Friday, 20 November 2015


I have now been forty for almost a full year (it's my birthday next week, groom the pygmy goats, pile the choux high) and I think I have only learnt three things, all negatives:

1. If you value your sanity, don't write a memoir.

2. If you disregard the first piece of valuable advice, don't use any song lyrics in your memoir.

2. Don't take a picture of your own neck. WHOA. I only learnt this one yesterday. I had trapped my neck in the zip of my coat for the second time in a week and wanted to commemorate this high water mark of idiocy, but then I saw this picture and now I know that death is imminent, so I don't need to worry about working out how not to trap my neck in zips.

What the fuck? Whose neck is that? The crêpey, creepy texture! The age spots! Who the hell knew? I could quite happily have gone on not knowing, thanks.

Other news:

I have filled the garden with fat balls and nuts and now I can't go anywhere or do anything because I have to stare at tits like a pensioner during all the hours of daylight. WITH BINOCULARS. Mostly the tits sit on the wall and watch as a persistent crow tries to untie the half coconut and carry it away, but I enjoy that too. Ooh! The jay is back! Now it has gone again. Etc. until it is time for the children to come home from school and F says "what have you done today?" and I have to make up something about, um, law?

I am wearing red lipstick today in a fit of .. something. I never ever ever wear red lipstick and have twice caught sight of my reflection and not recognised myself. Thankfully the massive spot on my nose tipped me off.

If I hold a tissue against it, you cannot see the giant nose buboe, impeccable logic there.

I'm experimenting with lipstick because to my sadness, I simply cannot wear eyeliner any more, it brings me out in hideous itchy spots along my inner lids that make me want to put my head through a shredder. My thinking is that I could essay a "strong lip" and style it out as a positive decision rather than having fool eyes, but lipstick is much higher maintenance than a quick swoosh of gel liner so I may just resign myself to looking like a potato.

Now I have to go out and buy tiramisu because last weekend a whole family sized one accidentally fell into my mouth and I have been deeply and lengthily shamed for this by my family, who are insisting I buy new one for each of them. My only real regret about this is telling them about the existence of the tiramisu in the first place instead of sneaking off to bed to eat it in glowering, blissful silence.


50% Not at all sorry about the tiramisu
50% Spiritually a sea toad

You? What have you learnt in the past year? And do you have any red lipstick recommendations for a woman with awfully British teeth?


soleils said...

Yoohoo, c'est moi. NARS lip pencil (I have practically given up on anything else), in Pop Life. Dolce Vita is my fall-back, it's perfect, but for a real red, Pop Life). Velvety and sweetly bright (it is a vermillion-y red, but it's such a happy red, and I reckon beautiful on most complexions). For eyes, maybe you could try Charlotte Tilbury's fat pencils? I have one in a gorgeous amethyst shade which is so easy to use and really effective. Yeah, I basically have reverted to crayons for make-up. Anything requiring fine motor skills is way too time-consuming and risky.
I too want a tiramisu, and a couple of espressos to got with it (sleep? Pah!).

CJ said...

Lots of time spent birdwatching here too, it is good for us, it makes us calmer than we would otherwise be. I think tiramisu probably has a similar nullifying effect on the brain. Things regularly fall into my mouth without being shared as well. I have learned not to mention it. Make sure you get a tiramisu for yourself as well, don't want to be left out. CJ xx

Nimble said...

Yay red lip! Makes the teeth look white too. I tend toward the you-can't-tell-I'm-wearing-lipstick end of the spectrum but have finally found something reddish that I like.
I took a picture of myself leaning back against some beautiful peonies a few springs ago. I was chuckling at my vanity thinking that leaning back would get rid of any droopiness. Then I saw the neck crepeing in the pic and laughed more ruefully. Grr.

Leigh said...

Ugh, I only have a red lipstick to avoid. The usually fantastic Natio "Ruby", which looked incredible for about 20 mins, then leaked into the fine lines I didn't even realise I had around my (apparently rapidly-withering) lips. Any recommendations on (animal friendly) lipstick that doesn't attempt to escape to other areas of one's face?

M. said...

I think the lipstick is excellent and you should wear it every day.
Eyes are too faffy. Fuck the eyes. FUCK EM.

Catharine Swash said...

The wonderful and long established niche makeup brand BWC ; Beauty Without Cruelty; does what it says! Also feels v. luxurious. amazing low level prices.Fab wearable colours. (My sis hijacked my Cool Clover nail varnish for her Irish harp strings...)

Anonymous said...

The colourless Urban Decay liner - 'Ozone' I think - with any red Besamé lipstick and that shit will look great and not move all day. If you apply the colour slightly short of your lipline and just nudge it around to the edge with the liner, the whole thing is a fraction of the usual faff. And no one will notice lack of eye makeup because strong lips/naked eyes gives you that bohemian, slightly fragile b&w-film-heroine look.

Jane Murray Bird said...

I just feel like 'family size' is very judgemental anyway...

Fat Controller said...

I am tempted to ask whose fat balls you have hung out in the garden. Sorry.

stacy said...

If I could wear red lipstick half as well as you, I'd give up eyeliner as well. Alas, my sallow skin tone works in combination with my less than pearly whites to make any attempt at such a folly to be quickly followed by wiping it off. You look wonderful in that color, crepey neck be damned.

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breakfastlady said...

Marianne Faithfull wore a glorious lipstick when she was on Who Do You Think You Are. I can't tell you anything about Ms Faithfull's geneaology because I spent the entire programme watching her mouth and wondering if I could carry off a look like that. Bold lipstick on the over 40s is a thing I aspire to. said...

Hmmm well i think I've learned that I'm more lazier then I ever thought. I want to photo my neck now, too. As an experiment.

Jonathan Lethbridge said...

Bird watching is secretly a really really cool hobby. Even for a forty year old with a sixty year old's neck.

Z said...

In the last year, I've learned that I can cope with living alone, never having done so before. And I've learned a whole lot of other stuff about being a widow, including, in the last few weeks, rediscovering my husband. And that's comforting and also a release. So things are better now.

Anonymous said...

You can get your eyeliner (and brows) tattooed on. My aunt did that. No muss, no fuss, apart from the actual tattooing process. Your sons will likely find it very cool.

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