Tag Archives: Gwyneth Paltrow

Check-out. The new rage.

I love a new product.  I’m a sucker for them.  Especially cleaning products.  I had the first Dyson vac, which was so heavy I lost my big toenail the first time I used it.  And remember The Swiffer? I wandered around the house like the lady on the advert showing my dust to anyone who would look.


Dishwasher products were my fad for a bit.  But after extensive powerball research, I  can exclusively reveal that cheapo powder works best. Fact.  I draw the line at air fresheners, though. I  tried one out once in the playroom, but strangely I never experienced the ‘Tibetan peace chimes’ or the ‘freshness of a mountain stream’, when I opened the door.  Only rotten apple core and something unspeakable on the bottom of a discarded trainer.


Beauty products are another one of my early adoption vices.  It’s always been so. Who can forget Apri, a ground-up almond facial wash that took the entire surface of your skin off?  That certainly got rid of my teen blackheads.


I’m hopelessly gullible when it comes to the whiff of a new product.  When Gwyneth mentioned this week in a magazine that she bathes in Epsom Salts, I put in a request for some on Emlyn’s Superdrug run.  ‘They don’t have them in stock,’ he announced on his return, ‘the Victorians used the last of them.’


It’s no surprise, then, that they love me in Space NK. I had one of their first swanky black ‘N.dulge’ cards with my name on it and I have more lipsticks that don’t suit me than I care to count.  But oooh.  Filler.  That sounds good.  And look at the shiny packaging.  So new…


So you’ll see it follows that when my local supermarket recently brought in a scanner system, where you could scan your shopping and plop it straight in your bag – or in my case, my fetching granny trolley – I was chomping at the bit to sign up with my jazzy pink store card.


I was an immediate convert, shouting loudly about my super speedy shopping.  It was all going swimmingly until I went shopping with the Middle One at Christmas.  The crafty Miss managed to sneak in a big tin of Quality Street into our trolley.  When we came to pay, smugly bypassing the huge queues at the checkout, they demanded a rescan and we were nicked.  So now I’m on some kind of blacklist.  And every time I shop, more often than not, I get asked for a rescan, even though I shop there all the time.


So, on Monday, Emlyn and I went shopping together.  Bad mistake.  Shopping solo is surely one of the true benefits of being married for over ten years. I picked up my  scanner, ‘Welcome Mrs Rees,’ it told me, ‘Thank you,’ I said, taking it out of the slot, Emlyn pulled a face and told me that it was another new-fangled fad of mine and it took far long.


‘You’re wrong,’ I told him.  ‘I shall prove it.’  So we did our shop together in a rather scratchy way, him harrumphing about me carefully scanning everything.


But when we came to pay, infuriatingly, I was asked for a rescan.


The look on Emlyn’s face sent me orbital.   I had to ask him to leave the store, so I could loose my rag in private.  I have since had an email of apology from Customer Services about the subsequent ‘scene’, but it’s taken me all week to get over my sense of injustice.


Having not being back to the said supermarket in protest, we went to the other one across the road to buy some Special K this morning (as you do).  I was amazed when Emlyn chose to use the self service checkout.  Fool!  ‘It won’t work,’ I gloated. Besides, he didn’t want a bag, didn’t have a Nectar card and was paying with a fifty pound note.  The machine can’t cope with that. He had to call the assistant….twice…and ended up going to the checkout when the self service machine self combusted.  So it’s not just me.


Which leads me to conclude that the moral is that it’s all very well to be an early-adopter, but old-fashioned bottle bleach and Pond’s Cold Cream still work the best.  And in life, sometimes you just can’t avoid the checkout.


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New Year Diet Resolution – Phooey!


How’s the detox going?  Rubbish?  Me too.  The Middle Of January.  It has to be a phenomenon.  This level of winter ennui.

We all feel we need to detox in January and I talked the talk in December.   Really, the intention was all there.  But I’m finding it considerably more difficult to walk the walk.

Detoxing is pants.  Officially. Especially when the weather is like this.  The kids come home from school tired and angsty and race around the house.  By the time they’re in bed, I’m frazzled.  I deserve a gin and tonic, surely?  One little measly glass of wine?  No?

The reward mentality of booze is a tough one to break for me.  I have every angle of reward covered. I even think that the government should reward people whose partners are detoxing.

We’re all in the same boat.  January started out like a giant willy-waggle of who has got the most self-control, but now everywhere I go, stressed looking people are getting through the January detox as if they’re clawing up the Eiger.  It’s like hitting ‘the wall’ during the marathon.

And it can’t be healthy.  In my experience, such levels of self-denial rarely lead to that break-through-the-clouds-sunshine-epiphany-moment.  The ‘Oh My God!  Who knew?  Life without caffeine, booze, cheese, chocolate, bread or butter is AMAZING.  I’m going to live like this ALL THE TIME.’

I sound cynical, but I fear that something has changed in me.  The burning desire I felt during most of my twenties and thirties to be thin (even though I wasn’t) seems to have waned now I’ve hit my forties.  Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to shift these three pounds of mince pie I’ve put on over Christmas, but somehow my desire is being outweighed by can’t be arsed-ness.

Is this what I read about in magazines?  Women in their forties declaring that they are happy with their figures and altogether more comfortable in their bodies?  Hmmm.  I notice it’s always the trim ones saying that.

The Sunday Times this week carried a new regime by the drop dead gorgeous Barbie-woman fitness guru, Tracy Anderson.  The draw of getting the know-how to get a figure like Gwynnie’s in a month was enough to get me to sign up to The Times online, so someone must have done their marketing right, to get an old couch potato like me motivated.

If Madonna can do it, so can I, right?  I used to disco dance back in the last century.

Anyway, I looked at this perfect blonde shiny girl demonstrating these exercises in the online video.  Her face didn’t move.  Seriously.  She looked like she was sitting on a commuter train.  Blank.  ‘This is so easy,’ her expression said.  ‘I can literally do it in my sleep.’

The video fazed in and out with ‘Reps 40’ in bold letters.  Yeah, so like, once you’re bored with that buttock crunch, do this one for forty reps.

40 repetitions?  You have got to be kidding.  Which human beings can do these exercises?  Show me them.

Oh yeah. Madonna and Gwyneth.

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