January is a bleak month for those of us residing in Northern Europe. It’s chilly, the days are diminutive, and we crave the onset of the light and energy delivered by Spring. Following the excited delights of the pre-Christmas credit card binge that is ‘Black Friday and Cyber Monday’, January brings us ‘Blue Monday’, rumoured to be the most depressing day of the year.
January in the North, a bleak etching I created in 2009
It’s not all blue though. January often gives us an opportunity to make personal changes. We are more likely to ditch an overly stressful job, rethink our personal goals or make good on our seasonal gluttony and get healthy. Although I didn’t make a list of New Year resolutions (I’d inevitably break them), I definitely feel a positive force for change.
With this in mind, I’m shedding some flab.
I’m not obese, just a bit podgy. An auf wiedersehen to half a stone would set me free to wear my favourite ‘brilliant arse’ jeans that lie forlornly at the bottom of my thin clothes drawer. It wasn’t really Christmas that piled on the pounds, more the proximity of a work canteen that sells fabulous sausage rolls and the forgiving nature of winter clothing. It just crept on.
My diet is not strict, I’m simply cutting down on the usual adversaries; booze, sugar, cheese and the occasional foray into pies. Vaguely based on Slimming World but without the culinary dreadfulness that is 1 calorie cooking spray and Quark.
I took a jaunt to the January sales and purposefully left tight fitting clothes well alone, I’d already dropped a couple of pounds and was excited at the prospect of delving into my thin clothes drawer in the near future, no point buying new ones. However, in the sale I found an ideal motivator. Nestling amongst the Estee Lauder counter’s sale shelf was a discounted purse spray of Private Collection Tuberose Gardenia. I bought it, took it home, and promptly decorated the package with a chastising post-it note. I will not unwrap and spray the perfume until I get half way through the diet. It will be freed from it’s bondage when the scales display 10 stone 6. As I write this, I’m 1 pound away. Tomorrow might be the day.
Ironically, Tuberose Gardenia is a fulsome fatty scent, the fragrance equivalent of one of those delicious custard pastries that accompany your Espresso in a Parisian café. A Gardenia petal is firm and waxy to the touch, clustered tightly in a heavy globe, there’s no frailness here. It’s a voluptuous flower. Tuberose is often likened to the scent of bacon fat, as rancid and corpulent as it is beautiful. In Tuberose Gardenia, the Lauder labs have synthesised the concept of gargantuan white flower decadence. If it were a woman, she would not be thin.
The Gardenia flower
10 stone 6 will mark the occasion of the first ‘well done you’ spray. From that point it will be consigned to the fabulous arse/thin clothes drawer. It won’t be properly allowed out until those jeans fit. By this I mean that I can actually sit down in them without the zip bursting or instigating the onset of bleeding from my kidneys.
By then it will be spring. And I’ll burst into fragrant flower as the narcissus in my garden open their faces to greet the sun.