By Lorraine Weightman

Last month I decided to organise my daily vitamin and potion intake, by buying a pill dispenser from Boyes in Consett. Each seven day pop up compartment is now filled to the brim once a week, taking away any daily doubts of ‘Have I taken that one yet?’

This freed up some much needed space in my mind, so I could think about other important things on my agenda, like:

How many steps have I done on my Fitbit?


Is my heart rate up or down this week – and still excellent for a woman of my age.
How many hours of restful sleep have I notched up, while maintaining normal oxygen levels?

And lastly, did I remember to put my memory foam inserts inside my new trainers?!

All in the name of good health, both mentally and physically – after a covid infection earlier in the year knocked me for six – I’m trying my best with today’s technology to delay being ‘over the hill’ while still remembering a time – like Kate Bush – when I was running up it!

Bearing in mind I’m now on a non – dairy, meatless, fat free, plant based programme to assist my gallbladder, I’m hoping it realises how much effort I’m making to encourage it to deal with its profusion of stones.

And then there’s the stiffness in my shoulder which is rampaging rapidly to become a pain in the neck – figuratively and literally.

What happened to those halcyon days when I could eat fish and chips, drink snakebite, dance on the ceiling and enjoy a pork special from Yager’s without any consequences. Undoubtedly, they are well and truly gone, but it’s not all bad news.

I recently purchased a subscription in Consett Leisure Centre for swim and aqua fit classes. My plan was to attend three times a week, to help my ageing joints, improve my health, and tone up flopping muscles; especially my bingo wings.

With some trepidation I entered my first aqua fit class in the small pool, but was delighted to view a sea of women close to my age all enjoying themselves as much as me, as we jumped, jogged, twisted, stretched and punched our way forward with polystyrene dumbbells, to ‘The Eye Of The Tiger’ blasting through the speakers!

I never thought that water dancing, doing all the actions to ‘Superman’, using a woggle – sometimes called a noodle – and ‘Reach For The Stars’ with Steps, would be so much fun. And the finale, incorporating a sing-a-long to Barry Manilow’s ‘Could It Be Magic’ managed to lift my spirits for the rest of the day.

Life is all about happy mediums and a balance between rest and work, sleep and activity and most of all a willingness to compromise, to achieve equilibrium.

As one of my good friends always says, when I moan about old age, ‘Well, it’s better than the alternative!’

In the past we relied on our bodies circadian rhythms in our 24 hour clock to guide us. We would wake when it’s light, sleep when it’s dark, eat when hungry, fast when not, put on a coat when cold and take it off when hot. Now we ask our watch, mobile phone, tablet or Alexa to help us out.

As a child I certainly obtained ample vitamins and nourishment from food – as each meal was prepared from scratch, with meat or fish and a pile of vegetables, yet my mother still believed that a huge spoonful of cod liver oil from a glass bottle followed by the same size spoon of malt extract from a big brown jar would set us all up for the day.

The sickly regurgitation of the two mixed together was a daily occurrence and had to be washed down with a glassful of water from the cold tap.

I always protested, yet was told it was doing me the world of good and to open up my mouth wide.
I do remember asking where cod liver oil came from when I was very young and being told ‘The sea’

While enquiring if eating ‘Maltesers’ would keep me healthy in place of the dreaded malt spoonful, I don’t think I got an answer! Perhaps that initiated my interest in the supplements that I use today.

When I open my little box I’m treated to multi – vitamins, Co-enzyme Q10 for energy, Acidophilus for a healthy gut and Milk Thistle to support my liver, all competing with high blood pressure medication and antihistamines for hay fever and allergies.

Yet, I have to say after a few weeks of exercise, diet, and pill popping I’m starting to feel a little better.

Could it be magic?

Perhaps not!


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