Monday, 23 November 2009

Wheelchairs and Woe!






Woe! Woe! And Thrice Woe! The stubborn songbird hath returned with a vengeance (see previous posts.) I’ve just got back from the doctors, armed with another Canestan pessary, as the oral tablet I took on Saturday has not shifted the dratted bird from its nest. I’ve also been doing a little internet research on Candida Albicans (latin name for the bird) and it transpires that the ph of my private parts is of paramount importance in the ousting of this foe. Therefore, last night, armed with this new knowledge, I attempted to “flush the thrush” in a warm bath containing two cups of cider vinegar. It certainly seemed to soothe my parts. Thus, the husband has been duly despatched to Tesco to buy more stocks and also to procure some live yoghurt for me to eat to even up the score between the dreaded thrush and it’s somewhat friendlier companions. I’m led to believe that live yoghurt can also be liberally applied to the affected area, although I feel that this would be a rather more messy business.

The good news is that the period chart is now complete, with 12 consecutive missed periods. I am therefore officially post menopausal! I think I might throw a Post Menopausal Party. Well, why not? After all, people throw divorce parties, with Champagne, cake and all. Perhaps I could commission a cake in the shape of a giant uterus with frilly fallopian tubes, in an engaging shade of red. Or perhaps I will go into politics and stand for the Post Menopausal Party, after all, if you can have a Monster Raving Loony Party, why not a Post Menopausal Party? My constituency would, of course, have to be based in Wombwell and I would fight for the rights of all post menopausal people (men included.)

I’m still employed as a temp in the Wheelchair Unit of my local hospital and in the interests of furthering my knowledge, I just had to try out the new electric chair. No, not Old Smoky, but a motorised chair. You’d be amazed (said in a Frankie Howard voice) at how fast those wheelchairs can go and they can turn on a sixpence. I thoroughly enjoyed my few minutes of power, zipping up and down the corridors like Davros from Dr. Who. I could think of a few people I’d like to exterminate in the NHS, but I shan’t mention any names………………..or shall I? ;-)


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Wednesday, 21 October 2009

"Spot The Belge" and Bunny Burying - RIP Angus




I am very pleased to be able to report that the song bird which was inhabiting my nether regions has finally flown the coop – Hurrah! (See previous posting.) It only took 6 weeks of bombardment with creams, pills and pessaries to frighten it off.

Not such good news on the tooth front, I’m afraid. My quarterly hygienist appointment and general dental check up culminated in an X-Ray and a choice between root canal treatment for yet another infection, or extraction. As the root canal work would not have been a permanent solution, I opted for extraction. Unfortunately, I needed so much local anaesthetic that the swallowing mechanism on the affected side was paralysed and I felt like Deuce Bigalow Male Gigolo in the clinic scene. A most claustrophobic, uncomfortable and dribbly experience which, thankfully, didn’t last too long. The extraction itself was pretty uneventful, despite the roots being quite deep and splayed outwards. The crunching and snapping noise/sensation was rather unnerving though (if you pardon the pun.) So I have now temporarily joined the ranks of the soup slurpers until such time as my new gap has properly healed. It gives "mind the gap" a whole different meaning.

I have further unhappy tidings to report as well. Sadly, we had to have our elderly and much loved rabbit, Angus, put to sleep, as he had a heart murmur and developed breathing difficulties. As he had been living indoors with us for some time, it was a harder wrench to make the decision than if he had still been living outside. R.I.P. Angus, we miss you lots. :-(

On a brighter note, have you ever played “Spot The Belge” whilst driving abroad? Highly unlikely, as it is a game that my husband and I formulated whilst holidaying in the South of France. For some reason, there appeared to be more Belgians in France than ever this year, so we slipped into a “Spot The Belge” competition whereby whenever a Belgian car was spotted, the spotter would shout out “Belge!” at the top of their voice, thus scoring a point over the other one. The trick was to pretend that you weren’t playing and then catch your opponent unawares by shrieking “Belge!” into his ear at 100 decibels whilst pointing an accusing finger at the innocent foreign driver. We once actually managed a tie, both shrieking “Belge!” at the same time whilst pointing accusatory fingers at the innocent bemused Belgians passing on the other side of the carriageway. I expect they thought “there go the nutty Brits again.” Of course, the game can be adapted in order to insult all different nationalities, i.e. “Bosche!”, “Waps!”, “Yanks!”etc, depending on which country you happen to be in. You should try it some time. It provides hours and hours of mindless and insulting fun!

