The price of health

In my youngest days I spent all my money on sweets and comics. In my younger days I spent all my money on booze and music. In my early middle age I spent all my money on theatre tickets and books.

Now, in middle middle age I spend all my money on vitamin supplements and unguents.


In an attempt to stave off widow’s hump, osteoporosis, setting myself on fire with the sheer dryness of my own skin, forgetfulness, melancholia and the scrofulous itch I have to date purchased:

Vitamin E tablets. I have a theory that this will oil my joints. This is not borne out by anything other than my belief that this sounds like it should be true.

Turmeric tablets with added pepper (I know I could eat it in its powder form but am afraid of a) sneezing, b) choking, c) burping up clouds of turmeric all day and d) all of the above.) I take this and think of the cook in Alice, thus giving myself the ear worm ‘Speak roughly to your little boy and beat him when he sneezes.’

Ginkgo Biloba. This was newly purchased today when my friend told me that it helped her mum remember stuff. I saw a ginkgo tree yesterday. I am now wondering whether if I’d nipped over and given it a bit of a lick, I’d have had a better day yesterday. Also, as an aside, the word ginkgo reminds me of a type of lizard. The distant cousin of the gecko, but where the gecko can’t remember its own name, the ginkgo can recite the phone book, backwards.

Omega 3 tablets. I hope this will help oil the joints the the vitamin E tablets don’t reach and also, in the manner of Jeeves, help give me superior brain power. Hopefully the superior brain power will be aided by the Ginkgo Biloba which will help me remember that I have that superior brain power.

Magnesium Citrate tablets. This has something to do with helping me sleep apparently. Not that I seem to need any help on this front. I can’t keep awake, but it stops me worrying that I might wake up, so that’s good. Instead of worrying about being awake I worry about taking the tablets which are so huge they could be hollowed out and used as canoes. Every time I swallow one I feel like a python that’s just swallowed a sheep.

Vitamin D tablets. This is to stop me crumbling like a vampire on the receiving end of Buffy’s Mr. Pointy.

I also have some hypo allergenic shower gel my mum gave me, plus one I bought that a friend recommended. These are rather strange and when I am applying them I am reminded of that bit in the Victoria Wood as Seen on TV sketch where she is the cross channel swimmer and she sits on the pebbles, smearing herself with lard. I did check the ingredients. No lard was involved in the making of these items, but they are lard like. It may be vegan lard.

I have a tube of cream to apply to my ageing skin the name of which I cannot remember (damn you, Ginkgo) but which everyone told me was fab. I alternate this with fractionated coconut oil, which everyone told me was also fab, but which makes me very slithery and which, to me, smells rather like old pennies. I have no idea what the ‘fractionating’ of a coconut entails and am now concerned that somewhere there is a warehouse full of women in hair nets dividing coconuts up into infinitesimal segments for money. I could never do this job. I am hopeless at maths. The coconut also reminds me of a brilliant thing I saw on Moose Allain’s Twitter feed at the weekend where he asked people to send in lies that they had convinced people were true, and a lady said she had convinced her children that coconuts were bear’s eggs.

As an aside, my two favourite convincing lies were a) a woman who said her husband had made her believe a female clown was called a clunt and b) a woman called Ann who had a twin called John, and when they were small she had convinced him that his coat was called a Johnorak because hers was called an Anorak.

Anyway, back to my final product of the list. This I did not buy. This is something Amazon Vine offered me for review, and given my current physical state, I snapped up. Now as a disclaimer, I am not one for beauty products, particularly ones that claim to reverse ageing, help you find the holy grail, turn you into Claudia Schiffer etc. However, times are hard and things are rough and I felt, given that it was free, I should try a small bottle of black liquid which it says has black diamond and retinol in it. I have never seen a black diamond. I suspect it is code for ‘coal’. I have no idea what retinol is. I wonder if it is elderly people’s eyes all ground up. I know not. Anyway, if you’re not getting it for free  it is normally twenty million guineas an ounce, and I would never, ever, ever buy it, so I thought I should try it and see what all the fuss was about.

Well, so far, and I’ve only used it twice, the fuss is about absolutely nothing.

