Pure Purgatory …!

Many (many) moons ago in the freezing cold winters at school, we were told that if we sat on the hot radiators, we would get piles. We were also told we would get them if we sat around doing nothing.

As far as I know, none of us ever did succumb to this supposed fate worse than death, but I don’t think we knew what they were anyway. I wonder we didn’t smell a rat, but Google was not around in those days to either dispel or confirm these rumours and the library didn’t have any radiators at all, so it was unlikely we would have ventured in there.

But old habits die hard. I still loathe being cold and can’t sit still for very long, particularly when the football is on or during long films with subtitles. This has been noted by the Colonel who gives a little twitch of his nose and an audible sigh when I get fidgety and he yelps when in bed I put my cold feet between his thighs … please note, it’s absolutely the best place to warm them, but you might be met with resistance.

Our apartment thankfully is warm however. It has also been cleaned within an inch of its life which as I’ve said before is like therapy for me … it also keeps me active. But there’s only so much cleaning one can do. So, I’ve started doing a little yoga on the sitting room floor which reminded me of a post I did a long time ago …


Today I enrolled in my first yoga session. Dear God. I’ve just become one of the yummy mummies, but by walking into the mirror-clad room, not so yummy I notice. Quite what happens after two children and hitting forty I really don’t know but frankly everything seems to have dropped further south than The Cape of Good Hope since I last put on my gym kit. Soon I’m going to be needing some sort of a bra-like contraption to lift my buttocks off my calves …. particularly in comparison to our yoga teacher.

To age this woman is nigh on impossible. She’s all long bouncy hair and hoopy earrings and wears what appears to be a leatherette thong over her leotard.

I feel a little over-dressed and overwhelmed. I’m also rather glad that I’ve not brought the the Colonel with me for moral support. He’d be both sniggering and drooling simultaneously. I also hope we don’t have to listen to whale music and trickling water. Oh. Yes, we clearly we do.

Her body flexes and bends in ways that bodies frankly shouldn’t and yet watching her catlike grace and elegance as she fluidly moves from one position to another is quite mesmerising. Everyone is concentrating and silence reigns apart from the the whale music and trickling water which now has some African drums added to it. The water is making me need the loo and the more I think about it the more I need it.

“Focus your mind” she says soothingly, elongating the word mind as her buttocks point to the ceiling.

I’m trying to think about what I’m going to cook for supper rather than the loo.

“Find your inner wisdom” she purrs. Inner bloody wisdom – it’s all I can do to clench my buttocks to prevent an involuntary escape of air from my bottom.

She’s moving around the room, adjusting everyones legs and arms. She’s coming to me …. oh right … not so gentle and calm now is she, as she pulls my arm higher towards the ceiling and my hip further out – my balance is going … I clutch at her leg. Her hoopy earrings have now attached themselves to my hair and it takes a few seconds to restore order with my muttering apologies snappishly hushed. Finally, having been red-faced for the remainder of the class, I leave the purgatory sharpish, desperate to escape, never to return.

But then again, I do feel rather nicely stretched out and there’s a class later in the week with someone called George. Perhaps I might give his class a go instead.


Keep busy and happy!


67 thoughts on “Pure Purgatory …!”

    1. George’s class was great although I discovered that I was better at other forms of exercise and yoga I should probably do in the privacy of my own home! Having said that, my lovely neighbour friend did classes which she kindly let me join and that was perfect … I didn’t feel like an idiot then and she was brilliant. Xx

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oooh it really is and it sort of stretches out everything that’s tight and in truth does really relax me when I stop overthinking it. My husband gave it a go and he’s as stiff as a board, but found it fantastic. We now need to find a good class here in New York although I’ve heard something about ‘Barre’ which sounds a bit like ballet so might look into that as well! Although I can’t imagine he’d do that. I definitely need to do something to stop my body from seizing up! Do give it a go if you can bear it … my first experience was faintly harrowing but in a funny sort of way (!) but once I got into it, it was wonderful!