Finally, the latest menopause scores:-

Hot Flushes = 0
Night sweats = 0
Periods = 0
Smear Test = 1 :-(

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Thursday, 10 September 2009

Thrush and Toothache



5 WEEKS!!! That’s how long I’ve been suffering with Thrush, or Candida Albicans to be precise. I had no idea that thrush could be linked to the hormonal disruption of the menopause. I’ve tried Canestan cream and pessaries and now, as a last ditch attempt, I’ve just popped the Canestan single dose pill in a desperate attempt to rid myself of this irritating (literally) affliction. Until you’ve had it, no-one knows how the itching and soreness drive you to madness, especially when you haven’t slept properly for some time because of it. If the pill fails, then it’s off to the docs for me. I have heard that applying live yogurt to the affected area can help, but I don’t fancy doing my weekly shop at Tesco and leaving a trail of yoghurt dripping in my wake. It wouldn’t do much for my street cred now would it? By the way, has anyone found a foolproof way of scratching their private parts in a supermarket without getting funny looks from the other customers? It reminds me of the old joke about itchy parts and a Japanese motorbike? But, perhaps we’d better not go down that route.

AND…on top of that, I’ve had toothache, but am trying to hang on until my appointment with the dentist in a couple of week’s time. Now I know how babies and OAP’s feel when all they can do is suck up mush. The upside to this is that I cannot now stuff my face with biscuits, so have managed to lose a little weight. Add to the above, a good dollop of family troubles and ongoing unemployment and you can see that “the devil well and truly vomits in my kettle once again” (acknowledgements to Blackadder for the quote.)

Still, onwards and upwards, as they say. I’ve been busying myself with my “new” Etsy shop, which sells upcycled and hand embellished T-Shirts, Tanks, Skirts, Dresses and Lingerie, as well as the odd item of handmade jewellery (http://crystalpearl.etsy.com) As per usual, I threw myself into it body and soul and, after opening 3 months’ ago, am still awaiting my first sale, despite Twittering, Facebooking, Burdastyling, USTrendying, My Spacing, Beboing, Flickring and Foruming until I’m blue in the face. I mean, what does it take to get one measly sale? Blood? Bribery? Chocolate?

The good news is that the dreaded hot flushes and night sweats appear to have abated. Not quite sure when it happened as they just seemed to slowly peter out – Hurrah! So apart from the songbird which is currently inhabiting my nether regions, I am menopausally (if there is such a word) asymptomatic and I jolly well hope it stays that way!

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Tuesday, 21 July 2009

Blowtorch and Garlic






Greetings, one and all. Long time, no blog.

You may recall (or not, as the case may be), that last time I blogged, which sounds like some disgusting form of sexual perversion, I had just come back from sunny Corsica to do battle again with the UK job market. Well, the good news is that I managed to secure a week’s work in the Mental Health department at my local hospital. Strange how I always seem to gravitate towards Mental Health departments. Am I missing the point here? Anyway, the assignment went very well and there is a slight chance that there may be more work there in the future, hopefully of a permanent nature– Hurrah!

In between waiting for calls from the employment agency, I have been busy on a new project. I’ve been setting up my new web store which sells hand embellished fashions, including lingerie. Unfortunately, despite Twittering, Facebooking, Burdastyling, USTrendying, My Spacing, Beboing and Flickring myself to death (oooerrr missus!), I have still had no sales to date. So if anyone fancies being my first customer, please have a look at my store http://crystalpearl.etsy.com/
All comments and, of course, sales much appreciated.

The cottage cheese thighs are in danger of creating an international incident by becoming a cheese mountain and all the good work from walking up and down the 60 steps at my last place of work has truly been undone, although the scales show only an increase in weight of 2lbs (I’ll leave it to the whiz kids to convert that into kilos.) The fat on the stomach has rudely re-appeared and the ever abhorrent elasticated waist jobbies are looming on the horizon once again.

As for the hot flushes, then I can report a slight improvement and the period chart now has a proud 8 missed months on it, so only another 4 to go and I am officially post menopausal – Double hurrah!

At a recent visit, my hairdresser kindly informed me that he could “do something about” my rapidly advancing grey hair situation but, at £70-£80 a go, I think I’ll just let it march on regardless. Of course, I could do a bit of DIY, but just can’t manage to gird my loins in that direction. Loin girding is in short supply in this house at present.

