Wedding Blues

So I spent my 20s attending weddings. My 30s cuddling lots of lovely new babies. My 40s supporting friends through divorces. And as I enter my fifth decade it looks like attending 2nd weddings is the new black!

But it is a very different matter attending a wedding when you are a menopausal woman then when you are a young hot 20 something. Take my experiences of attending my friends marriage at the weekend.

Outfit Choice!! I used to look for the clingiest sexiest outfit possible. But not now. I had six months notice of this wedding and had planned to lose 20 pounds for it – a jump on the scales ;ast week revealed just 25 pounds to go!! FFS! I put this down to pre-minstral tension (yes I didn’t mispell that – – self medication on round circles of chocolate alleviates the perfect storm that is PMT and Peri Menopause). I am also a bit skint from menopausal poverty (ladycare magnets; supplements; holidays to cheer myself up and tena lady don’t come cheap) so really wanted to avoid spending money. My partner helpfully said there must be something in the wardrobe given it is so full that everything falls on your head when you open it. So I decided to have a good look.

Three hours later and I have said Fuck; Cunt; Bastard more times than I’ve had hot dinners. I am a bit drunk as my partner knows that when this language ensues then the only solution is Jack Daniels and Coke and has been passing glasses through as I try and ram my body into clothes that have mysteriously shrunk. I have rammed everything that doesn’t fit into black bags for the attic – to be brought down when I have lost four stone. I am left with three smock tops, three pairs of leggings, jeans that used to be very baggy but now look like skinnies and a couple of maxi dresses. All my lovely shoes are still there though – I love shoes – they don’t abandon you just cos you are a bit chunkier.

So the conclusion is I have to shop. Off I go a bit pissed and clutching my credit card. A few hours later and I have something that will do. As long as no one sees my side view. Not bad from front but arse and tummy need their own postcodes and so side view not flattering!! I am most depressed (seriously forget personal shoppers – put menopause counsellors in these changing rooms to provide support when the size 18s won’t feckin do up) but then I discover the Hats section. And the shoes section. Hats and shoes are nice. They are my friends. I get an amazing hat and some amazing tartan shoes and i am happy. Very skint now but the bride and groom said no presents and so all in all I think it balances out.

Off to the wedding and we try to remind ourselves of names of all the new partners that will be there. Menopausal brain fog means I find it hard enough to remember friends of 40 years standing let along new partners of a few years. We get to the hotel. My Hat!! My feckin Hat!! My glorious lovely Hat. It isn’t there. FFS FFS FFS. I have forgotten it – this forgetfulness is doing my head in. I start to cry. My partner doesn’t understand and refuses to drive 3 hours home to get it. So I cry some more til we decide if I get a nice updo at the hairdresser next to the hotel it will be a good compromise. Then even worse – I only have one bloody shoe. Hows is this even possible. Fuck it – I will wear my blue sketchers – I think I can carry it off.

The wedding goes with a swing. There is one close call where I meet a frienemy who cheerily tells me she is wearing the same outfit that she did on the brides first wedding. She laughs joyously as she says she thinks she might even be lighter than she was then. ‘how bloody wonderful for you’ I say as sarcastically as I can before being dragged away to the rather stunning buffet. I am relieved to see there are a number of other fatties -there was an array of fat bellys in the weddings in our 20s but normally they were baby bumps – they now are the result of the menopausal midriff. There are so many intolerants now (lactose/gluten/animal) mean that there is loads for the ‘tolerate anythings’ like me so I get stuck in – waste not want not and all that.

The first dance is a success – at the first wedding the bride was so pissed she ended up lying on the dance floor and ordering everyone just to dance round her. So this is a win.

Then it’s a bit of boogying for all of us. Ok so ‘Hot Stuff’ and ‘This Girl is on Fire’ have different connotations now – but I can still dance like no-one is watching. I start to wonder if the DJ is taking the piss when they follow that up with Katy Perrys ‘you’re hot then you’re cold’ and am about to address the issue when I am reminded I am a bit pre menstrual and we had come to an agreement I would not ‘address issues’ at these times.

