One of the joys of being a grandmother is spending time with one or other of my grand daughters – or both of them together.
Yesterday Lily and I went to that temple of consumerism, the magnificent shopping mall, Garden City. So many people, so many glum faces. After stopping for lunch (sushi) we made our way to the Apple Store. On the way we decided to count how many people were smiling. I’d like to say we lost count but that is not what happened. We eventually toted up our score and reached the pathetic sum of fourteen! I guess we walked toward at least a few hundred people but only fourteen had a smile on their dial. We didn’t count the delightful assistant in the Apple Store – she was most taken with Lily’s style – and so was I. Lily is original in her manner and her dress; a non-conformist like her granny! Nevertheless, she always looks lovely and carries off her choice of outfit with panache.
So, when I was younger I often looked at older women and wondered why they were wearing whatever it was they were wearing. Yes, I admit to a fair amount of judgement there. What I have discovered over the years is that they probably didn’t care. And they certainly didn’t care what some impudent young person thought anyway. How do I know? Because that is where I am now. I wear what I like, when I like and don’t really care what anyone else thinks.
I must’ve been hiding somewhere when the skill of ‘dresses tastefully’ was handed out. As an adult I generally took the easy option, wearing black skirt, white shirt and black jacket with maybe a colourful scarf (if I remembered), or the fallback of blue jeans and white tee.
I have more than a couple of memories of outfits I’d rather forget (especially the frilly, see-through purple top) – in the days when it seemed to matter to me. Nowadays it is just not a stress factor. Kath chooses most of my ‘good’ clothes and she has got excellent taste. The dress in the photo I did choose for myself and it is one of my wins, and I don’t even have to iron it.
Sitting here in my study, I watch the misty rain drift across the valley from the estuary. There is no wind today and intermittent sunshine; enough to persuade me to do the laundry. The laundry is now on a rack in the dining room and the rest is hanging in the garage!
Random thought: if I was typing this on a Remington, I would have used about three pieces of paper by now. Perhaps, in those days, we chose our words more carefully before setting them down? I have just inserted commas and that would’ve been a major operation in the old days! But, in those days, nobody else would’ve read my meanderings and now they lie exposed for any eyes that choose to see them.
Last evening for absolutely no reason, I thought of Lena Zavaroni. Do you remember her? She was born in 1963 and died in 1999 – a victim of child stardom. I didn’t know she battled anorexia and that was probably the cause of her early death from bronchial pneumonia. How sad. She had such a loud voice and I can remember people saying she would lose her voice early because she put it under such strain. “Ma, he’s making eyes at me!” was her first big hit. I’ve cut and copied the following from this URL.
“During the late 1990s, living alone in her flat, receiving disability and help from the show business charity “The Water Rats”, Lena was convinced that her last hope was to have neurosurgery to deal with her long time depression and anorexia. In Wales, at a Cardiff hospital, she underwent a psychosurgical operation. The operation involved inserting a probe into the brain to sever nerve pathways that control emotion. Lena was just 4′ 10″ tall and had battled anorexia nervosa since age 13, and felt she could not live with the increasing suffering. She felt depersonalized, with no future. On 7 September 1999, she underwent the surgery, but only three weeks later developed a chest infection and died from bronchial pneumonia. Dr. Lawrence Addicott recorded a verdict of death by “natural causes”.
Now I feel sad, such a little girl with so much hope in the beginning.