Oh, February, how glad I am to see you. Such a fine month for sloughing off the harridan that is January, with its grey chocolates, grey skies, and frankly misguided attachment to hosting the most miserable day of the year. No wonder I have such a spring in my step.

And I do, because it’s already being so bountiful. Not only has Sam Cam (who I cannot not love) won her bit of Sport Relief Bake Off, there is just so much good news to share.

First up, a liberating and joyful revelation. That I have resolved not to dwell further on fashion. Fashion should never be dwelt upon by sentient animals. As with thistledown, dust, cooking aromas, and Kate Moss, it should waft in, waft about a bit, and then waft right on out again.

And yet, and yet. There is a thing called a Paper Bag Waist Trouser (or pant, if you are minded to come over all American about it) which is, apparently, very much ‘on trend’. And yes, I know regular readers will be despairing right now. Because, yes, it’s true. Once a year – perhaps twice, if I’m feeling liverish – I can’t stop myself filling columns that could be filled with important recipes, say, or my thoughts on developments in particle physics, with small explosions of incredulity about the lunacy that is fashion, and the folly that it following it about the place. Though I can’t say I’m sorry.


Anyway, here’s what you need to know about the Paper Bag Waist Trouser. It’s been described as ‘difficult to wear’, ‘tricky’ and – love this one – ‘challenging’. (‘I am a paper bag waist trouser and I DARE you to don me!’) To which duty obliges me to add a translation into English. They mean ‘do not buy’, ‘do not buy’, and ‘do not buy’, respectively. Unless, of course, you aspire to look exactly like you have styled yourself as a person wearing a ‘cinched’ paper bag round their middle, and are five foot thirteen and a size six. (Honestly, it’s not rocket science, is it?)

I see Cardiff has slipped out of the top ten of cites that are happy, lovely, chummy, jolly, fun, exciting, financially appealing, career-enhancing, comfortable, fashionable (God, here we go again) and generally perfect places to work in the UK. Indeed, a recent survey, by some kind of psychological profiling/PR-ish/ ‘supporting your business needs since 1642’/consultancy kind of outfit – FOMO, or OMG, or WTF or something – tells us that it couldn’t get much worse. Apparently people in Cardiff come out bottom (just below Glasgow) in that only 64% of Cardiffians reported being happy, as opposed to a positively euphoric 77% in Norwich. Which make YOU happy, no? Because this is probably an excellent time to start looking for a flat in the Welsh capital. Or, indeed, selling one. Or just cracking right on with your life, as another very important survey will be along shortly.

I could not be more thrilled to learn that I need never go to the gym again. I was never going to go to the gym again anyway, to be fair (and said as much, in a public place, over lunch, just two days ago) because of all the things I’ve spent half my live either a) doing extremely grudgingly, b) not doing, extremely guiltily or c) railing against, usually at parties, as a kind of terrible first-world canker, it has to be the most vile – even above quinoa. So that news that after the first couple of minutes, you might as well go home again and watch Homes Under The Hammer, for all good its doing you, is good news indeed. This is TRUE. Which is why I’ve written it in capitals.

Staying with fitness, According to my Fitbit (other kinds of computerized tyranny are available), last Tuesday I did one million, one hundred and eighty nine thousand, eight hundred and ninety three steps. Which I’ve worked out – since I slept for a portion of last Tuesday (and the Fitbit never lies) – equates to 74,000ish steps an hour, which is 1,200 steps a minute, which is 20 steps per second. Go me!

But the net result? A calorie burn of just 1,734. And if that’s not reason enough to abandon your exercise regime, ladies, I really don’t know what is.

Unless, of course, you aspire to wearing a Paper Bag Waist Trouser. In which case, keep on stepping, with my blessing.

First published in the Western Mail Weekend magazine 6th Feb 2016


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2 thoughts on “On Fitbits, Feeling Happy, and Paper Bags as Trousers. TFI February.

  • Lynne Gill

    Found this on Sue Welfare’s FB post and had a good chuckle. Cannot find anywhere to tick in order to add you to my blogroll, or follow though. Would rather not have notifications in my email if possible. Thanks again for a really entertaining post.

    • lbladmin Post author

      Hi Lynne,

      You know, I don’t have a clue how you’d do that as I am a complete luddite when it comes to such techy website stuff. I shall have to ask my web designer and get back to you! Thanks for reading 🙂