Archive for the ‘Getting Old’ Category

I am finally on the road (ha!) to completing one of my lifelong ambitions. I am learning to ride a motorbike. It’s taken me a while to get to it but I am determined pass. Then I intend to get on the road on a large(ish) machine. I will be the girl biker I always dreamed I would be. Err, ok, in my head I’ll be a girl, course, in reality I’m an old biddy on a bike but at least I’ll have achieved my dream some 35 years on.

I went out with a fair few bikers in my youth and hung around rocker pubs, headbanging the night away, drinking snakebite, snogging men with longer hair than me, who wreaked of patchouli oil. Those were the days! haha. I imagined myself rolling up at The Bull in Hornchurch (a great rocker pub) on my bike and removing my helmet and swishing my hair around Jaclyn Smith styley from Charlies Angels. Instead, my dad convinced me to get an Escort 1100. Pftttt not quite the same.

So, I did ride pillion a bit over the years but never took that step to get my own licence. I don’t really know why. About 15 years ago I tried to pass my CBT. I failed. The training centre I went to were horrible. The instructors were so full of their own self importance and ego, that they put me off for a long time.

Then, Mr Scubafee, decides he’d like to get another bike. He’s missing his Ducati. Well,  have you seen the pillion position on those things? No way, Jose! Only one thing for it, get me on mota-cicle! Mr Scubafee likes to push me to do things he knows I want to do but am too scared to.

So, here I am. I have passed my CBT and am now riding a 700 (admittedly restricted) so I can pass my full test and get myself a bike to roar around the country lanes of Essex on. Here’s me on the 700.  This is the most awesomest thing ever, and it makes me feel EPIC! Everyone should do it.

Me on the Yamaha 700

Me on the Yamaha 700

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Me aged 5

Me aged 5! I had big hair back then too!

I’m 50 today (I’m still only about 25 in my head mind you). It’s not really a big deal. I thought I would wake up and feel different, or have some sort of epiphany but it was not to be.  I was going to write something about how 50 is the new 40 or how I’m embracing my age blah blah blah blah or how I have learnt to love me (puke) but I just can’t be bothered. So instead, I’m going to give you my view on two things that are definitely age related.

Wrinkles

They are everywhere and there seem to be a plethora of adverts promising that THEIR CREAM will definitely definitely reduce the appearance of wrinkes using some made up rubbishy science word. Truth is, you can’t stop them appearing. In fact, as each year passes the process seems to speed up. They appear in the most unusual places too. The one place that surprised me the most was my in-steps! Strangely, I quite like having wrinkly in-steps. Here are my tips for a care-free attitude to wrinkles:

  • Wherever possible only look at yourself in flattering lighting and learn how to apply make-up (I never have , mainly because I’ve been unable to overcome my fear of those scary cosmetic women in department stores).
  • Spending time examining them in the mirror only leads to spotting even more. It’s like when you look at stars in the night sky. You see a few at first, then all of a sudden you can’t see anything but stars.
  • Put olive oil on them but don’t go near the dog afterwards or they want to lick your face. Oh important safety tip here: don’t put olive oil on them if you’re going out in the sun.
  • Avoid the sun when you’re young and wear factor 200 (or a balaclava). Although, don’t bother now if, like me, you spent your childhood and teenage years either basting yourself in tanning oil, or using tinfoil to get a brown face.
  • Distract attention from your wrinkles by the clever use of hats, scarves, necklaces, large glasses (a la Eric Morecambe styley).
  • Don’t bother with botox. It’s makes your face look really weird. (No, I haven’t had it done but I know some people who have and they are very scary when they try to smile.

Oh and while we’re on the subject – hand cream? Hand cream doesn’t do anything to stop your hands being wrinkly. Anyone remember that Atrixo advert with the leaf demonstration? Rubbish! Yes, your hansd will be soft, but they’ll be softly wrinkled ‘;).

Memory

It seems as if everyone is getting Alzheimer’s or will be getting it. Experts (we never know who these experts are I notice) say that your memory deteriorates as you get older. Very true but I thought they meant older older! Now I’m trying to work out whether I just have a crap memory or early onset Alzheimer’s. Who knows? No-one that’s who.

