Do More Of What Makes You Happy.

So all the Christmas adverts have been out for a couple of weeks now but for me my favourite has to be the one featuring Elton John, the one from John Lewis purely because I can relate to every era that they showed his look alikes in. Not sure it embodies the Christmas spirit as it seems to be more of an advert for Elton’s film coming out next year but I love it because it’s all about the music. It also brings back memories of living in Gibraltar in 1982 when the Falklands war was on and at the time Gib seemed to be a stop off point for some of our lads on their way to war. One 19 yr old guy in particular took a shine to me and was forever buying me things (even though he knew I was seeing someone) and one of the things he bought me was the Elton John single “Blue Eyes.” I’m absolutely ashamed to say I can’t remember his name but I hope he got back home ok.

Getting older means you’ve learned many lessons some good, some bad, not many people get through this life unscathed so I now try to focus on the things that make me happy although obviously working full time restricts some of the time I can spend on these things but I’m trying my best. The one thing I can make more of an effort with is going out dancing, especially when I go to northern soul nights and I see some of the same faces that were there at Wigan Casino with me nearly 45 years ago, a lifetime ago but on these nights it feels like yesterday.

Wigan Casino. A place that attracted coach loads of people from all over the country every Saturday night, it opened at midnight and closed at 8am and didn’t sell alcohol, it had a fabulous sprung dance floor which made it so much easier to dance to all the songs played by your favourite DJ and as much as I loved to dance I also loved watching all the other dancers, especially the guys. A place I never told my mother I was going to when I was 16 years old she always got told I was staying at a friend’s on the other side of town (no mobile phones in those days) and she never questioned it. A place I couldn’t wait to get to when I got on the coach at 10pm and got there an hour later and waited in the horrendously long queue for the doors to open and then hope to god I wouldn’t get crushed in the stampede to get inside. A place that had more male dancers than female and there was a pecking order on the dance floor, unfortunately I wasn’t that good to get to the front. A place that was so hot with all the body heat that everyone took at least one change of clothes and wore wrist sweatbands. A place that at the time was just somewhere to go to that played the best music, but it was in fact a movement that’s gone down in history. I loved Wigan Casino.

A couple of years later I stopped going and one of the reasons was I had a new older boyfriend and we used to go to all the “in” places in Manchester, he wasn’t a northern soul fan and so I just stopped going. I became a bit of a poseur being seen in the right places and as much as I always liked to have a dance wherever we went I never lost my love for northern soul. The scene has never gone away and I’ve made the effort a couple of times this year to go to a northern soul night (bit of a trek on public transport but hey ho) and it’s been great but a bit surreal to see people I knew nearly 45 years ago. But the weird thing is for those few hours we’re all in our teens again, back at the youth club which is probably where most of us were introduced to northern soul, back at Wigan having the time of our lives, sprinkling the talc on the dance floor and loving every minute. But it’s not just all old people on the dance floor, there are soul clubs with young people and it’s always nice to see the younger dancers there although some of the older guys might forget that they can’t do the splits anymore (I have heard of torn ligaments) trying to show off. Music makes me happy and next year I intend to go to more northern soul nights no matter what.

Now somebody pass me that talcum powder.

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Turning To Dust Is Not An Option.

At the beginning of last week I was excited to see an interview I’d had with the fabulous Carol Vorderman was shown on the Lorraine programme as part of a series that Carol has done about what it’s like to be over 50 and dating and well just being fabulous. Yep, I’m more than qualified to give an opinion about that but we did in fact talk about how life now is very different to how we thought it would be, it is in fact far better than we expected it to be except for dating, (on my part).

Too many older guys think they can still attract a 35 yr old and the guys a bit younger than me who have taken care of themselves also want to attract the younger women so where does that leave all of us gorgeous over 50 women who are smart, confident and hoping to find someone to spend the rest of our lives with? We attract the guys looking for a “mealtime and holiday companion” as Reg from Runcorn is fed up of eating his Wiltshire meal for one on his own. Pete from Preston too scared to get on the tram to Manchester as he’s not been there for 15 years, we attract the guys who are retired with too much time on their hands but hope you’ll spend time at their allotment with them, (quietly of course) guys who want to be seen with a smart looking woman but would prefer it if you keep your opinions to yourself. But while older guys would like a younger woman what they don’t know is that every single woman over 50 on dating sites/apps will receive messages from young guys in their early twenties, and I don’t care why they do it as it definitely boosts a woman’s confidence.

Don’t believe me? No I wouldn’t have done either but being over 50 has it’s advantages. For a start we’ve probably reached as far as we can get career wise so maybe we can relax a bit in that department, kids have probably left home which means we have a lot more spare time, if we’ve got grandchildren then we have the best of both worlds where we can have them for a short time knowing we can give them back to their parents and everybody’s happy. Hopefully we’ve realised that we don’t have to stay in an unhappy relationship and however scary it is to be on your own, it’s far more scary to waste your life staying with someone just for the sake of it. But do you know what the best thing is?  The days of chasing promotion are over, the days of being a full time mum are over, the days of wondering if your latest love interest is cheating are over, the days of trying to be everything to everybody are over, and it’s great. But let’s not forget that this is also the time we become invisible which means the pressure is OFF. Nobody expects a single thing from us older ladies, not one, nothing, not an opinion, an original idea, a suggestion, nobody expects a damn thing because by now no one sees us so as far as society is concerned we are worthless, we’ve had our life, done our bit, raised our kids so thank you and good night.

This is when the fun starts. Now is the time to reconnect with who we were when we were younger, before the kids, the exes, the daily grind of just getting through the day which means trying to build up that confidence to step out and do whatever the hell it is that makes us happy. When I was a teenager I used to go to Wigan Casino where I used to just dance all night to northern soul from midnight until 8am, obviously I wouldn’t dream of doing that now but there are loads of northern soul nights going on which is full of people my age and now and again I’ll go to one of these (on my own) and just do what I love to do. I’ve also started to go on holiday on my own (which actually winds up a few people my age but there you go) and I absolutely love it, people are always friendlier on holiday and more likely to talk to anyone. The thing we all have to realise is that by now the road ahead is shorter than the one behind, whatever you want to do just do it. Turning to dust is not an option ladies.

Now could someone please pass me my diary so I can pencil in 23 yr old Matt for Monday night.

 

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