Sunday 30th October
I am not telling you the date – I must preserve some dignity during this process. And I am definitely not looking for cards or presents; my charity shop must be heartily sick of the discarded toiletries and scented candles I seem to get given these days. “Oh how lovely, just what I needed” I fib without a moment’s thought; at least I try to find presents that my few friends might like, books or music that I know they will enjoy but may not have found for themselves, but I am always amazed at the inappropriate gifts I am given in return, especially chocolates – I mean, say what you like about me, and I am sure plenty do, but I am most definitely not a chocolate person.
So, another year older, and yes, the mirror doesn’t lie, Catherine, those are wrinkles around your eyes, and the veins in your neck are looking more and more scraggy each year, not bad bone structure though, those good old high cheekbones have served you well over the years. I don’t really mind getting older, or looking it either, far better than those who try to hide it with make-up and clothes twenty years too young for themselves. There is nothing worse than ‘mutton dressed as lamb,’ as Grandma might have said. At least today’s older women seem to have stopped dying their white hair ludicrous shades of pink or blue, as I seem to remember a few year back. I now have to confess that I do touch up my grey tresses with hair dye these days, but I have kept to my light brown colour without giving in to the temptation to go blonde, as a few of my friends have, so just a small deception really. I am always amazed at those advertisements which seem to dominate the commercial channels for anti-wrinkle creams and potions, I am sure they do not really work any better than the ‘slap’ foundation most women opt for – it is all just so much polyfilla really isn’t it, smoothing out the pores and creases. Or maybe they do work, in the sense that the adverts are highly successful and shift loads of product, as more and more gullible women (and some men too, I understand) rush out for the latest age-defying cream with some unpronounceable and dubious-sounding new scientific ingredient that none of the others have. And they always have this rider that results are visible after only a few weeks application, knowing so well that most of us will have given up long before then, and the expensive little heavy bottomed glass jar will be consigned to the bottom drawer of the dresser in the spare room, the one where all of those equally expensive medications are kept, equally redundant, but you just cannot bring yourself to throw them away; that verruca might just return, and you never know when you will need that mosquito repellent or that nasal spray again.
So, another birthday has passed, largely uncelebrated, as I prefer them these days; I had seen my father a few weeks ago down in Brighton, and my mother did phone and ask if I wanted to go out for a meal, but I said not to bother, we would be meeting in a weeks’ time anyway, we would have a meal then. I just curled up with Puddy-Tat and re-read most of my book again. If only I had the chance to re-write some of it again, but no, that is finished now, and I really should get back to writing book number two before yet another birthday overtakes me.