I’m pleased to say that I’m off to sunny France again on Saturday, for my annual fix of all things Gaelic (and garlic.) Can’t wait to get back to the Luberon where life is most tranquil and pleasant. However, jobs to do before I go include:-

1) Find swimsuit which can suck in a stone of unwanted fat.
2) Shave everything on body to within an inch of its life.
3) Remove 12 layers of chipped maroon nail varnish from toes with blowtorch and repaint.
4) Clean top ledge of window in bathroom in case die in plane crash and mother-in-law finds dirt whilst clearing house.
5) De-flea cat (again.)

Au Revoire, mes petits escargots!

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Monday, 8 June 2009

French Bread and Cottage Cheese


Bonjour mes amis

I’ve just returned from two fab weeks in Corsica and, boy, did I need ‘em! The sun shone every day bar one and the sea was warm enough to swim in. Plenty of wine, food, swimming, sleep, reading (and nudists.) Just what the doctor ordered. Now it is back to reality with a bang. Reality being the fruitless search for an enjoyable part-time job in a convivial atmos, working with nice people. It’s like searching for the holy grail when you are 50+ and menopausal. The hot flushes have been pretty gruesome of late and it seems like I only have to think of one to conjure it up. Must get some more Dr Vogel’s Menosan drops, which seem to work if taken regularly. Now there’s the rub, as old Bill Shakes would say, as I get a bit forgetful in this regard. Still desperately trying to think up a nice little internet earner that would allow me to work from home and endure my hot flushes in private, but nothing workable has sprung to mind so far, unless some ultruistic publisher suddenly offers to publish my blog but, quite frankly, I’ve got more chance of being struck by a canary on a bicycle than of that happening.

You may recall that last time I blogged, I was just off to have some cosmetic treatment done to combat the ravages (ravishes? radishes???) of time, i.e. fillers administered to the Grand Canyon that is my forehead. Well, I have to say that it was moderately painful (despite the indignity of the topical anaesthetic and cling film Alice band) and the results were a little on the disappointing side, as the canyon, although less grand, is still firmly in situ. I suppose it was worth a try though.

I haven’t ventured near the weighing scales for over a month, but actually feel as if I have lost some more weight, or at least have managed to tread water, although the thighs are pretty cottage cheesy now and the skin is starting to sag rather alarmingly on the inner thighs. But, on the bright side, the fat on my stomach does appear to have diminished somewhat, so my chances of having a heart attack have probably been halved – which is nice.

As well as the sagging skin, the silver hairs are once again on the march and I feel another battle with the dye bottle is looming on the horizon. Part of me wants to fight the rising tide of menopausal evidence and part of me just can’t be arsed. Love me, love my grey hair/flab/spots/hot flushes/saggy thighs and cellulite.

And, to add to all that……… the cat’s got fleas again!

Tune in and chill out with Menopause and Mayhem!

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Friday, 27 February 2009

Klingons and Bee Gees




Two weeks ago, I took the plunge and had a little Botox work done on my forehead. I am pleased to say that the results were better than the first time around when I ended up looking like a “before” and “before” photo. Whilst the improvement is subtle and I have no Spocky eyebrow, it is a precursor to the fillers which I am having tonight. The Botox made my eyes water, as it is like being stung by a dozen very angry bees, but it was bearable. However, for the fillers, I have to administer a topical anaesthetic 45 minutes before treatment and cover the area with cling film to improve the efficacy. It somewhat reminds me of Dave in The Full Monty when he sits in the garden shed, covered in cling film and eating chocolate bars. I hope the neighbours don’t spot me coming out of the house with my cling film bandana and, hopefully, I shall only resemble a Klingon before the treatment and not afterwards. Obviously, I will keep you posted on progress.

The night sweats and hot flushes are beginning to escalate and I’m getting pretty fed up with them now, but I still shy away from the dreaded HRT. Instead, I shall make a foray to the health shop to see what weird and wonderful potions they can suggest. Luckily, I don’t have the mood swings that a friend of mine is currently enduring, whereby she feels like kicking everyone and everything in sight and even berated a sausage roll the other day for daring to break up and make a mess on her newly hoovered carpet. I mean, how bad is that?