  1. Your post made me smile and your description of the class is exquisite! I have ‘never got on’ (or maybe it’s the other way round!) with yoga, although I love Pilates. Apparently, Adrienne has some on-line yoga classes for beginners which are reputed to be excellent. Maybe I’ll try one… What I do love is dancing. My Zumba teacher is running some Zoom classes which work well for me. I’ve also found some on-line Salsa classes that I could do with OH…Watch this space and take care x

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Oh golly that sounds really good! And, learning something new is lovely, particularly if it can be done online. Do let me know how it goes, it certainly sounds great. My co-ordination isn’t great but am willing to to try! Keep me posted! X

      Liked by 1 person

    1. No definitely not!! Sorry perhaps I wasn’t clear … I’ve been doing yoga stretches in the sitting room, but this reminded me of a time that I did it for the first time when I was living Scotland … It didn’t put me off though and now I love that feeling particularly of stretching out my back. I find I get very tight across my shoulders. But you’re right, everything is completely shut up here in Manhattan … but the sun is shining and it’s a beautiful day 😊. Do hope you’re keeping well? Katie

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m not much of a yoga bunny though happy to practice it gently at home. Several years ago, my eldest daughter descended for a weekend and decided what I needed was a Bikram class. We went along to one in Oxford first thing on a frosty November morning. At the end of the almost 2 hours of this purgatory not only was I within an inch of my life but several others had been felled when I toppled over from whatever pose I was supposed to be holding. Daughter, impervious to the havoc, so absorbed was she in her karmic state, tried to buy me a course of 12 … the look on the teacher’s face was priceless as I beat a beetroot faced retreat dragging daughter with me! Loved this …. just what I needed this fine morning xx

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    1. Ha!!! That’s brilliant! How funny that you were in Oxford … I lived in a little village called Warborough which is only 15 minutes south of Oxford for about 12 years! We would go to the shops there all the time. I don’t know when you were last there, but The Westgate Centre has now been totally renovated! My youngest who is at uni there showed me round the last time I went to visit him. It’s amazing!! I don’t know exactly what Bikram is so shall have to google it! Will have a look xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      1. At that point I lived in Little Haseley near Thame but I have lived all over Oxfordshire (and Oxford itself) over the years. I was in Streatley for a long time and know Warborough well … it is gorgeous. The last time I was in Oxford I was having to be very serious at a gowned dinner at The Queens …. which college is your son at? I love Oxford and refuse to believe there is a more beautiful city on earth!!

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      2. Oxford is absolutely gorgeous! We lived just outside Goring and Streatley for a while too (in a tiny Hamlet called Aldworth which has the most brilliant pub … I loved it up there at the top of the hill), you could see for thirty miles all around … beautiful walks but got pretty cold!

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      3. The Bell! Their filled rolls were legendary. I’ll bet we’ve stood in the same tiny space more than once and never knew it. We had the cheese shop in Streatley (Wells Stores) but it didn’t make it through the early 90s recession. We supplied The Bell with their cheddar and stilton and when they felt like being exotic, brie too for those crusty delights! Xx

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      4. You know the Bell!! That was our local …. We lived just beyond there and it was wonderful! My son worked there in the holidays and yes, their rolls were HEAVENLY!! Also the sponge puddings with golden syrup and cream …. oh my goodness! The cheese shop was my idea of all the best things in life. I loved it. It’s funny, at the time I remember thinking it was quite expensive, now, having been living here well, it’s positively a bargain! It’s so expensive to buy cheese in New York so I’m missing it hugely. In truth my favourite meals are baguette, cheese and ham and one of those quince jelly things that go so well with cheese … and perhaps a glass of wine. Yup … heaven! Xx

