A New Year Full of good intentions

A new year starts, with new beginnings, resolutions, good intentions, and so forth. We go to bed one day, possibly after a few too many flutes of champagne, and we wake up the next day expecting everything to have changed and each year we decide this will be the year when we are finally going to be healthier, more frugal, fitter, kinder, more ecological, eat less ,drink less, eat more, find ‘the one’ and so on…. except it hasn’t changed, nothing is different at all. It’s still a cold damp dreary mid-winter day, we are still broke after overdoing things at Christmas, and quite probably, we have a stinking hangover to nurse as well. I know I always fail.
All the things that have previously upset me, bothered me, prevented me from exercising or eating healthily are still there. I always put the year gone by in a neat little box, and file it away neatly in my mind with all the other years, ready to begin again. A fresh start, thinking each that this time is different, this time I will manage it.
Usually just to fail within the first week or so, and very soon I am back to my lazy old ways. Some fail through no fault of my own, internet dating failed because of a lack of suitable matches. Apparently there isn’t a great market for chubby, middle aged, tattooed, eccentric ladies, with an interest in taxidermy, in spite of how pretty their blue eyes are? And I couldn’t possibly cycle or walk the 54 mile round trip to work each day. Usually my good intentions fail because of me as I gradually creep back into my old familiar ways and habits.
So this year I have decided there are to be no resolutions, no good intentions. I shall simply strive to be the best person that I can be with what I have. I am never going to be six foot tall, nor am I going to be a size 10 again and I certainly can’t get any younger, just as I can’t get rid of my chronic illnesses Why pretend to myself that I can? Just as l have been doing for the last few years, and inevitably feeling down because of my failures.
This year I expect I shall be an acceptable mother, unreliable friend, and to be averagely good at my jobs, all of them, and no doubt continue to manage my money badly. Just as I always have, however I shall keep smiling, I shall be available if friends and family need help, and continue to look for the positive.
Oh and this year, I shall definitely remain single. Unless somebody knows of a gentleman with a par chant for diminutive, plump middle-aged ladies with body ink, with a love of all things weird, that is.


Posted in Lifestyle | Tagged | Leave a comment

Following on, The end of the year.

Winter is here; Christmas has been and gone, with all the indulgence that it brings to us. Too much rich food bought and eaten, too many alcoholic beverages consumed, too many rows from family members forced to spend too much time together, too many hang overs from too many nights out, too much money spent on unappreciated gifts, too much money added to credit cards in an attempt to kid yourself, you weren’t really spending money at all.
Decorations that formerly looked worthy of Regent Street now look shabby and dusty. The tree has areas of decorations missing from the constant cats’ pawing, dogs tail wagging and family members brushing passed. The flashing fairy lights now no longer intermittent have dropped and wires clumped and twisted together to make dark patches on the previously meticulously balanced lighting of the tree. The fridge that was bursting with luxuries is now mainly full of little plastic sandwich boxes and bowls with an assortment of half eaten unidentifiable grey soggy left overs, looking decidedly unappealing even to the dog, that are taking up the place of the brightly coloured crisp vegetables that one’s poor body is now craving.
Now I can relax and then repent, when I remember it’s a six week month, so ages until payday.
After this year with my illness, and steroids, I shall not be making any New Year resolutions for 2015, but rather I am looking back thankfully that although last year was hard, both financially and physically, I have survived it.
There is still New Year to celebrate but as the middle aged woman, in not the best of health, that I have become; this year I would much rather spend it at home, lounging on the sofa watching Jools Holland’s Hogmanay on TV, keeping a clear head for the next day. After all that way I shall be spending it with all my friends and family, in contact through Facebook and Twitter. After all they are the ones that help me pull through. Thank you


Posted in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

Autumn, new beginnings

Finally it’s autumn, summer is over. Leaves are a beautiful pallet of rust colours, and spiders spin their silky webs across the shrubbery in the gardens ready to catch the last summer flies.

I have always looked on September as the beginning of the year, it was the time of the year Milan came back to life after the ghost town of August, when nearly the entire population of Milan would abandon the mugginess of the city for fresher air at the sea or in the mountains. Street after street would have shut metal blinds, leaving only one bread shop, greengrocer and tobacconist in each zone. The few of us still in the city would congregate at the open bars and jazz clubs on the “navigli” the canals or go to Summer Festivals, laid on by the council in the large city parks.

September brought everybody home, giving back life to the dormant city. Suddenly bronzed faces filled the streets, many bringing new trends from whichever fashionable resort they were visiting. shops would be buzzing, everyone preparing for the new school year.

I loved this time of the year, new school terms with the possibility of new faces at school, new teachers, and the issue of a new school diary. I clearly remember, The wonderful smell of the new diary, the crispness as it opened, and the satisfaction as my pen touched the clean page writing in my name, year and tutor group, and copying the lesson time table from the black board, my eyes eagerly searching for my beloved “double art”.

I still love this time of year, the flowers and grasses no longer pollen so my asthma eases, cooler temperatures are more forgiving to my larger size allowing for baggier clothes that cover a “multitude of sins”. This year summer has been particularly unkind to me, just as my health has, I was too fatigued to enjoy my daughter’s wedding as much as I would have liked, and my continued medication meant I could not wear my preferred outfit, my tiredness stopped me from helping with preparations, chatting to friends and family, and staying late, on such an important and beautiful day.

