my Fawlty Towers DVD out that should do it. I’ll be a supermodel by Christmas!
Meeting with a publisher about a variety of ideas. It looks as though one of my life long ambitions is about to be realised – I am going to have a book published at Christmas. Even Santa can’t beat that! Very excited and rush off to tell my friend Dynamite who is limping and sweating as I pick her up from the gym. I remind her exercise is bad for you as we head off for a coffee an a stare at a donut – we resist the temptation to eat them surprisingly. Dynamite is going off on this fabulous free trip to Tobago which I had had to turn down as I am working. It is too depressing for words but she is swanning off for 4 days next week – hence the mad gym attendance. Anyway we are walking along Abercromby Place in Central Edinburgh when there are at least 3 peeps from 3 separate people. Not fooling ourselves for a moment it’s because we are young and gorgeous I explain The first van was the guy from the Nobel Grape who recognised us – yes an off license. The second was the guy who runs The World – a bar and the third the guy who owns the fishmongers where I bought my salmon! Salmon for tea.
Dropping Dynamite off at work when she runs straight into a throng of young girls. She’s been mobbed again I think and then I see a very red aced and harassed David Sneddon pushing his way through the crowds signing autographs as he goes. Dynamite is being turned round and round by the guddle of fans and inadvertently he grabs a bit of paper from her hand and signs it! Much amusement as she pointed out later she’ old enough to be his mother and was mortified!
In the shops. Realise I have a gym membership which is now officially redundant. I can’t seem to get there at all so I peruse the exercise videos. I eventually plump – no pun intended- for the
Kylie Minogue Hotpants video. I know I know but it’s worth a try. As I am stuffing it in my trolley and heading to the checkout I spot Fish doing his shopping too. Celeb spotting in supermarkets what an exciting life I lead! Get the Video home and decide not to do it till tomorrow as doing it on a full stomach can’t be good for you I’, sure.
More salmon. God you can’t eat a lot of that stuff can you. It’s so rich and cloying I can’t face it again.
My Mum comes round and we weigh ourselves. This sounds like an easy non stressful event / It is not. It is horrible I can’t believe I weigh that much. She can’t believe I weigh that much. We have decided against the weight watchers thing as all you do is pay them £3 to weigh you so we’re going to do it ourselves. Mmn. After Mum leaves a heave my huge body from the scene of the weighing to the bedroom and change into my tracksuit for the Video. I start it. Happily Kylie is not in the video I couldn’t face looking at her elfin form as I lumber about threatening to go through the floorboards. It takes a lot of concentration but by the end I am red faced and sweating so it must have done something. Have a shower, feel better, resist food and pin a picture of myself on the fridge. This may deter me from ever eating again. Force down more salmon makes me feel sick now..
David on a golf outing at 9am. I’ll be back by 6 . Mmn. He trundles in with a wide smile and a red eye about 8 the finished golf at 1.
David tries to convince me his drink must have been spiked. I point out Luffness Golf Club a male dominated emporium of buff is not the sort of place anyone slips you a Mickey Finn. Nice try though. I attempt to teach him the word ‘No’ but it just can’t be done I swear.
I HATE SALMON.
A golf lesson with Jane Connachan. She’s a great teacher and makes me laugh heartily as I duff a few more over the golf range.by the end of it though I seem to be hitting the ball and it is going somewhere Hallelujah. Very elated about that so head round to see Cousin with B&B as she is waiting for her guests to arrive. Due to be at Davy Grubbs 40th birthday party but I sit chatting with cousin and sipping wine Her first batch of guest arrive and are given a very formal greeting as she shows them to their room. The second batch arrive and they are also given the formal landlady by the sea approach . By the time the third lot arrive we are having a whale of a time and she shouts down the stairs ‘ come on up my little darlings I’ll point you in the direction of your room. Now would you like a wee drink!’.
I left as her husband was giving her the evil eye.
Missed the 40th. Missed my tea last night and as a result I suspect I am missing a liver. Travelling up to see friends in Perthshire in the country . 10 minutes out of town Louis pipes up ‘ I need the loo’ so we stop at the side of the road. Another 30 minutes later we stop in Cowdenbeath -it’s my turn and it’s an emergency. I find the public loos which are spotless. 10 minutes after that we stop again. This time for David who walks about 500 yards into the depths of the forest ! quite who is going to get their binoculars out and focus on his nether regions is a mystery to Louis and I who peep the horn and flash the lights at him.
Arrive with pal John King who has Activity travel but due to an overwhelming passion for wine has now begun Wine Routes. Oh happy day. Straight in to the wine cellar. Oh now I know what I want for my birthday. We sip a lovely wine and eat sausiccon which was a giftt from one of his suppliers. After a few glasses and lovely lunch we head off to a loch to do some fishing. As David , John and The Kids mess around in the boat. Nicky and I wander round and suddenly there is a huge bird above us ‘ it was an osprey!.I’d never seen one before they are magnificent beasts so as the boys wheeched trout of the loch and we lay on the grass watching the osprey.
Back to the house for more food and drink. What food, what wine what a carry on. It was then announced a friend of Johns was celebrating his 50th birthday in Blairgowrie so it was off to that. The guy, Linsay who wrote You were Always On My Mind, You Drove All night, etc.. Was singing at it. So there was a wild night of drinking and dancing.
Quiet start. Fiona was having her leg pulled for not dancing last night by her boyfriend Iain. When he was reminded that it was because he had thrust a long orange balloon between his knees and was wiggling round the dance floor on his own singing ‘come one baby light my fire’ he recalled why she chose not to be Olivia Newton John to his John Revolting!The Lowe brothes, two of last nights casualties, turned up with a hungry look in their eye.
Magnificent breakfast homemade pancakes , maple syrip , bacon. Then the trout from yesterday , porridge,, kidneys and eggs. Can’t walk. Can’t speak. Can’t believe my 2 day diet and 2 days Kylie video must now be irrelevant I have gorged and am happy and round.