I rather like the expression ‘pear shaped’. It’s not in my tatty old dictionary, but then I’ve never completely trusted this particular tome because it excludes the word ‘feisty’. (The measure of a good dictionary must be the inclusion of ‘feisty’ and it will be the first word I search for when buying a replacement – after the rude ones, of course.) But I’m curious to know when ‘pear shaped’ came into common usage, at least as a way of saying that things have gone awry, rather than describing a particular body type where your jeans are a Size 18 and your blouse a Size 10. (Actually, I think dress sizes should be done by shape as I’m sure it would make life a lot easier for top-heavy or bottom-heavy women, but I have a feeling that if you labelled even the loveliest party frock ‘pear shaped’ it wouldn’t sell too well…)
Anyway, at the moment it feels like my life is wearing a Size 22 skirt, complete with muffin top spilling over the elasticated waistband, and a Size Zero skinny Tee. Things have gone well and truly pear shaped this week.
Of course, it could be a lot worse but, as somebody once memorably announced, “There’s no sore arse like your own sore arse”. And whilst I’m relieved to assure you that I haven’t got a red hot poker up mine at the moment, it’d still be fair to say that my arse is – metaphorically – a little sore. Maybe it’s got so wide that even those Size 22 knickers are cutting in just a bit.
Work contracts and commissions I’d been promised haven’t transpired and I need to start out again. It feels like I’ve spent the last ten years playing a game of Snakes and Ladders, with many rounds of ‘two steps forward, one step back’, but had gradually made progress and seen improvement, and then I went and landed on a snake and slipped right back down the board. The recession, just like that vicious snake, is biting hard…
So it’s time to regroup, as common parlance has it and, for a start, we’re paring back our already frugal existence to cope with these changes - in case you need them too I’ll pass on any tips we discover that might be useful! Hopefully, in time, this pear shape will morph into a nice head of broccoli. But, if nothing else, I'll be eating plenty of greens. (Tip 1: you can buy a whole broccoli for 11p if you shop at my local supermarket on a Friday night...)