TRAGEDY!!! (sung in a Bee Gees Falsetto voice.) The weight is still refusing to budge from 9st 2lbs, despite making sure I went to the loo and cut my toenails before climbing on the scales, so I seem to have hit a bit of a plateau. I have to confess that I did scoff two pieces of birthday gateau that someone at work very kindly brought in yesterday as it would be rude not to, together with a couple of digestive biscuits that I had bought as a treat for the rabbit. From the accusatory glare he gave me, I think he must have heard the rustle of the packet. Who said rabbits were thick? The period chart still remains wonderfully scant and I am now into my fourth consecutive month sans bodily functions, so I’ve only got another eight to go before I earn my badge of honour as a fully paid up member of the Menopause Club – Hurrah!

P.S. The photo is of Klingons, not Bee Gees!



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Friday, 30 January 2009

Davros And Cassandra




I’ve decided to do it! I’ve decided to take the plunge and go for the Botox and fillers. After all, you can’t take it with you when you go, as they say. I’m cautiously optimistic about my imminent regeneration from Davros into Lady Cassandra. Moisturise! Moisturise! It’s wonderful what they can do with a sonic screwdriver these days. The thing is, you don’t have to look menopausal just because you are menopausal. Call me superficial if you like, but how you look has a direct effect on your self esteem and wellbeing. The bottom line is that if you look like crap, you feel like crap. End of story.

Speaking of bottom lines, I am fervently hoping that the six flights of stairs I climb each day at work will improve my own bottom line. It’s the original form of step aerobics which should help old Gluteus Maximus (that famous Roman emperor.) If that fails, then I may have to resort to buying a bum bra to lift my cheeks off the back of my legs. Whatever happened to that pert little bottom I had in my 20’s? It sodded off down South, that’s what.

One piece of menopause defying information I’d like to share with you is Co-Enzyme Q10. For several years, I’ve been having chronic gum problems. The situation has sometimes been so bad that it’s been difficult to eat. However, after reading an article on the internet which stated that cholesterol lowering medications called statins can interfere with the body’s own production of Co-Enzyme Q-10, causing chronic gum problems, being on statins myself, I decided to purchase a month’s supply to test the theory. The good news is that they’ve worked like a dream. I’m not saying that all my gum problems are solved, but from the first day I “popped the pill”, I have seen a miraculous improvement. Even my dentist is surprised at the change. Hopefully, I will manage to avoid Nobby Styles syndrome for a bit longer.

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http://www.bloghints.com

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Sunday, 25 January 2009

Gene Hunt And A Whore's Drawers


Greetings, my menopausal mates. Long time, no blog. Has anyone ever eaten coleslaw on toast? Well I just have. It’s not part of some weird new fangled diet, but more the fact that I bought it to go with Friday night’s pizza and had nothing else suitable to eat it with. Besides, I hate wasting food. In fact, I haven’t had pizza for ages, as it is not particularly diet friendly but, “a little of what you fancy”, as they say. In any case, I’m pleased to report that my weight is now down to 9st 2lbs. I’m afraid the Saatchi egg diet theory went a bit pear shaped over Christmas due to the usual seasonal excesses, as did the cayenne pepper and green tea. However, a good dose of diarrhoea, followed by flu soon restored the status quo (no air guitars please) and got rid of a couple of extraneous pounds into the bargain.

On the menopausal esteem boosting side, I recently secured a 3 month contract with the NHS which necessitates a 20 minute walk to and from my car each day, plus some great aerobic exercise trugging up several flights of stairs to the 3rd floor office (NHS lifts are notoriously lazy.) Needless to say, I am half dead by the time I get there, but feel quite virtuous nonetheless and the advantages are obvious. I am now able to get back into some of the Size 12 trousers which I was forced to abandon when I was a stone heavier. The downside is that the three new pairs of Size 14 M&S trousers I bought some months back are in danger of becoming victims of my first car boot sale of the year.

On the menopausal esteem squashing side, my face has more lines than the London underground and appears to be dropping faster than a whore’s drawers. I cannot underestimate how demoralising it is to see the proof of such a rapid decline each time I pass a mirror. After much consideration, I therefore decided to reconsider the prospect of a little non-surgical assistance to rectify the situation and, to this end, arranged for an initial consultation with a Consultant of Facial Aesthetics. The prognosis was depressing, both aesthetically and financially, as it was deemed that I would need not only Botox to relax the offending muscles, but also fillers to plump out the deeply entrenched crevasses. The total cost of a year’s “ironing” would amount to the price one would normally pay for 2 weeks’ holiday in the sun, so the jury is still out on that one.