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      5. Oh no! I’d forgotten the syrup sponge. Now I’m literally drooling in a most unflattering way!!! What a wonderful place to work in the hols for your son. It really is the most idyllic place and Aldworth is such a lovely village. Those views …. The shop was not cheap but boy does it hit you in the face here when you go food shopping. I guess the exchange rate is not, exactly cooperative at the moment but all the same … I do buy cheese but in tiny quantities which we then eek out over the week so no crusty baguette with a hunk of cheese here. Your ideal lunch pretty much does it for me (definitely including the wine ….) xx

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      6. Absolutely … this is perhaps why France is always so appealing! But yes, that syrup sponge was gorgeous. I’m guessing that we can buy golden syrup out here? I do hope so, as that might be a bit of a treat if I could work out a recipe! Xx

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      7. In our local grocery store they sell it in the Irish section. Rather bizarrely any British treats which include Heinz beans, Bounty bars and golden syrup amongst them are sold as Irish. I’m sure you will find it somewhere there too. But be prepared to take out a mortgage …. xx

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I’ll have a look on our next shopping session. There’s a Morton Williams on 57th I think, which I don’t tend to go to as it’s really expensive, but they have different sections by country … that’s a great idea. Thanks. But yes, you’re right it’s all pretty pricey … a can of baked beans is $3.79 !! Outrageous! We’ve only had them once since we’ve been here … I shall never complain about U.K. prices again.

        Liked by 1 person

      9. Well when we meet I’ll bring you Beans …. we get them at $2.49 which is still outrageous but achievable. Whenever I go back to Britain I chunter on about how grateful everyone should be for the inexpensive food bills. France is also much pricier and here it’s eye-watering! Xx

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      1. It was when my ‘tree’ pose turned into ‘melted felled tree’ that I really felt it wasn’t for me. However, I have been tempted to try it again. I felt absolutely incredible afterwards. I do hope you are OK in NYC. You are in my thoughts daily. Take the best care and lots of love from me up the coast xx

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Ha! I’m potty about dogs and love the good news about Ezra. Up until about 2 years ago we had a golden retriever who was heaven on four (very fluffy and often muddy) paws. We miss her dearly. Whilst we’re on a posting here in a Manhattan apartment, we can’t have a dog although it’s surprising how many people do. However …. I’ve taken to dog-sitting a tiny Pomeranian puppy who lives in the building. She’s just a ball of fluff and as mad as a box of frogs. I’ve never been around small dogs as we’ve always had larger breeds, but I must confess, she’s cute, funny and stops me missing not having a dog any more. Enough rambling! Loving your site! Katie


  3. Brilliant — that was so funny Katie. We lived in freezing cold houses until I was around 11 and I promised myself — I’d have my heating on full blast and loads of hot water whenever I wanted. Ha, now in my fifties I feel I’m getting more like mum — I have the heating on and all the windows open. It’s like a game of draughts (pardon the pun) in our house because hubby goes round behind me closing all the windows. And when he’s not looking, I open them again. This goes on all day and night.

    As youngsters, my sons used to love my tales – when we had to sit/lie on the floor to get warm (underfloor heating) and then we had to move from one cheek to another as it was getting too hot. And that I’d ask mum ‘where’s my school socks?’ and she’d shout back ‘they’re on the floor where they always are.’ That’s how we dried stuff in a hurry.

    Looking forward to reading more of your blog. Caz x

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We too lived in a freezing house … no central heating that I can remember. My mother would bring in a little fan heater when she woke me up and I’d go and sit in front of it in my nightie. It was lovely but made my thighs go red and blotchy! Isn’t it funny the things we remember! Katie x

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I type away like fury and then wonder if other people think in the same way as I do or if I’m just a little bit unhinged! I’ve come to the conclusion that I am indeed a little odd, but if lovely people like you don’t mind then I won’t hide myself away!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Definitely don’t do that! I’ve only just found your website and I would like to see more of that!

        Ps. It’s a gift you know.
        Only, part of the irony is you might never truly know that!

        Liked by 1 person

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