Sunday, 22 April 2007

# 11 Day of Rest...

Living slap-bam in the centre of the London Marathon route, I spent the day out on my balcony, shouting out the names of strangers - 'Go Fred! Go Kath! Go Katie! Save the Rhino!' - in an effort to 'respeck' the throngs of fit, thumping thighs pounding past me. Yes, it is remarkable. 26 miles. Wow. Cor. Fantastic. Wish I could do it. I think I might try for it next year. Etc etc.

An hour later, and after further torment (i.e. one too many glimpses of the cocoa-butter-bods on T4's Shipwrecked), I was on my way to enquire about membership at the local gym. Timing wasn't great on my part. Rather than revving up the inner resolve, the whirring treadmills, sweaty dumbbells and shiny Swiss Balls left me cold, languid, and within twenty minutes I was back at home, snoozing on the sofa. In my defense, it's a bad time of the month and I'm currently doubled up in agony, typing in the foetal position. And when things get this bad, there are a couple of tried and tested remedies that I like to pull out of the Doctor's bag:

1. Elemis Lavender Neck Pillow. This was a limited edition gift with the Luxury Dream Journey Traveller and it comes in a sneeze-inducing gets-up-your-nose-and-all-over-your-clothes faux-fur pillowcase. I take the grain-filled bag out of the 'Kerchoo-Case, stick it in the microwave for two minutes, stuff it under my jumper and spend the rest of the day walking around like a deranged woman who's playing at being pregnant. No, sexy it isn't, but the natural lavender aroma combined with the steaming heat is just the tonic for sore tummies and that is all I care about.

2. Aromatherapy Associates De-Stress Muscle Bath & Lavender Oil. If muscles are tight or cramp has set in, I take a small amount of this potent oil and rub it directly onto the skin. The ginger, rosemary and lavender oils warm the area, tingling slightly. Follow with a hot shower. It really takes the edge off the pain.

3. Dr Hauschka Lavender Bath. I'm not really the bathing type and prefer the slap on the back of a high-pressure shower, which is why this grass-green oil is a bathroom staple. The steam from running hot water vaporises the liquid within seconds, filling the room with a knot-loosening, tension-reducing fog that works wonders on even the most pernickety of schwitzers.

The problem is that with all of these somniferous scents floating around the house, it's impossible to get anything constructive done - there'll certainly be no heavy machinery operated in the Malcontent household tonight. In fact, had today been an ordinary working day, I, like millions of others, would simply have deployed a time-honoured, straightforward and foolproof pain management plan. The same course of action that men and women have been taking for decades: drugs, lots and lots of drugs. But as it is Sunday, my one day of rest, I'm actually enjoying these half-lids and heavy hands... and sometimes it feels nice to remind myself that the solution needn't be swallowed every four hours. Sometimes, it just comes naturally.

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