(don’t wait till you’re this old to enjoy the flowers)

I believe absolutely in happiness despite age or size or singleness. I read an interview a while back with eighty-four year old Joyce Carpati, one of Advanced Style’s leading ladies, and she said she never baulks at telling anyone her age because ageing is a privilege denied to many and that was a thunderbolt for me. I had had a decade of a demanding job and almost a lifetime of bending myself into a pretzel to accommodate other people ending in the mother and auntie of breakdowns. At 50 my physical health was broken, my mental health was borderline, and I felt too old and exhausted to do anything. I even felt unworthy of the opportunity to do anything. I was waiting to die and Joyce saved my life.

My Right to Happiness Has Not Been Confiscated

I believe in travelling alone, wearing beautiful clothes, and making “age appropriate” what’s appropriate for you at the age you are now. And the size you are. And the state of health you’re in. It doesn’t matter if you have greying hair, or are a size 8 or 16 or 26, or are over 40 or 60 or 80, or if your partner died or left or just never came along; your Right to Happiness has not been confiscated. As we get older it can be too easy to give in and start thinking “it’s my age” or “it’s too late now” or “I wish I’d done it when I was thirty” and so on. All these thoughts are poisonous and will fill your soul with toxic sludge if you indulge them.

(wedding flowers in Seton Chapel, East Lothian, last summer)