When I was sixteen, I lived in Cambridge and cycled 10 miles to college every single day. Being a teenage raver, I didn’t wear very many clothes, and favoured Stargazer UV fluorescent nail polish. I couldn’t afford the bus, as I spent all my pocket money on hustling my way into night clubs, so I cycled instead. But killer thighs look good in sequin hotpants, so every cloud has a sparkly lining.

But there were some darker aspects of those halcyon hotpant wearing days. I vividly recall standing in the bike sheds after my long cycle ride every morning, pummelling my lifeless fingers back to life. My digits would go exceptionally white and my hands felt so cold I thought they were going to fall off. I recall spending ages desperately to get some blood back into them before my first lesson, while simultaneously marvelling at the beauty of fluorescent UV nail varnish set against bone white flesh. The subtle balance of white bloodless fingers and UV disco nail polish was beautiful. It never occurred to me to wear gloves, or visit a doctor. I was too busy being sixteen and dying my hair pink and making complex fluffy bikini outfits that I can’t believe my mother let me wear out at night.

Not much has changed in the 18 years since then. I may live in a country cottage in the Scottish Borders now, but in my head I’m still a 16-year-old raver and my circulation is still as shit as a rotting zombie corpse. I have since discovered I have something called Raynaud’s Syndrome. This is nothing to do with raving, or not wearing enough clothes in the nineties. A raving syndrome would have been significantly cooler. Raynaud’s Syndrome is basically a condition which affects the blood supply to fingers and toes, because blood vessels go into a temporary spasm which blocks the flow of blood. This causes my fingers to go white, then blue and then red as the blood flow returns.

I would take a picture but when I get it my fingers are too cold to hold a camera, so here’s one I nicked off the Internet.


Isn’t it creepy

Even when my fingers are not going weird and white, they’re still freezing and people often remark on my bone cold hands. Whenever I go for a run or a bike ride or scoot into town, I have to wear two pairs of gloves and stop off for a finger pummel if it gets too painful to work the breaks. It really bloody hurts, confuses other motorists and makes me look like a deranged penguin.

Cold hands may not sound like a big deal, but it can be a real bitch on race day and more importantly, it’s bad news in the bedroom. My hands get so cold, that my boyfriend won’t let me cuddle him at night. I often have to lie for ten minutes with my fingers in my armpits trying to warm them up first. This is not a good precursor to sexy time. My feet go bloodless and ghost white too, but they don’t bother me so much. 20 years of clubbing in high heels cut the blood circulation off from my ankle downwards long ago.

So after years and years of frozen finger syndrome, I have decided to get to the bottom of my rebellious finger issue and research the best way to solve it.


You can get drugs from the doctor for sorting out your blood, but one of their side affects is that you grow vestigial penises from your face, plus I’m a hippy, so I’m not wild about trying them. The penis face bit is a lie, by the way.


Beware of vestigial genitalia


You’d think this would work right? Wrong! Even fancy expensive snowy mountain running gloves make piss all difference to my maverick hands.


the invisible man likes folk music

Hand warmers

After thorough research I can confirm that hand warmers are shit. They make your palms really hot but leave your fingers to die of cold and they’re uncomfortable and a pain in the ass to heat up.


Don’t be fooled by the loving exterior of the evil hand warmer

Moving to a hotter country

While this option certainly worked, I’m a ginger so I found it too hot plus I couldn’t persuade anyone to move with me so I got lonely and had to come home.


Bad for gingers

White gloves

A friend of a friend recently suggested I try thin white cotton gloves inside my normal gloves. I thought they were weird. But I gave it a try anyway. I look like a Michael Jackson impersonator and it’s a bitch to get them on in the morning, but mysteriously THE WHITE GLOVE TRICK WORKS (sequins optional). I have no idea how or why. Just trust me. Raynaud’s sufferers, embrace your inner 80s disco and invest in some sexy white gloves.


Micheal Jackson: early Raynaud’s sufferer

Since bothering to change my bank details and managing to survive one whole month in The Borders, I think I may now officially be a Scottish resident. Against the odds I’ve endured four weeks of solitude, relentless rain, enormous hills, undecipherable local lingo and the company of one very handsome but rather grumpy Scotsman. I think I may stay a while…

Thank you for all of your advice on assimilating into Scottish life. Since last week’s blog 10 things I know about Scotland I’ve also learnt some cool new phrases; bogal being my favourite. It means window shopping/having a look, and it’s a Jamaican dance craze. I’m still none the wiser as to what ‘the back of nine’ means. There appears to be a few regional variations to this one. But I am now safely armed with enough local lingo to know that Ken is a word and not a bloke and eating chips with absolutely everything is common practice.

Since mastering the art of communication, I finally mustered up the courage to visit a local physio and get my suspicious knee looked at. She pummelled me to within an inch of my life leaving actual visible bruises in her wake, so I definitely got my money’s worth. Fortunately it turns out I’ve just pulled a muscle in my thigh, so Rhalourella will run to the ball again.

Don’t be fooled by the foam roller’s unassuming appearance

Since then, upon advice, I’ve invested in a foam roller. Despite working in fitness publishing for a few years now, I’ve never actually investigated the murky world of foam rolling before. Ultraboy was sceptical about the introduction of a foam roller in our life, arguing that it was a fad. He studied at the school of true grit and cut his fitness teeth sneaking up sheer rock faces and kayaking down voluptuous gorges before he could even talk, so he didn’t see the point in a puny roll of foam, arguing that a little 20-mile run round the block would sort out his aches and pains. But I forced him to have a go anyway, because I’m a girl, and we have mystical powers that make even the most stubborn Scotsmen do what we want. So I made him mount my puny roll of blue foam on the living room carpet, and sat back to watch him wince like a little girl.

I’m not really a secret sadist and Ultraboy is still the distilled essence of badass. Even in his currently injured state (catastrophic kayaking accident ripped his arm from his socket and now it pops out all the time) he’s the fittest person I know. But even the baddest man in town is no match for a foam roller. Those compact tubes of bubble-filled rubber really bloody hurt. Especially if you’re a runner with thighs like tightly wound granite. It’s like they seek out the pain and drill laser death rays through their tubular foaminess and straight into your soul. Don’t believe me? Jump onboard a foam roller for five minutes and call me back. I defy you not to cry for your mama after stiff foam and IT Band meet and get to know each other intimately upon your thigh.

Even the chickens are sceptical

Despite the extreme agonising pain, the evil roll of foam has now become a staple part of our nightly routine and we’ve been taking turns to sodomise our thighs in front of the telly. It makes quite a fun spectator sport. Here’s hoping that a few weeks of extreme rollering will result in two lean, mean running machines that conquer any race thrown our way. Failing that, it doubles up as a brightly coloured chicken viewing platform.

Meanwhile back on the ranch, to supplement my writing I’ve been helping out some friends Tim and Phil with their bootcamp Sexy in the City. I grew up on the same street as Tim and we’ve been friends since we were about 4. Together the boys run bootcamps that offer fun and friendly workout sessions for city chicks. If any of you happen to live near London Liverpool Street and fancy honing your body to shmoking hot sexy proportions, tell them I sent you. If only Sexy in the City operated in the wilderness too. But Sexy in the Boggy Field doesn’t have quite the same ring to it…