At 10pm we have a quick debate whether that is too early to go back to the hotel and sleep. My social life is often planned to allow me to be in bed for 9.30pm as menopausal exhaustion kicks in then – these second weddings should really take account of this… maybe have brunch weddings or something. But then the slosh comes on – the song of all Scottish Weddings – so I dive in to lead the way – I am BRILLIANT at the slosh and the good thing is the more drunk I get the better I get at it!! We manage through to 11pm which is a huge win and stagger upstairs and are asleep by approximately 11.10pm.

Then it is time to head home – to find a forlorn tartan shoe on the driveway that is soaked through with rain. And a grumpy sweet dog who wanted to come too and is gutted to have been left behind. We snuggle up and look at the facebook pictures of the wedding and frequently have to email people to take the fecking pictures of me looking a size 18 down. I mean I am a size 18 but really – there are ways and means of photographing round that – mainly taking shots from the boobs up.

PS Happy Menopause Day to one and all!!!

PPS You can follow me on facebook – facebook.com/menopausalwoman

Or on Twitter: @gallopingcatast

 

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Six Menopausal Women Go Mad in Crete

So here we are … six menopausal women going mad(Der) in Crete! Twenty years since the last time we all went crazy in Greece!

And there are some changes! Twenty years ago our washbags bulged with cosmetics including the essential body shop face bronzer to contour those amazing cheekbones we all had but did not appreciate til the menopausal weight gain rendered them a distant memory! Now the essentials in our washbags are our tweezers! Not for our eyebrows as in a cruel twist of fate just as your chin gets hairier your eyebrows start to go bald!

Well I say all of us .. Joyce hasn’t got her tweezers as she was too tight to pay for her bag to go into the hold so they were confiscated as she took her carry on bag through security. The security guard was rather shocked by her reaction .. clearly never having got between a menopausal woman and her tweezers before! I think Joyce maybe over reacted by screaming that if she was going to “blow the fucking plane up I would have brought a fucking grenade along not a pair of fucking tweezers”
But we managed to get her away before she could be arrested by a promise of gin and a lend of our tweezers when we got there! I had a quiet word with her about maybe restarting the hrt she gave up a couple of months ago.

We also have a shit load more medications. Thyroxine.. statins … medication for high blood pressure all adorn the kitchen surfaces. And the hrt for some. Supplements for others. Personally I can’t see my symptoms being relived by dabbing aloe Vera on my temples but if t works for shazza then who am I to judge!

We have been splashing about in our bikinis in the pool. We worked out that between us we were about 14 stone heavier than last time but do you know how we managed to get bikini body ready? Yup .. we just put a fecking bikini on … and ta dahhhh that was it! Then we decided the seclusion of our villa meant an all over tan was a necessity. Suns oot taps aff as they say in my home town! We are a little more battered than before with scars from ops and tumbles. And gravity has taken its toll. And we bear more emotional scars from the inevitable lows that join the highs of getting older .. watching people we love get sick and die .. divorces… heartbreaks … disappointments. So you”ll excuse us for not giving a shit that the fashion journalists Decree a one piece more flattering to the over 40 figure. We just look over each other’s broken fences and admire the flowers in each other’s gardens

In the restaurants the waiters no longer ogle us … focussing on the young and the beautiful! But we wait patiently discussing the best use of our menopausal superpower of invisibility … we discount a bank heist but are still considering a shoplifting spree at John Lewis.

We wander off to our rooms and come back to ask what we went in for. We have conversations that are littered with “have I already said that?” And “am I repeating myself?”. We are half way through our holiday books before we realise we think we have read them before.

Our reading glasses now adorn various surfaces and we take turns to lose them and help others find theirs.

We are gutted to realise we are so shit with technology we can’t figure out how to get strictly on the iPad. So we do our own version which owes more to enthusiasm than talent! But who cares coz we are not getting judged and no-one is watching … we follow up with an xfactor competition with various cats that now live with us ever since the word got out that shazza dropped a bit of chicken on the balcony last night yowling in accompaniement! But Simon can’t hear us.

We nap in the afternoon and go to bed at the same time we used to head out to the clubs at. And we don’t care!

I am not sure if sunshine and being slightly pissed is helping our symptoms but they certainly help us give less of a toss about them!

Night night … bedtime for us all now … am thinking of the poem I like by Veronica sholsoff … “plant your own garden and decorate your own soul” … definately good advice for the menopausal woman!

THIS GIRL IS ON FIYAAARRRR…

Fancy winning a fabulous gift box of menopausal goodies from Andrea McLeans fabulous website ‘This Girl is on Fire’? (why can’t read that without standing up, grabbing my hairbrush as a mock microphone and singing “This girl is on FIYAAAARRRRRR…Oh she’s just a girl and she’s on FIYAAAAARRRRR” at the top of my voice Alicia Keyes style while throwing some fabulous shapes? (Note to self ensure curtains and window closed next time)

Or maybe you’ve always fancied seeing your name in print?

Well here’s your chance to go for it.

October 18th is World Menopause Day and ‘This Girl is on Fire’ is having a menopause month with lots of articles and videos on that very topic.

And their team have read the funny comments and stories that have been written under my blog posts and wondered if any of you would like to contribute.

You don’t need to be JK Rowling – just use your own lovely personal style – and it can be as short or as long as you like. They are looking for stories on the lighter side of the menopause – silly things you have done/forgetful things/maybe how coming through the menopause has changed your life for the better. We are all in it together – so this is a chance to share, discuss and laugh. Don’t be shy – you are among friends 😊

Have a look at the site: https://www.thisgirlisonfire.co.uk

Or email you story directly to: yourstory@thisgirlisonfire.co.uk

The best two will receive the wonderful goodie bag (the the slogan T shirts are my favourite – though with these feckin Amber weather warnings may have to upgrade to one of their slogan long sleeved tops soon!). I’ve read and reread Andreas fab book ‘Confessions of a Menopausal Woman’ – and a signed copy will also be in the pack along with a Confessions mug, notebook and tote bag.

So fuckit – writeit and sendit! Why not 🙂

You need to get it in by 28th September to be considered for the prizes – can’t wait to read all about it! (just had to jump up there and launch into ‘Read all About It’ Emile Sande Style ‘I wanna SCREAM til the words dry out’ – feck how many times have I wanted to do that since hitting the menopause!)

Good Luck.

Jen

xx

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Is it just me?

Menopausal Poverty

The term ‘fucker of a day’ was coined by someone who had a day just like the one I’ve just had! Last day of work before annual leave – I head off to Glasgow and am almost there before I remember today is a day for the Edinburgh office and have to do a fecker of a reroute back! It should be law that forgetful menopausal women can only work in one place! Also none of my colleagues seem to have got the memo that on the last day before your holiday you do very little apart from turn on your ‘out of office’ and give everyone a regular countdown throughout the day of how long it is before you start your holidays. No – my colleagues got some other memo that said irritate the fuck out anyone going on holiday by asking them to meetings to discuss how things can stay ‘on piste’ in their absence or how x project can ‘maintain its flightpath’. And I had to pretend to be interested in all the things that would happen while I was lying on a beach drinking cocktails. Finally I got to bugger off home and would have loved to have gone on a pre holiday spa – get my nails and hair done etc. But I am suffering from ‘menopausal poverty’ which is the fresh hell you get after years of ‘period poverty’. Having to spend money on things like magnesium supplements; tena lady; a bigger size of clothes every two months; new shoes to cheer yourself up; buying friends lunch to make up for calling their husbands tossers when in the midst of ‘menopausal honesty moments’; new glasses as your sight decides to give up the ghost as well as various other parts of your body; waxing and laser treatment for all the excess facial hair; dying the gray from your hair; getting the odd wierd skin tag thing removed; slimming club memberships all adds up There should be a tax allowance for menopausal women!! But the government is too busy stealing our pensions to think of that so instead of a lovely £400 spa I decide to have a relaxing bath with magensium flakes in it (£3.95 for a pouchful – Holland and Barrat); a large glass of red wine (£4.99 a bottle Aldi); and a mint club (£1 for a pack of 5 in Asda) while wearing a special face mask (99p superdrug) thus saving £390.95. I mean it’s not exactly Champneys but it will do. And it was quite nice til Sweet Dog decided to try and get in the bath with me for some reason that I will probably never fathom. In pushing her out I spilt my red wine and my mint club fell in the water. But there is no way I was getting out of that bath as the magnesium flakes were expensive and the instructions insist you stay submerged for 20 mins for maximum benefit! My partner comes in and screams. And I nearly jump out of my skin as I was just dozing off. ‘What the fuck is wrong with you? I am trying to relax’ I shout. But I kind of see where ‘the fear’ may have come from – I am lying with a mask that makes me resemble Hannibal Lecter in a bath that looks like it is blood with what they thought was a large poo floating beside me (not realising it was a melting mint club). I am a little disappointed as the HRT is boosting my libido but I suspect this isn’t the best foreplay and my luck may not be in! Anyway – they have bought the M&S dine in for £12 for dinner so I am a little bit happier. I decide to check Facebook while they cook it. It greets me with a premenopausal photo from 8 years ago looking young freshfaced and not the kind of person that considers stabbing people on a regular basis. I wonder if I can disable the ‘memories’ – oh look here is your dead granny from 10 years ago’/’oh remember your dog you adored thatis now dead? No? You had just got over it? Ha Ha – here is a picture to rub it in’… etc… And I check the fridge and am even more raging. Can I ask – who on this planet gets the cheese as the desert option in the Dine In offer? I mean really? The cheese? I know for a fact there was a profitorole stack and millionaire chocolate dessert as options. WHO PICKS THE BLOODY CHEESE OVER THAT? It is times like this that I wonder if we are suited at all and maybe we should just end it due to ‘irreconcilable differences’ in what constitutes a good pudding. But then I remember the other four mint clubs!! So not a complete total fucker of a day! And it is holiday time tomorrow. No more working for a week or two. We are going where the sun better feckin shine brightly and the sky better be feckin blue (to paraphrase Cliff Richard!) To follow my menopausal musings – scroll up click on my face and click follow Twitter – @gallopingcatast #menopause #menopausalmadness
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Feck All Fits

Holidays next week. And Fuck All fits. And I mean Fuck All. Even my swimsuit is tight – my lovely multicoloured slinky swimsuit that fitted last year is too bloody tight. Gonna have to take my black speedo one I wear when I occasionally go swimming as REFUSE to buy another Fat Bastard swimsuit. It is just too stressful – the makers of swimsuits for fatties assume their customers must all have juggernaut sized tits. This is not the case. The one part of my body not expanding on an almost daily basis is my tits – so the boob bits on the swimsuits for fatties just flap down sadly like Sweet Dogs ears over my wee fried eggs (note to self – remember to lose three stones next year and then you will reclaim your toned athletic body. Yes I bloody know I said that last year. And the year before. But wine, chocolate and Netflix get in the way). Or possibly forget the swimming suit and agree to go the nudist beach my partner discovered was quite close by completely co-incidently while claiming to be ‘looking up possible historical day trips’ on trip adviser

But maybe its just as well that Fuck All fits as there is hardly any bloody room in the case for clothes.

Seriously – going on holiday as a menopausal woman is rather different from going on holiday as a non menopausal woman – when it was simply a case of flinging a bikini, flipflops and a couple of books into a case and heading off.

