Beware: woman over 50

I got a leg warmer for Christmas. Now I know I am officially entering my dotage.



You know you’re officially nearing old age when your partner gives you a leg warmer for Christmas. To be fair, he knows I sit all day with the heating turned down low in my coat, typing away like a mad woman to gain a bit of heat. The one problem with the leg warmer is that you have to have both feet in it at the same time so if the phone rings or you need to get up to answer the door, etc, you have to do a sort of kangaroo bounce. The postman has been highly amused.

I have also started thinking about retirement, though I doubt I will actually get there. My partner has been dreaming about retirement since he was around 25. I was once asked whether he felt “emasculated” about earning less than me by a radio interviewer. The interviewer could not believe that he was not imbued with the desire to earn megabucks and be an alpha breadwinner. In fact, he so couldn’t believe it that he basically suggested that he knew my partner better than I did.

Another sign that I am nearing dotage came when I took only son swimming at the weekend. Only son loves to swim and, even though I regretted suggesting swimming on a freezing cold day in January as soon as the words slipped from my lips, I knew I could not do a u-turn. No-one else volunteered to come, despite the presence of one of those winding, enclosed slides which, in this case, has disco lights inside it. At least I think it does. It may have been a hallucination when I went down it. Teenagers pleaded periods even though I’m pretty sure they weren’t on them. My partner said he was planning a long siesta in a nice cosy bed instead.

So only son and I headed off, making it to the pool just an hour before closing time so we didn’t have to be in the cold water for too long. “Let’s do walking handstands,” said only son. So we did. And cartwheels and jumping handstands. “I’m going to do a triple somersault,” announced only son. He proceeded to do five somersaults in a row. I used to spend a lot of time in swimming pools back in the day. I feel more at home in a pool than on land. My natural state would be to be a dolphin. I’ve done seven, eight, nine somersaults in a row and choreographed whole synchronised swimming extravaganzas. A triple somersault should be no problem, I thought.

I started to turn, but on the second turn I got really dizzy. I was trapped under water with no idea which way was up. So I started to panic and lost breath. Was I going to drown in six feet of water because I couldn’t find the way up to the surface? It was a bit unsettling. I put it down to the menopause – I put everything down to the menopause these days. Of course, it may well be that the fact I had not had lunch by the time of swimming [4pm] – bad role model – was a factor.

In any event, I don’t plan to do a triple somersault any time soon. I will stick to handstands and cartwheels.

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