Still, look on the bright side - there’s always Philip Glenister to get the old hormones rushing around again (what’s left of them.) Now that the gorgeous Gene Hunt has temporarily disappeared from our screens, I have turned my attention to a weekly fix of “Demons.” “A little of what you fancy…” Aaaaahhh…….., the pockmarked perfection of the guy!

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Wednesday, 8 October 2008

"Haemorrhoids" And Jubilee Clips


I am currently suffering with pop sock fatigue and have decided that it’s not a good idea to wear them for too long, unless you want all circulation to cease from the knee down. They really should carry a government health warning as, after a couple of hours’ wear, you may as well have secured jubilee clips to your legs, as the effect is much the same.

I am pleased to report that the diet is still yielding gradual results, although the cayenne pepper has had to take a backseat as I couldn’t take soup to my recent temporary assignment at the hospital, so have been eating homemade wholemeal bread and hard boiled eggs instead. They do stink the office out somewhat and I have had some funny looks from people, however, I’ve just blamed it on the hospital ventilation system. I’ve also managed to stick to the zero alcohol beers in the evening, with just two small glasses of wine, which should help my weight/blood pressure/pocket.

The build up to the menopause does not appear to have induced any mood swings in me as yet, although I did have a menopausal moment the other day when I suddenly couldn’t access the computer system because another member of staff had very inconveniently changed the password, as she was fed up with other people using hers. All very well, you might say, but that is the password I was given. Besides, what am I supposed to do all day with no computer access? Drink copious amounts of tea? Play hangman (or woman?), admire the non-view over the hospital parking lot, sit and pick my nose? Really, such anal behaviour is beyond me. I mean, as if I’m going to go around the hospital telling everyone that this person’s password is “haemorrhoids.” And, as for the miserable receptionist in OPD2 (yes, you!), who also doesn’t suffer with menopausal mood swings because she remains stubbornly miserable all the time, i.e. she is suffering with IPS – Irritable Person Syndrome, I think I’ll send both her and the password withholder a nice slice of Death Cap pizza each. Perhaps that will bring a smile to their faces!

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Thursday, 2 October 2008

Eggs And "Curtain Bastards"


The temporary job at the local hospital Geriatric Mental Health Department is going well and I have thus far managed to avoid being sectioned. I’ve got a day off today, so it’s time to update the “Captain’s Log.”

Yesterday started in a rather fraught fashion as, at breakfast time, I was ambushed in the kitchen by a huge “curtain bastard.” My sister, who lives on a long boat(?) narrow boat(?) (I never know which it is, but one of them has something to do with the Vikings) always comes home from abroad to find masses of big spiders on her curtains, hence the name “curtain bastards”, from now on to be called C.B.s. Anyway, this particular C.B. was lurking against the skirting board, so I had to wait until he moved into the living room before I could cover him with a pint glass, which is very brave for me. On top of the glass, I balanced a heavy Pyrex dish to stop the cat from knocking the glass over. Then I left for work, praying that there was sufficient oxygen for the C.B. to survive until my husband came home from work that evening. I am pleased to say that it did, but I could well do without that sort of shock in my current fragile menopausal state.

I’m cautiously pleased to say that the diet is finally beginning to pay off and without an exercise bike in sight. I’ve ditched the Helix Slim drops, but am keeping up the cayenne pepper regime and am eating a high fibre diet. I’ve decided to include alcohol free lager into my regime in a bid to reduce the amount of wine I drink, thus helping to reduce the calories even more. I have also adopted Nigella’s husband, Satchi’s, egg philosophy and am eating two a day, in accordance with the latest findings that eating two eggs a day in conjunction with a low calorie diet helps you to lose more weight than the same diet without eggs. They apparently have no adverse effect on your cholesterol either, although they could slow down your bodily functions somewhat, so it’s important to keep up the fibre content. It was reported that Mr Satchi was eating 9 eggs a day, which seems a bit excessive, but lost 4 stone over a 9 month period. Some people say that fad diets are just a lot of hot air, which I’m sure Nigella could adequately confirm. I just hope, for her sake, that she has a bad sense of smell!

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Thursday, 25 September 2008

"Duvet Wars - The Motion Picture"


Good news! I’ve just had a call from the recruitment agency to say that they’ve fixed me up with a part-time temporary booking in the Geriatric Mental Health Department of our local hospital. It’s the ideal place for me with my occasional “SAGA moments.” Perhaps I should ask for a free assessment whilst I’m there. After all, it will be a case of the menopausal leading the Alzheimic. It could culminate in Zimmers and Prozac at dawn. I blame the aluminium saucepans myself (otherwise known as “aloominum” to all you Americans.)

