Friday, 11 December 2009

Ho-Ho-Ho? Ha ha ha ..........

When it comes to homemade I'm right there on point....I make my own Christmas cards, knit gifts, make bath salts, pots of jam and bags of French lavender, 4 years at art college not wasted.........But that's not a patch on Kirsty Allsop's do-it-yourself Christmas. She's out of control, I mean honestly, gold-leafing fresh fruit to use as a place setting? I don't think so. The bonus fact was that you could actually eat it. So, after the turkey and the stuffing and the handmade chocolate truffles and the gold dusted mince pies, if you're still feeling a bit peckish, you can tuck into the apple that bares your name, written on a brown card 'travel tag', which apparently can be bought from any....'travel shop'. Really? Then there was the homemade cupcake candles and the hand crafted crackers, which apparently take 3 loo rolls to create that perfect look (who knew). And then, when all was said and done, the table laid, the candles lit, the sugar-frosted fruits piled high, Kirsty said.............this looks really nice.

I now have a big cold and a big Rudolph red nose, not a good look for the fun-filled festive party season. However, I did brave the blizzard and step out into the bleak mid-winter night to join in a bit of yo-ho-hoing. And jolly good fun it was too, once the meds had kicked in and the first drink was drunk. It was a big house full of media folk so there was much talk of 'the trouble' the industry was in. They had their very own cocktail bar, an inspired move. A groovy single Dad with Wayfarer specs and a beatnik beard had offered to shake and stir, it's what he did by profession as it turned out, and he was very good at his trade. All in all it was an excellent night out and not a gilded pear in sight.

Top tip: The all-in-one tubes of cold remedy really do get you through the night, especially with a cocktail chaser.

Tuesday, 1 December 2009

Magnetic Attraction

I haven't been sleeping very well recently: waking up in the early hours, brain on spin, wardrobe turned into a monster.....which I put down to the usual stuff: scarcity of work, lack of funds, Christmas coming. But apparently not. Apparently these are all symptoms of the menopause.

When, as a youth, I first heard about the menopause I thought 'whop-di-doo no more periods, bring it on', then I read the small print........... I mean, give us a break: hot flushes, anxiety, irritability, mood swings, weight gain to name but a few of the delights that await the aging woman. It's not enough that your body stars to ache and creak like an old leather sofa, hair greys and skin, there's the joy of menopause to look forward to, just for good measure. I mean, what's that all about?

I had hoped that by the time it was my turn to get irritable and fat there might be some sort of implant, a chip in your ear that just magicked it all away perhaps, but then I'm still waiting for the much promised silver suit, jet pack, lunch in a pill and the 3-day week.... So, with HRT off the menu due to health and safety, what does one do?

I have a friend who smokes. Openly and with relish. She is 53 and she firmly believes smoking relieves the symptoms of the menopause. She is collecting anecdotal evidence. Well that's her theory so she won't be giving up anytime soon. Another friend advises: wear layers and take Evening Primrose oil. I've tried Evening Primrose oil and felt not a thing. Take it for longer, she said. How long? It's expensive stuff when you add it to the endless carousel of supplements advised for those on the home stretch. Get a magnet, said a third. A magnet? A magnet. A Ladycare magnet, to be exact, is in fact 2 small magnets that fix together, one inside, one outside, your knickers, just below your belly-button. Wear it all the time, she says, it worked for me.

I imagine myself adhered to the fridge door by my pelvis, inexplicably drawn to railings and fast moving cars, cutlery flying round the kitchen like a scene from Carrie. A menopausal magnet? It may sound like pants but I've bought one anyway so we shall see.

Top tip: Put thermal innards in your shoes and make those kitten-heels cosy.