As I lay in bed the other morning, snuggled under two duvets and an eiderdown trying to keep warm, with the snowflakes whipping around outside my window, I felt relieved. Because despite the bitingly cold wind it was the first day of spring. A Siberian-style spring I grant you, but nevertheless it is officially spring. My daffodils are valiantly thrusting upwards, the polyanthus shrugging off a layer of snow with stoicism, and miniscule green leaf buds are finally making an appearance on trees and shrubs. It is my favourite time of year, but not my favourite time of life. My teenage years were awkward, unsure and naive. Now I’m much older, I am much happier. And I wonder if that’s the case for most people. Especially as we are the ‘sandwich generation‘ as Annabel explained this week and, of course, every life has its ups and downs. But overall, I’m far more content now than when I was twenty.
Happily for me and my wrinkles, there seems to be a teeny weeny bit of a craze for older people at the moment.
It’s becoming quite cool to be 60+. All the old rockers (and we have our fair share of those living here in West Sussex) have been dusting off their hairpieces and touring again. Admittedly, when we saw The Who they had cups of coffee on stage instead of vodka but they still rocked it. Breakfast TV had an item about The Alarm, an ageing rock group who hoaxed the industry and inspired the new feelgood film Vinyl. And talking of movies, we’ve recently relished films starring very mature casts - Amour, Quartet and Best Exotic Marigold Hotel. To say nothing of the septegenarian stars of a CountryWives’ favourite TV drama, Last Tango in Halifax.
Then there’s nonagenarian Iris Apfel who is the poster girl for ‘advanced style’ and whose fans include Ralph Lauren, Jimmy Choo and the marketeers at Mac Cosmetics. And even our TV ads don’t shy away from older beauty these days (about time) with M&S employing the beautiful silver haired model Yasmina Rossi (who kind of stole the show). And, of course, congratulations go to Jorge Mario Bergoglio who yesterday, at the ripe old age of 76, became one of the most powerful men in the world.
I am most grateful to all those post sixty women – Joan Collins, Judi Dench, The Queen – who are still in the limelight and still sending out an elegant, worldly wise aura to all and sundry. I was dreading turning sixty last year, but it’s turned out OK. Actually more than OK. I have a senior rail card now and can get to London and back for £9.40. Now that is cool.Happily wrinkly, Grace x