Taking My Time

I'M not that fussed about getting old.
Really I'm not.
I don't live in some image-obsessed city where a wrinkle has to be sand-blasted to oblivion lest anyone thinks you are over 30 but in the country where we are very much more laid back about looks. I don't worry that where I live designer clothes mean Barbour and Hunters. In my village the height of fashion is having floral-decorated wellies.
In any case, I have many positive role models of older women. My older sister (oh, much, much older) runs triathlons in her 60s. My mother does the The Times large cryptic crossword every week and can still lob a dishcloth at the side of your head at 20 paces if you upset her. Eldest sister is a brilliant painter.
My Auntie Marjorie was 90-something when she died. The last conversation I had with her I suggested she might like to use a zimmer frame as she was getting wobbly on her feet. Her answer? "Oh no, dear, I'd look like an old lady!"
But the thing I really hate about getting old is the time it takes.
I know it's a vanity thing but I don't yet want grey hair. Further down the line I will no doubt decide to grow grey gracefully but for now I cover up those stray grey strands. Do you young whippersnappers out there know how long it takes to colour your hair? By the time I've wet hair, towel dried it, lathered up colour solution, left it on the hair to "take", rinsed it off, conditioned it and dried it, it's another time of day. The sun has already risen over the yard arm and I haven't yet had time to pour myself a whiskey.
Every morning I put on my make-up. It's no longer possible to put a tiny whisper of foundation on dewy skin with a slick of eye shadow and a pout of lipstick. Oh no. I now need "equipment", including a large trowel and repointing tool, and industrial-strength foundation that doesn't creep insidiously into cracks and stick there like cement in crazy paving.
Then there's shopping. You can't just waltz into Top Shop you know, whisk a tiny little top off the rail and buy it. No, you have to approach shopping like a military campaign. Line up all the tops in front of you and bark questions at them. Would you make me look like mutton dressed as lamb or, worse, a member of the over 60s club? Are you too bright, too dull, too young, too old, too "out there" by half? I need clothes that feel comfortable but, like the harvest, make sure all is safely gathered in. By the time I've whittled the contenders down to a manageable number, I've lost interest and have to sit down with a nice cup of tea and a currant bun.
Then there are your beauty routines, set up in a vain attempt to stop everything from expanding, collapsing and plummeting south. I use the word "beauty" loosely, resembling as I do Black Beauty more than Beautiful Girl but, anyway, there are cleansers, toners, face creams, face exercises (oh yes, I have a book about "facercise" and when once in a blue moon I attempt to do them I do a passable impression of Miss Devon Gurning Champion 1945), body lotion….. deep breath ….. eye cream, hand cream, foot cream, skin tightening cream and cuticle cream when the only cream I'm really interested in is clotted cream and Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
If I did everything I was supposed to I'd start getting ready for bed at lunchtime, aiming to get my head on the pillow by midnight.
So, as I told the dearly beloved, I have made a decision. I have decided to cut my beauty routines to a bare minimum. He stared at me for a full minute before saying, "Is that wise?"
Serve him right when I start to look like Margaret Rutherford on a bad day.

  • AS I mentioned in my last blog, I have been tagged. One was by Elizabeth Grace http://ehgrace.blogspot.com/ who has chosen me as a recipient of The Thinking Blogger Award (see cute little picture at the top of the page) . Click here to find out the rules of thinking blogger tagging, http://www.thethinkingblog.com/2007/02/thinking-blogger-awards_11.html
    (I really must dig out that HTML code for linking). All I have to do for this tag is to list five other people who I consider to be "thinking bloggers" and they too can display that cute little award. I found many more than five but I have chosen the following five because they happen to be the top five of my links list. They are diverse, witty, write well and are entertaining.

    For the other tag (from Herschelian), I have to list eight random facts about myself that you may not know. So here goes.
    1. I had six brothers and sisters and my father had six brothers and sisters. Consequently I have a huge and very close family, most of whom are barking mad... but that's why I like them! We're a bit like a cross between The Waltons and The Addams Family. A friend once wrote on my birthday card, "Happy birthday from your family ... and the other three people in Devon."
    2. I live in a house I helped to build. It hasn't fallen down yet, but after 20 years it still isn't completely finished either.
    3. I once came third in a national short story competition. I hope there were more than three entries.
    4. I have the attention span of a gnat and the boredom threshold of a three-year-old. I'm always starting things but never finishing them. I hate talking to boring people and often find they have been talking for ages and I haven't taken in a word. Consequently, I have perfected a sound, "N'yah", which could be taken as a yes or a no.
    5. This is a fact which will astonish anyone who's known me for less than 20 years - I was very sporty as a child and was a demon centre forward in the Devon B hockey team and tennis captain for the school.
    6. I sleep like a log but can't get to sleep unless I have read at least a page of a book. I have to read something, even if it's 3am and I have to be up at 6am.
    7. I like doing crosswords. Every Saturday, my mother (in her 80s and sharp as a tack), my sister and I do the large Times cryptic crossword sitting around the table at my sister's house while drinking coffee and eating cake and biscuits. Other people occasionally drop by to lend a hand.
    8. I was born on a farm in a tiny bungalow, shared by seven kids and two brilliant parents. We were poor materially but rich in everything that matters.

