I am 45 years old in two weeks and cannot believe it. I don’t care if the new 60 is the old 40, I don’t want to be 45. I don’t want to have failing eyesight and a turkey dewlap under my chin. I don’t want to walk like I pooped myself for the first few strides after getting up from the chair and I definitely don’t want all this sagging……..everywhere. I feel old and frumpy and covered in inappropriate and rampant pubic hair. I mean WTF?!!!! I want pert and perky, tight and taut, even the words are jaunty and upbeat and wannabee. They speak of lots of earnest bobbing about and a seemingly endless future. Instead I feel ready to slip into a pair of camel crimpolene slacks with a fabulous elasticated waist. I know I need to bitch slap myself but I am as tired as a 45 year old perimenopausal has-been. I am truly at a proverbial fork in the road, do I dig deep and rally or do I keel over all the way to Country Casuals and the Edinburgh Woollen Mill? It all looks so jolly comfy. Middle age is such a bitch. I hold my hands up to ignoring my gradual decline into History Teacher Looky Likey but I set fire to the rain whilst ramming a doughnut and some chips into my face if I’m to be honest and I think I should. I feel like I’m among friends. So I need a plan of monumental action. A plan with the power of an old TV AM makeover and a gastric band. I need a pixie haircut, fillers and a waist. I need a bra that is up to the job of defying gravity without resembling a pair of braces and a new wardrobe that says simple yet still suitable for an impromptu weekend in Paris (in theory alone). I need an excercise program to rival that of Beth Tweddle’s in order to overhaul my thighs and lift my curiously flat ass. It would be lovely to get my bunions done too but one step at a time…….In short I need to make some significant changes and I’m still not feeling it. Am I lost in a middle aged frumpy fugue unable to find my old self or define a new one ……….a midlife crisis now that I am no longer in the maternal spotlight, or is it as I suspect, just that I simply cannot be bothered, cannot be arsed to put in all that boring hard work? It was exactly the same with school. I’m Short term Sue, Manyana Melanie, Later Lesley. Having to get off my arse and apply myself to something that bores me cross eyed fills me with serious teenage attitude and yet I must if I am to stave off full frumpy, forty fatness, a slow and debilitating condition that few ever return from. I must find a way forward that brings me back from the brink, allows me a new lease of perimenopausal glamour and gives me a last Hurrah Daaarling, even if it is with the help of a Tena Lady or three.
So I have begun walking this week with my slim, young, Amazonian long legged friend. I figure I must look like a weeble walking furiously beside her in my too tight coat and inadequate foot wear. She is colour coordinated and calm. How long I will remain her fat friend remains to be seen but I am hoping that this is the beginning of the end.
To reward myself for all the frantic shuffling this week I cooked this stunner of simplicity. It is easily the easiest and the most crazily delicious.I make it mostly as a bish bash bosh Hangover Sunday Lunch.You Roast the Chicken halfway and then throw in the veg and just plonk the whole lot with a good sprinkle of salt on some tagliatelli. The outstanding result belies the minimal method. The only proviso I make is that you use a quality Chicken. Serves 4 comfortably.
- 1 Quality Chicken Organic if poss.
- 3 Peppers sliced into 6
- 1 large onion sliced into large chunks, I slice them like orange segments
- 3 medium size carrots cut into chunky batons
- 2 large teaspoons of Tapenade
- 60 ml of olive oil.
- Seasalt such as Maldon
- 500g of fresh pasta.You can use dried but the packets of fresh from the supermarkets are better.
- Preheat the oven to 180 C, cover the Chicken with a glug of oil and a good sprinkling of salt and pepper.Cook for half the recommended cooking time.
- Put all the veg into a bowl and pour over remaining oil and three large pinches of sea salt.Mix in the tapenade.
- When the chicken is halfway through it’s cooking time then tumble in the soused vegetables and put back in the oven.
- Remove the tray from the oven and take out the Chicken making sure you tip all the juices out from it’s cavity (horrible word whichever way you turn it) and leave it to rest covered with foil and a tea towel for half an hour.
- Keep the veg and juices warm in a low oven.
- When just about cool enough strip the chicken in any way you fancy.I use my fingers savagely.
- Prepare the pasta according to the packet instructions and throw into the tray of roasted veg and divine Chicken juices, mix well.Taste for seasoning and then serve in pasta bowls with the Roast Chicken piled on top.
- Apply to jowls.