Kerre is known to most of us living in New Zealand, with appearing on our television screens and on radio at various radio stations around the country. Kerre has also written two other books – 2010 Short Fat Chick in Paris and 2011 Short Fat Chick to Marathon Runner – neither of which I have read. They are now on my “must read list” – this list grows by the week. She has also very recently married her “Irishman” and taken his surname – McIvor.
I have at various times enjoyed Kerre’s company at night, listening to her on the car radio, between 8 p.m and midnight on talkback 1ZB when Bill and I have been driving home from somewhere. She also hosts the high rating Kerre’s Café for the same network each Sunday morning, reviewing weekend papers with the editors. Kerre has a wonderful sense of humour that can make the most serious person, who is ringing in on her talkback show, laugh. Kerre is also a regular columnist with the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly and Sunday Herald.
As a Mum of two now adult daughters I can relate to the many hilarious stories in this book. I actually laughed out loud at Kerre making four meals trying to placate various members of her family, including her then teenage daughter Kate – I did this on many occasions. I now look back and think I must have had rocks in my heads.
I could also relate to the lack of help with bringing in the supermarket shopping from the car. We had a pole house below the road with four flights of stairs from our garage, which was above the house. Our two girls were always “very busy” when that job needed to be done. I also laughed out loud at Kerre’s descriptions of the aging process – the flabby arms and the back fat. Trying to find “your style” as one ages did make me laugh – I’m still trying to find “my style”. A very difficult thing to even try and work out at the best of times, but becomes an even bigger hurdle to overcome as you age. I’m still looking for mine – elegant and practical.I hope none of my friends read this, as they’ll just laugh – rather a lot!
Kerre talks about suitable clothes for long haul flights that make her look, well fabulous when she finally lands. You wouldn’t want to know me – I look unbelievably scruffy – it’s all about comfort for me. As somebody in my 60’s and not 40’s as Kerre is, I do wonder where the last 20 years have hurtled to.
Kerre does though touch on some rather serious subjects – Menopause. She has some very sound and practical advice for women. I learnt something I didn’t know – our feet, ears and noses grow as we age. Hell, I’m really worried now. I have rather large sticky out ears anyway (inherited from my Dad) – will I look like a freak more than I do now? My nose also growing bigger is a huge worry – it hasn’t ever been that small – not sure either which side of the family that came from. I thought that my feet getting bigger and wider, was because I went for years barefooted, especially during the summer. It’s enough to give me nightmares! Thanks Kerre!
The section that brought tears to my eyes was titled “In sickness and in health”. Life isn’t always easy and it’s good to know we have friends who are always there for us – illness, deaths and other crisis that we all go through at one time or another. Kerre writes about supporting friends who have been diagnosed with cancer. This struck a bit of a raw nerve with me. I lost a sister-in-law to cancer very recently. Philippa had only been diagnosed two months before – none of us realised just how sick she was and so we all hesitated visiting not wanting to “intrude”.
While this book is a light read, it does have its serious side. I thoroughly enjoyed Kerre’s easy style of writing and her wonderful sense of humour.
Reviewed by Christine Frayling
Musings from Middle Age
by Kerre Woodham
Published by HarperCollins