One day you’re picking schoolyard scabs off your knees, the next you realise you can’t remember the last time you bent them without triggering an ache.
Some bits droop, others produce goop, and don’t get us started on stray hairs.
You’ve barely farewelled the final pimple when you notice the hairline fractures spreading across your face, and before too long you’re dealing with hangovers that last infinitely longer than the original drinking session.
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My eight-year-old son Harry was giving me a cuddle recently, and he looked up into my eyes and said: “Don’t make a face like that Mum – it makes you look old.”
Then he took a step back and said: “Wait, you’re not making a face. Mum, you ARE old.”
And you know what, Harry? Right now, Mum feels pretty bloody old, too.
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The party I attended on Saturday night, was punctuated by a fine Australian tradition – the nudie run.
Sometime after midnight, but while the party was still young, the birthday boy and a few of his mates set off for a swinging lap of their beloved cricket oval, while the party continued alongside at the clubhouse.
Live entertainment is always special, and the guests appreciated the show - though not as much as the runners themselves. So far so normal you may say, except this party was my friend’s 40th not his 21st.
In the movie Into the Wild, screened on SBS this weekend, 23 year old Christopher McCandless abandons his possessions, burns his birth certificate, gives his life savings to charity and hitchhikes his way to Alaska.
It’s a bold and somewhat romantic journey of self-discovery about fighting the inner demon, across a variety of incredibly picturesque parts of rural America. A kind of idyllic and over-blown version of what many people experience as they come of age in their twenties. Except that in this version, the journey of self-discovery ends in tragedy.
After three years on the road, and several encounters with people from all walks of life, McCandless dies starving, alone and trapped in the wilderness, having just realised that the secret to real happiness is a life that’s shared with others.
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OK, so having spent half the summer bagging old buggers who don’t know when to quit, let’s give some love to those who continue to ripen on the vine without rotting.
Firstly, Roger Federer. The Swiss master is known as FedEx because he delivers results fast. Last night, the Ex stood for Exhibition, as in exhibition match. There were two tennis players on Rod Laver Arena last night – Federer and Jim Courier, who interviewed him after the game.
Bernard Tomic was apparently also there, but pretty much just as a hitting partner. Oh, he tried. He came with a plan. A plan to blast Federer off the court instead of teasing him with deft touches he’d employed so well against lesser opponents. It was the Malaysia Solution of sporting strategies.
Vince Neil is fat and out of breath. He can’t hit the notes. He flops around the stage like a useless blonde carp.
A chubby twelve year old girl with a new karaoke machine on Christmas Day. The band sound muddy and flat, like AM radio played through a 700-watt bass stack.
It’s Friday night’s Motley Crue concert at the Sydney Entertainment Centre.
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Dear body, I’m writing to say sorry. You’ve copped a right hammering over the years. Honestly, you could take yourself off to a home for battered bodies, on account of the physical and emotional abuse you’ve endured.
Sure, I’ve never cut you, starved you or shoved heroin into you. But there’s something pretty ugly about constantly comparing you and always finding you wanting. Slimmer, more sculpted, wider-eyed, smaller-nosed, longer-limbed, more honey-toned, less freckly, less spotted, less wrinkled, less… just less, freakin’ less of you. Especially you, thighs – you’ve ruined my life.
For a long time, I thought I was the only one haranguing you for your inadequacies. Turns out, we’re all at it.
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Recently I had dinner with a senior diplomat who spoke bravely about confronting the sheer horror of turning 50. The unwavering march of the calendar date toward him was ruthless.
In the meantime he was stubbornly holding on to being in his forties. As a 43-year-old myself, he desperately looked in my direction in search of a common age identity.
In youth growing old was good. Age brought an end to study, hopefully a nice job, and with it economic emancipation. Age was also a ticket to fun: independence, romance, and booze.
