Middle-aged Spread

I have bought myself a new top from Zara. This is partly because it was £3.99 and partly because I can fit my thermal vest under it without the edges showing. I think it's rather an elegant new top and, although it is cream and therefore not compatible with rotted manure, I wear it while teaching the school gardening club to mulch beans.

'Do you have a baby in your tummy?' asks seven-year-old Sonja, thrilled.
I laugh shrilly and make a joke about doughnuts.
Later, I tell one of the new school fathers about the remark and pause pleadingly for reassurance.
'So, are you pregnant?' he asks, peering.

I go home and survey myself in the guest room mirror. There is a definite billow where my belt buckle is protruding beneath my new top. Only I'm not wearing a belt; the bulge is a spare handful of me.

I suck in my breath and tell my daughter about Sonja and the new school gate father. She studies my midriff appraisingly. 'It's obvious you're not pregnant,' she concludes. 'You're too old.'


  1. Surely anyone who was truly embracing middle age would wear a foundation garment? I think corsets are not currently in vogue, but I've read about something called Spanx.

  2. spanx are great for the middle aged woman with an extra bit in need of some tucking in. However if you have more than an extra bit the spanx just push it all up so that it hangs over the top - NOT ATTRACTIVE........

  3. Ooh - I have something like a Spanx for people with more than a bit extra. It's like a great big pair of elasticated knickers. I can't breathe when I'm wearing it, but it doesn't half make a difference. A woman at Ann Harvey brought it out of the back room when I tried on an evening gown and came out looking all bumpy.

    I'm entirely made up of spare handfuls!

  4. Spanx sounds a bit too naughty for Sunday Mass, but perhaps I should go hell-bent for the body beautiful. Do they do thermal ones?

  5. oooh the little devil! I have that too don't worry.

    BM x

  6. Hello! Thanks so much for your comment over on NurtureStore. I'm so pleased to link up with another school gardening club - hope we can swap ideas :)

  7. Worryingly people ask me if I am pregnant all the time ... my daughter even describes me as my 'plump mummy.' I just breezily say 'No I'm not pregnant, this is just what's left from the last one'.

  8. Oh no and what a cheeky one!! We are obviously on a similar wavelength this month with our wobbly bellies! ;0)


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