While driving to Binland yesterday for another morning of flogging wheelie bins to the businesses of Oxfordshire, there was a man being interviewed on the radio about International Handstand Day, which just happens to be tomorrow (that never came up on my Google calendar. Can't imagine why). As I turned into the car park, I said out loud, 'I used to be able to do a handstand when I was younger', and this set me thinking. What things did I used to be able to do, which I now can't, and why....
So I used to go to an acrobatic class on a Friday after school, and could do a most passable handstand. I could even walk several yards on my hands. Somewhere between primary school and the menopause, I have lost the ability to do either. Mind you, who at 53 wants to be standing upside down, with the stomach and derriere obeying the rules of gravity? I would imagine that even if I could still walk on my hands, I probably wouldn't be able to see where I was going, if you get where I'm coming from. There is also the issue of knickers. At my age, I don't tend to wear a baby blue leotard like the one I wore when I was little, and there's no one (Bridget Jones, take note), I repeat no one, who wants to be privy to what I wear under my skirts (especially on a Monday when I may have overindulged over the weekend and am going for comfort over style).
At the age of 18, I could complete a Rubik's Cube in less than two minutes, along with every other girl in my sixth form. Now? No chance. I can do one side, at which point frustration gets the better of me, and the damn thing gets thrown back to whichever child of mine had it, so that they can complete it in less than two minutes.
Living where we did, this was an obligatory skill, as Miss R and I were always in the woods, making dens and setting fire to stuff. Growing up makes you too careful, so no more fires in the wood (unless it's a specially prepared fire pit at a glamping site). The tree climbing is also out of the question now, because I don't want to ladder my opaque tights nor do I want to show anyone my drawers (see Handstands)
Marmalade, Battenburg cake, Christmas pudding and trifle were all detested as a child. Fast forward fifty years, and if I could have sherry trifle on a permanent drip, that would be perfect. If only this one had happened the other way round. I certainly wouldn't have had to diet for around thirty years of my life, that's for sure.
Yo-yo - used to be good, now useless
Catapult - I did have a very precise aim (took Miss R's front tooth out when she was 8). Now too frightened to pick one up, in case someone sues me.
Colouring Books - I spent hours with my coloured pencils when I was little. I see that colouring books for adults are very fashionable now. You wouldn't catch me with one though, as I never quite perfected that whole 'not going over the lines' thing.
As a kid, I used to love diving off the side of the swimming pool. After a particularly embarrassing attempt at a dive in Spain several years ago, when my bikini bottoms headed south, and my top headed north, I decided that until I went back into a one piece, then diving was on hold. Of course, it didn't help when I surfaced after the dive as I completed it with something similar to a gymnast's finish. Arms stretched out in the air, whilst saying 'Tah-Dah', in quite a loud voice, much to the amusement of the sunbathers around the pool.
I don't know when it all goes wrong - when handstands and yo-yos make way for shopping at Tesco and fat-free yoghurt. But perhaps, while everyone is out this afternoon, I might come home and have a practise at doing a handstand.
How hard can it be......