Beverley puts on her dancing shoes

IF there is one thing that my hubby and I have learnt from our exploration into the world of dance, it is that it pays to have a fit body. No, I don't mean that you have to be on a par with Beyoncé or Brad Pitt with toned limbs and/or a six pack - I wish - but it certainly helps if your joints etc.

IF there is one thing that my hubby and I have learnt from our exploration into the world of dance, it is that it pays to have a fit body.

No, I don't mean that you have to be on a par with Beyoncé or Brad Pitt with toned limbs and/or a six pack - I wish - but it certainly helps if your joints etc. are supple and in full working order.

Take my broken little toe for instance. It was six weeks before I could get properly into the swing of things again. Imagine our horror then when my hubby experienced a sharp twinge in his back, when we were attempting to do the jive the other day.

Standing rigidly together - our most natural dance hold - we both drew a sharp intake of breath.


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You see he has suffered with lower back problems for several years, but trips to a chiropractor and having a magnet permanently attached to the afflicted region seemed to be keeping it in check.

So the idea that it could possibly be flaring up again was almost too much for us to bear.

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“I don't think he could stand the stress of more weeks off the dance floor!” I exclaimed later, to our even more dance-obsessed, but actually accomplished friend Sally.

“That's probably what set it off,” she sympathised. “Up to 75 per cent of health problems are stress related you know. What he needs are some sessions with me” - she's a professional reflexologist!

Now I've always been a bit of an 'ology' phobe - makes me think of all sorts of nasty investigations. But after Sally had assured me that it is one of the most popular and powerful non-invasive complementary health treatments available, I happily packed him off to her treatment room the other evening - sometimes a woman just has to take the lead!

Although I have to say he was pretty keen himself. Well, who wouldn't want a legitimate excuse for lounging around with their feet up for an hour?

Obviously we weren't expecting some sort of miracle cure, but the spring in his step on his return suggested there had been some definite improvement.

“I feel really relaxed,” he sighed as he sank into a chair before requesting a mug of tea - he had to keep his fluid intake up for a couple of hours he informed me. He chose to ignore the fact it should have been water.

Observing his dreamy-looking expression I wondered if he'd actually nodded off during his treatment - a very common side effect it seems. But he insisted he hadn't although he admitted that the combination of mood music playing in the background, and having his feet wiped with special organic cream and manipulated was very pleasant indeed.

“It's fascinating stuff,” he enthused, waving his foot at me. “Sally told me that specific points correspond to different parts of the body and by applying pressure to them she can detect and stimulate problem areas.”

I'm not going to divulge all Sally said to him, but she did recommend that he has some further sessions and he agreed.

So apparently reflexology helps promote self-healing and self-balancing. And boy is that something we both need!

Call me old-fashioned or just plain boring if you like, but if you were to ask me to name my all time favourite dish, I would immediately plump for spotted dick and custard.

And in case you're wondering why I am rabbiting on about typically winter fare when we are in the midst of summer. We still have 'Popeye the sailor man' and other such ice cream-van tunes ringing in our ears.

Apparently a recent survey of changing food tastes lists it as one of ten most threatened classic British puddings these being:

· Calf's foot jelly

· Junket

· Sussex pond pudding (suet and lemon)

· Kentish pudding pie (rice and pastry)

· Dorset dumplings (apples and suet)

· Lardy cake

· Simnel cake

· Malvern pudding (fruit crumble)

· Singin hinnies (fried scones)

· Spotted dick.

Now personally apart from Simnel cake - I love the yummy marzipan centre - I couldn't give a fig about the other delicacies named - I haven't even heard of half of them.

But spotted dick…well it's as much a part of our heritage as roast beef, and fish and chips. Besides that it's also a great comfort food!

So I say let's campaign to save our spotted dick now before it too, like other endangered species, becomes totally extinct!

I was fascinated to learn the other day that Leicester University has carried out a study to try and discover which is the happiest nation on earth.

And the lucky title they claim goes to Denmark with Britain ranking only 41st.

Frankly, I'm not that surprised. According to our daughters' Danish friend Charlotte, the main news item on their national television recently was all about a stolen parrot.

Okay, so it was probably pretty traumatic for both the owner and the bird, but if that was the leading headline over here then I too would be very happy!

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