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Ninety-four year old actress Zsa Zsa Gabor’s ninth husband, Prince Frederik von Anhalt, reportedly wants her to have a baby using his sperm, a donor egg and a surrogate mother. Yes, he does. He visited a Beverley Hills fertility clinic for sperm analysis and blood work.
There have been no reports of him also having his head read; however, Gabor’s daughter, 64-year-old Francesca Hilton (a product of Gabor’s second marriage to hotel magnate, Conrad Hilton) has denounced the story as the latest in a string of wild publicity stunts by her seventh step-father.
And while the Gabor-Anhalts gallivant around celebrity baby clinics (if gallivanting is possible when you are just shy of a century, with a partially-amputated leg), my friend – a single mum of two young children – has announced that she has successfully battled cancer at the age of 38. Facing her own mortality, she had to put in place a plan for the care of her children, which involved her parents and her sisters.
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Pressure might mount on older drivers to get off the roads as they approach 80, but it’s nothing compared to the pressure to get off the dance floor once you’re approaching 40.
Though the precise cut-off is elusive, the social convention is clear: if you’re dancing your way into middle age, you’re courting tragedy.
Of course no one’s stopping you busting a move – but there’s this question of dignity. Perhaps it’s best to just cede the floor. But while that might be gracious it seems unwise.
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My husband was recently driving along, listening to a debate on the radio – as you do when you don’t have two kids squabbling in the back and a swimming lesson to be at in four minutes – when he spotted a striking blonde.
As he tells it, he simply glanced at her from behind but, being a trained observer, he managed to take in her tight white jeans, crop-top and foxy heels. But what he most recalls (and remember, he only had that nanosecond) was the glossy, platinum hair flicking against her tanned back.
As he drove past, he checked her out in his wing mirror – because you never know when a girl might trip on her heels and need roadside assistance. That’s when, he says, he nearly drove the car into the local chicken shop.
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As any regular moviegoer could attest, it is a truth regretfully acknowledged that to glimpse an actress with a wrinkled forehead has become a rarer occurrence than a genuine sighting of a UFO.
So perhaps it was inevitable that photographs of the fortysomething stars (indeed fiftysomething, in the case of cast member Kim Cattrall) of the upcoming Sex And The City sequel would unsettle a public unaccustomed to a mature-age woman playing a character outside the confines of mother/grandmother.
Captured on location in New York, the shots reveal Sarah Jessica Parker and her on-screen cohorts in an array of characteristically fashion forward outfits (1980s flashbacks notwithstanding).
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Who dresses their age anymore? A question on my fashion website last week…
“Dear Nedahl, I was just looking at Kylie in a mini. Is the mini appropriate for all women over 40 or only those who are pop stars/actors? As a 41 year old I’ve been wondering about this for a while. Christina.”
Personally, I think the whole issue of dressing age appropriately is past its use by date, but I’m sure others disagree. With a phrase like mutton dressed as lamb part of everyday vernacular, and a quick google search revealing a click through that said “see Gretel Killeen from Australia’s Big Brother” as their example, it’s fairly clear that people still believe in dressing for one’s age.
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Nothing screams erectile dysfunction as loudly as a diamond encrusted Rolex.
In my vast experience of travelling the globe, participating in royal activities, grand soirees, and through my exposure to the well heeled, I have come to the conclusion that it takes a certain type of man to sport a watch the value of which would feed several villages in the Sudan for years. As well, one would perhaps think that in light of the Global Financial Cock-up, those with fat wallets pillaged from haemorrhaging shareholders would catch on that discretion is the better part of valour – or at least, prudent during our Bernie Madoff days.
But these men are of a sad, and certain age, needy of ego and (I suspect) with erections propped up by Viagra and carbon based stones. Some have emerged from communist China with newly found capitalist bank accounts and they want everyone to know it. Occasionally, they are Hip Hop gangsta rappers who believe that extra bling will function as a light source if ever marooned in the wilderness. Certain Queensland property developers have also been known to sport the links of time & tack, co-coordinating their ensembles with white shoes.
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