Is the menopause the reverse of teenagehood? Just call me Jemima Button…

Bodily weirdness and mental peculiarity

I am a big fan of the short story (and not-so-short film), ‘The Curious Case of Benjamin Button‘. The idea of a life in reverse is an intriguing one but, now in my fifties, I am beginning to wonder whether the menopause is an example of exactly that. Here’s my hypothesis: The menopause is teenagehood in reverse (imagine the outcry though, if the NHS published an article entitled, ‘Coping with your menopausal woman’!) It makes a kind of random, non-scientific sense. During the puberty-led teenage years we experience bodily weirdness and mental peculiarity as our adult hormones establish themselves, during the menopause we experience corresponding bodily weirdness and mental peculiarity as our adult hormones diminish. We also make random decisions to do rather odd things. Can the situation really be that simple, and is it possible that I am turning into Jemima Button, and now working my way backwards? I did a bit of research to find out.

Mamma Mia, here my hormones go again…

Oestrogen imbalances play a major part in both the puberty and menopause dramas (as well as the months in between) with progesterone having a strong voice in the possibly Greek chorus. During both life phases it is the fluctuations of these (and other) hormones that cause unpleasant symptoms (including tiredness and difficulties with concentration).

That’s 9% of my life!

It would appear that we women don’t get much time off from the mystical hormone dance. Puberty in girls can begin as early as eight years old and go on for around four years, which balances nicely (or not so nicely) with the four years it usually takes to get through the menopause. By my reckoning (and forgetting all the hormonal moments in between) that’s eight years in total of significant hormonal changes. With a life expectancy of 89 years, that’s a significant 9% of my life.

Hormones can change the world!

What do you imagine when you hear the word teenager? Unexpected stropping, general confusion, resistance to authority and a tendency towards depression? Well, to my mind, that sounds a bit like my current description of my 52 year-old self. I have however worked with lots of teenagers and am a big fan. Teenagers say what they want to say, are creative and exciting in their thoughts and don’t stand any nonsense. As the world is currently discovering, teenagers can be a great force for change. Wouldn’t it be great if we started saying the same thing about menopausal women!


Awesomesauce… We have the best of January’s new Oxford English Dictionary words

OED additions January 2020

I don’t want to risk OED mentionitis (the over mentioning of something to which one is attracted) but the latest list of additions to the Oxford English Dictionary has got me a bit broigus (irritated). All this futzing (messing about) with the language can be hard for us writers to keep up with, and how on earth am I supposed to get danfo (a yellow minibus from Lagos) into my freelance copywriting?

Macaroons and macarons

However, I am not entirely awedde (overcome with anger). We can all finally relax and watch Bake Off without getting confused between our macaroons and our macarons (meringue-like biscuits). We can also create our own bespoke beverages because tea-bag (to put your own herbs into a tea-making sachet) has at last ventured beyond the urban dictionary (entirely different and unsuitable meaning) and is now a respectable, middle class verb. I am pleased to note that chicken soup and chicken noodle soup, both of which I have been making for years are now official (goodness only knows what they were called before) but I refuse to describe any food, apart from chicken, as tasting chickeny (although come to think of it, we do have beefy, porky and turkey).

Cucamelons for tea

Regarding my hobbies. I am particularly pleased to find cucamelon (something I would like to grow this year) in the January 2020 OED additions.  I am not sure I will be investing in a couscoussier (steamer for cous cous) for the campervan but may adopt the preposition a-eastell (actually related to Nigerian politics) to add a little pep to my navigation courses.

New words and lots of rain

So far 2020 has brought us some interesting new words and lots of rain. I am hoping this latter isn’t an example of cyclonic bombogenesis (a dramatic fall in pressure) but I don’t have a barometer to check.

OED word fun

If you want to have your own word fun with the new Oxford English Dictionary lists, you can find them here. I will leave you now to work out for yourself whether or not you have a noonie


October at the Oxford English Dictionary… new words please!

How to manage a general erection

Happy erection day. If you are feeling at all anxious about where to go with your erection, how to deal with erection tension or how to handle your erection decisions, we have some last-minute advice for you.

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Black Friday: Fan or foe?

You have to feel sorry for Black Friday… He isn’t currently getting much encouragement. From boycott-threatening social media posts to Which’s announcement that Black Friday bargains aren’t all they claim to be, I wouldn’t be surprised if we saw a rebranding for 2020. Perhaps Sangria Saturday or Seafoam Sunday (I really must stop reading paint charts).

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