Thursday, 16 May 2013

A Bum Like Blancmange




I sometimes wonder on cloudy days if all my underground writing career has given me; aside from kind, funny, generous and clever writer friends, is a bum like blancmange. 

I thought for a second about writing a witty ode to my bum. A few verses of doggerel. Thankfully you’ve been spared. Because instead, while out on my brisk morning walk down to the Shotover river on Monday, I decided to RUN. 

Down the uneven, recently put in track I went. Digging the heels of my North Face hiking boots into the scree-like incline. Bouncing over the newly made tyre steps, on through the pines and ferns, past the berry covered wilding cotoneaster that the waxeyes adore and on to the river flat. 

I straightened my headband and lengthened my pace, soon picking up speed and smiling at myself between puffs. A veritable Pegasus I was, skimming over the stony ground. Chariots of Fire theme music playing in my head as small pebbles found their way under my socks. I ran until the track met willows trees, then turned elated and walked back. 

I’m not sure what made me happier? The knowledge I could still run after all these years without my knees buckling and may have discovered a new form of exercise, while enjoying the great outdoors, that may make my bum jiggle less. Or the smug knowledge those hours at Pilates appeared to have worked. Yippee-nopee you might say. 

Those that know me will be shouting, ‘your bum is not enormous’. And no, it is not huge but it is currently acting like a subsiding cliff. All my go-to underpant shapes don’t fit anymore. In fact they’re worse than a mid-grade wedgee. For the first time in my life I’ve contemplated NYJ – not your daughter’s jeans. My mum wears those!

My charming son standing behind me, a bum-cheek in each hand, flubbering and exclaiming (while laughing), ‘Mum you bum is so wobbly’, must have added impetus to the jogging malarkey. Thankfully when I replied, ‘thanks darling,’ and sang, ‘a juicy butt to squeeze a butt to nibble.’  He scarpered.

Recently at a friend’s 50th, another friend and I were lamenting our perceived butt expansion. She claimed her derriere demise was due to her Master’s Degree. ‘I didn’t really have a bum to lose like you. What should we do you with them?’ she said. 

‘I just yell at mine,’ I replied, looking over my shoulder. ‘Hurry up and get on the bus.’ Then we collapsed into fits of giggles. Silly things bums.

I have two sides to my writing desk nowadays. On the left I have my children’s fiction WIP manuscripts and notebook. On the right I have my blog and nonfiction notebook and currently a copy of the Aus Women’s Weekly. I was about to query the Editor re a story, when the by-line for psychologist Nigel Latta’s column caught my eye: “Give your bum a break”. His piece pondered, “With all the amazing things our bodies achieve each day”. For instance, nerve impulses travelling at 400km per hour.  “…why are we so concerned with the size of our bum”.

Does Nigel Latta have a bum I wondered? 

Then I read on. Did you know, “a sneeze generates winds of up to 166km per hour”? Without offering any similarly startling bum-facts, Latta reminded us that the human bottom is an important part of a whole. I agree, we would all look pretty flat without them and then they’d be the problem of what to sit on, flubber or tone.

On Tuesday, I went for my second walk/run. I ran further.  A lot further. I breathed the fresh morning air peeling off the channel of grey blue water bubbling along beside me. (On Saturday I’d seen a lost and lonely black swan floating down the Shotover river, but that’s another story). My thighs felt tight on my return. Who knows if my bum enjoyed it? I may be barking up the wrong tree. My skin tone and muscle elasticity could already be shot. And if I think of all the weight I’ve put on and off over the years, like a combined total of 39kgs for three pregnancies alone and returning to NZ as a ten stone Tesse after a 3 year OE in London town, highly possible. 

On Wednesday I went on my third run. I ran for twenty minutes at least. I felt great. Unfortunately there’s a chance I may give up running next week. Winter always attacks with surprise and vengeance way down south. 

Meanwhile I’ve just invested in a pair of three-way-stretch-black-denim-high-waisted, DRDenim Jeanmaker jeans. 

Bum’s the word.

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