Books for Kids

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Night Terrors

I was catapulted from sleep. For a moment, I couldn't understand what was happening to me. The thud I felt as I jerked into consciousness was something I've never experienced before. I tried to concentrate on the rail which ran round the ceiling. It was silver in color and its smooth curves disappeared into the dark recesses of the room. What it was doing there I didn't know or care, for the moment it was my life line. I counted the little upright poles screwed into the ceiling at intervals that held the rail in place. Memory flooded back and I realised the feeling was sheer terror. For those of you who have never experienced night terror be very grateful, for those who have, I sympathise.

As reality kicked in I lay there letting the knowledge wash over me. The only thing that kept me from screaming was to chant repeatedly 'you have breast cancer and you have to deal with it' 'falling apart will not help' I spent the rest of that night alternately dosing and repeating those phrases to myself. It was August 23rd the second night following surgery for breast cancer and one of the longest nights I've ever spent.

I never found a lump or got a call back from a routine mammogram. I just woke up one morning in July with a painful right breast. I mentioned it to my husband saying something like,

'I must have slept awkwardly last night my right boob really hurts this morning.'

Two days later the 12th of July I had an appointment with the practice nurse at my GP's surgery for my B12 shot, by then all I had was a dull ache and my nipple looked a little squashed. During a conversation about my general health, I mentioned the boob.

'Let's check it out' she said, 'just to be on the safe side.'

I don't remember what I was thinking as I stripped off my t-shirt and lay down on the examination couch but I'm sure I wasn't worried. She pressed and prodded for a while then said 'I think I'll just get the doctor to take a look. And so began a journey no woman wants to take, the past had been consumed, the future was incomprehensible, and the present was nothing but a series of tiny footsteps drawing me inexorably closer to a place I didn't want to be.

To be continued...

Check out these links they are very very important: Please go & sign the petition.

And this guy is doing great thing on the campaign front

Monday, August 15, 2005


Survivors pain is never seen
while we play our waiting game.
It’s locked inside denied a voice
as it twists and turns and maims.

Two steps forward one step back
is how we play our waiting game.
Longing to walk in peace and love
with the fear and anger tamed.

The scars run deep the healings hard
when we play our waiting game.
We fight our battle from darkness to light
till the way ahead is plain.

We don’t need to forgive them
while we play our waiting game.
We just need some loving care
as we travel through our pain.

The wheels of time grind slowly
while we play our waiting game.
As fear dies, we learn to live our life
and gently find ourselves again.

Carol Wills Copyright © 1992

Posted in Loving Memory of my dear friend
Barbara Gooch who died August 8th 2005

Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Negative V Positive

You’ll have to excuse me but, I’ve been thinking about these two words for the past few weeks and the more I think the more confused I get.

Negative & positive can be no & yes, bad & good, wrong & right, refusal & acceptance. And if what you have just read, seems off or doesn’t sound quite right somehow, read it again and ask yourself what is wrong with the sentence. Yep, it sounds back to front. You want to read ‘yes & no, good & bad’ etc, don’t you?

That’s because we are constantly told to think positive thoughts, act in a positive manner, be positive about something or another. We are told, not to think negative thoughts because it’s bad for us. Not to be negative about situations and not to act in a negative way. And quite right too it is usually better to be positive.

So, you’d think the fact they are words meaning the exact opposite of each other would be clear cut wouldn’t you? Well, it’s not, not by any means. I think negative and positive can be very misleading in some circumstances.

If something is considered negative, we usually look at it as being bad; after all, we’ve been conditioned to think this way. A negative result can be bad when a scientist is testing a theory hoping to find a cure for some disease or other. And a negative result is not good if one trying to get pregnant. Then of course, there are also negative reactions, to ideas, people and things. We understand these definitions of negative as being correct.

However, when nothing is found to indicate the presence of disease, or a specific condition it can actually be a positive result in medical terms so, why is it called negative? A negative pregnancy test can also be a positive result of one is hoping not to be pregnant.

Negative can also mean failure to respond or the absence of a reaction. So, if one fails to respond when being goaded to fight, it could be considered positive. When one does not react to temptation, that’s positive.

Ah, but what about positive? Well, affirmation or acceptances from our peer’s backs up the positive feeling we have on things we do and say throughout our lives. We tend to get nice warm fuzzy feelings when we are positive we know the answer to the question. Or are positive we made the right decision.