I prefer to think of it as my brain dumping a load of rubbish in it’s internal waste basket that it thinks I don’t need only to find that I wanted to access it but it’s already emptied the basket (you can tell I work in IT) so has to get it back from the delete folder. So, you will, at some point, experience some of these:

  • You will forget why you went into a room.
  • You will forget where you left stuff.
  • You will forget your name when someone asks you. I have a back-up name in case. It’s Gwendoline De Pugh.
  • You will go into the supermarket for bread and toilet roll (chanting that in your head so you don’t forget) and come out with a bakewell tart and a jar of olives.
  • Putting your car keys in the fridge is ok as long as you remember that you did at some point.
  • You will wake up in the middle of the night convinced you left the grill on or forgot to lock the door. You stumble downstairs only to find that you DID lock the door, you DID turn off the grill. You just forgot that you did.
Me last night, still 49!

Me last night, still 49! In my new galabeya

Hold it! Stop stop stop. You know what? I think it’s time I had a word with myself. Why am I even bothering with all this? So what if I have wrinkles? So what if my memory ain’t what it used to be? What do you care if I am a little bit OCD. I like making sure my “R” headphone is in my right ear and my “L” headphone is in my left. What’s it to ya?

The important thing for me is that I did what I promised myself I would do. I promised myself I wouldn’t be a 50-year old fat smoker and I’m not. I’m fitter and healthier than I’ve ever been.

Fat Wendy 2003

On board Atlantis 2003

That’s me on the left last night wearing my newest bellydance outfit. A lovely galabeya from Egypt. And that’s me on the right when we moved onto Atlantis in 2003. Not a pretty sight!

All I really want is to continue to take care of the good things in my life and ignore the irritating stuff as much as I can.  As long you are healthy (mind, body and spirit) and happy that’s all that matters. And if you’re not, do what you can to change it so that you are.

When I was younger in my darkest days I used to listen incessantly to Depeche Mode and The The. Their sons spoke to me and seemed to relate to the things going on my life. One The The song that seemed to epitomise my life back then was I’ve Been Waiting For Tomorrow.  If you want to know why, ask me sometime. Listening to it this morning I realised how much I’ve changed and in some ways how I haven’t changed one bit.

I hope you enjoy it.

SF out!
xx

I was surprised at the level of sadness I felt this week when I heard that Neil Armstrong had died.  By all accounts he was a quiet, modest man. In case you didn’t know (and shame on you if you didn’t) he was the first man to walk on the moon, among other things.

Moonbase Alpha

Moonbase Alpha – weren’t we all supposed to live there?

I remember (barely) watching the moon landing on TV and what followed was a plethora of  TV shows that had me absolutely convinced that I would live on Moonbase Alpha. I imagined I would have frequent holidays to Mars, Venus and Uranus (fnarr fnarr).

I believed I would live in tight fitting space suits and eat small cubes that tasted of steak and chips. It’s true I tell you, Raymond Baxter said it would be so on Tomorrow’s World! We should stop funding wars and invest money in space travel instead.

Well, RIP Neil.  I’ll be in my ready room. watching re-runs of Space 1999, The Tomorrow People and The Clangers.

 

Bloody menopause! I’ve been having night sweats for a while now. I’d wondered if they were hot flushes. Now I know differently ;).  Hot flushes are even worse.

One minute I’m fine, then the next I feel like a jacket potato cooking in the microwave. I heat up from somewhere in my middle as if someone just lit my pilot light. I wouldn’t mind if they were all the same time, but they seem to come at very random times!

A Tomato

A tomato – representing my face

Yesterday at the gym I had my first real hot flush. I ended up soaking wet through with a face like a tomato. I kept expecting Willy Wonka to turn to an oompa loompa and ask him to take me to the straining room for his bloody mary wonkadrink. Luckily I was at the gym, so no-one really noticed. To the untrained eye, I could have just had the mutha of all workouts.

