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Dear Diary: Embracing the grey and hamsters on a stick


I had a hairdressing appointment this week, just a trim. But it has been a bit of a journey over the past two years with my hair. Over the years I have had almost every hairstyle imaginable (including 80’s perms, mullets and a buzz cut) and most colours of the rainbow as well over the years. This time last year my hair was very long, but two years ago I made the decision to start phasing in the grey after years and years of bleaching and dying. My lovely hairdresser began to add in low lights and highlights to help the natural grey (which isn’t really grey, it is white) blend in without a horrible visible root growth. And it worked really well. Last November I had my last ‘blending’ colouring, from that point I just let it grow out.

A few months ago, I decided to have the long hair cut to shoulder length, mainly because the weather was stupidly hot and my hair was making me even warmer. It also helped cut off a lot of the old damaged bleached parts of my hair. Today I have virtually no bleached or coloured hair left; it is now nearly all my own natural colour. The condition of my hair is obviously a huge amount better but bizarrely it also seems to be thicker and wavy. My hair was always dead straight, something I used to moan about a lot. But it seems the white hair that arrived brought with it a thickness and a wave. I was somewhat nervous about embracing the grey, I will be 55 years old next week and the original thought of going grey made me feel ancient. Having allowed it to happen, I am very happy with the natural colour, but also the condition of it. I still have my days of feeling old and decrepit but that’s more to do with my body than my hair!

(Image circa late 1987)

Whilst I am nowhere near ready to become a Crone, I am embracing my Matriarch phase and for that, part of it is about accepting growing old gracefully (although I prefer to add a bit of disgrace in just for fun). The older I get the more the things I care about shift, I have a lot more patience in some areas but less in others. I don’t have the time or the inclination to deal with stupidity, selfishness or arrogance, I just walk away from that. I find this modern world and my place in it a bit hard to navigate at times, perhaps because I am still trying to figure out who I am now as well. But it is a journey and one that I learn from each and every day. And now I get to save money on hair dye!

Leg warmers and more

Which leads me to clothing. What does a 55 year old woman on the slightly curvy side wear? The answer should be ‘whatever the heck she wants to’ but it doesn’t seem to be that straightforward. I have always loved clothes and yes, I still love 1980’s ra ra skirts and leg warmers, although I can do without the 80’s spandex. What is my style? I have been through most of it, fashion conscious items, current trends, hippy chic, rock chick, goth influence, even Spice Girls combats and platform trainers. At one point I had several wardrobes, one with smart suits for work (when I worked in the office), another for rock gigs and yet another that looked like a goth girl had argued with Stevie Nicks. Let me tell you those long drapey sleeves are a nightmare when eating your dinner, totally impractical. These days I have no idea. My range of clothing is a bit of a mish mash, although possibly leaning towards the Lagenlook style. Very little feels comfortable or anywhere near making me feel like ‘me’.

Although I do have new bright yellow boots that have a ‘snack pocket’ which I love. My wardrobe needs a complete overhaul, but I am not even sure what to keep and what to get rid of. I don’t buy anything very expensive, in fact a lot of my items come from charity shops, ebay or sales. At the moment I struggle to find anything that I really love. It is perhaps part of my transition into the next phase of my age, whatever that might be. When I find out I will let you know…

Samhain and autumn

Samhain is fast approaching, and I am very pleased the English weather has begun to add to the season. This past week autumn has definitely hit us, we have had chilly mornings and the leaves have begun to turn, but only just. And of course, because it is England, we have had rain. I absolutely love it! This is my favourite time of the year, actually I love the turning of all the seasons. There is something very special about the liminal points of the year when each season ends and the next begins. Definitely magic in the air!

Thankfully last weekend (before the rain) we spent some time in the garden beginning to get it sorted for the winter months. We still have plenty of things flowering like the pelargoniums, penstemons and roses but the rowan has berries and the leaves on it are just showing the first signs of autumn colours. Particularly impressive are the grasses, one we have looks like hamsters on a stick. We will leave most of the plants as they are to protect the crowns of the plants and any insects that might be living in there over winter, we won’t cut anything back until the spring. But the greenhouse needs to be cleared out and cleaned ready to put anything in there that needs overwintering. And we are already planning what seeds to plant in the spring!


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Join me for my online book launch - The Element of Water - Saturday 25th November - 7pm GMT


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1 Comment

Oct 20, 2023

I love Lagenlook clothes! They are my new best friend since turning 50 last week and needing something that is a little less restrictive round the lumps and bumps! Ebay have some great Lagenlook pinafore styles you can wear with leggings and a plain top. Would look great with your boots!

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