On being back from the bad back thing.

‘So this is Christmas and what have we done? Another year over and a new one just begun,’ goes that depressing Christmas song. Aside from their timing being marginally out – last time I checked Christmas was just before the new year- it articulates pretty much exactly how I am feeling. Mainly because I have not exactly done an awful lot on account of this neck thing.

Thankfully, I am finally seeing some light at the end of the tunnel and am able to ‘do’ again. Doing nothing for a while seems appealing until you can do nothing else. Especially when that nothing even extends to holding a book or – horror! – typing, so there has been no escape and no catharsis. Any typing I have done has been strictly necessary to line my pocket, albeit thinly. But I’m back! Hurrah!

I can’t tell you how exciting my first trip to Waterstones was after I discovered that I could finally find a place sufficiently comfortable that I could at least while away the hours lost in the complex realities of the characters between the pages I thumbed. It sounds tedious I know, but it’s true.

Equally exciting was rediscovering my eyes beneath the brows again. It turns out that when in pain, such things become less of a priority. As a consequence mine had taken on the appearance of two porcupine stuck to my forehead. Had I been a smoker, I could have easily managed in the most torrential rain as my cigarette would have been safely sheltered beneath the brows.

My eyesight was rescued in the end – as were my roots – by a certain sense of vanity. I was a part of the TV commentary coverage for the Royal Welsh Winter Fair. I figured that I could explain to those I saw in person why I looked so very the worse for wear but there was no hope of it if anyone should see me from their armchairs. As I was, I might have ruined an entire Christmas somewhere.

False tanning has also resumed, and my korma-mixed-with-Bisto tinge has been reinstated. Although there is still a patch on my back that I cannot quite reach just yet.

Sadly, flamboyant, attention-seeking and alcohol-fuelled dance moves have had to be left off my Christmas agenda. As have games of the ‘cardboard box challenge’ even though I am so good in times of physical wellness that I would back myself in a challenge even now. I’m just not convinced I would back myself to do anything at all the next day.

I tried the dancing on Boxing Night but found the reverberations in the floor from the beat of the music sent little shocks up my spine. Can’t say I enjoyed that.

On the subject of being ‘out-out’, I couldn’t help wonder where some younger girls I saw in town the few nights I ventured out actually shop for their clothes. I am a magazine addict and adore clothes. My wardrobe is fit to burst. My phone is overrun with photos of the influencers I follow in clothing I can’t afford just so that I can scour the internet for a cheaper version. But it seems an increasing number of the girls I see ‘out-out’ are shopping in places I haven’t found. Places that must offer a significant discount if you only buy half the item. I only assume this as I cannot fathom why else you would pay money for a garment that is half missing. And trust me, I am no prude.

However, I am a creature of habit. Since I can remember, I have been one for buying a few, more expensive items that I absolutely love for my nights out as opposed to lots of cheaper items. It was never really a conscious choice, but more an awareness that buying more would simply result in a total waste of money as it would just sit in my wardrobe. Now there’s greater awareness of the environmental impact of fast fashion, I am loving unashamedly sticking to my favourites. In fact, I’ve enjoyed my Ganni silver glittering roll-neck so much this winter that I am considering how stupid it will appear in summer with bikini bottoms. I have a similar affinity for my Kooples skirt but she’s not new anymore and from experience, a heavyweight leather skirt with even heavier buckles can only end sweatily in summer. Let’s hope glittery lurex fares better despite my fears it may not.

Equally joyful has been wearing heavy boots everywhere. Even when it might be more appropriate to wear something lighter I have revelled in my excuse to not bother. Heels make my legs look funny anyway. I’m really not convinced that heels worn with anything other than a skirt or dress is particularly flattering. I find that the disproportionately large foot and ability to walk that I gain from a boot actually does me more favours than when I wear heels, totter and fall on my face.

One item I have not enjoyed one bit is my new Christmas jumper. Now a novelty knit I really don’t mind. In fact, I quite like a crimbo number on the basis it’s hassle free dressing. It’s inevitably going to look poor so why bother even glancing at the mirror? But this year Maggie and Gemma decided to surprise me with a new, white (WHITE?!!) cotton jumper. So far so not me, but the piece-de-resistance is the gold swirling writing: ‘last Christmas as a miss’. Now there’s a reason to be sure you really want to take those vows. I mean, I wouldn’t want to don that beauty twice!


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