Sometimes we all need an emotional MOT. An inner spruce up can work wonders and there’s plenty of unconventional options to investigate.

Maybe you’ve always fancied finding your inner child (mine is probably in a huff). Perhaps you have a long held ambition to reach out to the universe by naked sky diving – flange or knackers to the wind.

I’ve explored a few alternative notions and although the following, painstakingly researched guide (which took a good five minutes) is not definitive, it is, at the very least, deeply flawed…

I Didn’t Know You Could Shove Something THERE…

Colonic irrigation!

The very mention could bring tears to a ventriloquist doll’s eyes. It’s supposed to inwardly cleanse, outwardly improve appearance and boost energy levels so I thought I’d give it a crack (no pun intended…OK, maybe a little bit intended).

My backside bubble bath came courtesy of a ballsy Aussie (of course) called Molly who immediately got down to the job in hand – she didnt even buy me dinner first. Within minutes of meeting I was on my side in the foetal position, arse open for business while she casually nattered on about Tim Tam biscuits and sorted out her hosepipe.

Next thing I know, my cat flap had been well and truly infiltrated as Molly began having a rummage around with what felt like a Pringles tub. She muttered something about it going up the wrong way…how many routes can there possibly be? It’s pretty much a cul-de-sac (again, no pun intend…oh who am I kidding?) So, after reversing then re-entering, presumably having consulted a map, we were off again and the tap was turned on.

I felt so violated I thought I was going to have to call the Police. Surely this couldn’t be legal? After a couple of minutes though, it sort of settled down and she even showed me ‘stuff’ that was being flushed out and through the clear pipe. It can even dislodge things that have been stuck in your tubing for years. I swear I saw the Basil Brush fan club badge that I swallowed when I was seven finally evacuate the building.

After half an hour of flushing, abdomen massage and being told everything there is to know about box jellyfish I was done. Inwardly cleansed and fairly unscathed. Did I feel massive bursts of energy afterwards and that glow other people raved about? For about ten minutes maybe but it was a tad disappointing to be honest.

I did feel that the hosepipe and I should have got married though (the fickle implement has never even kept in touch).

Oh Reiki You’re Not So Fine.


This is where a ‘master’ lays his hands just above and around your body, channelling the healing powers and strength of the universe in order to clear any blockages in the body that are stopping it from doing its duty.

I called up a practitioner who told me to call him Ricky. Game over. How could I take seriously getting reiki from Ricky? He told me he charged £45 for him and his wife to basically feel me up on a table for an hour with no guarantee it would help. A win-win for Ricky the reiki then but a severe loss to my bank balance.

Shrink wrapped!


Emotional release can be attained through counselling. A check up from the neck up if you will. If this was America, I could pop along to a therapist in the same way we go to an optitian. Good analogy – both can help you to see better – but the UK just hasn’t caught up with the USA in its ‘can do’ attitude to mental health.

Over there it’s very analytical with your every thought challenged. Over here the woman I tried was more like talking to an old biddy at the bus stop. She spent most of the 45 minutes telling me HER life woes as if this qualified her for the job as much as the dubious framed certificate on her wall.

She threw out phrases like ‘I’m holding your troubles in my heart’ and ‘I feel your pain’ (yeah and £38 plus bus fare of my money in her back pocket thank you very much). I did glean two important lessons from the session however:

1) Anyone can set themselves up as a counsellor (so beware).

2) There’s one born every minute.

For feck’s sake, SMILE

Think it, BE it!

Studies suggest that loneliness undermines health which in turn causes high blood pressure and heart disease. Urine samples taken from the lonely (well it passes the time, they’ve nothing else to do of an evening) were found to contain high levels of epinephrine – a “fight or flight” hormone.

Since the body’s stress hormones help fight inflammation and infection, doctors believe loneliness contributes to the wear and tear of aging. Being the eternal singleton truly is the unwanted gift that keeps on giving…

So what have scientists offered as an antidote? Smile therapy. Keep a rictus grin glued to your face until you’ve convinced even yourself that you’re actually in a good mood.

There’s a fine line between a grin and a leer though and when I tried smiling inanely at anyone and everyone I freaked several people out and attracted the unwanted attentions of a nutjob called Gladys.


Merlot or shiraz.

Works everytime.



A Beginner’s Guide To (sort of) Keeping Fit

A New Year is a time for change. People make all sorts of promises to themselves about self improvement. Always being ahead of the game, I had a crack at it in the lead up to the New Year.

Backache, tennis elbow (in my left arm that hardly does anything!), energy levels sapping…the list of ailments, aches and pains seemed to be increasing by the day so rather than drift through middle age (whatever THAT is) with mobility issues piling up I decided to do something constructive. I did what I swore I would never do. The thing I have scoffed at friends for succumbing to for years now…I joined a gym.

I signed up mainly for swimming – NOT pumping weights (I’m sluggish, not insane) which is best for all round flexibility although I may eventually to have a crack at those hideous machines that are favoured by body pumped, tight fit clothed loons ! If it’s supposed to make you feel good why do they always look so miserable? Probably through lack of cake.

So here dear reader are my GYM LIFE LESSONS to starting something healthy. I must warm you however, it is never without incident…

Visit 1

  • Pay attention to signage – dont go up to the gym in your swimmies when the pool is downstairs – they dont like it

  • On hearing ‘Rock The Boat’ over the tannoy whilst struggling with the breast stroke, dont start synchronised disco dancing in the pool – they dont like it

  • When entering the sauna only to be met with some loon doing lunges with his right knacker on view, dont say ‘Oh good God!’ – he didnt like it. (Why is he lunging at me? I’d ask him to stop but he might have a knife…)

  • When changing next to someone who has produced a tub of loony bulk building powder, dont get out a king size Twix from your Tescos bag – they dont like it

Now consoling myself with a giant slab of quiche – if that doesnt sum up the phrase ‘one step forwards two steps back’ I dunno what does

Visit 2

  • 3 words sum up today’s ‘experience’ – giant great wanger! I swear to God I had to fosberry flop over it to get to my locker. It took up the whole cubicle. What kind of weights is he pumping?

