Monday, February 28, 2011

"Even though I have Fat thighs, Flabby arms - A pot belly still gives good loving," so warbles our very own band Freshly Ground, but I dont think my flabby arms are anything to sing about! They are severely limiting in Africa in Summer.
I distinctly remember the moment when sleeves became an issue for me. I was looking at photographs of a summer holiday a few years back and there I was wearing a lovely smile - happily sleeveless - not realising that my arms had in fact become the size of my legs - My wrists like my ankles neatly trim but why oh why had nobody told me that my upper arms had become my thighs? Podgy, dimpled and flabby!
Upper arms, more than any other body area, except the backs of hands, can be cruelly revealing for women of a certain age. Apparently they are inevitable and if Helen Mirren and Madonna are complaining about them - What chance do I have!

Bingo wings - thats what they call them in the UK and its what happens when your triceps turn to fat. I never had particularly well developed triceps so I dont know where mine came from - what I do know that they make life in Africa difficult. In cooler clims they can be deftly disguised with the right length sleeve - 3/4 or elbow length being the most efective , so advises Trinny and Susanah. So here in February in the height of summer, I have a choice of sweltering in sleeves or baring my bingo wings.

I have tried the exercises - even at the height of my athletic ability I was never one for press-ups. Apparently Michelle Obama has a personal trainer and an 'arm-shaping superset' of exercises. I am sure that these would have had me lifting a limp arm to my forehead and feeling a pressing migraine coming on. I drool with envy at the sight of a pair of supple, gleaming, sexily toned arms. I yearn for the days of sleeveless tops , and now scour the shops for dresses with sleeves that manage to look modern without looking matronly - Not easy! Shrugs are handy but designed to keep the chill off - in our 30C February - I dont think so!
I was once told by a complete stranger that I had lovely arms - What a weido I thought at the time but now to think my arms are worthy of the smallest appreciative glance makes me sigh!
Roll on autumn when not only the leaves fall but sleeves can be worn. Till then - pass me a set of dumbells and the phone number of Michelle Obama's personal trainer - on second thoughts pass me my shrug!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

When it comes to clutter – I have a permanent stutter!

Oh how I would love to have a row of organised rainbow hangers in my cupboard.  I pride myself on being pretty good in managing most things in life but when it comes to my wardrobe I am a complete failure. When it comes to clutter – I have a permanent stutter!

Can anyone tell me why I still have the jeans that I travelled to South Africa in 28 years ago? They won’t, and never will, fit even one of my legs and yet I seem incapable of throwing them away. I also have and the dress I wore on the eve of the millennium, a jacket that I attended the Robbie Williams concert in, a poncho – Yes I know - and several pairs of shoes that will never see the light of day. The clutter spills over into my bathroom cupboards too and I have assorted half bottles of almost everything – products that I have abandoned in my excitement of trying new ones. Most women have a makeup bag – I have a makeup drawer!

I start off with the best of intentions – black bag in hand I ruthlessly approach my cupboards with Susanna and Trinny’s rules for detoxing firmly in my mind. Anything that doesn’t fit – I have a few of those; hasn’t been worn in six months – I have plenty of these; is a relic from a past life stage - I had no problem clinging to my maternity clothes although thinking about it – they would have fit me perfectly now; and souvenir clothing (what will Iwear for gym?) goes in the bag. So far so good!

Three hours later I stand looking at the three piles of clothes. Things that are staying ,things that are going to charity/my domestic and things that I am going to move to another cupboard because I can’t bear to part with them – I will leave you to guess which is the largest pile!

In the past the third pile – the one that goes into another cupboard – creeps back over time and I am back to square one. Logic and experience tell me that having an overstuffed wardrobe makes it impossible to find things and when I do find what I want to wear, it’s usually needs re-ironing –more time wasted. In all other areas of my life I am passionate about saving time and investing it where it is best used so it’s doubly frustrating for me to have this inability to let go of ‘stuff.

Just what do you do with birthday cards - like photographs I feel guilty if I throw them away - its like throwing a pieceof that person and those good wishes in the bin. I have material that I will never sew, embroidery kits that I will never stitch and wool that I will never knit. Then there are the books and magazines that stacked........

Right!!! Having put this out there – I am going to spend this week attacking one cupboard a day this week. Perhaps a bit of life laundry is in order and I need to let go of a little more than what is sitting in my cupboard. Hmmm – Watch this SPACE!!