rich emollient used in the management of eczema, psoriasis and other dry skin conditions.


Well, it’s been a funny couple of weeks. Last week I did something I’ve never done before at crossfit, which was fling the bar down in anger and frustration. Then left the class at the end, had a good cry, had a massive row with my husband and then got over myself, much to the relief of everyone. I’ve  had a couple of classes since then in which I’ve been quite pleased with myself- lifting bigger or doing something better, which is pleasing. As long as you can have more good classes than bad, that’s the main thing.

But that’s not what’s so interesting about the last few weeks. Many years ago, when I was footloose and fancy free, I spent a lot of time with friends who lived nearby – two couples (separately) who also had a wide group of mutual friends. At least once a week I’d be there for dinner, TV, a glass of wine in the garden, and pretty regularly, a party. Now they were all slightly older than me and mainly married, so I quickly became token single friend. You all know token single friend – invited to even up numbers, often introduced to single men, always glammed up (because you never know who you might meet). I was never out of heels, and rarely anything less than fully made up, red lipstick, often a touch of leopard print somewhere. Always ready with a funny story about a dating disaster, always turning up with a fabulous cake or gift,  always the life and soul of a party, always drunk. Here she is, they would yell, as I stumbled in in my silver stillies, a couple of gins to the good already, the party can start! And I’d be bright, and funny, and lively, and talk to everyone, and go home and feel a bit sad sometimes.

So, miracle of miracles, I met a fantastic man and got married. And along the way put on a shed load of weight. And stopped wearing heels, and red lipstick and leopard print, arguing that I’m too old for that, comfort is what counts. And my darling husband loved me anyway. And, looking back, I stopped really caring what I wore, thinking that everything looks crap so why bother trying.

A few years into this, we went to Norway to see a couple, one of the London couples I used to practically live with, who had moved there. Norwegians are known for their forthright views and their willingness to express them, and my chum is no exception. She visibly and verbally expressed shock at my lack of effort in dress. And, that evening, when looking at old photos of our party years, said ‘oh, you used to be so glamorous, what happened’. So that’s nice. And, some years later, when meeting in London for a spot of Christmas shopping, again expressed her shock at me wearing trainers and jeans.  So clearly something has gone wrong somewhere. And probably for the last few years I’ve been dwelling a bit on that. Because actually I own some really gorgeous shoes, and I’m never out of flats/trainers. I’m not proud of it, but I have a horror of being ‘fat girl in fancy shoes’ – as if you’re wearing nice shoes because you a) can’t get in to nice clothes and b) to try to distract from the bulk and c) to look a bit slimmer.

I also own some gorgeous red lipsticks, which suit me and I love, but I never wear them. Partly because I’m lazy but partly because red lipstick can be a bit ‘look at me’ and I haven’t really wanted anyone to look at me.

So what’s changed? I’ve started plucking my eyebrows again. I spent time going through my shoe cupboard and trying on my old friends, in many cases unworn. I’ve started wearing lipstick again. I’ve got my glam back, or at least I’m getting my glam back. I want to get back in to my glittery party dresses this Christmas. I want to dress up and go out and come home in a taxi over waterloo bridge as the sky is getting light. I want to buy bagels in brick lane at 3am in sparkles and sequins, in bare feet and holding my shoes. I want to paint my nails and the town red. I am buying and wearing more leopard print and I’d love to find a leopard print coat this year, to say look at me.  And I’m going to do all those things, which is super-exciting. I’m bored of sitting on the sidelines – I live in the most exciting city in the world and I’m not too old to get in the middle of it. To totter through Soho on our way to a last cocktail before home.

And it’s brilliant, it’s amazing to feel that there is so much ahead of me, rather than behind me. And that is because there is literally less of me. In fact the less of me there is, the less inclined I am to hide.

So there we are . Exciting times ahead!

Rachael Parkman

Rachael is a late 30s south Londoner, who’s always been bigger than she wants but thinks she’s found the solution. Lives with her husband and cat, and enjoys cooking, gin and tonic and wearing nice shoes.

Add a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *