When I am Old…

Published October 1, 2010 by Claire

Today’s mid-bonk chat (that’s ‘in-between bonks’, not ‘you pound away up there and I’ll natter on like a fishwife underneath you’, you understand) turned to Retirement. The subject arose because Mr S was so full of beans that I actually heard myself say, whilst trying to get my breath back “I’m too old for this!”.

Well, rest assured dear Reader that I am NOT too old for this, but he laughed and said ‘Retiring tomorrow then?’ to which I replied ‘Yup, pension book and one of those trolley-on-wheels affairs, here I come’.

His retirement plans were far more interesting than mine. He plans to travel the world, properly. By which I mean, having thrown in the towel and picked up the gold watch at 50, he’s intending to buy a Jeep and drive around the world. Seven years, one for each continent. I can’t imagine it, frankly. The idea of being away from my own comfy bed for seven years? I mean, you heard me last week, bitching ‘cos I’d been out of it for seven days!

No, my retirement, when it comes, will be a very relaxed affair. There will be a blue rinse, carpet slippers and probably a teapot with flowers on it. I’m not sure why, as I don’t drink tea – but it seems ‘de rigeur’ to have a flowery teapot and I shall be very conformist. They might not let me in the WI otherwise.

However, it gives me great pleasure to share with you my favourite-est ever poem:

Warning – When I Am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple


By Jenny Joseph

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn’t go, and doesn’t suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we’ve no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired

and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

and pick the 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 a go

or only bread and pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts 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.

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