JENNY ECLAIR: HOW TO STAY OPTIMISTIC IN FEBRUARY

Camberwell comedian Jenny Eclair on the struggle to stay optimistic in February – the short but tough month that, for her, means facing slouching, big knickers and overpriced lager

I went to a Pilates class recently, only to be told I had a slight curvature of the spine. Apparently its all down to my posture – I’m a slumper, and consequently one side of my body has given up bothering and withered slightly. Blimey!

This is entirely my own fault. I spend a great deal of my time hunched over a desk, and when I’m not writing or gigging I’m mostly napping. Some days I’m barely ever completely upright.

Women have changed. Once upon a time a middle-aged woman could rely on her underwear to keep her on the straight and narrow – we wore corsets and stays and all that webbing and whalebone made it impossible to loll.

Women refuse to be restrained, and while this is a good thing, we’re losing the ability to sit nicely

And times have changed. I’m half-woman, half-sofa. Like most right-minded women I’m forever hoiking off my bra as soon as I get indoors and buying easy-fit knickers big enough to throw over a car windscreen in the winter to stop it from cracking in the frost.

Women refuse to be restrained, and while this is a good thing, we’re losing the ability to sit nicely. Add an iPad or smart phone into the equation and I swear, within a few years homo sapiens will be a massively hunch-backed species with great big chin goiters from constantly looking down at our Twitter feed.

Apart from me. I’ve decided that I’m going to stand up straight, put my shoulders back and pull my tummy in, and if the Pilates doesn’t do the trick, then I’m going to find me a corrective girdle!

You’ve got to stay optimistic through February. This is the short but tough month. By rights I should be chasing some winter sun before setting off on tour again, but what with Christmas being so muggy and the Old Man’s clients being so needy (in the nicest possible way), our intended fortnight in Brazil has shrunk to three nights in Norway.

You’ve got to stay optimistic through February. This is the short but tough month

That’s right, we’re going to Oslo – a city which, once we’d made the booking, revealed itself to be the most expensive in the world and, even more depressingly, home to the world’s best-looking people. Suddenly the penny dropped and I remembered visiting Oslo in the mid-80s to record a TV programme with the pop group A-ha. Even then it was eye-wateringly pricey and I recall the Old Man stealing hard-boiled eggs from the breakfast buffet to save us from buying lunch.

So instead of lazing around under the sun drinking Piña Coladas, think of us, hunched over a shared half-a-lager (apparently a pint costs £150) with our pockets full of stolen hard boiled eggs, surrounded by super models and looking even more troll-like than normal.

On a more positive note, my latest novel Moving has been chosen by the Richard and Judy book club as one of their eight featured books for this spring. This means the book is much more widely available, so if you haven’t bought it already, you’ve no excuse. Fingers crossed it earns me enough royalties to make it to Brazil next year!

jennyeclair.com

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