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Shopping is good for your heart and soul

A week in Glasgow with the Scot's family has done me the world of good, it has got me back on track with some of my 'tasks before 30'.

The first one I am immensely proud of -- I finished my inaugural classic novel! It has only taken me four months to complete To Kill A Mocking Bird (not a good sign for someone who essentially reads and writes for a living) but it was definitely worth the perseverance and it more than lived up to all the 'it's my favourite book' comments.

In all honesty, once I reread the first chapter for the third time, it only took me three days. So I am off to the library to return it, pay my overdue fine and request The Great Gatsby.

Since I have yet to start back to Pilates, my heart lifted last week when I read a Debenhams study that revealed women burn an estimated 385 calories a week by shopping.

Apparently, the average woman covers 2.96 miles every time she shops and takes an average 7,305 steps, almost three quarters of the recommended 10,000 steps per day. This was music to my ears as I spent three out of six days in Glasgow shopping, naively thinking that it was just my emotional health I was tending to.

According to spokesperson Ruth Attridge: "This mileage is in addition to the stretching benefits gained while reaching for that must-have pair of shoes and strengthening arm muscles by carrying heavy shopping bags."

But the Scot reaped the arm strengthening benefits, because I enlisted his help in carrying my heavy Superdrug purchases, all £90 of them. Still, think of all those pounds lost, both in weight and money.

When it came to our Glasgow departure I was further reminded of my advancing thirtieth year. I remember many a youthful nonsensical splurge, but age is making me much more frugal. No more checking in luggage for me (€30 -- are you mad?), now I'm clever about packing a carry-on bag.

On my last air outing my bag was deemed too big and the airline tried to charge me €35. Younger Simone would have accepted and handed over her credit card, but my older and wiser self refused to pay and wedged the bag into their metal basket while the flight attendant stood open-mouthed. This time, as they were weighing bags at the gate, I took no chances: I layered up with clothes; stuffed my toiletries into my coat pocket and -- my lowest, yet paradoxically proudest, point -- I stuffed my handbag inside my coat, thereby resembling a strangely shaped pregnant woman.

This is something I once thought was strictly embarrassing granny territory, but apparently it's verging-on-30 territory.