Today, I did something stupid. Not as stupid as some of the things I’ve done. Not call-a-Doctor-she’s-lost-her-mind stupid. And not massive flamingo on a beach kind of stupid. Just mildly stupid.
If this is your first time here, let me quickly explain that I do stupid things a lot. I’m an ‘act first think later’ kinda gal. If this isn’t your first time here, you’ll be well used to the errors of my ways.
So. What did I do this time? Well, it’s all the fault of Bodyform.
Bodyform made me do it
Well, it all started off with the unscheduled arrival of Aunt Flo. Normally, I am completely depleted of all energy and not very fun to be around. But recent events have put life into perspective, and I decided I wasn’t going to be ‘depleted moody Mum’ this month.
I decided to be a ‘Bodyform advert person’ this month.
If you don’t know what a ‘Bodyform advert person’ is, where have you been? Did you never watch telly in the ‘90’s? Have you never found yourself screeching out : “Wooooah Bodyform!! Bodyform for yooouuu!!”
No? Just me? Ok. Well, the ladies in the Bodyform adverts are always doing super exciting things. Like wearing tiny white shorts and climbing into cars, even though they’re on their period. Or going sky diving because they feel that secure. What about the one where a woman in very short shorts climbs up a building to interrupt a welder busy working, just so he can take the roof off her car? Watch it on YouTube here
These adverts were kind of legendary in the ‘90’s. The idea behind them being, that your life doesn’t have to stop just because you’re on your period. But they were a little over the top. I mean, I don’t know any woman who randomly flings herself out of a plane for fun on any day. Let alone a period day. But clearly the advertising worked, because I still sing the little jingle in my head every time I buy a Bodyform product.
I’m going to be a Bodyform girl
Anyway. So I decided that I’d be a Bodyform girl today. And go and do something a little over the top (for me) because I can.
So I bundled the girls and the dog into the car, and we set off for the highest hill near us to do some exploring.
We visited Cissbury Ring in Worthing, West Sussex.
The last time I walked up this particular hill, I was 15 years old, fit, healthy and in the Scouts. And it was dark. We were doing some kind of night hike I think. I practically ran up the hill, wearing a heavy rucksack, with my torch in one hand, and boyfriend’s hand in my other hand. Desperate to get to the top first so we could do a bit of lovely teenage snogging before the leaders appeared and told us off.
The fact that this was 22 fucking years ago didn’t bother entering my psyche. Well. Until we’d been walking for about 9 minutes and my lungs were screaming in pain almost as loud as my hips were.
No bother. I was being a Bodyform lady, so I had to keep going. Osteoarthritis could go to hell. I was going to have fun.
Also, Emily, Ruby and Snowy were charging up that hill faster than I would have liked so I had to keep up.
Is this actually a good idea?
So far in 2020, we’ve had approximately 117 ‘storms’. Which is a very British and slightly over dramatic way of saying it’s been raining. A lot. But it wasn’t raining today. So I thought. As we approached the first proper incline, I suddenly remembered that it had been raining really fucking hard during the night. Which explained why we were essentially walking through a swamp.
This doesn’t matter if you’re 10, 8 or a 5 month old puppy. They are agile, and not frightened of putting their back out from slipping on mud. Unlike me. The now slightly apprehensive Bodyform lady.
Not only am I an ‘act first, think later’ kinda gal, I’m also stubborn, and refuse to give up on something I’ve decided to do. So we carried on climbing up the hill that was a lot steeper than I remembered it being. Do hills grow?? Is that possible?
For the ‘gram
Thankfully, I have children who are distracted by the slightest thing (or dog) that they walk past. So I had lots of opportunity for stopping to
catch my breath look at the views.
Eventually, we made it to the top of the hill, and I was feeling pretty impressed with myself. So I decided to milk my achievement by making everyone walk around the top of the hill. You know, for Instagram.
Then I remembered that there were wild ponies living where we were, which suddenly made everything much more fun. The dog seemed pretty interested in the heaps of pony shit everywhere, so we decided to see if she could find them using her nose.
Of course she couldn’t. She’s a Jackapoo, not a bloodhound. But she did find lots more massive heaps of shit, much to Emily’s delight. (Any excuse to be able to shout POO at the top of her voice.)
