2013: The Year of Improved Upper-Arm Circulation

“You’ll grow into it”, my mum would say with a slightly forced chirpiness as she pressed the jumper she’d just finished making against my back. I could feel her eyeballing the (mis)fit of it, pulling and hauling at the shoulders and underarms while she assessed just how too big it was. “Put it on.  Let me see”. On the jumper would go, over my clothes or jammies – or whatever I happened to be wearing at the time. Tugging roughly at the bunched up cuffs and baggy waistband, it seemed a fair amount of growing was necessary before I’d be wearing my new jumper. Sometimes she’d started knitting with the intention of giving the jumper to one of my sisters but then change her mind for some reason mid-process. More often than not, the clothes my mother knit for me fit perfectly but of course, like all little girls (and I suspect, quite a lot of big girls too), the ones I couldn’t get my hands on right away were the ones I wanted most.

When I was little I spent a whole heap of my time waiting impatiently to ‘grow into’ things – my big sisters’ clothes, mainly – but also (in slightly different ways, I guess) boys, certificate 15 movies, Campari soda and make-up – gigs, pubs and nightclubs. Funnel neck corduroy jackets, rara skirts, seersucker peg leg trousers, crop tops, Pineapple slouch-wear, lace leggings, bras and lycra mini-dresses… All allowed in the dressing up box – but forbidden outdoors.  Or in company.

It’s funny.  I spent the first fifteen or sixteen years of my life growing into things – and I’ve spent the last fifteen or sixteen growing out of them.  As part of my monster list of 2013 resolutions, I have made a promise to myself.  A promise to stop buying/hoarding items of clothing that are too wee with the intention of miraculously shrinking into them.

I may not have begun to address many of my resolutions (I haven’t joined trampolining club, I haven’t bought a flask, I haven’t hung my wallplanner – or created my special post-it note wall, I’ve yet to attend swing dance class, I still say more negative things than positive things during the course of a day and I haven’t sewn cushion covers – or curtains) but I have started work on this. See?

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Note:  Seams of dress sleeves cut/ripped to accommodate excess upper arm flab/bingo wing. BIN.


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You know what?  I looked pretty fleekin’ hot to trot in this… twelve years ago.  BIN.


That point arrives in every girl’s life when she must admit the days of the denim hipster hot pant are over, regardless of what size her arse is.  I’m guessing for some, it probably arrives long before she’s 33. I’ve been squishing myself into these for 9 years.  I reckon I’ve enjoyed all the good times in these I’m ever gonna.  BIN.

Not only have I vowed to get rid of those items I’m never likely to button up/bend down in again, but that bundle of oversized shirts I planned to synch?  Those skirts I planned to shorten?  Those jumpers I planned to felt then sew into mittens with strings attached to thread through my coat sleeves?  BIN. Bin, bin, bin.  People keep telling me 2013 is set to be an amazing year.  The year when tonnes of good stuff happens.  I can’t say I’m feeling that just yet – but if noubt else, 2013 will be the year of the improved upper arm circulation.

5 thoughts on “2013: The Year of Improved Upper-Arm Circulation”

  1. Sister, I feel your angst….. I have humongous amounts of clothes hoarded all over my house, yet limit myself to only two patterned dresses and three identicle black dresses – yes, they were in the sale, they fitted and I panicked that I would never, ever find another decent dress to squeeze my excess-baggage-butt into – so I bought three of the buggers!. Every other item of clothing in my substantial ‘EU recognised dress mountain’ is either too small (bought with the intention of shrinking my ass), too unflattering (because, you know, ‘new year new you’ – every flippin’ year for the past 15 years!) or just too inappropriate for the school run. Why do we continue to metaphorically punch ourselves in the face with fashion? I suggest we ‘buddy-up’ on future shopping trips to prevent ourselves from slipping – I’ll shout ‘No!’ at you and you can steer me away from the clashing prints and plunging necklines. I await your call x

  2. Very funny Carrie. I should do this too. I’ve put on a few pounds over the last year or so… hazard of working with cakes see, but imagine home confident you could feel knowing everything in the wardrobe is accessible? Even on “I’m feeling chunky days.” That would feel nice.

  3. First of all I would like to say terrific blog!
    I had a quick question which I’d like to ask if you don’t mind.
    I was curious to find out howw you center yourself
    and clear your mind prior to writing. I have had a hard time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts
    out there. Ido take pleasure in writing but it just seems
    like the first 10 to 15 minutes are generally lost just trying
    to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints?

  4. A wise woman once told me, ‘POWER THROUGH’.

    During those, ‘Um… What to write, what to write, what to write…?’ moments begin free writing about something you can see in front of you – an empty drinks can, a pile of unread books, a stack of post-it notes (I promise you will be shocked and surprised about how much you can write about otherwise dull, everyday things!) If that doesn’t work – then maybe write about the fact you can’t think about what to write! The first blog posts I wrote when I first moved to London were about writer’s block and how long it took for the washing machine to wash some socks… True. Not my best blogging moment – but still, it got me writing! Let me know how you get on :)


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