So, you can’t really make a positive into a negative then can you? Well, yes you can, remember the medical results? A positive there, is usually a negative for the patient. And the positive pregnancy test, that’s actually a negative result for the one who doesn’t want to be pregnant. What about the acceptance of defeat, which can be very negative. Or when one is positive, they will fail to resist temptation?

It’s all too ambiguous for my liking!


Sunday, July 24, 2005


I often wander around the 'web' just to see what's going on. Anyway, last week, in response to a post on my favorite writing site I went and checked out this site It is basically a scam buster site with some general advice.

However, I spent some time wandering around the site & they have some fun stuff too, just couldn't resist this page Writing how to, it's a real hoot.

I also read this article on something called Cybersquatting by Nancy Mehl very scary.

Anyway it got me to thinking, there must be loads of writers out there who would like to promote their work but don't have the resources or funds. So I wrote to the author Nancy Mehl at MyShelf.Com with an idea on combating the problem. Then I thought (God I'm doing a lot of thinking these days) why not offer the idea on good old Purple Hat so, I've reproduced the e-mail below in case any women reading this might like to take advantage of it.

To all the men out there. Sorry Guys but my site is about women's word so, unless you change gender!!


Hi, my name is Carol Wills and having read your article on cybersquatting I am appalled at this insidious practice. This is particularly distressing for new writers as, many do not have the resources to put up and maintain a website in the early days.

I would like to try and redress the balance a little by offering a home to any women writer published or unpublished who registers their domain name and needs a site to direct the domain name to, without the bother or expense of paying for hosting.

All they need to do is contact me with a bio and any info they want to display. I can put up a page for them on my site where the domain name can be redirected. This will of course be totally free of any charges by me. I know just a page or two is not much but every little helps, anything I can do to help 'Starve Out Cyber Rats' is a plus in my book.

Reminding yourself of the renewal date for you domain name can be a problem so, if they tell me the date they registered I will put the domain name renewal date on the authors page as a reminder for them. I will also remind them by e-mail when they need to renew the domain name. BTW while not huge my site is growing and currently attracts a couple of thousand visits a month.

I already have some bio pages on my favorite authors. I am in the process of combining the authors on Womens Words into a directory for the convenience of my visitors. There will be an authors link on the navigation bar on the home page of my site to the main authors directory for visitors to Womens Words as well as the authors own domain link redirect to their page. If the author wishes to contribute to Womens Words she is free to do so, again at no cost. This means there will also be links from the Story or Article to the authors page on Womens Words.

When the author feels able to go it alone with a full website via whichever means they like. I will willingly direct anyone through a link on the page they have on my site to their new site for as long as they wish. I have unlimited bandwidth with my host so, cost is never going to be an issues for me in the foreseeable future. I'd just like to help in some small way.

Just one more thing, I do have an affiliation with Amazon and if the author has books for sale with them I would wish to keep my affiliation commission if the book is advertise on my site. (Books with any publishers I do not have an affiliation with will also, always be linked to from the authors page on Women's Words) The affiliation commission I earn is very small but does help to defray some of my hosting costs. I also have Google ads on the site for the same reason.

If you feel this service would be useful please don't hesitate to put people in touch with me through this link Contact us and ask them to put AUTHOR DOMAIN LINKS at the top of their message. I can also be contacted at my blogPurple Hat.

Sorry this is such a long message but I have tried to anticipate most of the questions people might have however, I'm happy to answer any questions you or the author might have on the above contact info.

Thursday, July 07, 2005

Just Talking

Now, where to begin, I suppose there must be a beginning, but really it’s hard to define, you know? I mean you go along day by day. Then, suddenly, someone points out that your current behaviour, or misbehavior, as the case may be, is the result of some childhood trauma if you please. Well, let me tell you; I always thought trauma was a word you used whilst talking about a road accident, or wars and such like, nothing to do with childhood thank you very much. You tell yourself “no, my childhood was fine, very normal in fact”. But, when your doctor can’t account for your depression, and he, or she for that matter, decides you need to see a counselor, you can’t be rude, can you? I mean you think to yourself, well, they’re the expert, they must know what they’re talking about. So you toddle off and attend your appointment like the good patient that you are and hope they’re right, don’t you?

No one tells you what a can of worms is going to spill open though. No one says “now, be careful here, this might hurt”. No, they just expect you to follow the formula set down by so-called experts and ‘it will all be all right on the night’ so to speak. See, they have this list of procedures they work to. If this happened, then here’s the cure. If that happened, we do this and everything will be ok.