  • Was also despondent that an elderly lady was a faster swimmer than I was – and she had to be helped into the damn pool! She did however appreciate my dance efforts today when Supremes ‘Stoned Love’ came on (impossible not to move to – try it!) Twas like being a Rep doing poolside aerobics all over again.

  • Still, 2 swims in 2 days – at this rate I may well have a verucca by Bonfire night!

Today’s apres gym treat – a Crunchie (3 pack – which I decided to think of as just a very long Crunchie…) I’ll be unable to get into the sodding jacuzzi at this rate…

Visit 3

  • For the 3rd straight day the receptionist has eyed me with suspicion as I’ve swiped in as if to say ‘What the hell’s he doing here? Greggs is next door…’

  • Urgent memo to the guy jogging on the treadmill wearing a hoodie (hood up) – its a gym not an audition for ‘Rocky’

  • When in the jacuzzi (which is just a big plastic tub of human soup) dont wear trunks with a net lining as it billows up in the bubbles and when you exit it looks like you’re having a particularly difficult time of the month.

So I am contemplating tackling the gym part soon and am now searching for an adult to accompany me as I should not be allowed in there unsupervised… Any takers? Anyone..?
Post swim treat – Bombay Bad Boy (King Size) Pot Noodle…

Visit 4

  • So today I experienced what every athlete dreads – I hit the wall…literally, I hit a wall when I skidded on some wet tiles and slid into the side of the shower unit

  • 5 swims in 7 days (I took the weekend off so sue me) is also taking its toll. Today I opened my gym bag (aka : an Aldi plastic carrier) to discover 3 socks, no shampoo and a tin of sweetcorn…

  • So what if the others are thinner, more muscley and generally fitter than me?
    So what if they personify the image of the body beautiful more than I do?
    So what if they can do way more in there than I can? ……
    …… you’d think I’d be going somewhere with this wouldn’t you..?

Visit 5

  • When the fire alarm goes off while youre soaping yourself down in the locker room showers do you
    A: Slap a claggy towel round yourself and head up to reception as requested, dignity a distant memory?


B: Finish what you’re doing and take your chances in the inferno?

  • The answer for future reference is B:… ALWAYS choose B….

Visit 6

  • The toggle on my trunks is loose and swingy – what could possibly go wrong? Oh, yeah, THAT could…

  • A headline today read that the chlorene in swimming pools is supposed to lower testosterone levels. That explains the moobs in the changing room. Do I now have to wrap my bits ‘n’ bobs in cling film before I take a dip?

  • A guy in the changing room farted loudly and I tried so hard not to laugh I let one rip myself. Flatulant karma will get you every time. Even odder, neither of us acknowledged the other during this fart-in.

On the plus side, I did not have a slab of chocolate after today’s swim…I had a bag of Dorritos instead. That, my fellow athletes, is growth. I can also tell that the gym peeps realise i’m taking it more seriously now having swapped my Aldi bag for a Waitrose one…

Visit 7
The locker padlock I purchased from the gym got stuck…

The female receptionist’s solution was to send a random male punter downstairs with a large pair of bolt cutters to free my clothes (which took two big blokes in the changing rooms as my lenses (and therefore, sight) were also locked inside.

She then said I couldnt get a new padlock or a refund on the 2 week old purchase because I hadnt reported it had been a little sticky.This is irrelevant, the fact remains it totally jammed today and shouldn’t have so after protesting in my best Margo Leadbetter tone I was patronisingly given a new lock.

I was so wound up by this point though (surely the opposite effect of a gym visit?) I sought solace in Greggs as I was in urgent need of something hot wrapped in flaky pastry to recover from the trauma.

The gym owner better get a decent support system in place (and give it a lick of paint) or, in his own dragon-like words, ‘I’m Out !’

Visit 8

Just returned after a week of deep training (aka : over eating) in Scotland. I have also entered more into the spirit of gym life by ditching my Aldi carrier bag for a snazzy little duffle bag thing. The shoulder strap of which caught on the automatic entrance barrier causing me to practically twerk my way inside – this does not happen with plastic bags!!!

As I entered the pool for the first time in a fortnight the theme from Titanic was playing – did the bint on reception pre-arrange this after our heated debate over my buggered padlock?

I’m still being lapped by pensioners and almost lost a flip flop in the jaccuzi but come the New Year I’ll be like Tom Daley’s ‘slightly’ older brother (I already have a nose like Rebecca Addlington)

Note to self – don’t wear a Superman t-shirt again as it’s too much to live up to in the changing room…

Visit 9

The last visit before Christmas…

The pool water has suddenly become way colder than usual.

  • Downside – my meat and two veg disappeared back up and inwards

  • Upside – I can now sing the whole of ‘Walking In The Air’ in the key choirboys intended

(note to self – never forget to wear lenses in future after a blurry chat with someone in the locker rooms who clearly know who I was but I, in my sightlessness, hadn’t the faintest idea who he was)

In ConclusionFunny-Gym-and-Workout-05

  • Do I feel better? A little bit – scaling stairs is less daunting and wearing shirts feels less like trying to squeeze the toothpaste back into the tube

  • Will I keep it up? I absolutely and most definitely plan to hope to think about possibly doing so

  • Would I recommend it to others? Aside from dignity, the ability not to smell of chlorene and the joy of chips, you’ve got nothing to lose…

So Good Luck fellow self-improvers… Must go, got a Pop Tart simmering…