Saturday, 7 November 2009

When I am Old I Will Wear Purple

Well, it's happened! What? I hear you cry. I have grown old without noticing. I know this to be a fact, because I caught sight of my reflection in the supermarket window yesterday.

As you know, I'm in the middle of my loft conversion, and life is somewhat chaotic, to put it mildly. Yesterday the weather turned colder, and I slipped on a pair of purpley-pink fleece tracksuit bottoms - I don't wear the top because it takes too much effort to remove it quickly when I have a "tropical moment", but that's another story.

I pulled on a short-sleeved purple t-shirt, to cope with the aforementioned flushes. So far, so good. A black fleece jacket topped it all off neatly. No problems. I sat down to edit some stories I'm writing, and worked away until about noon. I decided to walk down to the supermarket to wake up my circulation - I don't know about you, but I end up with cold fingers and toes if I'm just sitting here typing, so a walk to the shop and back is just enough to restore the blood flow - I don't necessarily buy anything.

So I dragged a jacket from the coat cupboard in the porch. It was chilly, and rain was about, so I grabbed a waterproof one - bright red with turquoise reverse side. I opted for boots because of the rain, and the only pair not bundled away because of the loft work are a burgundy shade. They clashed a bit with the trousers, but hey, it's only the local supermarket! They didn't clash nearly as much as the scarlet jacket!!! the handiest gloves were a sensible beige, and the umbrella was brown. My hat black and purple.

I really didn't give it a second thought, until I caught sight of my reflection. That's when the poem came to mind, and I realised I had grown old. Here is the poem, one of my favourites :-)

When I am Old I Will Wear Purple

When I am OldI will wear Purple!
When I am an old woman,I shall wear purple - - With a red hat which doesn't go,and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pensionon brandy and summer gloves and satin sandals,
And say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm tired
and gobble up samples in shops
and press alarm bells
and run with my stick along public railings,
and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain
and pick flowers in other people's gardens
and learn to spit!

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat
and eat three pounds of sausages at ago,
or only bread and pickles for a week,
and hoard pens and pencils
and beermats and things in boxes.

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry,
and pay our rent
and not swear in the street,
and set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner
and read the papers.
But maybe I ought to practice a little now?
So people who know me
are not too shocked and surprised
when suddenly I am old,
And start to wear purple!

--Jenny Joseph

My friends would agree that I started to practice years ago, my enemies, if I had any, would say far worse! I wear what I like, when I like, and it has to be comfortable! But I really didn't realise quite how unco-ordinated I looked, and must try harder - as my school reports often said!!!


  1. I wear a lot of purple now. In my teens it was black, in my twenties it was burgundy, cerise, magenta, now in my thirties it is purple. I love it.

  2. That's what it's all about, at the end of the day, isn't it? Wear what you feel good in, it makes you a happier person. We usually find the colour range that suits us, and brings out the best in us, don't we? 9We won't talk about those things we buy, every now and then, that find their way straight to the charity shope, no, not today, we won't!)


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