But it’s not and I’ll tell you why; we are not machines. Having been through that particular mill I can tell you there is no mathematical formula for feelings. There’s not even a scientific formula because psychology is not an exact science is it? Feelings are as unpredictable as the weather. Sure, you can look at the data from the instruments and hazard a guess that what happened last time is likely to happen again this time but it isn’t a certainty. It’s just an educated guess. So, what works for one person might work for many but then again it might not. Everyone is different; everyone has their own way of dealing with the problems life throws at them.

I’ve tried all their fixes and very few were any good. So, now, when I’m faced with a problem I tend to sleep at first, because while I’m sleeping I don’t have to consciously think about it. Now, this makes the powers that be think I’m in a deep depression but I think my mind and body is just gathering strength. Strength to fight or accept what is going on. Sometimes I fight, sometimes I have to accept and it all depends on the situation. The trick is in deciding which is which. So, I mostly write, not for publication you understand but writing it down and talking to myself. I ask myself questions, and then answer as truthfully as I can.

When I first tried this I lied through my teeth, yeah, daft I know. I mean how can you lie to yourself? Well take it from one who knows it’s easy, very easy. So, I decided to try writing the truth just once and promised myself if I could do it I would immediately burn it so no one else would ever be able to see it. I’d love to be able to tell you it was easy but I’d be lying to you then. It wasn’t easy it was very hard. When you’ve been lying to yourself most of your life, it’s akin to brain washing. A learned behavior if you like.

I mean how long does it take a child to learn to walk and talk? Then go on to learn all the other skills it takes to survive in the world. Well, that’s how long some of us have been lying to ourselves. So, getting to speak or write the truth, even to ourselves, is not going to happen over night. But it does get easer, in the beginning I could maybe just write a one word list of two or three things. Then, as I got stronger I would take one thought and turn it into a sentence. Little by little those sentences grew but I still burned them.

There was one other problem I had with writing things down, I can’t spell and my handwriting and sentence construction leaves a lot to be desired. However, the computer solved that one for me and also got rid of the need to burn stuff. I just open a new word document and off I go. When I’ve finished I just don’t save it, ever. Considering the amount I turn out nowadays it’s a good thing I don’t have to burn stuff ‘cause I’d probably have burnt the house down by now.

I also read a lot, another strategy to escape or gather strength. Sometimes I need just to escape if things are tough to deal with. Nothing wrong with that, we all need a little escapism from time to time, as long as we get back to dealing with the problem and don’t let it drift. We moved house a few months ago and that was when I realized just how many books I’d accumulated over the years. Some, my favorites, I remember the stories and plot well; others were read while gathering strength so, I can re-read them with the joy I always get from a new book. I estimated I have over three thousand books and the bonus is most of them are strength gathering reads.

To all the friends who’ve contacted me lately and asked where I’ve been thank you all for your concern and kind words. As you can probably tell, I’ve been on one of my strength gathering exercises so, don’t worry I’m back, I think.

Monday, May 30, 2005


Who said you can’t teach an old dog new tricks?

Well I don’t know who it was but they’re wrong. This grandma is living proof. I am now the proud owner of a helicopter, no, I haven’t taken flying lessons I’ve been constructing one… don’t believe me huh… well take a look…

I also made a fish, don’t ask…

a Necklace & bracelet,

a Spider ugh!!,

an a couple of key rings, which I can't show you 'cause my mate nicked them.

Yep, crazy I know, but these Scoubidou’s (the latest craze to hit the UK) are a parents dream and I’m very happy to accommodate them ‘cause they have kept two of my granddaughters amused all weekend…no mean feat I can tell you.

Who would have thought a local craze from small town in France (yup, I did a search an that’s where Scoubidou’s originally came from) would have ended up being my saviour. Mind you I’m not as green as I cabbage looking (apologies to cabbages everywhere) see, I remember them from the first time round in the 80’s when my daughter was mad about them.

Now my daughter first put them on her site Absolute Nails as a way for her customers to keep their kids amused making fun jewellery while they got on with the serious business of doing their nails. Then my granddaughter told her they were the best thing since sliced bread & begged for her own.

Well one thing led to another & suddenly she had a best seller on her hand. So,my granddaughters came round on Friday to show me how clever they were with this exciting new toy & I knocked their socks off with my expertise. As a result, the little darlings were spellbound with awe at their enormously talented grandma… So… I’m devious… so what…I need an edge to keep up nowadays.

Anyway, here’s a couple of tips if you’re thinking of getting them. Make sure you get the genuine Scoubidou cord, not those fashion laces/strings thingies. Because they’re a lot thinner & a bit jellified, which means they stretch & sometimes break if you pull them too hard.

