Since January I've been going to the gym a couple of times a week.
It was grim at first and only the prospect of watching an episode of Frasier on the gym TV took my mind off the fact I was pedalling furiously.
But lately I've been feeling proud of myself. I'm a smidgeon fitter, a soupcon trimmer. I occasionally allow myself a peek in the floor-to-ceiling mirrors nowadays.
On Tuesday I was pedalling up an imaginary hill, with only minimal wheezing, when a woman I hadn't seen before came in. Of medium height and build, there was little remarkable about her, except her manner. She paced rapidly around the gym as if looking for somebody or something.
I was the only person there and she began to approach me between the rows of machines, but then as she drew close seemed to change her mind. Instead she retreated and went on looking around the gym.
Eventually a lovely young woman entered, all swinging ponytail and pert lycra, and stepped up to the cross-trainer. Immediately my searching lady approached her.
"Excuse me, love, where's the tummy machine? "
“The tummy machine - for giving you a nice flat stomach."
"Um...I don't think there is one."
"But I've got a wedding to go to on Saturday. There has to be a tummy machine!"
Eventually she took herself off to search for her miracle cure elsewhere.
I was chuckling to myself, but then I stopped.
A thought had occurred to me -
What exactly was it about my appearance that made her think I wouldn't know where the flat tummy machine was?