Getting Home

Getting Home by Celia Brayfield

Book: Getting Home by Celia Brayfield Read Free Book Online
Authors: Celia Brayfield
stamina, was poor, flexibility was below average, peak flow rate average. Rod assessed her build as endomorphic, query disguised by an eating disorder. She gave off the sour smell of a body which was never used. Spod city, absolutely.
    To touch she was like an oven-ready broiling chicken, cold and flabby and rather light for her size. He considered tactful approaches to suggesting she should have a bone scan.
    â€˜I have so much stress,’ she told him. ‘Media is a real high-stress profession. You know, deadlines, pressure … and I carry my show, I just am the whole thing. It’s a real responsibility. Sometimes when I leave the studio. I’m so tense I feel like screaming.’ The hand to the forehead, the fingers to the bridge of the nose, anguish mimed so as not to smudge the make-up. A miniature woman, everything undersized.
    â€˜What I would recommend is a programme of three sessions a week to start with, building to four …’
    â€˜Oh God, I’ll never have the time …’
    â€˜And I’d suggest concentrating on aerobic work to begin with, to give you a base level of general fitness, plus I’d like to do some Pilates exercises with you to work on posture and flexibility. Then in time we can start thinking about strength work.’
    â€˜I’d hate to get muscles. I hate that look.’
    â€˜Tone. Just toning. Tone is essential in the abdominal area to hold your spine correctly, and toned muscles work better and protect you from getting injured.’ The same lines every day. When you are in the theatre again you will have to say the same lines every day; look on this as training for yourself.
    â€˜I can’t possibly do three times a week.’
    â€˜I could come to your office. I do that with quite a few of my clients.’
    Horror flashed in her eyes and she groped for an excuse, finally fixing on, ‘But you don’t know what my schedule is like.’
    â€˜Would you say it was heavier than Oprah Winfrey’s schedule?’
    â€˜She was fat. ‘ She got up from the bench and pinched a little white skin at her midriff below the pristine sports bra stretched over her chest – surgically enhanced chest; they stood out like grapefruit halves.
    They were out on her patio, where the bushes in tubs were yellowed and the soft summer air had a faint ammonia tang. The end of the garden was fenced off with a Versailles-style trellis. He made out rabbit-hutches, and some kind of fat dog which was tied up, and occasionally yelped at them. ‘Be quiet,’ she ordered it, sounding irritated.
    â€˜We could include power walks, just around the block here or over in the park. He could come along.’
    â€˜He’s my husband’s dog,’ she told him, with emphatic distaste. ‘I can’t really walk in the street, in public. Not in my position.’ The example of Jackie Onassis came to his mind but he let it go. He was feeling tired now, and the right Achilles was flaming, and the management had issued a disciplinary notice about using original music for classes instead of the synthetic tempo-adjusted bilge which cleared the copyright laws.
    She suggested going into the kitchen for a drink. Was he kidding himself or was there something a little off about this? She had a preening manner, and a way of over-emphasising her words which made simple statements sound suggestive. Her interest in her health was clearly recent. All her kit was skintight and brand new, but that was not unusual in Westwick.
    â€˜Having children can raise the stress levels of working women so much that their health could be at risk,’ she told him, finding an item from that morning’s show still retrievable in her memory. ‘They did research somewhere, California I think. Even if they have only one child, the stress hormones just shoot right up. And I have three kids.’
    â€˜Uh-huh,’ he agreed, wondering about working men with

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