There has been quite a revolution in the shopping experience available around where I live – my golly it needed it, but this is something else1  after much promising by the local MP and council leaders, a huge wetland area, formerly busy and grimygravel extractio pits, have been totally redeveloped.  What we have now is an amazing combination of te top ladies’ and gents’ clothing stores – small but functional and totally in keeping with the changing shopping habits of the nation.  There are also outdoor pursuit stores selling clothing, camping and walking gear – an adventurer’s paradise.  Also in the specially designed eatery area are a wide selection of restaurants, cafes and pizza parlours, all overlooking the fantastic piece de resistance . . . . .  the nature reserve section.  It’s a life enhancing and mood boosting experience and you can only feel much happier after a visit – surely that’s the aim of the game!

This very hot and sultry weather has been an absolute nightmare for some folk – we cannot cope with the humidity and no matter how often the authorities suggest we keep out of the sun to ensure that we don’t get headaches caused by looking directly at a very sunny aspect, keep  curtains closed.   To ensure we don’t get dehydrated at all – and this is very easy with old folk, drink lots of plain water, etc. etc.  check the colour of our urine to ensure not drying up.   Also, applying high factor sun protection lotion more regularly when we do have to go out in the sunny air.   Wearing a hat is almost obligatory now, but it makes sense otheriwse heatstroke can hit even faster.   Taking care with make up, especially on the eyes.  Waterproof pencil and mascara are best as they don’t melt or run down the face on in the eyes quite so much.

As the winter draws to a close, I always get that excited feeling when the first of the warmer days drifts along.  We had a particular grim winter season this time.  Muc seriously cold and wet weather brought all manner of problems in the garden and around the country as a whole.  This brings down the bouyancy of a community – the need to be joyful and enthusiastic for life is essential when the chips are down.  I change my make up and body products according to how I feel, and this of course is directed by the weather and climate.  I always step up my skin’s  protection as soon as we get more than a glimmer of sun.  My skin and body routine itself remains unaltered but the products have to have higher factor and I rarely let the sun hit my face and neck on a hot day.   Sun I do love, but not the ravaging effect it can have!

Isn’t it funny how different seasons bring out the need for a change in the scent we apply or the lotions and potions we apply to our face and body?  I have always been a bit of sticker – having spent teenage years and much of my adult life thinking perfume never suited me, I now have a wonderful range of products to choose from and each one suits me admirably.  I was introduced to online perfumery products a while back and I have found that the information available on each product is second to none.   Whereas the gloriously made up and well coiffured doyennes of the department store perfumery counters will be able to promote particular products in their line, they rarely have any of the technical information that is so helpful for the wearer to know before spraying or applying.   Having facts to hand helps you to select the right balance of floral over heady musk for example.

 

Some of the beauty articles in the posher maazines are now raving about all sorts of age reducing or limiting facial work that can be carried out without massively expensive clinic time.   Years ago the idea of plumping out the face was usually something that only a fool would steal for or an entire school club together to get Teacher that life enhancing wrinkle removal.   There are filling products now that have collagen and other ‘natural’ ingredients.  The injections can be a bit of a side issue, with pain being felt.  It would put me ff straight away thinking that a non medically trained consltant could try inplanting stuff withot being a doctor.  There have been some really serious mishaps with these clinics – thinking of at least 3 actresses who look really stupid treatments, two hae been left with massively bloated lips and jaw regions and I don’t think either have ever worked on stage or screen since.

Oh how my chums and I chortled when we were at school and one of the teachers came in with rather unusual make up instead of her usual pink circle on each cheek, gash of bright scarlet across her lips and just a line of pencil under each eye – where I have carefully applied a ‘dusty’ look with black mascara every since learning the art from my mother when I was 13.    We got used to the teachers routinely telling us off for breaking the rules.  Mind you, make up in those days was so basic that it wouldn’t be noticed at all today.  We have all kinds of creams, blushers, coloured foundations, bronzing moisturisers, highlighting cream, shadow minimising.  I do read the magazines but ralise I need one of the consultations available from the best of the make up and beauty sites – a treat for me maybe.

Oh how well I remember the teenage magazines of my youth.  Lots of gloriously coloured articles showing the latest trends in ‘beauty’ and how to make the most of our features.  Nothing saucy or racy involving boys, we were so innocent in those days and the magazines tended to hint at more exciting things to be had when we got a little older.  There was no shortage of offers to try this perfume or that eye shadow.  Lots of competitions were entered to try and get the Twiggy look – I used to have ver long hair, quite thick but very baby fine.  It was a nightmare to manage and when dear old Twig became hot property, I decided to have a similar hair cut, having been told how like her I was facially and bodily.  Of course, the local hairdresser could not emulate the right look and I ended up with a ghastly mess.  I cried rivers over that mistake.

I really love the idea of getting showered in the morning and taking my time to apply my body lotion and face creams;  it feels as though this is my special time to myself.  Some folk like to bath every evening and have the same hour or so to themselves.  I’ve always been a morning person and this is reflected in the order I prepare myself.  anti perspirant needs time to dry so that goes on first, followed by the first of my face creams, the anti wrinkle one.  then the body lotion to help care for very dry skin on arms and legs.  Once those are done, time to pop out to the bedroom and do my exercise routine for 15 minutes.  When the last arm swing has been completed, I leap back into the ensuite to put the face moisturiser on – and then some eye make up.  A bit of black and I’m your gal!

This is really the season to look back over the last 12 months and take stock.  Firstly of what has happened to us and the effects we may still be feeling – as we age, there are the illnesses that take a bit longer to shift.  I had the most awful chesty cough, followed by a cold, leading up to Christmas.  Despite much care with hygiene and wrapping myself up warmly when going out for my now more routine walks, I still succumbed.   My task now, having taken stock, is to see where I can safeguard or future proof myself for the coming months.

I have resolved to do my paid work, ie. articles and writing, in the morning only and to stop absolutely at noon.  Take a light lunch, clear up, and then march forth for a short, brisk walk.  This will really help my body, my mind, and my skin.  All very free to achieve!

Whenever anyone kindly asks me what I’d like for christmas, I so rarely remember to askfor the thing that really makes my day and allows me to look as fantastic as I do for someone of my very advanced years!  I do take great care of my skin and body.   I can’t really claim to be so saintly regarding my hair.  A series of unfortunate hair appointments has made me lose confidence in my abilit to communicate to these professionsals.   For some reason I can talk til the cows come home on almost any other subject, but when it comes to eplaining how I want my hair to look just before I leae te salon, I seem to talk a lot of gibberish.   If only I could illustrate my ideas more adequately rather than what I must do – suggest I want an unflattering pudding basin bob!