Friday 15 January 2016


In a recent tidying up moment I came across several jumpers with what we always called "turtle necks".  For the uninitiated, this did nor refer to an exposure of a  turtle type neck on you but to  the collar of a jumper which came right up to the chin. Had it, thereafter, rolled over, if I remember rightly,it  would then have been called a "cowl neck". I have no recollection whatsoever of my reason for housing them away from the general jumper population but there they were, opening up yet another cash-free enhancement of my current wardrobe.

But there's the rub. Putting one on I chanced to look in the mirror, (applying lipstick, since you ask), and discovered, horrified, that I did, in fact have the sinewy neck of a turtle: not a good look on an elderly lady however charming her neck may have been when she was forty. Of all the things someone seventy five going on forty has to adjust to, perhaps a changed appearance may be the most astonishing.. I don't mean the phenomenon is astonishing. I mean I am astonished when I am forced to recognise it. Having had obedient, curly brown hair with tones of russet, I now have listless, recalcitrant hair the colour of which my Mother and her friends used to call "pepper and salt".There is a slight hiccup of 'is that me?' every time I have to deal with it. Having worn with pride a bikini - at the time called a two-piece swimsuit - I now hide in the longest one-piece swimsuit I can find and that only to run in to the sea and submerge until invisible. (That's a lie. I stagger in to the sea supported by the reluctant Guru's reluctant hand and procrastinate, tentative about moving off in full view of an amused but invariably courteous collection of pretenders-not-to-notice with whom I shall, in due course, be having dinner). Oh, and waist: what waist? At forty I was - or thought I was - full of interesting ideas, thirsty for knowledge and a touch pedantic in the search for it. Well, actually, obsessively pedantic in the search for it. And it was not only knowledge. As I have disclosed in an earlier blog, ( the repetitiveness of old age) veracity: it's name was chocolate to me . "No, it wasn't 5 o'clock, it was 5 05 o'clock" I might say to a companion, not by way of correction for the sake of correction but by way of accuracy for the sake of accuracy. Not surprisingly, correction was heard as just that: a pointing out of a mistake in The Other. It's a wonder I held any friends at all in my fifth decade. With a mixture of compassion, a sense of proportion and laziness the elderly me lets all these 'mistakes' go by, the inner voice and the man in the archives noting, nodding and shrugging conspiratorially with a tolerance they rarely showed four decades ago. Anyway, I would far rather be The Mock Turtle than The Mad Hatter though there are some who would swear I was both   Prynhawn da

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I do understand. I am not happy either unless every i is dotted and every t crossed.