My mother, although the family had a limited income, always dressed well. She always had an inferiority complex as my father's sisters (all four unmarried - men were in short supply after World War 1) all had good jobs - tailoresses, milliners. So I was brought up in the same vein. One of my mother's mantras was - 'it is important to make the best of yourself!' And I have always followed that route.
Is it vain? I don't know but I do know that it is probably in the same league as my tidiness - I just can't settle unless everywhere is tidy.
Yesterday D, who cleans for me once a month, didn't come because she wasn't well (she is coming next week). One of this month's jobs was to sweep out the garage. The farm books/ledgers have been stored in plastic boxes in the garage since I moved in. They had to be kept until the company was completely wound up and ceased to exist (presumably for tax purposes). At last the accountant has collected them to put through their 'industrial' shredder. Oh the joyful feeling of their departure.
But their removal revealed masses of piles of fluff, cobwebs and detritus. So yesterday muggins decided to do a bit of sweeping out of corners. Only a bit - working one-handed while holding tight to Priscilla with the brakes on is neither easy nor really safe for me! So just one dustpan full and then the pan and brush washed and put away so J my carer needn't know.
I told my son who remarked that he was certain I had the tidiest garage on the estate already!
But back to myself. Sadly as many of my readers will verify (all of you are on the downward slope even if only at the top of it) after a certain age everything moves South. I do my best to conceal such movement (hence the title today). Wired bras are out (can't fasten the hooks at the back) and stomachs suddenly learn to refuse one's efforts to hold the tummy in.
I look at some of our actresses on the cat walk - women as old as me - who are so beautifully dressed and who seem to have maintained a flat stomach. Then I take comfort from dear Judi Dench who always dresses in the most beautiful 'flowing', loose fitting clothes and always looks divine (and oozes what my Dad always called 'oomph') and make a note to wear clothes that cover a multitude of sins. What hides under the loose fitting wine jersey I am wearing today with wine trousers and black ballet pumps is a secret for my eyes only. Unfortunately chaps I am not sure how you hide your tums - but judging by the dog-walking chaps going past everyday - nobody seems to even try.
So yes - I a dmit to being vain. I can't change a lifetimes habits and start wearing 'any old thing' any more than I can start leaving yesterday's Times on the settee rather than in the recycling box.