Archive for January, 2007

Random Skin

When I was very young, I had eczema over a lot of my body, and I remember back to the days when my mum would bathe me using a big plastic tub of white cream instead of soap.

As I got older, the eczema got less noticable, and less frequent – and I went on to use normal soap again all the time I was in Primary school. I remember a boy in my class – lets call him Karl, who had very dry, cracked hands and a red, sore, sometimes raw face and neck. And I knew what it was. Our peers thought he had the plague, or something, and would avoid getting paired with him in Country Dancing so they wouldn’t have to hold his hand. I don’t remember ever speaking to him about the eczema, but I knew what it was – and I knew that he wasn’t contagious. So people used to point and laugh at me too, because I didn’t mind being his partner for country dancing, so I was obviously a weirdo too.

But every now and again, the backs of my knees and elbows would get dry and itchy and sore the eczema would be back. I had to stop using anything on my skin that contained any kind of perfume, in order to keep the sores at bay – but all the while, I remember now, I was thinking – at least I’m not as bad as Karl. Despite the flakiness and the itchiness, my skin never cracked or bled, and I was grateful for it. I never had any patches on my face of neck – I could always hide my sores away while I treated them with tubes of cream from the chemist.

As I left Junior School and went up to my High School, I had cut out almost everything from my washing regime.  No perfumes, no colours – as natural as possible, and preferably hypoallergenic soap and shower gel and bubblebath. I was eczema free for perhaps a year or two. Maybe. And only because I was very very careful.

And then, random patches of eczema would suddenly appear.

I never got them in my joint creases again – just small, dry patches on my tummy and my back. Occasionally on my arm or leg, but mainly on my torso. Even if I hadn’t come into contact with anything perfumy – I’d still get them.

Dabs of cream here and there would help to stop them lasting, but I managed to get away without making too many changes to my routine. Then, as my hormones had run their course through puberty, I found that I couldn’t wash my face every single day with soap or facewash because my skin would dry out too much and get flaky, and then it would over-compensate and produce lots of grease. Yuk. I was the only girl I knew with dry, greasy skin!!

So, I never got away from the eczema. I still have it off and on – no matter what I do. As I’m getting older, my need for big tubs of white emollient cream is becoming greater, and the range of products I can get away with using on my skin is diminishing. Its becoming more sensitive as time goes on.

These days, if those make-up conter people spray me with perfume in a department store, its like I’ve been covered in acid. I’ve had to put signs on my desk at work to stop the cleaners using their furniture polish on it, because when I lean my arms on the polished desk in the morning to type my emails, it attacks my skin, and I’m bright red and itchy all day.

Even my metal name badge can give me problems if it rests against my chest for too long!

There’s no way I can wear cheap jewellery, either. My skin won’t put up with it for more than about an hour. Gold or Silver are the only metals I can happily wear. (oh what a shame!).

So, at the moment I’ve got a small, but very irritating 5p -sized patch of eczema on my tummy, and I’ve had it more than 6 months. It just won’t go away, despite resisting scratching the bloody thing, and all the cream I put on it.

Hmm. I wonder how Karl is doing these days……..??

Hell. Who am I trying to kid? I’ve got nothing to compain about!



Surely this has been spelled wrongly?


I got on the scales this morning – two days before the official end of Cakewatch week 10, and discovered I’ve lost a good pound this week already!

Imagine my joy, then, when I stumbled across this:

My weight loss is equivalent to 4.5 kilos total (just under 10lbs) -the weight of this giant toblerone!! Look here.


Cultural Shirts

I went to a cultural awareness meeting today. It was quite interesting really, although, inevitably, we started discussing religion and those with very strong beliefs started to get a bit ruffled. I hate arguments, and my role in life is always to be the mediator – so I just had to intervene. Other than that it all went well, really.

Another subject we got onto was that we British do not like discussing how much money we earn or how much we paid for things. This is not the case in other countries. Have you noticed how we never discuss how much we paid for something – unless it was a bargain?

We’ll never say “Look at this shirt – it cost me 45 quid”, but we’ll quite happily tell the world and his wife that “Look at this shirt. Fiver! Bargain!”.

Anyone got any ideas why that might be?

Spam Notes

Apparently I need 28 types of Mobile-home Insurance, if you believe the spam that Askimet has caught on my behalf.

I bloody hate caravans.

Ah Hah!

Quick note at the end of week 9 of Cakewatch – I’ve lost just under another kilo this week which is excellent!!! Since I’m only counting complete half-kilos, I’ll settle for recording the loss of another half a kilo, or 1lb.

I’m well past the half-stone mark now, and looking forward to celebrating the full stone in a few weeks time……

Feeling good. xx 

Cars, they’re for driving places, right?

I have never had an emotional attachment to my car. I haven’t ever named a car I’ve owned, nor ‘personalised’ the interior with fluffy dice and chrome gear-knobs, nor have I ever strewn the parcel shelf with soft toys, cushions or rabbits-in-hammocks. A car is a car to me. I don’t care about alloy wheels, body-coloured bumpers, electric windows, spoilers or air-conditioning. When I look for a car, I want a wheel at each corner, power-steering and something that’s easy to park that doesn’t need much cleaning. When I got my latest car – my first ever brand new one – I swooned at the fact that it didn’t let in water, and the almost fainted at the luxury of a decent in-car heater that reduced ice-scraping time. 

I have a basic model, 2005-registered Ford Fiesta Finesse, and all I need it to do is work when I want it to, and get me from where I was to where I want to be. As long as its got all that, I’m very easy to please.  Imagine, then, how impressed I was when my friendly Ford car-salesman phoned me last week to tell me I could upgrade to another brand new car with lots of extras on it for very similar money to my current one. (I’m on ‘Options’ you see – I pay so much a month, and then I can give it back, swap it or buy it after three years).

I told him that I didn’t really need any of the extra gadgets, and I wasn’t really bothered – but he invited me over to have a look and see what we could come up with.  I took badger with me, and he drooled over the specifications in the brochure while Mr Salesman cross-checked and recalculated. I wasn’t very enthusiastic at all -but for just £20 extra a month, I’ve ended up with a higher specification Fiesta, with electric windows, air conditioning, heated windscreen (nice! No ice-scraping at all!) foldy-in wing-mirrors, rain sensitive windscreen (whatever that is), and a special Ipod connection to my stereo. I think I’ve done rather well, there.

Now all I need is an Ipod.