I hate to admit this folks, but I’ve just bought myself a packet of Tesco’s pop socks. How sad is that? It’s probably on a par with elasticated waists – oh the shame! Whilst menopausal doesn’t have to mean frumpy, you do have to make a few concessions where comfort and practicality is concerned and I find that pop socks are ideal for wearing under trousers, as tights make them cling and ordinary socks make your boots too tight. Have you noticed the way they’ve changed the name “pop socks” to “knee highs” in order to get away from old age connotations? A pop sock is still a pop sock by any other name and jolly useful they are too (apart from when they are cutting your circulation off at the knees.)

Have you ever wondered why the Americans call Hot Flushes “Hot Flashes?” I mean, it sounds like some crazy new internet porn site. We in England call them Hot Flushes because that is exactly what happens – you flush, you do not flash (unless you are particularly sweaty and desperate, of course.) Luckily, I haven’t been a party to too many so far, apart from the occasional one at night where I have to fling the duvet off my side of the bed and onto my poor unsuspecting husband who returns the favour when he finally reaches the boiled lobster stage. There then ensues a duvet flinging contest as we both struggle to foist the blasted thing onto each other. Don’t miss “Duvet Wars – The Motion Picture”, starring Du Vet-der and Luke Quiltstalker! Coming soon to a town near you!

P.S. I’ve still had no invitation from Brucie to trip the light fantastic. Perhaps he’s heard about the pop socks.

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Monday, 22 September 2008

Botox And Death Cap Pizzas


Whilst trying to make my mind up about whether to give Botox another shot, I’ve been trying out a whole selection of freebie face rejuvenating creams which I’ve obtained in little sachets courtesy of various magazines. They’ve all got ingredients such as Collagen, Pro-Retinol and Elastine in them, no doubt with the menopausally challenged in mind, but I have a sneaky suspicion that they are just glorified moisturisers which will do nothing to fill the tragic ravine which has developed between my eyebrows as a result of 51 years of frowning. I could probably hire it out to professional tightrope walkers who want to attempt a new Guinness Book of Records entry. It’s all very well using creams as a preventative measure, but not for closing the stable door after the horse bolted years ago and is now just so much cat meat in a tin.

Last night was time for the great weekly weigh in and, according to my scales, I am now 10st 2lbs. Great! Not only have I not lost any weight, but I have actually put some on. However, someone told me that you should always weigh yourself on flat ground and not carpet, so I dutifully took my apr├Ęs bath, naked self, armed with said weighing scales, downstairs to the kitchen and weighed myself on the terracotta tiles and, guess what? I weighed 9st 12lbs. A difference of 4lbs! That’s the equivalent of two bags of sugar. And it wasn’t just a fluke, because I tried three times and got the same answer. Therefore, I am not quite such a fat pig as I thought – Hurrah! Not sure my husband was too impressed with seeing my flabby body parading around the kitchen. It almost put him off his roast beef. Thank God the blinds were shut.

Still, the walking my husband and I did through the woods yesterday should at least allow me to break even weightwise. As we are both avid mushroom hunters and have been for years, we were on the look out for something edible, such as Chanterelles or Ceps. We didn’t find any, but what we did find was a group of impressive looking Death Caps (Amanita Phalloides to be precise) and the name says it all. They’re really quite attractive actually and it’s a pity that they are lethal if ingested by humans, although I can think of a few people I’d like to serve them to. “A slice of Death Cap pizza anyone?” I could make a killing on Ebay – literally!

(Image kindly lent by the Australian National Botanic Gardens (Fungi Web Site))

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Thursday, 18 September 2008

Bridget Jones Knickers And Menopause Cake


Low and behold! I have another cross on my period chart. That’s precisely 38 days since the last one, so they are slowly escaping bit by bit. That is good news.
Perhaps it will be worth weighing myself again at the end of the week. I have to say that the Helix Slim might actually be working, as I wasn’t hungry at lunchtime and didn’t eat until 2.45 p.m. which is unheard of for me. However, I don’t actually feel as if I’ve lost any weight, but we shall see.