Rather more is needed when packing now. It is medication first. Feckin medication. I hate being a person who needs ‘medication’. My thyroid is fecked (common side effect of menopause) so I need tablets for that (people say an underactive thyroid is a great diagnosis coz you will lose loads of weight when you start the tablets – well I beg to feckin differ – lying bastards!). Forgot them last time and spent the last three days of the holiday fast asleep as just could not function. Well tbh I was also totally fed up with my holiday companions – tolerance levels of a menopausal woman are low to say the least – and was fucked off with the way one of them sniffed and the way the other one laughed. So lying in bed snoozing and reading and ordering room service was a better alternative to stabbing them.

Then the HRT patches need to go in as they stop me telling strangers to fuck off. And some sellotape to keep the feckers attached to my arse as they have an annoying habit of falling off. Then the tube of gel for the rosacea which is all over my fecking face (also hormone related apparently). And my magnesium supplements and magnesium spray which helps me sleep (apart from between 3.16am and 4.45am but getting used to that now). Nurofen for the achy joints which are the latest gift from the menopause fairy. Earplugs essential to stop me starring in ‘Banged up Abroad’ for suffocating my partner at 3am for snoring. Tweezers to deal with the chin hair coz even through I have had full face ‘threading” done for the first time yesterday (successful upsell from the beautician who used a lit mirror to prove that I was actually more Gorilla than Human). Hurts like feck btw – apologies to the person after me as my gasps of utter agony and less than strong pelvic floor meant occasional lapses in bladder control) I know for a fact the bright sunlight will encourage the little fuckers to grow loud and proud and show themselves off to the world.

Fanny magnet as can’t wear it coz last time it set off the buzzer thing at security and I had to have a very complicated conversation with the not exactly empathetic guard who was most confused why my fanny beeped everytime she ran the wand thing over it. Sanitary protection because though I am not due – the joys of peri menopause and HRT mean that I could have the painters in at any random time. Specs packed as arms no longer stretch long enough to read small print or even medium print. Ipad with Homeland episodes downloaded to watch between 3.16am and 4.45am each evening.

So just room for a couple of kaftans. I put all my shoes in my partners case when they are not looking – easy as they are glued to the ipad trying to figure out the best route to the airport. (it will be the tram as the stop is four minutes walk and will take us straight there but why stop their fun searching various bus routes and uber prices and last minute car parking charges). I like shoes – they don’t take it personally if you gain weight unlike my feckin multicoloured swimsuit!!

Then have a panic as think passport may be out of date. Then have bigger panic when can’t find the bloody thing. Menopausal Brain fog means I can’t find my driving licence either. Finally find them in my sock drawer (not been wearing socks for ages as so warm so no wonder I had no recollection). Passport is fine…- six months to go – hooray! I look at the lovely non menopausal me starting back from the back page. I remember laughing when my friend said I’d be nearly 50 when I got a new one. Coz obviously that was so so long away – so so so long away that it would never come. Aye right….it was like hitting black ice and spiralling out of control towards the next feckin decade. I have to sit down for a minute when realise I will be nearly 60 when the next one is due. And it only took five minutes to get from 40-50.

Then relax. I am realistic and recognise I won’t lose three stones by tomorrow so may as well have a big bar of Galaxy and a cup of tea and watch the rest of Bodygaurd which is fab even though it doesn’t have Whitney and Kevin Costner in it.

Except…. feck… feck…. sunglasses. My posh Ralph Lauren sunglasses – bought for a ridiculous amount of money when I was on a menopausal high… Where are they!!!

ARGHGHGHGHGHGHGHGHG!!

PS to follow my menopausal musings scroll to the top click on my face then click on follow
PPS – Twitter @gallopingcatast

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Always Choose the Front Row!

I am writing this from bed at 7.30pm – but don’t judge me – I have ‘The Menopausal Exhaustion’ (the kind that hits with the force of a ten ton truck!). I have had a proper grown up social life for nearly 2 weeks! Yep, my normal evenings of home; bra off; telly on have been abandoned due to an unusual boost of energy which may or may not be HRT related (2 months in and so far so good) and the Edinburgh Festival right on my doorstep.

