with a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
and satin candles, and say we’ve no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired
and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bellsand run my stick along the public railings
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.
I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick the flowers in other people’s gardens
and learn to spit.
You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at a go
or only bread and pickles for a week
and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.
But now we must have clothes that keep us dry
and pay our rent and not swear in the street
and set a good example for the children.
We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised
When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.
SO GOES THE FAMOUS POEM BY JENNY JOSEPH
..But when will I be “old”.
When I was a child 30 seemed old and grandma seemed ancient. When I was in my thirty, fifties seemed old. and at fifty, sixty seemed old.
When will, to my relief, looks not matter to me? as in the spirit of the poem
People tell me I look good for my age. I do think I am blessed with a relatively unlined skin, which is more down to genes and finding sunbathing boring, than good skin care. I do try to watch my weight, eat a good diet and cycling everywhere helps keep me in trim. Recently I have shed over 20 pounds and look and feel much better for it. I think. Do I need to loose more weight? or do older women need a bit extra subcutaneous fat to fill out the wrinkles?
However, I have to face the truth of my “maturity” and try to dress appropriately. But what IS appropriate for a lady of a certain age. People say age is just a number and your style is more important . I dread looking like “mutton dressed as lamb” but on the other hand I don’t want to look too frumpy. What IS my style. Fashions that I followed when I was younger just look silly now. God forbid than I would wear mini skirts or hipster jeans, very short shorts or ……a bikini!
Then of course there is the body shape change, just to confuse things. Older women put on weight around the middle and seem to loose their bottoms, so what looked good on you when you were young just serves to highlight the problem areas. You really loose the sense of what you look like.
There are certain bits I would rather keep covered up, crepy décolletage and bingo wing arms, to name but a couple and I hate, hate my saggy chin, which only surgery would cure and the grey in the roots of my hair are becoming more and more difficult to cover up.
Speaking of my hair. I deliberately grew my hair long in my late 50’s, because I felt by the time I was over 60, I would be too old for long hair. Then I found how practical it is and I am loathe to give it up. My former hairdresser husband would love to cut it short, but I am hanging on as long as I can. We compromise at shoulder length but I know he would love to go at it with the scissors. The texture and condition of my hair has changed from straight, fine and thick to some course wavy bits ( that are the grey!0
Plus the make up….less is more I have been told . How much less? I notice that older women often have clumpy mascara and bright red cheeks….is this me? is this because they just don’t see clearly in the mirror. Is this natures way of being kind, failing eyesight so you look like you are airbrushed!
I go shopping for help in Marks and Spencer and realise that the “Age Restructure” range is actually meant for me and I don’t really feel I am ready for the “classic” range yet!
So I google for tips and find a weath of information about famous beauties over 60’s and how they keep looking good.. Lulu, Susan Sarandon, Twiggy, Helen Mirren. Felicity Kendal. But after a while I start to feel sorry for these women, because looking young seems such hard work and sooner or later they WILL age, and probably sooner as they are all heading fast for 70! how awful, if you have always been valued for your beauty, to find it slipping away.
And then, in an epiphany moment I realise that beauty IS superficial!
When I meet a person I may be impressed by her looks for a few minutes or so, but very quickly I see the person underneath and forget how she looks.
The most attractive person I know is probably the most disliked of my acquaintanceship and the person who I admire most, who is good and kind and loved by all who know her, is overweight and frumpy.
Still, just so not to waste the research here are the “secrets” of those top women over 60
Susan Saranden who says her secret is, stopping smoking and sourrounding herself with people who make her smile.(saw her in George V last year, she DOES look amazing)
Helen Mirren (althought she did admit to surgery in her late 50’s) holds her stomach in and walks her dog.
Twiggy. says you CAN have long hair after a certain age.
.and Lulu, once said on an interview, “looking like this is very hard work!”
here is the list….
..and I like the last tip in this list.
“ And if all else fails…
If none of our tips floats your boat, then it’s time to get the ultimate accessory to make you look years younger than you are – an older man!”
Hmm…I feel the inspiration for another blog post!
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