MY back has been giving me some gyp again.
It always starts up when I contemplate anything physical. Like carrying a wire basket in a supermarket.
Maria always handles the heavy lifting in or out of our house. Take luggage, for instance. If a suitcase needs lifting out of the car or lifting onto the weighing machine at an airport check-in, she handles it. I’m thinking of getting cards printed that I can hand out to disapproving observers that state: I’ve Got A Bad Back – Excused Lifting.
When my back first started giving me trouble more than 20 years ago the medical advice was to lay down on a stiff board. This was okay until Maria wanted to do the ironing. We even put a plank of wood under my side of the mattress to add firmness to my slumber but it felt like I was sleeping on a shelf and Maria got the wrong idea when I fell off.
These days you are advised to remain active when the first twinge arrives which is a bit of a downer for someone like me who has a natural aptitude towards idleness. And then I read that exercise can combat and banish a bad back.
Unfortunately, the piece I read didn’t go into details but supplied the websites of various fitness companies who would be happy to tell me for a price. Give someone money to provide me with an exercise regime that probably won’t work? I should cocoa. So I devised my own regime and have taken to exercising in the privacy of my bedroom with the curtains closed. God knows what Maria thinks I’m doing.
Touching the toes, hip swivels, arm swings, that sort of thing. But so far my prejudices have proved correct – the exercises don’t seem to be helping and I’m getting fed up of my wife’s funny looks at the regular squeaking of the floorboards.
And then she read to me from one of her magazines: "Experts say belly dancing could be a solution to back pain. The dance focuses on strengthening and toning the abdomen, pelvis and lumbar spine."
Well, I’ve tried everything else.
And I know a lady called Mora who is an expert at belly dancing. But would her husband, Alan, understand if I asked for private lessons? And would Maria understand if I started wearing a diaphanous skirt, finger cymbals and a veil?