In my view, the menopause is nothing more than a return to a pre-pubescent state before you have to start wearing nappies again and don’t know who you are or how to speak – or … what we used to call old age. It’s true I tell you! Let’s look at the facts:

Puberty Menopause
Get boobs Lose boobs or other options include drooping (handy waist warmers) or shrinking (which is ok if you have elastic skin).
Sprout hairs in nether regions Lose hairs in nether regions but get a hairy face! Handy for winter!
Can’t stop thinking about sex and boys Can’t stop thinking about naps during the day and a cuddle in bed as you fall asleep watching some crap movie (as long as you are not having a hot flush that is).
Wear as little as possible and the shorter the better Don’t forget your coat, gloves and scarf if it looks chilly … oh … and magic pants/bra/girdle/tights/other scaffolding on a night out. Don’t worry though because it’s only your significant other who wll see that stuff!
Stay up drinking til 4am (obviously when you are over 18 ;)) Stay up drinking til 4am but never on a week night and make sure you have nothing on the agenda for the next week because you’ll need that long to recover.
Have boundless energy – just want to run and jump around Absolutely no jumping – think of your bladder darling!

I could go on but I’m getting short term memory loss so I’ll stop before I lose my thread ;).

Bollocks to the menopause.

SF —- out!

When did it become hard to open things wrapped in cellophane? Has it started its own campaign to destroy finger muscles or have I reached that age where certain abilities have deserted me?

You know what I mean? Things like; opening cellophane, finding the end of the sellotape, unscrewing tight jar lids, reading small print on labels. They make you feel like you have sausages for fingers!

Yesterday I bought a box of incense sticks containing many different fragrances. I was very pleased with the range of fragrances and looked forward to creating scented heaven around the house.

Incense Sticks Box

Incense Sticks Box

Of course, the first hurdle is to get the flippin things out of the packaging! I managed to get the cellophane off the box with the use of a kitchen knife slid down the box edge, always a dangerous activity for me as this highly complex equation shows:

Me + Knives = Blood

However, the gods were with me. So far so good. Once I’d gained entry to the box, I discovered that each set of fragranced sticks were wrapped in even more cellophane. Two layers of the stuff in fact.

Sticks wrapped in more bloody cellophane!

Sticks wrapped in more bloody cellophane!

Ok, don’t panic, don’t panic. I can do this. I’ve already got into the box without injury, opening a couple more wrappers isn’t going to be a problem. Is it?

Taking out the Jasmine sticks, I attempted to tear open the first layer. Nothing. I tried poking my finger through the cellophane. Nothing.

The scissors were sitting in the knife block goading me. They said:

“Come off it! You know you can’t do it without me.
You can’t just go around free-styling.
Scissors are for people like you.
You know you are going to be using me, why prolong the agony?”

I glared at the scissors. Bloody scissors sitting there all scissory. Ok, maybe the cellophane is just folded over, I try running my fingers up and down looking for a seam. Nothing. The knife has joined the scissors in the taunts. It said:

“I can help you! I already got the box open without too much trouble.
Come on, give me another chance.
You can’t do it yourself; you just haven’t got what it takes.
I won’t hurt you, I promise!”

Yeah right, I can feel that knife just waiting to stab me or slice open the tip of my thumb, it can’t fool me, not this time.

My scissors and knife in cahoots together

My scissors and knife in cahoots together

I’m going to have to bring in the teeth. Whenever I’m in doubt about opening something the old teeth can always try biting their way in. First I go in with a standard hold between teeth and rip approach. Nothing. Ok that’s fine, try the other side. Nothing. Right, hold the cellophane in the teeth and then pull with my hands. Nothing. Ok, just generally chew it and see if it magically opens. Nope.

I know. Try pushing the sticks through the cellophane and just pull one out when the hole appears. Nope. I just ended up bending them and rendering them useless. Arghhhhhhh.

I grab the smug scissors cut across the top of the first and second wrappers simultaneously and pull out the sticks. Success. The knife’s not happy, I can tell. I know he was hoping for blood today.

Right, there’s nothing else for it but to teach that cellophane a lesson! I shall wreak my revenge on you. I screw it up into a tiny ball and sneer at it. I throw it majestically into the bin and watch it nestled amongst the old tea bags and empty milk cartons and slam the lid down. Ha! I have defeated you.

…………… now, only another 10 packs to go!