I am not a natural gym-attender. Indeed I have been known in the past to complain on this blog about the loud music which seeps through my headphones and spoils my enjoyment of The Kitchen Cabinet, or the Afternoon Play.
So really, when I say I am going to the gym, I mean I am going for a SWIM, not any of that unpleasant sweaty stuff.
My hair is at that half way stage of growing-out; not quite long enough for a pony tail, but too long to be dried with a two minute shoogle from the hairdryer. I don't do "product", and I once sat white-knuckled at the hairdressers twenty-odd years ago while he gave me highlights.
Unless I want to walk out of the gym with wet hair, I now have to spend ten minutes pointing a hairdryer at my head. Those who know me personally will appreciate how un-Natalie-like this is.
The preamble to this is that I was feeling pretty chuffed with myself because I had just discovered that for the first, and probably the only time in my life, I can beat my husband in a race. This is truly astonishing. He is a triathlete, a Great Swim-er, a marathon, half marathon and 10k-ite. He Parkruns almost every week. But, we learned, I can backstroke like a metronome, and ease past him without trying that hard, something neither of us realised. I'm not sure which of us was more surprised.
So I was walking up the changing room with a smile on my face and I noticed that in front of me, a woman was doing something groundbreaking. She was sitting on a stool in front of a mirror, drying her hair – hair that was a bit like mine; straight, unfussy, ordinary.
And she was holding a hairdryer IN EACH HAND.
Two hairdryers, blasting away at the same time.
Why have I never thought of this, let alone seen anyone else do it?
I got dressed, brushed the tangles out of my hair and sat down. I lifted two hair dryers (I'm sure this is great exercise for the bingo-wings) and copycatted.