Tag Archives: ageing

Why life is a lot like jazz


I’m something of a jazz fan. Not an informed one who can tell their Basie from their Mingus and who thinks BC means Before Charlie (Parker). I’m more the kind of fan who matches the music to my mood. Right now, as I write, I’m listening to John Coltrane and Duke Ellington getting very sentimental. Taking my cue from the music, I’m so languid I could almost slide off my chair. Or gaze soulfully into a cocktail glass. Continue reading Why life is a lot like jazz

A word with Madonna

Desperately seeking sexy
Desperately seeking sexy

Dear Madonna

Or should I simply call you “bitch”? Whatever. As one mature woman to another, there’s something I’ve been meaning to raise with you for some time. It concerns the a-word – no, not your arse (or ass). Ageing. You know that thing that happens to us all, sooner or later. That condition not even you can defy forever. Continue reading A word with Madonna

Visible at any age

Merging with the wallpaper.
Merging with the wallpaper.

We women of a certain age often complain of becoming invisible. Nobody notices me any more, we sigh. Not even those cheeky builder blokes who’d whistle at anything remotely female (unless their preference is for other blokes, and even then they might give a woman the whistle just to be kind). Once you can pass a building site completely unacknowledged you know it’s all over. You have entered the twilight zone of the living dead. Continue reading Visible at any age

The AbFab guide to being fabulous

Frightfully fabulous - champagne already imbibed intravenously.
Frightfully fabulous – champagne already imbibed intravenously.

Today I would like to pay tribute to the twosome who have absolutely set the bar for fabulousness. Yes, ladies (and gentlemen if there are any of you), I give you Edina Monsoon and Patsy Stone. Who else? The stars of Absolutely Fabulous are in a class of their own.  When it comes to the art of being über fabulous, these two wrote the manual and then tossed it away. Continue reading The AbFab guide to being fabulous

Do the French really know all about la vie?


Vive la vieille!

OK, I finally get it, the reason for all the bad karma that has come my way. It all started at birth, when I was born a baby, not a bébé. Then I grew into a woman, not a femme. And now I’m just a plain old dame, not even une femme d’un certain âge. In short, all my troubles came about because I’m Not French. Zut alors!  If only I’d been born une Française, it would have all been so very different. Pretty much parfait, in fact. Continue reading Do the French really know all about la vie?

Too cool for my boots?

Way back in the last decade of the last century I stepped out in a pair of Caterpillar boots. Pretty cool and audacious for a 40-something, I thought, as I clomped around town. I felt ready to kick ass big time, should the need arise. Not that it ever did.

In the fullness of time, as Cats waned in coolness (as all things must), I packed my boots away and forgot about them. The only time they saw the light of day was during occasional bouts of decluttering, but somehow I could  never quite bring myself to pass them on and they survived every cull, every move around the globe. It probably had more to do with their sheer size – it seemed oddly wasteful to throw away something so hefty and substantial – rather than any lingering nostalgia for coolness (real or imagined).

Then the other day I came upon them at the back of my wardrobe and vaguely recalled a current trend for the clumpier boot. And the thought occurred to me: If they were cool at 40, could they be cool again at 60? Does the coolth ratio increase with age or is there an inverse dwindling ratio? Do fishnets make a difference? Could it be that I’m too cool for my Cats?

Still trying to figure that one out. See for yourself.

Das Boot.
Das Boot.


When your wattle starts to show

I first became aware of The Wattle phenomenon thanks to Ally McBeal way back when. Not Ally herself but the Dyan Cannon character, whose wattle was an object of desire for one of the male characters (a toy boy to her cougar). It was just another of the bizarre plotlines which were such a feature of the show. Who in real life would want to get up close and personal with a wattle, even Dyan Cannon’s? Nothing I could relate to then, not at all, thought I, complacently stroking my silky smooth underchin area.

But in the last year or so I’ve become aware that I too have a wattle forming below my jaw. Turkeys aside, it’s not just Dyan Cannon and I who are thus afflicted. Nora Ephron (RIP) had a lot to say on the subject in her book, which I haven’t actually read but I’m sure must touch on the wattle. Judging by the title, not only do we women of a certain age have wattles, we also feel tremendous shame for having them. Like it’s our fault for making the world an uglier place by parading with our wattle necks.

Now I ask you – is that fair? Should we be held responsible for our wattles? Did we bring them on ourselves by daring to grow old? And compounding our sin by sullenly refusing to rush off to our friendly cosmetic surgeon to make it all look better? In my case, I couldn’t afford a CS, no matter how friendly. So is that another link in the chain of shame, the financial lack that stops me from fixing my unsightliness?

Kiss my wattle.
Kiss my wattle.

I think I’ll go and have a coffee now. Meanwhile, welcome to my wattle world (see right).

On going grey


For my first post I’ll go straight to the jugular, the dreaded sign that youth has fled or is at least heading for the exit. Yes, that invidious first grey hair. I of course have long passed that particular sign post and am well on my way to a total grey-out (see pic).

More than 50 shades of grey.
More than 50 shades of grey.

Why is it that such an ordinary experience stirs such strong feelings? Women are still more prone, though men aren’t far behind. People are divided into those who dye and those who don’t and both sides are firmly entrenched. Those who do seem to regard grey hair as a shameful sign of frailty, while those who don’t (and here I speak for myself) are putting a brave face on facing up to their mortality.

Dyeing is usually the first line of defence to ward off ageing. It’s been around for centuries, you can DIY, it needn’t cost much, and can (if done well) take off a few years. I admit I only went commando on my head a couple of years ago. So what made me cross the line to join the other camp?

Well, for one thing I was curious to see what I really looked like. How grey was I really? To hasten the process along I cut off several centimetres and reserved the right to recolour at any time. At first I kind of slunk around, self-conscious about exposing my guilty secret yet elated at letting the world see me au naturel. Several times I almost succumbed to the lure of the dye. But as time went by I found myself relaxing in the presence of the new (though old) me.

Now I can’t imagine reaching for the dye again. Here are the advantages I’ve found:
* No more slave to my hairdresser
* No worrying about how the real me looks (I already know and so does everyone else)
* And best of all, on a windy day I love it when the wind exposes my roots for all the world to see. See if I care!