Thursday, 28 January 2010

Shopping in your PJs in France?

When reading this BBC article that a supermarket in Wales has banned customers shopping in their PJs or barefoot, I shook my head in shame*, how could this 24 year old mum of two let herself go to that extent? Then it suddenly dawned on me that I had really changed.

I mean, when the postman passes and I hear the clanging on our postbox, I seriously consider whether to open the door or not. I am inevitably in my PJs when he comes by and I prepare the postbox key from the comfort of the house in order to make the action as swift as possible. Shock horror imaging that a neighbour might spot me in my PJs. I have changed. Leaving the house is an event in France, even to open the postbox. When leaving the house to go to the kiné, supermarket, gyneco, make up has to be on, hair kind of set and I would never ever consider leaving my jogging bottoms on to leave the house, totally out of ze question.

What has happened to me? I was once that woman in the uni I went to the supermarket in slippers, no problem. I once went with my friend who was wearing PJ bottoms and rabbit shaped fluffy slippers and we didn't care one bit.

France has changed me, and I didn't see it coming.

*listen to the short interview with said woman on the BBC article. wonderful Welsh accent. What angle do you think the interviewer was actually going for?!!

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Miss Achilles

The story goes that Achilles was weakest at his tendon in his heel and I know how he felt! (photo) When I was 17, I had my Achilles tendon lengthened. I've had problems all my life walking etc etc and I was happy to get it done. I remember the specialist saying that if I never had it done, I would never be able to going skiing. Well, that was that, I didn't want to be held back in any way shape or form, so I had the op*. It was successful and although I could walk better, my leg was very weak after a lifetime of not being used properly. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, it was never really dealt with with in the after care and as I've got older, it's become more and more of a problem for me. I have zero balance on that leg, can hardly move my toes and my leg is much less muscley than the other one making me very conscience of it.

I finally decided to ask my doctor about it here in France and I'm so pleased I did as I'm finally getting the care I never had all those years ago. I'm going to the kiné (physiotherapist) twice a week and I've had an insole made for my shoe. I've been told that the weak leg will never look like the other one but I'm so motivated in trying! I have pool exercises to do with the kiné and loads of balance exercises that are also adapted to geriatric patients recovering from hip operations apparently! ha!

The best bit is that because it's a lifelong problem, I've got permission for free kiné sessions for 5 years. I can go 2 or 3 times a week and the cost is taken care of. My Achilles tendon is complaining about this deal but I couldn't be happier! Someone has taken it upon themselves to help me and I'm giving it a good go! At the moment my tendon is 'awakening' (the kiné's word not mine) and it collapses about once a day. If you've even had Achilles tendon problems you'll be wincing right now. If you haven't, let's just say my leg gives way and I find myself on the floor. Not pretty in a supermarket! The pain goes instantly afterwards and I can pick myself up and carry on like northing's happened making me look like a loon! I hope it doesn't last and that my leg gets stronger quickly!

I have a lot of work ahead of me, probably years but I've never been more motivated about it. I have to work on lengthening my muscles and my tendon, and then creating muscle bulk over my whole leg. I thought my dodgy leg was a done deal. Being thrown a possibility to change things is probably the best possibility I'll ever get!

(*as a side note, I went skiing last year for the first time and couldn't snow plough - I didn't have the muscle to move my leg in the appropriate direction...kinda vital knowing how to stop right? much to the pain of my friend who had to ski me down the mountain; I held onto his waist and he skied for the both of us - what goes up, must come down eh?! I won't be trying it again for a while!!)

Saturday, 9 January 2010

You know you're a grown up when (during the sales) ....

... you rush to the bedding section of the department store and are delighted that it's buy one get one free on sheets and pillow cases, and hence buy in bulk.

... and also when the feeling of sleeping in a bed in new sheets and new pyjamas cannot be beaten.

Tuesday, 5 January 2010

New Year honesties

Christmas and New Year has been and gone. I've not posted, but I've enjoyed following your blogs, to see how you see Christmas and what the New Year means to you.

I finished my job just before Christmas and I have mixed feelings about it. My contract was up and my boss did offer me a new one but I turned it down. He had too many flaws that made it impossible for me to stay. He has now had 5 different employees in 4 months, and he really should take note of that. It was never going to be a permanent thing and I'm glad of the experience. It's given me confidence, which was so badly needed, and I'm going to use this in order to move forward this year.

We spent New Year in Wales and as usual, stayed in. I was so happy to go home, and I really relaxed and slept a lot.

Coming back to France wasn't too difficult, as difficult goes. You know, however much you love and adore your parents, it's nice to go back to do things your way.

So, do I have any New Years resolutions? Not really. I can't be bothered. It's not that I'm lazy, or that I won't keep them, it's just that I've come to realise that I always get let down by them. I had a really miserable first six months of 2009 and I suppose I'm in a better place than 12 months ago, but by no means have I arrived. I still have a lot of work to do, mainly dealing with the arch nemesis that is finding a J.O.B. Optimism and hope? Move over to let realism and honesties pass please.

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