Don't Frighten The Horses

This isn't me. Honest! It is, in fact, Robert De Niro, in a Saturday Night Live sketch.

My father was 47 when I was born so I wasn't best pleased to read this headline in the newspaper:

 “Older fathers have uglier children.”

I may not be competition for Angelina Jolie or Scarlett Johansson but neither do I feel the need to put a bag over my head every time I leave the house in case I cause a stampede among a herd of horses.*

Still, it’s not all bad news. The article went on to say people with older fathers are likely to live longer. So after you pretty young things have popped your clogs, I’ll be sitting in an old people’s home frightening the care assistants with my toothless grin.

I am, however, well on the way to becoming a crazy old cat lady. Although I have only one cat, I must admit she does rather rule the roost in our house! I have a certain amount of sympathy for Robert De Niro's old woman who “had dreams and then she was kicked by a horse and now she has cats.”

So don't call me crazy. I still have all my marbles - well, about 90 per cent of them.

This isn't me either, although I feel I may be heading in this direction!

* I was idly wondering where the comment about frightening the horses came from. Apparently it was quite a common saying in Edwardian England and there are many suggestions for its origins. Here's one of the earliest mentions - and my favourite!

The 1929 book All That I Have Met by Frances Ethel Beddington discussed Princess Louise of Saxony who shocked her social circle by wearing a pair of bloomers and riding a bicycle. She wrote, "In our tolerant London Society — did not a witty Edwardian say: 'I really don’t mind what people do, so long as they don’t do it in the street and frighten the horses!"

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  1. I love how easy it is to trace the beginnings of phrases in the age of computers.

    Nothing wrong with being a crazy cat lady. I'd be one if I wasn't allergic to cats.

  2. Love the photos of Cat Ladies accompanying this post.

    I have two, and they definitely impact The Way Things Are Done around here. We even have a common abbreviated excuse for why we cannot get up or do anything: COL. "I can't turn the oven off--COL. Can you do it?"

    COL=Cat On Lap

  3. Good to know frightening horses is the bar since I can't remember any stampedes I caused.

  4. I am a crazy cat lady and proud.

  5. I aspire to crazy cat lady. I had never heard the phrase don't frighten the horses before. Not everything translates. (We are two nations divided by a common language.)

  6. I have a cat, but don't plant to be a crazy cat lady as I get older. When Lola eventually passes, I won't get another cat. I certainly don't want to have cats who get used to me and my home and then suddenly have to adjust to someone new if I die first.

  7. What a neat phrase. It's new to me, as well. I hope someone on a history show covers this. :)