The instructions are alarming. They say to only use it three times a week and to work up to using it daily if necessary. I have used it twice to no avail.

It says that I must only use a pea sized amount per time. This is very irritating as it is a liquid which is dispensed through a dropper, so I have used more of a pea soup sized dribble, which may or may not be one of the reasons why after two goes I am not experiencing miracles.

It says that I must not, under any circumstances get it near my eyes, my lips or sensitive skin areas. This means I am basically reduced to dabbing it near my jowls. It would at this rate be hard to see any improvement whatsoever given that you basically wave it over a millimetre of skin once a month under a full moon. Although at the rate of use it does explain why only Rupert Murdoch could actually afford to buy it more than once. The one bottle will last you about forty years, so if you spread the cost out, it’s quite reasonable, all things considered.

It claims however that it will ‘resurface’ my skin.

Is it me or is the term ‘resurface’ in relation to the word ‘skin’ quite a poor choice? Roads get resurfaced. Playgrounds get resurfaced. Skin, hopefully, does not need resurfacing. Mine may be dry but it isn’t full of pot holes and bus lanes.

Anyway. I am being very diligent, beavering away at the coal face of health. I am rattling with pills, oozing along with all my oils and creams, and spending so much time resurfacing myself it’s a wonder I have time left to lock myself in the downstairs loo and cry at the sad bits of my book.

Never fear though, despite my zeal, the old me is reasserting itself against all the health by eating Bourbon creams and drinking too much coffee. I’m not going down without a fight.

17 responses to “The price of health

  1. I meant to write something really funny. ………………………..No. totally gone. 😂😂😂

  2. It’s Ginkgo, not Gingko. I know, it doesn’t really matter. And it’s the least of your worries. But, still…

  3. Are you taking Vitamin D? That is still all the rage here in the USA. I’ve been taking it since I had my levels tested and they were so low that the the nurse asked me if I was a vampire.

  4. Retinol A is another name for vitamin A. It helps skin get a bit more bounce as it were. However it does stop spf from working so onlu apply at night.

  5. You said that you lock yourself in the loo and I wondered why – then I recalled that I used to do the same when I had a child.
    Be well m’dear, I am not convinced that supplements give one what one needs. As for Omega 3 eat Salmon and Herring and Sardines and such like.

    • Even the cat breaks in if you don’t barricade the doors. I try to eat healthily too, and am reasonably sceptical of supplements but feel the need to be ‘doing’ something. xx

  6. Retinol is usually a prescribed medicine but can be in creams. Actually has good evidence re acne/anti aging. But will dry skin out until skin gets used to it. Also you should use spf cream and avoid sun when using it. Hxx

  7. Oh Katy – I’m glad you haven’t forgotten how to write 😀

  8. I am going through a phase of feeling exhausted by everything, probably due to the prodigious amount of phlegm my body is producing leaving no energy left for anything else. Consequently the list of supplements etc you are taking made me very tired just reading it! I am living off antihistamine and gin at the moment and mostly eating crisps, although I do manage a few biscuits and cakes as well – variety is the spice of life as you know. Speaking of spice, I have heard very good things about Turmeric and keep meaning to try it. I would ask if you feel it is helping but I suspect it will be impossible to tell which, if any, of these remedies are doing anything 😀
    Re the itching I find that taking showers (particularly if you live in a hard water area) makes it much worse. The water here is so full of chemicals it smells like the swimming baths when you run the tap and something about it bouncing off my skin sends it crazy. The last time I tried was after my brother bought me a shower head that claimed to soften the water, despite slathering myself in so much Aveeno (see I remembered!) and coconut oil that getting dressed was almost impossible, I was still doing my own version of the St Vitus dance for hours after.

  9. …still laughing xx

  10. do I detect a smithering of humour returning? much more beneficial than pills and potions! xxx

  11. Well done on your new health regime, and may you last much longer than I’ve been able to do in attempting the same thing 🙂

    I now have a large underbed container full of half-full plastic jars of all the various vitamin, mineral, or whatever-is-called-healthy-at-the-time, junk – I’m aiming to have it found after my death (at a grand old age, naturally), and for the coroner to decide I’d lived well surviving on it all! Lol

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