Monday, November 16, 2020


You know I said last week that I watch Neighbours "because the characters are familiar and there's the plot that drags you on?"

Well Friday's episode defied my expectations. I was blobbing on the sofa, soaking it all up, and Chloe, a central character in a current explosive plotline, started talking to her husband. The camera switched to her husband and it was a man we had never seen before! I thought she must be hallucinating - that the current plotline had side-swerved into something else - a mental health issue, perhaps. 

But then this guy was in other scenes with other people, so I realised he really was her husband and they had just changed the actor. It was weird, seriously weird. I am used to a character going away and coming back months or years later to be played by another actor, but never someone being switched mid plotline. The reason for this switch was Covid-related. 

Do looks matter?

I once told a conservative headteacher complaining about the hairstyle of one of my children that Dave and I had brought our children up to think that it doesn't matter what you look like: what matters is what you're like inside, and how you behave.

I am now having to suck up that little bit of wisdom. Big-time. As if the comments from my brother Pete and my friend Chrissie about what I look like on Facetime weren't bad enough, Lux (10) took a screenshot of me as we were Facetiming this week and the results were horrific. 

The last time I wrote a blog post about wrinkles was in September 2015. I am a firm believer that people don't age gradually, but in big leaps every few years. I aged in 2015 when Mary died, and now the pandemic has done for me. My face has collapsed so much in the last year that it looks like one of those old potatoes you find at the bottom of the veg rack, although so far it hasn’t sprouted. When next year I see faraway family members I don't usually Facetime they will be horrified.

I told Cece (8) yesterday that in future I'd be wearing a paper bag with two holes cut in for my eyes, but she said 'But I want to see my granny,' so personal vanity will have to go in the bin. 

Here is a Facetime screenshot of Cece:

I just looked back at the comments on my two September 2015 wrinkle posts and found this lovely comment from Marmee and I will leave you with that:

I can remember being 56 or 58 and thinking what a doddle ageing was...AND that i was ageing well...

Now I am 65 and sometimes get a real shock looking in the mirror with my reading glasses on and sunlight showing up each wrinkle and crater and I wonder that people don't run screaming from me! And I am ashamed that I am still so vain, still so wanting to look good.

Oh but one thinks back..all these years, all that has happened , that has been overcome, that has been gained and I think its fine. I have one grandchild, still a toddler, that I love beyond the telling of it and it is my very age ( the years under my belt and on my face) that allows me to love him so deeply, so much more effectively than I loved my own children.

Even so, it is painful becoming the crone.


Anonymous said...

Dear Sue, Dear Marmee - your words are JUST what I needed to read, to hear, right now.
With thankfulness and love for the Crone in us.
We are loved. We are love - and that is just the most precious thing.
But my reptilian neck still grins slyly at me each morning......😊

Anonymous said...

I agree, mirrors do us no favours - truth-sayers neither.

Instead, I console myself with knowing that I never did think I looked up to much.

'Perhaps I'll be pretty when I'm 26' is a distinct memory from my early twenties.
What I thought would happen by then, I really don't know - certainly not two young children and tired eyes.

The other consolation is that while we think we look rubbish now, looking at photos from just a few years ago - don't you think we tend to see quite well-kept faces that on balance look better than we remember feeling?

But yes, I'm with you Sue. Who is that person on the Zoom, in the mirror? What happened?
Good job I'm past caring.

Thea xx

marmee said...

Five years on and how grateful I am for those five years! Much more at ease with the crone now , conscious of her strength, and yes my goodness her power! Of course I still care what I look like, still do this and that with the hair and the clothes but it feels to me as if that is more in its proper place now. Not so very much front and centre. I am this person. It's been a long road and here I am .

Sue Hepworth said...

Marmee, you rock.