And as we all know a hectic social life as a menopausal woman is a very different story than a hectic social life when you are not a menopausal woman. Indeed I may well have overestimated the menopausal woman’s ability to party! I actually thought I could go out three nights in a row including one after work!! And not go to bed til 11pm!! What was I thinking? Brain fog made me forget my complete inability to function unless in bed by 9.30pm

Firstly the fringe venues – tiny teeny tiny and SWELTERING!! I do not friggin need any help with keeping warm. The HRT has not cut the hot flushes. Laughed so hard at one event the sweat droplets landed on the man next to me – he was rather horrified but a true Edinburgh gent about it all. I also peed myself a little bit but think I got away with it.

And the seats! Designed for the arses of the likes of Victoria Beckham and Kylie Minogue. I do not have the arse for gold hotpants or for trying to perch on these tiny seats without spilling over onto the seats next to me. I remember dreading the fatso coming to sit beside me at events. Now I am that fatso. Feckin Karma… I can see them walking tomorrow going inside their heads ‘please no – not beside her… please no… oh fuck it is!!’

And the way I always end up right along at the end of a row – with a bladder like mine this is not a good thing – Edinburgh people are generally polite though and pretend they don’t mind getting up to let you out to the loo after 15 mins in especially when you stand on their feet and spill your drink on them! But at least when I wet myself a bit laughing at the comedian no-one will notice when we file out. Every cloud and all that.

And for some reason although having achieved the superpower of invisibility to most since hitting menopause – I still seem to have no problem attracting the loonies at these events. I sometimes wonder if someone is having a sick joke and that my ‘ladycare’ magnet is actually a ‘looney magnet’ and there is a secret camera watching. Coz if there is a looney (I do hope that isn’t now a highly offensive un PC term – I am getting so confused with what can and can’t be said these days) about when I am sat waiting for a show you can guarantee they will come and sit beside me. I’ve had the shouters, the drunks, the ones that find the concept of shutting up for an hour to actually listen to the feckin act an alien ones. My HRT is helping reduce my desire to stab such people which is reassuring. I mean I still want to stab some people but probably the more deserving like the fuckwit on the bus that played some loud youtube crap music video all the way from Stockbridge to the Pleasance. I would have got away with mitigating circumstances on that one. Indeed an award for services to the community may well have been in order.

So the HRT has definitely given me a bit of a spring in my step. It also may have caused the hairs on my chin have started to defy gravity (unlike my tits!) and grow up the way! Seriously – how is this even possible? I was almost reluctant to pluck so impressed I was with this feat.

I also seem to have got clumsier. Today I am sporting a scraped arm where I fell down the stairs at one of the Fringe venues (while sober I may add!!); a bruise on my leg from walking into the side of a low table in a bar; a burn near my belly button where I pulled my jeans on from the tumble drier not realising the button was hotter than volcanic lava until i went to button them! A burn is also on my nipple from miscalculating the reach across my super dooper new heated clothes horse to get a dry bra. I also have burnt fingers from peeling the lid off my microwave meal too early. Which I then then stung on nettles when reached into a bush to get some tasty early season blackberries. Then when I grabbed a dockleaf to soothe the sting, a wasp was under it and stung the tip of my finger. I mean you couldn’t make this up. I am quite literally an accident waiting to happen. My partner is getting embarrassed due to the mildly accusing looks they get given when we are out. Which is ironic as the phrase ‘wouldn’t hurt a fly’ applies quite literally to them – last night they took half an hour getting two flies out the bedroom … half an hour of gently cajoling and half a roll of andrex tissue to set them free (to probably fly into some other half inch crack to buzz all around their house). As opposed to my approach which is to rush around the room with a rolled up magazine shouting ‘DIE FUCKERS’

But life is for living… And like this weeks picture – let’s always go for the front seat!

Just as soon as we’ve watched Corrie in bed with a nice cup of tea and a Chocolate Digestive.

(to follow this blog scroll to the top and click on my face – you should then be able to click on ‘follow’)
@gallopingcatast

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