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I think a hot flush might be something that you get in poker involving kings and knaves. I’m not certain but I suspect gunslingers and cardsharps the world over are having hot flushes all through history and even right about now most likely,  what with time being a big elastic band ball of matter and anti-matter and interstitial universes.

Right now my reading glasses are steaming up because I am having a Hot Flash. This is also something that they sell at the Chicken Shack takeaway in town and it involves wings and industrial amounts of chilli powder. However, it is also, as any woman over the age of about 50 knows, a side effect of your body deciding to mothball your womb and its attendant plumbing and pipes.

It’s a bit inconvenient because my hot flashes last quite a while, sometimes as long as twenty minutes or even an hour. During this time I can’t read I can only perform tasks that are slightly further away so unfortunately there’s no excuse not to do the vacuuming.

I was listening to Woman’s Hour the other day about various ways of tackling menopause. One lady suggested being mindful rather than embarrassed by Hot Flashing. I assume, in this instance she was talking about menopause and not just about awkward park situations involving raincoats.

Actually can you even buy a raincoat anymore? I’ve just thought, it must be hard work being a flasher these days. Apart from anything else there are a million and one ‘dick pics’ being sent so you’re sort of flooding the market. I mean in my young day, when we still wore skinny rib jumpers, no one had even seen a penis save for those crudely scratched into the surface of the wooden desks or pencilled in and popping out of the pages of a maths topic book. These markings were, thankfully, few and far between. Nowadays is anyone at all shocked? Plus cagoules and waterproof jackets tend to finish at the waist. No one has time or inclination for a full length, old school Mackintosh.

Anyway, mind wandering off, whistle it back. Phwrrrrrrrrrh.

20161221_194152Back to being mindful about hot flashing instead of embarrassed. I’m not embarrassed. I’m uncomfortable and not in a social sense but in an overheated sense. I spend most of my days and nights slicked in sweat. The heat begins to radiate out from a small incendiary space in my neck and chest. I mean heat too, it begins as a scorch and builds to a sort of isotopic thrum. As a writer I’ve tried to observe it and I have come to an odd conclusion. It’s like magic. Mother Nature decided on a firework display to mark the end of an era.

This has been brewing in my messed up menopausal head for some time but the mindfulness lady on Woman’s Hour pinned it. She suggested looking at it as a lovely natural process and trying to think calm thoughts because adrenalin only makes it worse.

Stuff calm thoughts. I’ve started to think of it as a superpower. The thermic energy is so overwhelming I have to keep turning the thermostat down so, on the plus side, this household is making a saving on the heating. When I feel the spark light up I greet it and wonder how much heat I am actually generating. I can probably boil the kettle with a finger. At last, the true meaning of Girl Power.

 
 

‘a highly original talent’ – Beryl Bainbridge

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