My phantom pregnancy…

A pregnant woman

A pregnant woman (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am back in the “office” and rather gratifyingly my clients seemed to have missed me.  The week started well largely because Monday signalled the end of half term and a return to sanity.  I muddled through the week until Thursday when my sense of humour was tested to its full.

Let me explain.  Thursday started innocuously enough.  I did some exercise – yes, I know what you’re thinking…that doesn’t sound that innocuous considering that I am the girl who dresses for exercise when I have absolutely no intention of exercising in order to appear as though I have been exercising.  Confused?  So am I a lot of the time.  Anyway, that morning I had actually been exercising and in order to maximise my post-exercise smugness, I wore my exercise kit for the rest of the day.

That afternoon I went to a meeting with a friend as part of my class rep duties.  At the start of this meeting, I was introduced to someone who is helping us with a class party.  I was still attired in my exercise clothes (arguably not that suited to a meeting).  The man to whom I was introduced seemed rather fascinated with my stomach – or at least that was where his eyes were focused (makes a change, I guess, from another part of one’s anatomy!) and he said hello and then said something on the lines of “Who’s been eating lots of chocolate then?” – yes, I kid you not, this was his opener.  Those who know me well will attest to the fact that I am very rarely lost for words…on this occasion I was literally struck dumb.

First reaction:  what the…? Second reaction:  I must be wrong, he must mean something completely different. Third reaction: surely not…he can’t mean that…perhaps he does mean that.  No worries, he soon clarified what he actually meant by digging himself into the most extraordinarily large hole with the immortal words “Oh sorry, I thought you were pregnant!”. Yes, you read that right, he did say that and not for the first time in that few minutes, I was once more left entirely speechless.

Let’s face it, you wouldn’t really take the pregnancy option with a complete stranger unless you were fairly confident that they were well into the gestation period, would you? It’s not the kind of thing you want to get wrong, is it?  By my reckoning, that would make me at least 5-6 months pregnant…I don’t know who was more mortified  – me or him when the error of his judgement was pointed out to him.

Suffice to say, the best thing to do in such circumstances is laugh and hold your stomach in ad infinitum – both of which I have been doing since Thursday last week.  It must be said that this little  incident could not have had worse timing as Friday signalled the start of a weekend in France for me, my husband and some friends and that weekend clearly meant swimwear horror.  I didn’t let it put me off and in fact I just milked it all weekend…”eating for two”, “need to put my feet up in my condition” etc.

However, every cloud has a silver lining and mine came on Friday evening at 3.30am outside a french nightclub.  As I sat outside the club waiting for our taxi,  I was approached by a man (in front of husband) –  a good-looking man in his mid-twenties I should add.  He asked me if I was tired as I was sitting down and I replied that at my age, 40, (and in my condition!), tiredness was an occupational hazard if you dared to go anywhere after midnight.  He looked genuinely surprised and said he couldn’t believe I was 40 and had thought I was 29 tops. OMG, distended “pregnant” stomach immediately forgotten as I basked in the ultimate (although clearly ludicrous) compliment.

I of course related this to my friends in the taxi with great glee – divine retribution, I thought, for the earlier horror visited upon me on Thursday. My husband and my friends were less convinced.  They pointed out the obvious (which I was trying to ignore) that it was 3.30 am, dark outside and the man in question was almost certainly wearing a very strong pair of “beer goggles”  Thanks guys!

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Woman, 40, makes anti-ageing discovery of the 21st century…

Shar Pei

Shar Pei (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OMG (heavily into my text lingo now that I’ve finally realised that LOL is “laugh out loud” and not “lots of love” which I am fairly sure everyone of my generation thought it was) – today has been a revelation.

I have discovered something totally life-changing.  I feel like I imagine Isaac Newton felt when an apple fell from a tree on his head and he formulated his gravity theory. OK, my discovery is not sort of life-changing in an understanding-the-world sense which gravity clearly is, but for me it was a Damascene moment.

What you’re asking?  What have I discovered?  Well, you know me, always keen to share.  I’m not going to keep my little secret from you like a scientist might with a new theory until he had tested it fully.  I don’t need to do that because it is so beautifully simple, so utterly straightforward…the “retouch” button in iPhoto.

As you know I have been sweating all the turning 40 stuff over the last few months and one of the things that has caused me serious angst has been the appearance of wrinkles, sneaky little things creeping up on me so that I have seriously begun to question whether I part-share the same genetic coding as a Shar Pei.

In a previous blog post, I debated to B or not to B – to Botox or not to Botox. I concluded that it wasn’t for me although I have been sorely tempted. In yet another desperate attempt to halt the ageing process (I’ve given up on reversing it to any visible degree), I have been trying out these CACI facials.  Apart from having a name which it is extremely tempting to mispronounce – it is pronounced “CAYSEE” rather than “CACKI” – it is yet another ridiculously expensive way of not having Botox. I think although I can’t be sure (far too much technical lingo for me) that a little probe thing delivers micro currents to your face and reduces wrinkles and yanks up your jaw and cheekbones.

It hurts. It is not supposed to but that is complete rubbish, it hurts. Also your teeth feel as though you are rubbing a metal spoon over them repeatedly. Does it work?  Well, I’ve had five sessions and only ONE person has said “you are looking well” – which of course could be referring to the fact that I have bothered to apply make-up that morning and so do not look like an extra from the Rocky Horror Picture Show rather than a comment on a reduction in my wrinkled forehead.

I had resigned myself to five more sessions and then a monthly “maintenance” – until today that is.  Today I discovered the “retouch” feature in iPhoto.  No more CACI facials for me, no Botox, just au naturel.

I downloaded my holiday photos this afternoon and for the first time started playing with the editing features (just the simple ones) and used the retouch button in what would be a particularly nice photo of my daughter without the piece of chicken nugget on her chin.  To my amazement – one minute chicken nugget on chin, next minute no chicken nugget on chin.

In a state of rising excitement, I flicked to a photo of myself – could it be…could it just be that this would work for my wrinkles.  Hardly daring to breathe, I started to “scrub” at my forehead with the retouch button – all gone, smooth as when I was 21.  Admittedly, I did have to be quite enthusiastic with the retouch button in order to erase all the wrinkles but it was so worth it.

For the next hour, I scrubbed at my face in every photo and watched the years rolling away.  This discovery was right up there for me with when I discovered eyebrow waxing a few years ago after years of painful plucking. The beauty of this is that most people in this internet crazy world will only see photos of me, not the real thing.  Let’s face it my friends and family know what I really look like and would know if I had Botox so I might as well not worry about them and just put out these ever so slightly doctored pictures of myself to the rest of the world.

However excited I am about my discovery, I suspect I am not the first but I don’t care if everyone has been doing it apart from me as I feel re-juvenated and exhilarated (although perhaps ever so slightly too smooth foreheaded).  Try it!  I highly recommend it as both an anti-ageing measure and as a natural serotonin booster.