I know there’re a lot of sites out there selling them but, Absolute Nails is the only one I can recommend as selling the genuine article. It’s a very good site & fast delivery. She also has them on her Absolute Nails Shop at Ebay. Blatent advertizing or wot? I know... I know... But you don't have to buy them & she is my daughter ;-)

Oh & one last thing there’s even a secrete language for the bracelets, here's a few to be going on with, I'll put a bigger list on my site when I get time.

Bracelet Secrete Language
RedBest friend
BlueI'm sorry
YellowLets be friends
GreenLets make up
WhiteFriends forever
BlackLets hang out
OrangeGroovy Gal
PurpleFab friends

Friday, May 27, 2005

There are worse things than a bad hair day!

So there I was…
Hang on a minute - don’t you have to put it together for me?
Oh! Just deliver… Okay! Now what…?
Read the book, yeah there’s always a book on ‘how to’ isn’t there?
WOW! A fitted kitchen has fewer bits than this. Maybe I should get rid of the packaging first.
No! Wait! What if something‘s missing? I might have to pack it all up again.
Good thinking… put the packing in the spare room just in case.

12 noon…
Ah ha, this looks like the manual, now we are getting somewhere.
Well! I would never have guessed that bit goes there in a million years.
Still that’s science for you, always thinking up new ways to confuse you.
And why do they insist on calling all the bits male and female couplings?
Anyone would think I’ve bought a sex toy.
Why can’t they just say, the bit with the prongs goes into the bit with the holes?
Then we’d all know what they’re talking about.
Bet a man wrote this.

3pm… Well it looks ok, no mysterious pieces left over, so it must work.
Mind you, the only bit I recognise is the plug.
Now according to the manual it will be as clear as a bell when I plug it in, so here goes.
Houston we have lift-off.
No we don’t.
Oh God, I’ve killed it and I’ve not even tried it out yet.
Don’t panic, slow down, and think about it.

Ok, ‘Techno law’ everything that uses electricity always has a little light somewhere when you plug in.
To show it’s working of course.
Ok! No light, it’s broken.
Time to consult the ‘powers that be’.
Now if I can just find the number for customer… Bingo!
Believe me they’ll get a piece of my mind; if, I ever get through to a real person that is.
Yes I know all your operators are busy, you stupid voice, you’ve been telling me that for the last 35 minutes.

Oh helloooo, Jason, (hooray a human at last).
Yes, I’ll tell you how you can help (if you let me get a word in, God how I hate smug know-alls)
It’s faulty…
Of course, I’ve plugged it in; nothing happened…
Model number, err… where will I find that…?
Ok, I see.
Right it’s Model 79634…
Yes that’s right, the man in the shop said it was…
Bang up to date…
So simple a child could operate it…
Pardon… 57, not that it’s any of your business…
Now listen mate, I know I won’t see 25 again and I didn’t grow up with this stuff, but it doesn’t mean I’m stupid and can’t grasp simple instructions.
I maybe a bit over the hill, but I’m not ready for the knackers yard just yet.
For your information, not being able to program the darn video does not mean I can’t get to grips with this hunk of mettle…
Right… Ok…
Apology accepted.

Now, can we get on…?
Yes, I have connected all the bits correctly; rest assured I am fully capable of reading an instruction manual.
Extraordinary as it may sound, they had these places called schools when I was a child that taught reading & writing…
Oh, don’t be such a baby…
It was a joke…
Can’t you take a joke?
Ok, it’s a deal.
If you stop crying, I’ll stop being sarcastic.

What’s next then?
No, no light.
Did I what…?
No of course, I didn’t push any buttons I’m not thick.
Now you’re joking right… please tell me you’re joking?
There is absolutely no need to sound so smug Jason.
Where will I find it then?
Just a minute…
Ah! There it is…
No wait!
There are four of them, which one…
Oh yes, it would be wouldn’t it…
The one with ‘on’ written above it.
Ok, ok you can stop laughing now Jason, nobody’s perfect are they.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

A crazy frog

I think I'm going to have to start a campaign. See,I like watching TV & I'm sick of some adverts. Not all of them, only the bad ones. I mean some are quite nice with catchy tunes or useful info, but the rest of them drive me up the wall.

It's got so I turn the sound off or change channels just to get away from the one I really hate. Do they realize I do that? Surely it's defeating the object isn't it? I suppose there are some out there who sit through them but, I've a sneaky suspicion they are brain dead. So, the advertisers aren't getting their monies worth are they?

