Fitness, General hilarity, Health


I’ve done it! I’ve signed up to the Body Coach 90 day SSS plan!

That’s shift, shape and sustain to you and me.

Divided into three, thirty day cycles, each focussing on a different S, it couldn’t be easier really, could it?

Could it?

I’ve been following the Body Coach, aka the beautiful Joe Wicks, for about a year after being introduced to him and his principles by my good friend, Miss Barnett. Like most non-fit normos, I dipped my toe into the BC pool gently by purchasing his first Lean in 15 book last year. Delighted with my fitness progress, I immediately took a lie down followed by a cream egg.

Naturally, as a non-fit normo, the book remained on the cookery bookshelf (yes I have that many cooking books as to warrant a separate cookery bookcase) until quite recently when I decided that my time for super human fitness was NOW. Right now. And not a minute later.

And so I took the next logical step: purchasing protein powder. Well one can’t make protein pancakes and overnight oats a la the BC without protein powder!

And so it was that the protein pancake took me by the hand and led me gently towards the glowing halo surrounding Joe’s super toned body. And straight past him to his website where I signed up for the SSS plan. After the obligatory week of deliberation and discussion with just about every one of my friends who would listen and feign interest, obviously. One is not a snap decision maker.

The first stage (after paying, obvs) was to fill in a detailed questionnaire. Sounded simple enough. Just a few details about me, my measurements, my food and fitness habits and a simple, seven day food diary. Simple.

If you’ve ever tried to retrospectively do a food diary, you will know that it is not quite as simple as first glance would have you believe. What on earth had I been eating? I had literally no idea. I took the approach of trying to average it out across the last month. Mainly because I have been a health food god over the last week, living almost exclusively on protein pancakes since the protein powder landed.

Three days and two emergency meetings with Queen Vic and Princess Scarlet later and I manage to submit my questionnaire, complete with food diary and front, back and side photos of me in a bikini. The horror. Oh the sheer horror.

As a not massive person I have been happily telling myself that I am in great shape for my age for years. The photos were my first step in agreeing that ‘great shape’ was something of an overstatement.

They say acceptance is the first step. My name is Lady Jane and I have back fat.

There. I said it.

You don’t see yourself from the back very often and I’m now delighted that that has been the case for so long. That back photo, in particular, sticks in my mind as I press send on the questionnaire.

I make a silent agreement with myself: I will be happy with my back photo again.

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General hilarity, Travel

Bonjour Bretagne!

We disembark Brittany Ferries’ largest offering, the Armorique, without fuss and, in less than two hours, are pulling up to our home from home for the next twelve days: Chevrefeuille Gite, Le Boterff, Saint Mayeux.
We are early.

Check-in to our property is at 4pm and we have rocked up at 9:30am.

No matter! We are on holiday!

We merrily wave off again to Kevin, the extremely cheery but rather flustered looking gite looker-afterer (“two groups are leaving and two groups have turned up early!”), and go in search of our friends. Our comrades in arms. They will not be far away.

Back on the road again we admire the countryside as though we have not just left extremely similar countryside in England.

But this is different. This is French countryside.

French countryside that Queen Vic and I have not seen for fifteen years and which Princess Scarlett has never laid eyes on.

Despite being the most recent visitor of our little party to this area, Maman is the most excited to be here and is practically giddy with joy. Bless her. And bless Barker the bear, who never misses a trip to France and has been coming here these 23 years.

Barker has seen it all; The fall of the Berlin wall, the end of the apartheid, he’s drunk and sang with us in France, sailed ferries, been involved in orgies and, once, even hung himself from Auntie L’s window frame when it all became too much for him. Barker had been hastily given the psychiatric help that he clearly needed after a fortnight in France with The Hardwick entourage and was now looking good for his 34 years, albeit a little down in the mouth. A quick application of sellotape prior to setting off from England had fixed both his smile and his spirits though and he was now eager to reconnect with his friends and begin holidaying in earnest.

This is a nostalgic trip and we rightly commemorate the mood with that which will be burned into the very souls of all who were here fifteen years ago: the evocative sounds of Now 28!

We drive gaily, singing our little heads off, through Merleac and on towards Uzel. We pull up to what had used to be our home from home in France, all those years ago, and find that it’s owners, Auntie L and Uncle S, are nowhere to be found.

Undeterred, we continue our search for our family-in-all-but-blood and find them having arrived safely at their caravanning site at Lac du Bosmeleac.

“Damn it”, I mutter as we round the bend to find the caravan parked up and all manner of kit strewn across the grass, “we’re going to have to help them set up!”

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General hilarity


I meet up with little miss Barnett for Sunday lunch on a beautiful, sunny day at the plough at huddlesford. Along with a just stepped out of a catalogue summer outfit (Barnett is one of my most stylish and wardrobe focussed friends), she is also sporting the most glorious, rich, golden tan. 
I must know where she got it. 

“It’s a combo of a couple of sessions on the sunbed and a fake bake spray on” she advises. 

After tutting for several minutes about the use of sunbeds, we move on to the most important thing: that spray. 

I need it in my life. 

I’m not sure how I’ve lived without it up until now. 

I stop at Barnett’s for the weekend and talk comes back to ‘that’ tan. 

She offers to spray me, an offer I am so eager to accept that I have stripped off before she’s even finished asking the question. 

The process seems impossibly simple: I stand on a towel while she sprays my arms in long, flowing movements leaving a beautifully fine coat of rich, golden tan. I waft my arms around to dry them and the process is repeated. 

It is perfect. 


I think I am Gisele. 

Three weeks and six shops later, I give up hope of ever finding the tan myself and Barnett gets me some. 

I skip to the bathroom, place the obligatory towel on the floor and prop a full length mirror up on the toilet. 

I begin to spray. 

Despite my best imitation of the long, flowing movements that Barnett used, I appear to be covered in patches of tan. Beautifully coloured patches, yes. But patches all the same. 

I grab a tanning mitt and buff it in. Sorted. I go for another coat. And achieve more patches. I diligently buff. I turn around in the mirror and spray on more patches to cover up the white patches that I missed. Then buff. 

It is a patch-and-buff-athon of epic proportions. 

Exhausted and a little traumatised from what I had expected to be a simple and painless process, I glance around the room. 

It is covered in tan. 

Each and every surface in my bathroom is coated in a fine layer of pinkish spray. 

Not patchy. 

No buffing required. 

Just a full and comprehensive clean of every inch of the bathroom and every item in it. 

Later that evening I attend my newest and most favourite gym class: boxercise. Elegantly dressed in a skin tight, bright white sports top, I thoroughly enjoy beating the living hell out of my opponents’ mitts along with having my own human punchbag experience when it is their turn to be Rocky. 

Feeling elated with the immeasurable levels of serotonin flooding through my brain, I glance in the mirror at the boxercise machine that I have become. 

Looking back at me is a profoundly sweaty woman. 

Wearing a skin tight, bright white sports top covered in sweaty lines of bright orange tan that have melted through her top from her freshly bronzed skin. 

I bet Gisele doesn’t have these problems. 
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