Tuesday, January 15, 2013

A Mixed but Delightful Day

Yesterday I accidentally got to spend a wonderful day with Teenage Son. He was meant to go elsewhere but it fell through so I suggested he may want to come with me birthday shopping for The Girlfriend. I had a list of Stephen King books that she's keen to read.

The catch was that he had to sit through my forty five minute naturopathic appointment.

He brought his book and when my irises had been read, I'd been massaged and punctured with needles, Teenage Son and I set out. Our first stop was Maisie's Books on Jetty Rd at Brighton, a short walk from my naturopath's rooms. Whilst we had fun browsing, we couldn't find any of the books we wanted.

We hopped in the car for the short drive to Glenelg. It was a warm day so our premier beachside suburb was packed. Having lived there for several years, however, I knew where I was going and where to park. Despite that it was still a pleasant ten minute walk to Glenelg Book Exchange where the owner not only showed us where the Stephen King books were located but took my list and took the books off the shelf for me. I bought a hardback copy of Misery and a paperback copy of Pet Sematary. An Anne Rice I haven't read yet also caught my eye so I grabbed that one, too. When I got to the check-out I learnt there was a 20% discount on all books that day. Things just kept getting better.

We moved to Glenelg in 1981 and Mum lived there until her death 25 fives years later. When we moved there the book exchange was in a smaller shop. Glenelg had everything but department stores and a library. Mum used the book exchange as her library; she'd buy books and then trade them back. Even after the Glenelg library opened she continued to use both places. Needless to say, I was saddened to learn that it's closing. The owner told me he has other projects he wants to work on and the used book business isn't as profitable as it used to be. I was kind of glad Mum wasn't around to see the end of her beloved book store.

Teenage Son and I then went a couple of doors down to a local cafe, Grind It, for lunch. Teenage Son loved it and I suspect it was less to do with the food and more to do with the jazz trumpet numbers coming through the speakers.

On the way home Teenage Son suggested that if I needed any groceries I could stop on the way home. It was when we got to our local shopping centre that things went a little pear shaped as far as Footprints went. It all started when I decided that the best way to cope with turning 50 in 363 days would be to begin a red hat and purple clothing collection*. I told Teenage Daughter who told me there were some cute red hats at our local two dollar shop. I even went there with her and tried one on. I looked good in it. So, I bought one yesterday with no regard at all for who had made it or where it came from. Aaargh.



When I am an old woman I shall wear purple
With a red hat which doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.
And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, and say we've no money for butter.
I shall sit down on the pavement when I'm 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 flowers in other people's gardens
And learn to spit.
Jenny Joseph


  1. That's one of my mother's favourite poems - and purple she wore too...purple laces in her Rossi workboots!

    Looking forward to seeing your parade of red hats!

    1. Thanks for the idea. I'm going to put purple laces in my Blundstone workboots.

  2. When I read about your red hats and purple clothing it reminded me of something I read about wearing purple hats, possibly inspired by the Jenny Joseph poem above...
    Age 3: she looks at herself and sees a Queen
    Age 8: she looks at herself and sees Cinderella
    Age 15: she looks at herslef and sees an Ugly Sister ("Mum I can't go to school looking like this!")
    Age 20: she looks at herself and sees "too fat/thin, too short/tall, too straight/curly" - but she decides she's going out anyway
    Age 30: she looks at herslef and sees too fat/thin, too short/tall, too straight/curly" - but she doesn't have time to fix it, so she's going out anyway
    Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "clean" and goes out anyway
    Age 50: She looks at herself and sees "I am" and goes wherever she wants to go
    Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see themselve in the mirror any more, goes out and conquers the world
    Age 70: she looks at herself and sees wisdom, laughter, and ability, goes out and enjoy life.
    Age 80: Doesn't bother to look. Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world.
    Personally, I think we should throw away the mirrors a lot sooner than age 80 and not waste so much time worrying about things we cannot change. We are who we are. Enjoy the milestone and privilege of being 50 Rachel!