So far this week (and it's only Thursday morning) I have been to the chiropractor and the chiropodist. The chiropractor because I did something to my back when I was cycling on Sunday morning and it had been given the usual 48 hours to sort itself out and it hadn't, and the chiropodist because I have the most horrible feet in the known universe - ask any of my children and they will tell you this is true. And I realise, just as I am preparing to encase my entire body in thermals for another six months, that if one took the whole body maintenance thing seriously, there would be no time to do anything else - from a woman's point of view anyway. When you are young, children take note, you have far fewer issues in terms of maintenance. Yes, I know that lovely (and definitely p.p.i.e.w.) number 2 daughter does all the hair, nails, going to the gym, fake tan stuff and when I say, and only if I'm feeling daring, that I think she looks a tad orange, she will tell me that by tomorrow she will be the perfect shade. She always is, but only because I think all the residue has come off on my sheets. As you get older, there are just more and more things that need attention. For example, if you really were to do the job properly, you would be (starting at the top) having your hair regularly cut and highlighted, having a facial and waxing, paying proper attention to your eyebrows, checking on nose hair (I'm not sure about ear hair although I know for a fact that this is a man problem. Will someone tell me if I have hairy ears?), going to the optician and the dentist regularly, more waxing, manicure, pedicure and so on. And that's before you go to the gym, tennis, pilates, cycling, golf, running (not doing that anymore since my knees starting to make their presence felt in a big way) and so on. So it could be a full-time job and I am sure there are ladies out there who do all these things. How do they find the time? It wouldn't be so bad if the issues didn't get worse as you get older. For example, take hair, it grows on your head, then it goes grey and the grey hairs are not the same as the other hairs, they have a whole twirly, wiry quality all of their own. Then there's all the other hair which grows in places where you don't want it and if you don't keep on top of it, then the only job option will be as an extra in the remake of Planet of the Apes. My doctor friend says he often sees ladies of a certain age with rather hairy faces - nice! But in defence of the hairy-faced ladies, when your eyesight starts to go, it's hard to see the hairs and it makes plucking/waxing even more challenging. Which brings me to the issue of the eyesight. Last winter, the optician said to me that I would soon need glasses for driving. I told him I thought he was barking up the wrong tree - I can see a tennis ball perfectly well so why would I need glasses for driving? Anyway, I had a spare set of frames and we got lenses put in them and I ignored them for several months. But in the last week or so, I have felt the need to wear them and much as I hate to admit it, he is right. In fact, the whole eyesight issue is perhaps the most worrying of all. I can't see where I have hit the golf ball (unless I have dribbled it about 12 feet along the ground - which is most of the time). Yesterday I did quite a lot of writing (writing chums, please note!) and by the end of the day my eyes were so tired that I couldn't see to do the crossword. Who made those numbers so small? Don't they know that older ladies with occasionally hairy faces like to tackle it in the early evening with inadequate lighting? Then there's keeping fit. Whatever exercise I do for one bit of me doesn't seem to have any effect on the other bits. As I write this I am pilate-ing with various muscles in the certain knowledge that it won't help with my fitness for cycling up hills or my golf swing. I know I am somewhat obsessive about sport but each year, I am slower and less fit and it feels like pushing an avalanche up hill. However, I have promised to start zumba in the village hall next week and I daresay that might do the trick - ever the optimist!
So feeling more Nanny McPhee (complete with warts) than Mary Poppins -p.p.i.e.w. but soldiering on and waiting for the odd-job man to come and sort out the damp - which is a house maintenance issue, you'll be pleased to hear!