Ladies, just remember, you’re not alone. There’s millions of us and we’re all in this leaky old boat together.
The Author (in her own words)
Jenny Eclair, has been a stand up comic for Donkeys’ years, she was the first woman to win the coveted Perrier Award and hasn’t stopped banging on about it ever since. She still gigs regularly and is on tour around the UK with her new show How To be A Middle Aged Woman (Without Going Insane).
Some of you might recognize her from tv, small screen highlights include, I’m A Celebrity… Get Me Out Of Here, the ‘Grumpy Old Women’ series, plus the ‘Grumpy Guides’, ‘Grumpy Holidays’ and ‘It’s Grim up North’. She also occasionally crops up on day time telly and gets very excited about doing things like This Morning and Loose Women.
Other West End theatre credits include ‘Steaming’, ‘Mum’s the Word’ and ‘The Vagina Monologues’. Most recently she appeared in the title role of ‘The Killing of Sister George’ for the Derby Playhouse, unfortunately she spent the entire time she was on stage looking like a fat Margaret Thatcher.
I laughed so much reading this. Not only at the sheer comedy, but it’s true. All of it. There’s so many books on how to sail through menopause and emerge like you’re 30 years younger. I’ve never had the urge to go back in time and be a pretend version of myself.
Jenny hits the nail on the head. For a start, menopause was like a dirty word with my mum, who still thinks gritting my teeth and mentioning it is shocking. And the thought that I say it in front of any man…the scandal. I should be quiet and keep it to myself and suffer in silence.
The first (female) doctor I mentioned things to was fairly newly qualified, patted me on the hand with a “we have to put up with it, dear” I wanted to deck her. I walked out angry, in tears before I got home, a snivelling angry mess.
Second (male) doctor was a gem. He talked me through options and HRT was prescribed. He also pointed me to some helpful sites.
I bought books which I found patronising in their “we are joy and strength ” attitudes and nobody seemed angry, tearful, or vaguely bloody normal. Nobody wanted to discuss it. At all.
This is the single most refreshing, honest, brutal but hopeful look at menopause. Written with typical frank, funny language. It mentions things the airy fairy books forget. Like you may want to try more than one remedy/HRT. Your skin might feel like old sandpaper.
I can only say to Jenny Eclair, a huge fat menopausal thank you. For your honesty and humour. This should be on every woman’s bookshelf. If you aren’t menopausal you’re likely to know a woman who is and she could probably do with understanding.
Thanks to Jenny Eclair, Hannah Robertson and Quercus Books for the ARC.