Happy Birthday… And Why You’re Never Too Old
Recently I have found myself thinking a lot about birthdays. This is probably because my birthday calendar (a legacy from my Dutch years and a truly vital piece of organisational equipment) is jam packed full of names of friends and family at this time of year. I have also been spending hours (well, almost) browsing around card shops looking for that perfect humorous/elegant/nostalgic/loving message to send to my nearest and dearest.
In addition I recently celebrated my own birthday and am writing this while enjoying a lingering, last look at my birthday cards paraded on my windowsill before I put them away. Clearly they reflect how others see me – several feature shoes ( a passion of mine) while another, from my sister, shows a drawing by the hugely talented Quentin Blake (who I had the pleasure of interviewing a couple of years ago) of a lady lounging on a chaise longue with glass of champagne in one hand and birthday cake in the other.
Unfortunately this is closer to the knuckle than one might suppose as I have also been spending a lot of time languishing on my sofa while a torn adductor muscle and a damaged hamstring (yes, it was painful) are taking their own sweet time to mend.
After the accident, while lying in an ungainly heap, waiting for an ambulance, the person filling in the accident report asked me for my date of birth ( incidentally, this was a couple of weeks before my birthday).
“Wow, you don’t look that old!” said this kindly woman – and, even through the white hot pain and frozen peas, I couldn’t help but feel a glimmer of joy!
Does that make me a shallow and vain person and one who is truly worthy of all the greetings cards with fashion references?
I would argue: “No, it doesn’t”.
I believe it makes me a pretty normal woman who wants to stay youthful, not just in her appearance, but more importantly in her attitude to life, for as long as possible. And when I met Rosa Della-Ferrera at the London Vision Clinic the other day I knew that I had found a kindred spirit.
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