• Alison Cowell

Overall, we're getting there

Now that I’m turning my hand to all things DIY and gardening, Steve decided it was wise to invest in some overalls to save my clothes. It seems the perpetual mud on my jeans, sleeves and face are not cute and appealing after all. So, off we set to look for something suitable. Who knew the variety on offer? Work wear, overalls, coveralls, dungarees…..there were as many names as there were styles…. but a nice chap in a local store recommended a good robust navy-blue ensemble for me after hearing what I was planning to do. Fabulous!

Or, not so fabulous as it turns out. Now it happens to be a Scottish winter, so one needs to wear warm layers. But when one wears warm, thick layers, it renders the donning of new navy overalls practically impossible! I am still keen to impress Steve with my shovelling, sandi and plasterboard holding skills, so the last thing I wanted was to yell for help after getting stuck halfway through pulling on my overalls. However, I had to swallow my pride and he gallantly came to my rescue. After what seemed an age of heaving, jumping up and down, tucking bits in (all dignity lost by now) we reached the stage of doing it up. This involved a stubborn zip which Steve yanked up to my chin and almost caught the skin of my neck. He assured me that the accompanying punch in the throat was merely an uncontrollable reflex reaction when the zip suddenly loosened itself. He carefully managed the buttons, and finally some superfluous Velcro was squished into place. Steve clapped me on the shoulders and stood back to admire his handywork. ‘You’re all set’ he smiled proudly. I decided this wasn’t the best time to tell him I needed the loo.


My first job was to shovel in some dirt back into a huge trench that Steve had used a digger to excavate. Asia settled herself in a sunny spot and waited for her daily entertainment. I swear there is a permanent smile on her face these days. It looked a relatively easy task, but the dirt was packed with stones that my shovel kept hitting. Asia’s tail wagged every time she heard the clanging sound as she knew it would be followed by a short dance of agony from me, accompanied with my unique incantations. I reminded myself that I must be burning a gazillion calories as I persevered, and that I had wanted a new life that didn’t involve sitting down all day long. I also reminded myself to be careful what I wished for.

A lot of what we’ve been doing so far is underground, out of sight or going to be covered up so there’s not too much to show in the way of progress but hopefully once the next week or so has passed, the bungalow butterfly will start to emerge from her captive chrysalis and our efforts will be rewarded.

Steve clearly doesn't need overalls!


Workwise, I have joined the Dundee and Angus Chamber of Commerce and a women’s networking group. It’s daunting having to start all over again in a place where no-one knows your name, but I do know the power of networking, so I’m off to sow a few seeds and make some connections. I bought some nice new business clothes ready for my meetings (Steve wondered if I had enough from New Zealand. It’s at moments like those I am pleased I have never had Botox; a woman needs to raise an eyebrow on occasion). I’ve written some more of my ‘big’ health book (I really do need to crack on with that) and I’ve also found a local store in Forfar that is happy to stock my Handy Book of Facts series but sense I will need to look wider than this small community to get things moving at the speed I would like!


Meanwhile, I continue to enjoy this most beautiful part of the world 😊

Gorgeous Forfar Loch where Asia loves to walk

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Copyright © 2019 Alison Cowell

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