And another thing, who thinks up the rubbish ones? Half of them have no relationship to what the product is. I'll give you an example. Oh and you have to bear in mind these are UK TV adverts 'cause that's where I live.

There was a famous one a few years back, it was a spoof on ice skaters Torval & Deans' interpretation of Ravel's Bolero.

This is what the viewing public saw. The couple in the advert rolled back the living room carpet and began the ice dance sliding across the floor. Now, you'd think from that description it was an advert for floor polish or flooring of some sort wouldn't you? Wrong! It was absolutely nothing to do with polish or floors.

All creator of bad adverts should be tied to a chair, sat in a room and made to listen to their creation for 24 hour non stop. I bet they'd get their act together or find another more suitable profession.

The one that's top of my hit list at the moment is a crazy frog and the jingle is driving me nuts. If I could just get my hand round the throat of its creator... Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

I've even been known to go and do the washing up on a bad day. Now that's not normal is it? I mean, who wants to do the washing up?

Wednesday, May 18, 2005


It gets us all eventually

Wonderful… it’s come at last--the ability to do—well, nothing. Oh, the freedom from all that daily grind. No more commuting to the office, rush hour traffic, or lunch time skirmishes in Sainsburys. I can do all the things I’ve ever wanted to do, but never had the time. I can go out on Sunday night knowing I don’t have to get up early Monday morning. I can cruise the department stores and browse the book shops forever without the need to get back and do something. I’ve got—Icanitis--what bliss.

Still can’t believe I’m free. I revel in the fact that I don’t have to wash and iron over the weekend. The housework can wait; I’ve got all the time in the world. I can have a relaxing breakfast and read the papers from cover to cover, fantastic. Now, what shall I do next? I know! I’ll read for a while, I’ve been meaning to get to Alice Walker’s latest for ages.

One Week Later…
My God! is that the time? Must get a move on…finish the books later--have to--have to what?

Have to nothing, stupid, you have Icanitis, remember?

So, I forgot for a minute--so what--I’m new at this game. Help, am I really talking to myself? Oh well, I suppose it’s all part of this Icanitis business. What's next? Oh yes, make a list of all the things I've ever wanted to do but never had the time.

Ok… that sounds good… let’s do it.

Wait! Have to go shopping first for pen and paper. I wonder why I always have to buy something, to do something.

This is the life. I’ve died and gone to heaven. I’ll have a slap up breakfast at the local cafe, overlooking the wonderful green rolling hills and valleys of the Chilterns. Then I can potter round the antique fairs dotted around the villages.

‘old up! Waxing a bit lyrical, aren’t you? Yeah, well what do you expect? I’ve never had nothing do before.

Now where was I? Ah yes…the list. Hmm, now… where did I put that note pad and pen? Right, item one. I could try art, there are a lot of fabulous views around here so… So what? Go and paint them.

Well, I’ll need a few things first, won’t I? Brushes, paint, one of those things to prop the canvas on. Ok, I get the picture, sounds like another shopping trip.

On the other hand I could learn to swim! You can’t breathe when you’re in water!

Keep fit? You can’t breathe and jump.

What about learning another language? You did French a while back, and you can’t remember a thing.

Surfing then? Are you completely gaga, how can you surf, if you can’t swim?

This is getting boring, hang gliding? You don’t like heights!

How about becoming a Buddhist monk? You’re the wrong gender, stupid!

A hippie then? No, you did that, years ago.

Ok, head’s out of the clouds, last try. What about writing? Yep, I can do that! Yesss…you don’t even have to shop for that, you’ve got pen, paper, everything you need.

Now what can I write about, hmm... I know, I can write something on retirement. Yeah, now you’re talking.

Saturday, May 14, 2005

To Name or Not To Name

Wow, what a lot of lovely bloggers out there. I never though for a moment
anyone would read my blog & I'm gob smacked.

Before I go any further I've gotta say a big thanks to Walker 'cause he went & changed his font just so it would be easer for little old me to read. Thanks Walker.

One of the comments I got on my "What If" post was from my long time friend who called herself Puppydog. Cheeky. I told her she needs to get a blog so, look out for it when she takes the plunge.

Now I have a question. Do you give names to possessions like your car? The reason I ask is because, my mate has just bought a new car an' we got into a big discussion about it. See, she insists on naming her cars. Reckons it keeps the car on side or working right.

So, now she has a car named Rev. No she's not a vicar. To understand this you need to know she breeds dogs. Parson Russell Terriers to be exact, and she also has a personalized number plate which reads PARSON.