By the way, has anyone out there tried making the “menopause cake” and does it work? It is supposed to be high in phyto-oestrogens and Vitamin E so, if you fancy a go, here is the recipe (courtesy of Helena Sunnydale - The Complete Beauty Book):-

Ingredients

115g/4oz soya flour
115g/4oz wholewheat flour
115g/4oz porridge oats
5cm/2in chopped stem ginger
2.5ml/½tsp ground ginger
2.5ml/½tsp nutmeg
2.5ml/½tsp cinnamon
200g/7oz raisins
115g/4oz linseeds
50g/2oz sunflower seeds
50g/2oz sesame seeds
50g/2oz sliced almonds
15ml/1tbsp malt extract
600ml/1 pint soya milk

Directions

Sift the flour and add all dry ingredients. Mix well before slowly adding the milk and malt extract. Cover and leave to soak for an hour. Spoon mixture into a cake tin lined with waxed paper and bake for up to 75 minutes on 190C/370F/Gas 5. Allow to cool and eat one slice a day. Store in airtight container for up to a week.

After a week of menopause cake, we’ll all be singing like robins and tits. Speaking of which, I visited S&M today to buy some new underwear and the phrase “my cup runneth over” was particularly apt. In fact, both of my cups runneth over and methinks it is time to seek out a larger cup size. For years, I have been a 34B but, alas, no longer. And, as for those pathetic scraps of lace they call thongs, well I can’t believe that anyone looks good in what amounts to be no more than arse floss. You can’t tell me that anyone actually finds them comfortable. I mean, what’s the point? If you don’t want a VPL, then either wear gusseted tights under your trousers or go commando. Personally, I think I’ll stick to good old Tesco’s bog standard white Bridget Jones wrist trappers.

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Tuesday, 16 September 2008

Formication And Fleas


I can’t stop itching!
I believe that the correct medical term is formication (as opposed to fornication, which is something altogether different.) I awoke the other night, convinced that the cat’s fleas had infiltrated the bed and were making a feast of my tender and not so tender parts. I was sorely tempted to use the last sachet of the cat’s Frontline on myself. However, I was relieved to find out that it is a condition I share with my best friend, who is also slowly making her itchy fat way towards the menopause. Some time ago, my friend was convinced that her itching was caused by a food allergy and decided to consult a Chinese herbalist who promptly sold her some very expensive weird looking twigs and dried leaves out of which to make a special and particularly foul herbal brew. It would have done the witches in MacBeth proud. A year or so down the line and it would appear that the real cause of the itching was the onset of the peri-menopause. One little tip I have learned though, if you pardon the pun, is that forks make very good back scratchers.

Despite all the raging symptoms of PMT, the stubborn period has still not yet arrived and I fear that I may have another empty space for September on the period chart. I wouldn’t necessarily mind, but it’s the undignified shilly-shallying, as Blackadder would say, that is so irritating. Why don’t periods just stop? One day you have them and the next they’re gone, but I suppose it’s a bit like a grandfather clock that is winding down – it’s a gradual drying up of the hormones. Sounds disgusting! There is no sudden transformation from goddess to crone, just a slow and embarrassing seepage (and I wasn’t referring to the bladder, although it is a moot point.) Not that I was ever in the goddess category mind you, but I’m sure as hell heading rapidly for crone territory. I’m still undecided as to whether to chance a crack at Botox again but what I really need, if I’m perfectly honest, is a full face life or, at the very least, a brow lift, so if anyone has a spare £3,500 to donate, I’d be eternally grateful, especially if you also happen to be a plastic surgeon.

Needless to say, the exercise bike still sits there mocking me because it knows I am not man (or woman) enough to take up the challenge. I’m sure it is in cahoots with the weighing scales, which utterly refuse to budge from the 10 stone mark and I’m rapidly getting fed up with the green tea, cayenne pepper and Helix Slim trick which, to date, appears to have yielded sod all. It’s at times like this, when HRT seems like a very tempting prospect, but I shall continue to refrain for as long as humanly possible.

Get thee behind me, Satan!

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Monday, 15 September 2008

Ten For That? You Must Be Mad!



Has a whole week flown by already since I last contributed to this blog, or is it a case of menopausal amnesia?

