1. Having done myself a mischief running a couple of weeks ago – only a mild mischief, though, I’m pleased to report – I went to see my local physio. He did various tests and then informed me that the cause of my trouble is overly tight muscles pulling the hip joint out of kilter. Specifically, the muscles of my hamstrings and gluteus maximus. I am a tight-arse. Its official.
Two sessions of acupuncture and deep tissue massage later and the pain is now no more than an almost negligible niggle. The skin of my rear end, however, is covered in bruises and I am under strict instructions to practice ‘firing’ those muscles whenever I can. So, I am sitting at my desk clenching my bottom, even as I write this. You can probably tell. 🙂
2. I went speed-dating on Wednesday night with my friend Scrumptious Food Writer. It was not fun. We had 8 excruciating minutes each of Management Consultant Who Wished He Was James Bond Guy, Evangelical Christian Guy Who Had Experienced A Personal Miracle, two Guys Who Are Renovating Their Property And Installing A Pool And Did They Mention They Had A Pool?, A Dwarf Who Liked Drum And Bass, A Ballroom Dancing Engineer With A Laugh Like A Pixie Being Rubbed Against A Cheese Grater and a host of others, all of whom were completely forgettable.
I estimate that only 30% of the men asked anything about me. Most just talked at me, about themselves. One’s opening gambit was the astonishingly arrogant:
“So, impress me…”
I mean, really. I ask you.
And it was all my idea. I apologise wholeheartedly and without reservation to Scrumptious Food Writer who I know reads this blog although she doesn’t comment.
3. One of my dearest old friends posted some pictures of himself and his family on facebook this week and I got a real shock. He has visibly aged; his hair is definitely salt and pepper greying now. And that made me think about my younger brother, whose health worried me when I was last ‘home’ in the UK at Christmas. Part of the problem is that he no longer has any time for himself, either to exercise or just to relax. As soon as he arrives home he is met with a list of chores and complaints about how little he helps out around the house and about how exhausted his wife is. If he wants to go for a 30 minute run round the village the request is greeted with a flat “no” or a “yes” so grudging as to amount to a “I dare you”, as though this desire to spend even a little time by himself and for himself is somehow shirking his load.
Both these men are working incredibly hard, long hours with regular wearying commutes to support their families in a lifestyle they can’t themselves enjoy. Pretty thanklessly, too, it seems to me.
Of course, I wouldn’t dream of saying anything about this to either one of them. Its their choice and their life. And possibly neither would change it even if he could.
But it struck me that, while women are encouraged everywhere to make ‘me time’ and to feel themselves hard done by if they are left to carry the whole burden of household chores, there is no acceptable equivalent of ‘me time’ for men. Obviously, the exception proves the rule, here – I’m sure there are plenty of examples of relationships where this is not the case. At least, I hope so.
Anyway, the only point of all this is that I feel sorry for my friend and my brother. They’re both carrying huge burdens of financial responsibility and its concomitant stresses and it is showing in their health already, although both are only in their 30’s.