Tonight a friend looked at me from across the table.
"You're different. What is it? You've lost lots of weight."
"Dunno. What am I doing differently? I've stopped fishing."
My favourite jeans are falling off me. Whenever this happens I think that the denim is getting looser in its weave or stretch. I never suspect the opposite, that my body is shrinking away from them.
"You're leaner, curvier, more girly, or something."
"I've stopped fishing. That's all."
"That's it. You were always pumped. You're losing all that muscle. " He stopped and looked at me again. "What are you going to do now?"
"Oh, I don't know! Ride my bike more?"
My fingernails are growing. Years of wearing briny wet gloves have softened them to a constantly tearable state that included strange fungal incursions into the quicks. Three weeks after giving up the fishing I've realised I'm going to have to file them or cut them or something, because they're growing harder and stronger every day.
My hair and skin, oddly, is drier and less healthy, despite all the salt and windburn that they copped on the boat.
When I first started fishing, my body muscled up within weeks and then hardened into a well oiled net-hauling machine. She repossessed the memory from my adolescent years of swimming, canoeing and running.
I quite like these sudden life changes and watching how this body I'm living in adapts to them. Pregnancy, working a lawnmowing round, fishing, setting up garden centres, running, sitting on my arse studying, breastfeeding, courier driving ...
... They are the most curious, intuitive things, aren't they, our bodies?