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Monday, 19 September 2011


So I’m in some nondescript discount warehouse chemist place, in some nondescript suburb on the north of Brisbane. It’s Thursday night about 8pm, and winter as we know it in Brisbane is nearly over.

The reason I knew winter was nearly over was because when my darling husband, who is prone to a spot of Thursday night shopping, suggested that after dinner we should “pop” out to get a “few things”, I changed out of my slippers and into some ballet flats. You see, usually the cold months would see me leave my slippers on; hang the concerned sympathies and random unsolicited offers of dementia medication.

The first place we popped to was Officeworks. I’d mentioned in passing that my wireless mouse was coming close to retirement age, and my ever vigilant husband had stored this information for future action. We selected a fabulous new wireless keyboard/mouse arrangement, and, me being a girl and all, hankered after some pink glittery notebook and matching gel pen set.

Utterly useless and highly inappropriate at any form of business meeting, unless I was going for an interview to host Romper Room. Which I wasn’t.

I managed to fob off a “five seconds, that’s all” visit to Bunnings. But Alan mentioned he had a script that he wanted to fill and asked if we could just “nip” into the chemist warehouse place that was “on the way home, won’t take us out of our way darling”.

So while Alan is at the prescriptions counter, I’m doing what all women the world over do when they are in a chemist shop. They look at weight loss supplements. Then they try on lipsticks on the back of their hands. Then they spray every perfume available for testing.

Having done all these, I aimlessly started wandering the aisles. These discount chemist places are like Bunnings for sick people. Row after row of vitamins, cosmetics, potions and lotions. All claiming to heal the soul, turn back the clock and make you scoff at those funeral plan advertisements they insist on showing on Kerri-Anne every morning.

And guess what I found. Jars of Pond’s Cold Cream. I may be having a Back To The Future moment, but call me McFly by any other name. I hadn’t seen this stuff for years.

Hello old friend, I’ve missed you.

My grandmother swore by this stuff. She’d have a dressing table lined with china jars of Pond’s Cold Cream. I would watch her tie her long hair back in a scarf, rub this gunk into her face, wipe it off with a tissue, then rub more in – and leave the bloody stuff on all night.

Of course, back then I was too young to realise that the more Pond’s Cold Cream she used on her face overnight, the less likely it was that grandpa would tap her on the shoulder. But when you’re seven, you don’t think like that.

I hadn’t seen Pond’s Cold Cream on the shelves for years. Decades, really. I’d flirted with it a bit as a teenager, but far too quickly was suckered into advertising muck and genuinely began to believe that only million dollar Estee Lauder products would save my youthful complexion.

If only I’d thought at the time that stopping smoking and drinking plenty of water would have the same effect.

Oh dear...

So by the time I was saddled with a child and a mortgage, and seeking refuge in simpler (ie cheaper) beauty products, my good friend Pond’s was MIA.

And had been for at least 20 years. Apart from that claim I read that our very own pop princess Kylie swore by it, it had been missing from my life.

Until last Thursday.

I had 30 jars of it in my hands but Alan, ever the wise and prudent one of this marriage, suggested that perhaps I limit my excitement to two jars and test them out to make sure I’m still happy with the quality of the product, before we buy shares in the Pond’s Institute.  

Well, I’m pleased to report that it is still the same. Smells the same, feels the same, works the same. I rubbed it all over my face. In seconds it took off mascara that previously needed a neutron bomb to do the same job. You should see the horror residue on the tissues when I wipe it off. Shudder. And to think that stuff was ON MY FACE!

Oh Pond’s welcome home.

Alan, can we ring the stockbroker tomorrow?

Wednesday, 7 September 2011


Of course the obvious person to blame in all this is Kate Middleton. For no other reason than half her body seemed to be missing when she stepped out of the car on her way to marry William. Did you see that tiny waist? Of course you did. So did New Idea, Women’s Weekly, Cosmo and Vogue. Now they can’t stop talking about it.

Because Kate did what just about every bride the world over does – she lost a heap of weight for her wedding. Unlike just about every bride in the world, however, Kate seems to be keeping her weight off. I think that’s because she exists on a diet of hearty Welsh air, and when she’s totally famished, she nibbles on the rotor blades of Will’s helicopter. I hope Diana’s ring doesn’t slip off her skinny finger and fall down the sink when she’s doing the washing-up one night. You remember the Lara Bingle/Michael Clark diamond-down-the-drain fiasco? Imagine what it would be like with bona fide royalty.

A dear girlfriend is getting married later this year. She’s lost 25kg since Christmas. That’s Christmas 2010. Not 1994. That’s pretty impressive. That’s up there with The Biggest Loser. Which is good for me; I'm already two years ahead on my daily fat allowance. I'm looking for skinny people to see if I can borrow theirs.

I’m one of those people who refuse to spend my life worrying about what I eat. There's no pleasure worth foregoing just for an extra three years in the geriatric ward.

I’ve been to four weddings in the past five years. Every bride swanned down the aisle with a waist that could measure a totem-pole. Or so it seemed. Yet their grooms looked just like they do every day of the year. Except the look on their face is like they heard that Shaun Cassidy was the entertainment at their reception. They were probably thinking “Where the hell did my wife go?”

Because, as I see it, he fell in love with you when you had those extra 10kgs. He asked you to marry him when you had those extra 10kgs. I’m not convinced that showing up at your own wedding weighing less than Ghandi will guarantee you a long and happy marriage.

I’m totally convinced it will guarantee you some fantastic wedding photos. Photos that you’ll want to shred in two years time when all the weight is back.

At least on this subject I can speak with authority. I was a bride back in the mid-1980s, God help us. All frothy merengue and sleeves that needed a traffic controller. I was a mere 20 years old, and a mere slip of a girl. I had discovered sour cream, soft cheese and pizzas with the lot, but hadn’t had time to eat enough of them for the results of my appetite to show. So hence I got away with being a skinny bride.

Fast-forward 25 years, and I have my second walk down the aisle impending. Except it won’t be an aisle this time, moreso a stroll across the sand on Noosa Beach, but you get what I’m saying.

From the instant that my gorgeous Lover Bloke Alan slid this massive diamond solitaire engagement ring on my finger, I began bleating about my urgent need to lose weight. Get my top-end size 14 arse back to a more sedate size 12.

I’m one of those people who prefers to eat whatever I like and let the food fight it out inside.

As the months counted down, I’d kid myself that I could lose 10kg in three months, in two months, in one month. Dieting’s no piece of cake you know. With my nuptials literally just around the corner, I’ve come to the realisation that I will look nothing like Kate Middleton. And that’s not because I’m blonde and she’s dark. Or because she lives in a palace and I don’t own a crown.

I’ve found myself a perfectly ok dress. I won’t be a bride (be there done that) but I think my ankle-length strapless number will suffice. There’s enough print on the fabric to disguise my offending arse. And of course there’s shapewear.

Or maybe, at 45, I’ve come to realise that it’s the stuff on the inside that counts. Which is good because at the time of writing, the stuff on my insides were lasagne, red wine and garlic bread with extra butter.

What size is that dress of mine again?