“How are you?”


I was standing in the queue at the local 7-Eleven when an attractive young lady, whom I swear I had never seen before, put her arm around me and said, “How are you?” This took me aback a little, not expecting such direct questioning from a stranger, while thinking about food rather than “fun” at that time of day. Of course, the young lady in question was not really asking about my inner health, but more about my availability. My rather embarrassed “Mai ow’s” were accepted with a smile and she sauntered off with a wave (keeping all her options open, I suspect), but over lunch I began to ponder on her words – and how was I?

Not the usual place for a truthful assessment of my physical health, but I stopped to think, what about me? Greying (I hate admitting it and it’s rather more like white, considering I once had Chinese blue-black hair); balding (I hate that even more but fortunately the bald patch doesn’t show in the mirror as I face it for shaving); face showing the ravages of time and the Aussie sunshine; getting a bit of a “tummy” (from the beer because wine’s too expensive in this country to drink socially), but overall, not bad for a man who races cars under the team [email protected] (say it quickly) and the oldest surviving male in the family ever (and you think you’ve got a lousy family history!).

So what can I do about all these? I tried the black paint Grecian 2000 route years ago and you go a strange brown which turns into orange after three weeks. This look fools nobody but yourself, unless you began life with strange orange hair. The balding? This has been creeping on for the past twenty plus years too. In the beginning I tried the rubbing “Regaine” lotion into the scalp twice a day as recommended by the manufacturers. All I got was a red scaly scalp and the hair shedding continued. I console myself with the knowledge that it shows male hormonal activity, so at least I’m not turning into a girl, as seems to happen with a fair percentage of “lady boys” round here.

The face? The mirror of the soul? The mirror has no soul. Admit it, you’ve all stood in front of the mirror and gently pulled your cheeks back to see what you looked like fifteen years ago, haven’t you? I could fix that with some timely cosmetic surgery, but it does mean you have to remain out of the public eye for at least three weeks while the bruising fades. This option remains high on my 2020 list (but it was also on the 2010 and 2015 lists as well).

The tummy? Now that’s something I do have to deal with. There has been a slow and inexorable weight gain over the past three years and the time to stop it is now. Well, during 2018 at least. This means a simple adjustment to the dietary intake – less fats, more vegetables, less Brit food and more Asian cuisine – and a simple decrease in the alcohol intake – less beer and more soda water. I could even be tempted to step up my physical activity with some gymnasium work, but I know with my lifestyle and my innate dislike of lycra leotards that it is unlikely to happen. Perhaps I’ll put that in the 2022 list.

So what about me, and my New Year’s health resolutions? An acceptance of the inevitable looms high on the list, followed by some sensible dietary and social habits and life looks pretty good for 2018.

However, it might also be a good idea to check the inner workings with one of the hospital’s check-up packages. Having had check-ups before, I can look at any trends that are showing. Could even be a life saver.

And how are you? Time to grab a check-up package?