Wednesday, 16 January 2013
Time to take a break
The most important thing about the menopause is the word pause, says Sam Taylor
By Sam TaylorWhen I was young (and thin) and believed the world was mine, I had little need for what we now so desperately refer to as a 'break'. Why would I want a break from life? Young girls (hopefully) are born with their foot on the pedal. Parties, jobs, boys, dances, cakes, carbohydrates. The stuff of dreams.
Then there is a turning point, somewhere around 30 for most of us, where we meet Mr Right, or at least Mr Right Now, and we settle down. We give in to our biological imperatives and become mothers. Our lives are not quite ours any more. We begin to experience 'stress'. Will they get in to the right school? Will they fit in? Am I a good mother? And then the personal issues: does my bottom look big in this? Am I just a part of the furniture? As a general rule, most women post-40 feel like a part of the furniture but then some pieces of furniture are priceless.
By my 40s, there was much discussion of what my mother's generation used to call 'the change'. I started wearing colour combinations that were what my husband called 'experimental.' The hormones affected my girlfriends in different ways. The gin and tonics got slightly larger. And why not? But we also developed a very strident view of the world. Men, poor things, were terrified. Lara, a professor and mother of a teenage daughter, once managed to get a parking ticket cancelled with the words 'I am mad and menopausal'. In short, I have began to suspect that the M word is like a social hand grenade, pull the metaphorical pin and they duck for cover.
Personally, I would say the most important thing about the menopause is the word: pause. It allows women who have spent their lives juggling state and church to take a break. To put down the 'to do' lists. The health guru Maryon Stewart has realised this and rather helpfully teamed up with Grayshott Spa to provide a Menopause Mini Break. It's the chance to give in. There are some rules, but she won't tell you off if you break them. There are also some lovely treatments and the chance to be still. And nobody minds experimental colour combinations.
Grayshott Spa, Headley Road, near Hindhead, Surrey GU26 6JJ: 01428-602020, www.grayshottspa.com
Daily tip from the lady archive
"DEEPLY-ROOTED is the idea that men are indifferent to dress, while the ladies, God bless them, think of nothing else"The Lady, With Prejudice, 8th January, 1942
PRIVATE HOUSE in Andover/Winchester area requires personable, experienced, professional cook with own transport (live-out). Must be calm, adaptable, energetic, happy to use seasonal produce from garden and able to provide healthy, imaginative dishes. In addition to producing meals for owners, required to provide lunch for estate staff during week. Usual hours 0800-1600, Monday-Friday, but flexibility required for w/e and evening work. Salary negotiable. Contact: Apply Box 15495Apply now
Q: The Queen has received a £5m boost in the funds she receives from the taxpayer to carry out her official duties. Do you approve?
Yes - the Queen does a great job and is well worth it - 59.5%
No - the UK economy is struggling and this is unfair - 40.5%