This autumn, this new year, continues with health battles, but I am finally free of steroids, hopefully the side effects, including medically induced obesity and diabetes, will soon be behind. I can already see my features reappearing on my face, and I can go back to making sure I am a fully visible and able participant to life.

Posted in Lifestyle | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

Moon Face and Apple Belly

I am now into six months into my treatment for a severe asthma attack that I suffered earlier this year, I am still struggling to breathe and I have limited mobility but the worst part has to be the side effects from my medication It makes me feel lousy and look even worse. I have been taking the steroid Prednisolone just as I have had to many times before as a child. The side effects of the drug are horrendous, but the help it gives has saved my life many times. Mood swings, weight gain particularly in the face, belly and back, increased appetite, and breathlessness amongst them.

I am no longer invisible as people actually stare at me in the street because of my enormous moon face, I find the worse culprits are the middle aged men roughly my own age. The ” look” I catch on their faces is of disgust, as I shuffle along, determined to keep myself mobile. “how can someone possibly eat themselves to that size,” is what I imagine is going through their minds, they are probably blaming the whole of the downfall of the NHS on me taking up all the health service’s resources to treat my self indulged obesity. That look hurts. I am tempted to wear a a badge stating I am on steroids, but Instead I find myself feeling self conscious and ashamed of the way I look and I want to retreat and hide.
I have been keeping a record of what I have been eating daily through the fitness pal app, and I rarely exceed the recommended calories per woman, and am often under.Although I crave sweet carbs I am limiting them to my breakfast, and haven’t eaten chocolate in months. So to all those men who stare I say, do not judged by your own standards, And be thankful you do not have to cope with medication induced obesity, I am just happy to be able to breathe and walk again, and more importantly I am glad I am open minded enough not to judge others by the way they look,


Posted in Lifestyle, Plus size | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

countdown to a summer wedding

On the 30th august this year, my daughter is getting married to her fiancé. When I heard he had proposed to her on Christmas Day 2012, I did not realise how much a “budget” wedding would cost me.

I promised to pay for one thing, and that would be her dress. I got married in a Laura Ashley ivory day dress with tiny black spots, although it was a lovely dress I never felt like a princess, I guess I wanted Her to have the whole dream dress that I never did. My daughter recently sold my dress on eBay as part of an attempt to raise funds for her wedding together with other clothes I had kept from the eighties/nineties hoping for them to return to fashion. Now they have, they are ten sizes too small.

I have no idea what to wear myself, I have two dresses and four hats so far, and I am not happy with any.


Posted in Lifestyle, Plus size, Style | Leave a comment

still Invisible thankfully

It’s been quite hard recently. I weighed myself. Probably not the wisest thing to do just after finishing a long period of being on a large dose of steroids, I am hoping to lose some weight by cutting down on what I eat. So I felt I needed a starting weight. I knew I was huge, I knew I had ballooned, but I think I was hoping for a miracle.

I did not get a miracle, I got a shock. I currently weigh 19 and a half stone. Never ever had I imagined I would ever be so heavy. I am only five foot two tall, so I am now practically an orb!It will take a while for the steroids to stop affecting my weight, so I am currently stuck with my moon-face, but I can still prevent it getting any worse.
Healthy eating, plenty of fruit and vegetables, and cut down on the carbs and fats, and as my asthma improves taking increased amounts of exercise.

I still managed to be part of a wonderful steam punk wedding shoot, as the make up artist, with three gorgeous models, Chloe,Emma and Shannon, a wonderful hairstylist Annette and three talented photographers and Dave a specialist wedding dress designer as the stylist. It was at an old brickworks now an industrial museum. It was wonderful to get back to my first love. I trained as makeup artist in Milan, and have worked in the profession off and on since. It would be a dream to be a full-time freelance makeup artist again. this shoot will form part of my up to date portfolio.



Posted in Lifestyle | Leave a comment

The Week I start to change

I had a wonderful weekend, summer had arrived and here in Hampshire  we enjoyed the type of sunny day that Britain is exceptionally good at. Bright blue skies, the occasional fluffy cloud moving across with the breeze, and the gardens full of a variety of variegated green plants and a multitude of flowers in variant shades of pink and purple giving a sweet smell of nectar as the bees buzz labouriously from stem to stem. Idyllic.

Saturday was a dear Cabaret friend’s baby shower, an occasion I did not want to miss even if it was the first social occasion since receiving recent treatment for a severe asthma attack, two months of a high level of steroids giving me the  subsequent moon-face and nearly a two stone weight gain. To add to my already hefty self.

As promised to myself, I took time over my appearance. I have had to buy a few new dresses  in a larger size 24 to allow for my excessive weight gain,  I chose a pale green vintage style dress with a bird design, I and put on my makeup, adapting my usual look with extra shaping to camouflage the extra bloating.


I started with a light base, added concealer and powder. Black mascara, dark brown eyebrow definer, black liquid eyeliner. I also applied a rose blusher and neutral brown eye shadow. Finished it all off with a coral lipstick. Keeping to a natural look.


Posted in Lifestyle | Leave a comment