I was in the changing room at the Boden shop (yes, there is one, it’s not just catalogues you know, it’s cleverly positioned near the M40 to nab all those Bodenites nipping out to the home counties to see their parents/water the weekend cottage/dream of living in the stockbroker belt, do keep up!) when I realised why the Uptown Jeans I was trying on wouldn’t do up. These trousers have a cunningly lowish waist, not so slashed as to allow the wearer to be confused with a teenager, but not high enough for any embarrassing Simon Cowell waist-up-to-armpits moments. But still, mine wouldn’t meet in the middle. Because my middle seems to have slipped. Or maybe it’s the bosoms. Whatever, there is a great big wodge of flab just about there, which never used to exist before.
Naturally, I started to scream, and my friend popped her head around the gaily patterned, Boden-print changing room curtains. She summed up the problem in a glance. ‘Aha,’ she said. ‘It’s that piri thing.’
‘Piri? As in piri piri sauce?’ I immediately cursed the day I’d ever sloshed some over a chicken. And surely I’d only had five or six portions? How could that have done this? ‘That stuff ought to come with a warning on the bottle!’
‘No, not piri …it’s peri …’
‘Peregrination? Because there’s certainly been a redistribution of wealth here!’ I said, surveying the undulating mass in consternation.
‘Peri …menopause – that’s it!’
‘Oh,’ I said, deflated. Perimenopause. That makes a horrible kind of sense. I’m a bit young – well, obviously – but I’ve had enough shocks of late to turn Snow White’s hair, well, white. So it wouldn’t be a surprise if other bits of me have been shaken up too. After having a look at the Power Surge website and discovering there are 34 different signs of menopause, let alone perimenopause, I feel a little weak.
Still, at least I have my new Boden jeans to cheer me up. What? Yes, of course I bought them anyway. There have to be some advantages to relocating back from Abroad to the land of the muffintop. Hanging my tummy out with pride is surely one.