    I'll be round to various blogs later to "tag" them on this one.


  1. Thank you for the award. :)
    I have already received this award but I notice some blogs sport more than one award so I accept it wholeheartedly! I will do the post on Monday all being well and nominate five others to receive it.
    Loved reading the 8 Random facts about you. I did this tag a little while ago and it's not easy to do!
    Thanks again. :)

  2. I used to do those "facercises" when driving to work in the mornings. Yes - I did get looks.
    Now I don't work - so that's the end of my beauty routine.
    Pass the trowel.

  3. "resembling as I do Black Beauty more than Beautiful Girl"

    You look like a horse? I don't believe it. One thing you didn't mention is your natural body scent, which is pretty important to a gorilla. I'll give you an honest evaluation if you send me an undergarment.

  4. Thanks for the award! I shall proudly display it in my sidebar.

    My roots come through every three weeks now, and it's an absolute nightmare. I spend most of my life looking like a skunk :)

  5. Thanks for the award, what I didn't get one? you cunt.

  6. Akelamalu: What I liked about the "thinking blogger" award is that I didn't have to actually write anything! Going to check our your random 8 facts if I can find them.

    Kaz: Why do we put ourselves through it when I'm sure we're all TOTALLY GORGEOUS without!

    Mr B: Do I really look like a horse? Neigh. Natural scent - a mixture of washing-up liquid, garlic, red wine with a soupcon of yes, French Onion soup.

    Miss U.: I always liked the Morticia Addams look - black hair with white streaks.

    Mr K.: Tut, tut. Did you mother not tell you never to use rude words to a lady? I'm no lady, so you're all right. The reason I didn't give you an award is that I have another especially for you. I have emailed it to the address on your website which was something like: ineverbothertocheckthissodontbother which I'm hoping is a joke. Please display it with pride.

  7. Nice blog. Think you should post that short story that came third, if possible.

  8. Ah my winning ways won again.

    I hardly ever check that e-mail address, I was disgusted at the lack of hate mail I was getting.

  9. My Thinking Blogger post is up now and thank you again.

    The Eight random facts about me was actually "10 things you don't know about me" you can see it here


    if you're interested that is?! :)

  10. your family sounds lovely, and what lineage. You're right to pare down your beauty routine, with your ancestry you'll live for years and years. think how much you'd spend on face cream!

  11. I can go along with just about everything you mentioned, though I can't be bothered to do anything about my hair at the moment! I blogged about ageing yesterday - see my blog!

  12. Thank you, thank you. Any plaudit be it ever so 'umble etc etc....

  13. Re the little facts you shared. Are you a Gemini or a long lost sister (judging by the size of your family it is possible)? I too HAVE to read a page of a book at least in bed. Also, I have perfected an ambivilant sound but it is more an hmmmm that goes up and down in tone in a very non committal way. So it is not just me then!!

  14. Thanks for passing along the award! Sorry I haven't been over before this, my health problems struck yet again.

  15. These beauty regimens you commoners have! I get my ladies (apart from the serving wenches I occasionally get to gratify me)some asses milk, or, failing that, a Hollywood surgeon.

  16. Omega Mum: I promise you - my short story is not the slightest bit interesting! I was toying with the idea of possibly setting up a blog where people could post their short stories but I think I would only receive a load of porn, the internet being what it is.

    Mr Knudsen: Careful, that comment was almost pleasant and that's bad for your image!

    Akelamalu: Thanks for the link. It was lovely to get to know you!

    Miss Pig: If only my beauty regime ever did any good! Too late, I'm afraid.

    Flowerpot: I had a look at your blog and left a couple of comments - some lovely pictures there.

    Mopsa: You're welcome!

    Miss Cheese: I don't know if I'm a long, lost relative of yours but I am a Gemini!

    Fat Sparrow: Get well soon. I'm sending you healing thoughts.

    Lord Milky: The asses' milk sounds preferable but I fear the surgeon's knife would be more appropriate.

  17. we have a lot in common! Thanks for linking me - will put a link in to you now. Great blog!

  18. I've never had a beauty routine - no-one ever showed me how yo put on makeup and I'm far too lazy/divvy/distracted to ever keep it up on a regular basis.

    And hey - it shows! Years of blasting my face with the sun through living in hot countries and not using sun cream properly, plus a youth spent riding motorbikes with an open-face helmet have taken their toll.

    As I'm so new to all this two questions here: how do you find those wonderful pictures to put on your posts and second, what the +*"$ is tagging??

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  20. Hello Mid-Lifer, nice to talk to you. As for tags, this is from a previous posting of mine which, hopefully, explains: "I have been tagged. Twice. I'm such a blog ignoramus that I had to do a Google search to find out what this meant. Wikipedia tells me it's a bit like a game of tag. Someone writes a list (e.g. Five Things You Love About Posh and Becks) and then tags five more people to write their list of things they love about Posh and Becks." If you are American you probably haven't a clue who Posh and Becks are (ex-Spice Girl and British footballer). Actually, you are much more likely to be asked to reveal something like "eight things you might not know about me".
    Pictures: some I have taken myself, others I have found by doing an "image search" on Google.