“Only ten minutes to go,” says Laura. “You’re doing brilliantly. If you’re finding it difficult, you can slow down a little.”
You know what, Laura – I really can’t. If I slow down any more, I will be running backwards. If you could really truly see me, you be much more likely to suggest, in the words of the good Doctor, that I get a shift on.
“It’s one thing joining a gym – it’s another actually going.” She was a wise bird, our old GP: retired now, alas. Of my pregnancy with the InfantPhenomenon, she said: “a summer baby, how lovely! You’ll be able to sit in pub gardens.” Not my first thought but she had four children so knew whereof she spake.
“I kept this for you,” says Mrs Jones and hands me a leaflet.
Mrs J it was who greeted news of my diagnosis by telling me that she knew several people with Parkinson’s “and they went on some lovely trips.” A rosy prospect, as you can imagine.
I look at the leaflet. ‘Fit for life,’ it’s called, and is illustrated with a photo of elderly people stretching and smiling. I read the back and laugh.
“What?” says Mrs J.
“‘Produced by Age UK’,” I read. “I’m not sure I’m ready for that.”
Everyone was looking at me as I reached for the nappies. What on earth was I doing here, now? I skulked around the baby wipes, trying to ignore the frowns. Would I need a bottle steriliser? The NCT lady said no, but my cousin, Young Bessie, had said yes and she is a woman of infinite resource and sagacity. I tried to ignore them all tutting as I picked up the Milton, but I could smell the disapproval.