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We recently renovated our guest bathroom. It’s beautiful. And warm, too. Underfloor heating. Sheer luxury. Consequently, I’m using it as my bathroom when there are no guests, which is most of the time.

However, the other feature of this magnificent renovation is a massive mirror that takes up most of one wall. It it merciless.

Every morning I’m confronted by the inescapable reflection of a dishevelled man with a grandfather’s gait. An image not helped by the agony stemming from my ongoing spine problems. (Relief for this remains a long way off since, I keep getting letters from the WDHB that my consultation appointment will be ‘sometime in the next four months’. Lord knows how far away the surgery itself will be.)

As I disrobe, a once athletic body is revealed to be an increasingly saggy one. The tightest part being my belly, which is swollen by the water retention that is a part of my renal condition.

The loss of muscle tone, over and above a sign of age, is in no way small way due to lack of exercise — again because of my spinal problem. Can’t walk, can’t swim, can’t lift heavy weights, can’t do a freaking thing without pain.

I lean in close to this unkind mirror and see my eyes are yellow and red due to the truckload of painkillers I take each day. I smile in a self-effacing way and assure myself that things could be worse.

Then, as I enter the new glass walled shower, I catch a glimpse of my side-on reflection — Aaaarrrrgh!!

I have the profile of a beer-bellied Australian outback policeman.

Yet, in my mind I remain youthful, strong, slim and athletic. So tomorrow I will cure all of my current physical ailments — I will smash that freaking mirror.