There really is something to be said for having style.  Poise and elegance are words we always associate with tall willowy ladies – usually those over teenage years but who have never given in to the usual problems of aging – additional pounds on the middle and hefty hips.   I have met up with several matronly madames in recent weeks and I know what they’re thinking.  I could recite with them the whining . . . ‘it’s all right for you, you can eat what you like and stay skinny as a rake…..’   It’s absolutly not true – its the fact I can’t do that which makes me do masses of exercise at night and in the morning.  Apart from a weakness for mint imperials, I avoid most confectionery and these days I never buy crisps or other snacks.  I’d only eat them!  I drink lots of fluid – by that it could be fizzy water, tap water, tea, fruit tea and diet coke.  I like to stay slim and show off my height and figure – it makes me feel really good.  I do it for me. To show my style.

The oddest things happen occasionally.  I had been thinking for some time that I ought to look again at my skincare choices.  I’ve used the same products now for about twenty years, with one or two changes but generally going back to the safe old ones.  Now tha I’m in the slightly less new bracket . . . . .  I realised that my skin had also joined me in this elite grouping.  I have never used face make up itself – a lack of confidence in applying!   I cotton pads with a liquid to totally cleanse my Dusty style waterproof lining and lashes.  I do use apply creamy facial wash with fingers and then rinse it off with hands and then clean flannel.   Drying is critical here, before applying an anti wrinkle cream – that stays, there’s nothing to beat it.  After that comes my upgraded choice – a super luxurious feeling cream for day or night as appropriate – I feel complete once that one goes on.  Am fit for the day!

I was invited to a wedding a few years ago – just when the habit of producing one’s own wedding invites came into fashion.  The card itself was most attractive, the invitation was very clear with date and venue etc.  The bride to be suffered badly from migraines if she came into contact with certain perfume products or aromas.   So rather than be faced with a nightmare of passing out during the ceremony, she put a little ditty as the left hand narrative.  I can’t remember the exact phraseology but it politely but firmly requested that no one wore scented products of any kind as it would ruin her day and just about everyone else’s.  It was pretty effective, there was no fainting, headaches or yelling for ambulances – apart from anything that could have kicked off after we older guests had pushed off back to our rooms.  Effective but sad to think that no scent can bring that flash of joy to her day.

I have been a subscriber to a particular woman’s magazine – from the very inception.  It has all kinds of articles and suggestions for how to make the very best of ourselves.  I love looking over these articles.  I read them, check on the products they suggest and then still go back to the ones in my ensuite cabinet.   The columnist who produces this valuable information every months is very earnest – she really tries hard to engage me – and several million others with me.  I don’t know who chose her – I researched her last week – to my amazement I found she had contacted the magazine herself some years ago and thought she was better than the columnist they’d used for years.  I also discovered she is a good 20 years younger than me.  I think I might just be contacting them for a spot – I can say hand on heart, I’m looking jolly dandy for my age if I may say so.

I have always worn eye make up – from early days sneaking into school with the blotchy signs of an adolescent hand with the cheap make of mascara – a flat palette with what looked like a flat skinny tooth brush.  The results often looked like I used the real thing to apply it.  I can’t believe I was naive enough to think the teachers would believe my plaintive cry that it was left on from the night before . . . .  Nowadays I am so very careful to rid my face and skin of every single grain of make up – I only ever wear it on my eyes still, but I’m much more careful how I pile on the Dusty Springfield lookalike!  Nothing’s changed there except for my scubbing off every night before bed.   I was encouraged to have a facial routine in my teens and I stick to it religiously – after all, it might just be working!

I have never really had the talent for making my eyes look wonderfully exotic – those gorgeous upswept liners that make the eyes grow wide and always questioning.  Rather like Endora in Bewitched.  I have very poor eyesight at the best of times and without them on, whilst putting my own make up on, if I can see some darkish shape around each eye, then that’s good enough.   On go the day specs and I then get a cotton bud dipped in a little eyewash – that gets carefully applied under the lower lashes and above the eyelid below the brow – as inevitably some of the earlier attempt will have stray or splashed up!  I only use eye make up.  I have never worn face make up – I like to pretend I’m an eternal teenager, and so far it seems to be working!  Good exercise to boost the blood circulation also helps.  Oh, as does drinking a lot of plain water!

When the winter comes, it brings not only a cold and dampness to the air around us and in our homes, but it changes the way we feel.  My body for example needs a lot of moisturising all year round but in the autumn and winter, I get through barrels of lotion.  I used to enjoy a comforting bath, in the days when we only had one a week and got by with daily washing the rest of the time.  That one action – hot water with some kind of smelly bath product, used to be a highlight of my week.  It acted as a refresher and restorer of good vibes – Sunday has always been the end of my week, rather than the start of it.  That hot, luxuriously perfumed haven of bubbles would be the signal that an early night would definitely bring its rewards the next day – Monday!

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.

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.