The news so far, since my last missive, is that I managed to secure three days temporary employment last week, working for an insurance company, coding and posting invoices onto the SAGE accounting system. I had actually requested not to be offered accountancy work because I happen to loathe it. However, I was assured that it was really “data entry”, so agreed to accept and I suppose it was really, as it was not exactly taxing, although highly repetitive. Still, it would mean an additional £150 in the coffers and would keep my husband off my back for a short while. If I had been more savvy, I could have strung the work out and earned myself a bit more money, but my brain doesn't work that way. I went in to do the best job I could and, unfortunately, managed to clear the backlog too quickly and work myself out of a job. The agency said they were hopeful of securing me more work at the company in the near future, but I've had no phone call today and my husband is already on my case. At least it proves that I'm not considered over the hill for temping.

The good news is that yesterday’s second attempt at the “washout” car boot sale went very well. The weather was perfect, for a change and we managed to make another £54 profit for the cause. Car boot sales are wonderful places for “people watching”, as you get all sorts mooching, browsing and rummaging. It never ceases to amaze me how people want something for nothing these days. A prime example is a woman who was interested in buying the brand new, still in the box, hammock we were selling for £5. Not an unreasonable amount to ask for, or so we thought. However, she proceeded to tell us that she really only wanted the frame, as she already had the hammock part, so didn’t want to pay £5. After making it clear that we would not sell the frame without the hammock, we finally agreed on £4. I mean, who buys a hammock without a frame, or vice versa for that matter? I was sorely tempted to act out the haggling scene from the Life of Brian - "Ten for that? You must be mad!"
The dismal news on the green tea, cayenne pepper and Helix Slim diet is that I am still 10 stone and the period is still trying to make up its mind whether to bother to put in an appearance or not. One of our customers at the car boot sale said that she had lost a lot of weight by separating carbohydrates and proteins in her diet. She had also given up bread and didn’t drink much alcohol. It sounded an easy thing to do until I realised that I would have to sit and watch my husband tuck into roast beef and roast potatoes while I sat there with a plate of veg and no meat…… Nah! I can’t be doing with that one, besides the young lady in question was exactly that. Young. She was not a peri-menopausal woman of 51 and was therefore not fighting her hormones like us. Nice idea, but I couldn’t go without bread and wine and certainly couldn’t give up eating meat with potatoes. My fellow peri-menopausal car boot companion and I were trying to think of enjoyable forms of exercise (steady!) that we would actually stick to and I finally decided that I would have to apply for a position on Strictly Come Dancing. After all, if Jodie Kidd can lose lots of weight during training, then it's certainly worth a try.

It takes two to tango Brucie and, as us car booters would say………

“Come On Down - The Price Is Right!”

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Monday, 8 September 2008

Dieting And Trolley Rage


It’s Monday morning again and I’m feeling cheesed off. After my initial optimism regarding the green tea, cayenne pepper and Helix Slim “diet”, I got on the scales last night and, low and behold, I’m still 10 stone. I was sure I had lost a bit of weight. I felt slimmer, but obviously I was just deluding myself. My only faint bit of hope is that the period which threatens to arrive, does so and I can then blame my lack of weight loss on pre-menstrual fluid retention.

The job front is equally depressing, as the temporary contract I thought I was going to get did not materialise due, in part, to the fact that I was in a noisy restaurant Friday afternoon and thus missed the agency’s calls. This has not gone down too well with the husband who is getting more and more anxious about my lack of employment by the day. There’s nothing suitable on the permanent front either so, at this precise point in time, I’m buggered. It’s not as if we desperately need the money, as we could live quite comfortably on my husband’s salary alone. However, he is a stickler for fair play and feels that if he has to go out to work then so do I, despite the fact that I am now doing all the shopping, housework, washing, ironing, cooking, etc, etc., I’ve come to the conclusion that men just want it all ways.

Speaking of shopping, I’ve just got back from Tesco where I was overcome by trolley rage. Why, oh why, do people abandon trolleys in the middle of the aisle whilst aimlessly perusing the shelves for things they don’t need? Or suddenly stop in the middle of the aisle, totally oblivious to the fact that they are about to be run down by a heavily loaded trolley that won’t take “stop” for an answer? Or, stand blocking the aisle whilst they catch up on the latest episode of their next door neighbour’s life story and the fact that Mrs Smith at No.19 has a particularly nasty boil on her arse? Is it just me, or are these people on another planet? I mean, don’t they have anything more pressing to do than spend the whole day swanning around Tesco?

I’m not sure whether it’s the menopause, PMT or Irritable Person Syndrome that’s getting to me, but something has to give soon or I may just have to borrow St. John’s wart.









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