Ruby noticed that there were lots of horseshoe marks on the ground, so we thought we’d follow them and see what we found.
Of course, this caused a huge row between the girls because the horseshoe marks were all over the place going in different directions. Emily wanted to go one way, Ruby wanted to go the other way. And whilst they were standing there arguing, all I could think to myself was that the Bodyform advert women didn’t have this problem. They could just seize the day without arguing with smaller versions of themselves. No wonder they looked so happy.
Ruby won the argument, like she always does, because Emily tends to get bored after a while. So we followed the horseshoe marks in Ruby’s direction for about an hour, where we came to this almost impassable bit of land. We basically had to clamber around a huge tree, it’s massive jutting roots and the biggest sloppiest patch of mud I’ve ever seen in my life. Whilst also holding on to the dog pulling against her lead, and making sure none of us fell down the ditches to either side of us.
Bloody Bodyform ladies didn’t have to do this bit either.
We managed to get through it, and were faced with a really steep slope to get back up to the main pathway. It was also very muddy. Unlike the proper paths, which had a kind of chalky/flintstone makeup to them, this was just mud. And the odd bit of grass.
Ruby climbed up no bother. Emily decided she needed to have a pee in a bush, so I started climbing up. If you can call it that. It was more like struggling to get my footing on a steep slippery slope whilst being dragged up it by an overexcitable Jackapoo. And cursing the Bodyform women for making everything look so easy.
I was almost at the top, when I started sliding back down again. Now, I don’t know whether it was because my wellies were caked in so much mud that the grip was non-existent, or what, but once I started sliding, I couldn’t stop. In my panic, I let go of the dog’s lead so I could use both hands to grip onto the mud. To no avail. I literally slid all the way back down the slope landing on a startled Emily pulling her leggings back up.
Ruby was absolutely hysterical. She literally couldn’t stop laughing. And I don’t blame her really.
It’s not often you see a Hippo sliding down a mud-slope into a half naked 10 year old.
I tried again. Three times. And each time I slid down faster than before. Somehow I had made the mud even muddier. Which is not a superpower I’ve ever wanted.
On the fourth attempt, Emily was pushing me up from behind, I was on my hands and knees trying to drag myself up, and Ruby was lying on the floor struggling to breathe from laughing so hard.
Meanwhile, the dog was running around chasing the lead that was still attached to her harness, like a little white furry tornado.
Eventually, I made it to the top. Covered in mud. My wellies, jeans (front & back), coat, hands and my face were caked in it. But the girls were laughing so hard. Particularly Ruby who had tears streaming down her face, that I couldn’t even be annoyed. I just sat down in the mud and joined in with them. It did feel good to laugh. It’ll be a memory that will stay with them for years if nothing else.
As will the memory of Emily deciding to give herself a mud-facial.
I don’t want to be a Bodyform lady anymore 🙁
At this point, I decided that I didn’t want to be a Bodyform lady anymore. I just wanted to be in the warm, in clean clothes with WiFi again.
So we set off back towards the car park.
It was then that I realised how far we had walked. And how far we had to walk back again. Even though most of it was going to be downhill, I was a little bit worried about slipping down again. Damn you old age!! It was alright for the girls, their preferred way of walking downhill is to roll downhill. But given how sore my body already was feeling, I didn’t fancy adding bruises to the tally.
The ponies though
Just as I was feeling like this was the worst idea I’d ever had, we walked over the top of a little hill, and there, right before us was the pack of wild ponies.
It was like seeing a mirage in a desert. It was the most beautiful sight. We just stood and watched them grazing for ages, in perfect silence. Even the dog sat down and stared at them.
It was all worth it. For the laughter, for the memories and for seeing the ponies.
It’s true what they say. Mud washes off, but the memories last a lifetime.
As does the memory of the Bodyform adverts. And the bloody jingle. But I think next month, we’ll do something a little less strenuous. Something that won’t have my body screaming in pain for hours afterwards. Something less muddy and more within my middle-aged comfort zone. Like maybe sitting on my arse eating chocolate and watching Netflix.