I am suffering from bi-polar body image at the moment, it's very confusing. One moment I will be admiring my curvaceous silhouette and congratulating myself on my judicious outfit choice, the next wailing on the bed with trousers stuck around my knees and counting my pennies for lipo. Perhaps this is normal? Who knows. I lost sight of normal years ago where this stuff is concerned.
It came to a head in Gerard Darel last week when I went into a changing room with a tunic dress and a clear mental image of how it was going to look, and came out to the sight of my legs. Well, I assume they were my legs what with them being attached to my body, but I refuse to acknowledge them. I demand a DNA test. How can knees be both doughy and knobbly at the same time? And surely blue/grey isn't a normal skin tone (truly, I could have represented 'tubercular orphan' on a Farrow & Ball colour chart)? Just as an aside, all shops which require you to come out of the changing room to look in a mirror should be fire bombed. No thank you, I do not need a vapid, commission-hungry sales assistant to tell me how great I look. I look like the bastard lovechild of Grayson Perry and Barbara Cartland. I need to confirm this to myself and rip the garment off as fast as possible, thanks. Without witnesses.
Clearly I am too damn lazy and greedy to do anything sensible about it. Instead I have become a fully paid-up member of the cult of the Brussels PowerPlate Institute. It is a laugh a minute, honestly. What it lacks in efficacy it makes up hundredfold in kitsch. The gorgon woman who runs the place requires the 'trainers' to wear see-through white tracksuits and to answer to spurious anglo-saxon names, even though they are quite evidently Belgian and probably called Jean-Luc, or Didier. So we have "Jason" ("Jazon"), "Mike" ("Maike") and "Chris" ("Kreeze") putting us through our (slapstick) paces. The machines are also in full public view on a major shopping street, so the youth of Brussels can peer in and wet themselves laughing at middle-aged women wobbling around on giant balls like outsized toddlers.
Why am I doing this to myself? I really really don't know. I think they must have hypnotised me. Or slipped drugs into my water. Or maybe it's the vibrations messing with my brain. Whatever, it's like I have lost all free will and self-respect. The CFO, predictably, finds the whole thing a tremendous affront to good sense. He has variously offered:
i) to construct a PowerPlate himself, possibly out of parts of the washing machine. I have declined, since he has something of a chequered track record in home made tools, having nearly taken his own eye out with a whisk he had constructed out of a power drill and a coat hanger.
ii) to kidnap Jazon and imprison him in the basement and require him to train us.
iii) to take me running. Oh, so many shades of no.
It's the whole eurotrashy experience I am after, anyway. The demented, flirting ambassador's wives. The RnB lite soundtrack. The fact that it only lasts 20 minutes. It's not as if it shows any sign of being effective, but hey, half the time I'm happy anyway. As long as I don't look in any mirrors.
* That's Chaucer doncha know. My expensive education, let me lavish it on you....