Now, when I get a car it's just that 'the car'. I've never named it,never thought of it as a friend or helpmate of any kind. And now I'm worried, have I been mean to all those cars in my past. Are they languishing in breakers yards feeling sad and neglected 'cause their owner didn't appreciate them. Would they have had a happier life and felt fulfilled if I had named them?

Should I mend my ways and name my current car? Oh God that's another worry 'cause it might die of shock or something and I'll be carless.

Is the God of abandoned cars clocking up all my faults against the time I arrive in the hereafter. So he/she/it, (see I 'm not even sure about what sex if any the Car God is) can serve me a penance of some kind, like naming all the new baby cars or cleaning up after all the senile ones. Help!

Sunday, May 08, 2005

What if...

I get these what if moments now & then, & the other day I got to thinking.

What if something we are used to seeing on a regular basis suddenly became invisible?

Just picture the following:

It’s no good I have to tell someone, and it might as well be you, after all, you are my best friend.

Sue placed their morning coffees on the table and sat down.

‘Now’. She paused, ‘what I’m about to say must remain a secret, you must promise not to tell a living soul’.

Best friend, Pat thought. Where did she get that from? Oh my god, I don’t need this, Ok, so we’ve had a few chats over coffee, that doesn't make us bosom pals dose it?

Pat rearranged her face and trying to look the part of a best friend and said. ‘Of course Sue, you know me; I’m the soul of discretion. My lips are sealed’.

‘I’m fat. There, I’ve said it; I’m fat, fat, fat, fat.

Of all the things Sue could have revealed, this was the last thing Pat was expecting. An affair perhaps, or even that she had robbed the local post office. It would have been easier to deal with, than fat.

'Well say something’ Sue yelled. ‘Don’t just sit there with that look on your face, please... say something even if it’s only goodbye...

Saturday, May 07, 2005


I've only just decided to start blogging. I suppose you might well ask why? Well, I've started this web site see. I know, I know, most people my age are curled up with the TV or a good book. At the risk of sounding completely ga ga I'm not your average 60 year old. I like new challenges, so there.

Ok, here's the deal, you can pop back now an then to try keeping up with me or not, that's your choice. However, if you do, I promise to try my best to be entertaining. Ok? Feel free to post comments I always look on them as positive affermations that I'm still alive an kicking.

This blogg will be mostly about me, my family and my life in general. Writing about my life would not be complete without a look at the passing of time. While I can, and have, waxed lyrical on how things were in my past, what about the here & now?

At a trendy hairdressing salon in the millennium year, the march of time, & my age in particular, left me in need of a stiff drink & a whole bucketful of reassurance from friends.

It was just after our move from Hillingdon to Guildford, I was feeling a bit isolated & in need of some TLC, so I booked myself into this 'trendy salon' to have what I thought was a moral booster.

Now, you have to bear in mind, these people didn't know me from 'Eve'. However, this was a well-known chain and I was confident it would be just like the one I used previously. And I thought it was. That was my first mistake.

The perm rollers removed, I sat back as I usually do with my eyes closed, waiting to be finished off. The stylist returned and got to work, I continued to sit with my eyes closed, enjoying the usual pampering. That was my second mistake. Never, ever, take your eyes off the stylist after you turn fifty.

"There we are dear" he said holding up the mirror.

This can't be right. I counted the faces looking back at me. Just two. One trendy guy, and one odd looking woman. She had a large double chin, and little chipmunk pouches, topped off by an enormous thatch of iron-grey filings.

Who was this person? It certainly wasn't me. Well that was when I lost it. I grabbed a comb from the shelf and while a look abject terror slowly came over the 'trendy guys' face; I completely destroyed his creation.

'If I'd wanted to look like my grandmother', I growled viciously, dragging the comb through the offending thatch. 'I'd have brought a photograph of her for you to copy. I have never been so insulted' I poked and prodded trying to get my iron fillings where I wanted them to go.

'How old do you think I am? Just because I'am a grandmother, it doesn't follow that I want to look like your antiquated version of one. Who the hell trained you for god's sake? Medusa?'

I gathered what remained of my dignity; paid my bill, and left him to ponder on the errors of stereotyping.

Although I was, and still am comfortable with the way I have aged, I am not yet over the hill. Just because I've gained a little weight and a few grey hairs, they needn't think I'm ready for the knackers' yard yet.

I made myself a solemn promise that day. I will have to be dragged kicking and screaming into my dotage. Then,if all else fails I will don a purple hat.