Reasons why I may stick to plainer clothing for a few weeks

Okay, so it's pretty, but how come the dots look further apart once I put it on?

So, I'm at the bus stop (where else?), and an old lady with a full beard, a bit of last night's custard pie stuck to her lips and that Look of the Somewhat-Crazed says to me in a loud voice in front of a queue of other people, 'Oooh, my dear, you DO look attractive!'

I'm wearing my polka-dot Laura Ashley cardigan (Laura Ashley being the new Calvin Klein - don't let anyone tell you any different) so no wonder she's spotted me (HA HA HA HA HA), even though her spectacles are thick with what looks like pork grease.  (Mother, you can't clean your glasses with the bit of kitchen towel you wrapped your bacon sandwich in.)  But I don't exactly resemble Kate Moss - see picture caption.

Anyway, after this distressing incident, I have some questions.  (Yes, more.  Ssh.)

1. If an old lady with a beard like a Moses impersonator finds me attractive, is it finally time for me to sign up for laser treatment?

2. Scrub that.  If an old lady with a beard like a Moses impersonator finds me attractive, is it finally time to travel to a clinic in Switzerland and just end it all quietly?

3. Is it possible that she thought the spots on my cardigan were (tidily) spilled cream and felt she'd found a soulmate at last?

4. Is it significant that the only person who has said 'Oooh, you do look attractive' to me in the last seventeen years had the Look of the Somewhat-Crazed?

5. Is the bus shelter now the new pick-up location and the dance club SO last year?  Why have I never heard anyone say, then, 'I met this well hot bloke while waiting for the G1 to Whitnash?'

6. Bearing in mind the greasy spectacle lenses, did she think I was an escaped leopard who needed mollifying?  Is this why she looked surprised when I said, 'Thank you.  One tries.'

7. Is it significant that, when she said I looked attractive, the whole queue of people looked at the ground as if they'd all suddenly seen a spare twenty pound note?  Are they all updating their blogs right now with this funny story about a woman going to a fancy dress party as a constellation being picked up by an octogenarian?

8. Has she seen me there lots of times before, found me singularly unattractive, hence the stress on the word DO this time?  And even if this were so, is it worrying that I am even speculating about this?  Am I in denial and really found this old lady wearing a beard and some old custard attractive myself?

9. Has my Laura Ashley polka-dot cardigan not suddenly taken on a whole new set of associations?  Am I ever going to be able to wear it again without crossing the road whenever I see any ladies over the age of 75?

10. If I take a different bus for a while, is that an over-reaction?


  1. Ha!! (Do me a favour, would you, and add another 'ha!!' on that, to make it ha!! ha!! because I'm just too lazy to do it myself.)

    I suspect she really just fancied your cardigan. Sad, isn't it?

  2. That old lady was a handsome young man in disguise, hence the beard and the thick glasses, who, up to now, has not had the nerve to approach you in his own persona; but now, in his disguise, has finally been able to open his heart to you.

    And the other passengers waiting and looking on the ground? They were giving the two of you privacy and space to develop a brand new romance and many shared bus journeys in the future.

    May the two of you share many jars of olives.

  3. I wonder what would happen if you wore stripes. Would a preacher try and release you from your self-imposed prison bars? If they were black and white would you be mistaken for an escaped convict, a referee, a zebra, an artwork by Daniel Buren?

  4. Could you just be grateful she didn't say you looked tasty?

  5. I hope it works this time. I was here jours ago and left a comment which disappeared instantly, blogger flashing error 503 at me. Rotten Sod!

    Anyway, my take is as follows:

    The old crone is really a young man in disguise, a toyboy young man, who has grown a beard, dribbled some custard into it and donned thick glasses, smeared, so you cant see his right blue eyes yearning for your favours.
    Disguised as an old crone, he has finally plucked up enough courage to approach you and lay his heart at your feet.

    The other passengers have long been ware of this state of (impending) affairs and they are looking away to give the two of you space and privacy to develop a glorious romance on the buses,

    May you eat many jars of olives in cosy togetherness on a banquette made for two on route no. xyz.

    Good luck and let me know how it goes. I am a connoisseur in matters of the heart and may be able to give you advice should you require it.

    I might yet write a novel using incorporating your tender love story.

    (Crikey, it shows that it is about 2.30 in the morning)

  6. What I want to know is, do you think this hard about everything??

    The advice of my Welsh grandmother is such a situation would be 'Just say thank you gracefully, and shut up.' I have no doubt that Pork Grease Lady was genuinely overcome with a spontaneous wish to express exactly what was on her mind, and that you really were attractive. And still are, of course.

  7. Laura Ashley still has the magic to transport you to another world, apparently?

  8. Are you sure it was a lady? Could have been a bearded old man with moobs. There's a lot of us... er, them, a lot of them about. ;-)

  9. Anonymous14/6/10 00:15

    Hmmm tough one. On one hand anybody telling you that you look attractive is cool but in the real world, when that person has a beard, is female and wearing milk bottle glasses it's kinda scary...

    Desperate times call for desperate measures.

  10. I feel a bit anxiously twitchy now, because (hopefully minus a beard and custard) I have been known to remark on what fellow passengers/queuers (made that word up) are wearing.....

    Well, you have to, don't you, if you spot someone wearing great boots or clothing more interesting than the standard badly-fitting jeans over which an enormous roll of fat and a hint of ancient grey thong can be seen? But maybe I won't do it any more now that I can see how alarming it is.....

  11. For what it's worth, these days I take my compliments wherever I can get them including, recently, "You'd be handy in a fight."

  12. Or maybe.... just maybe.... you did look attractive in your polka dot cardigan!

  13. Fran, I don't think the public transport system is for you. You need to stop taking buses. Maybe try a tricycle for fun? :)

  14. Are you sure the old lady was a bona fide lady?! Oh Fran. Will you ever wear that cardigan again? Will you ever get that bus again? Have you noticed all this has come about because the bus stopped pinging? I think the two are weirdly connected.

  15. I do enjoy your bus stories :-) Keep them coming.

  16. Val - I should have said, 'Look, I'll give you the cardigan as long as you promise to stop chatting me up.'

    Friko - you think if I had trouble eating olives out of a jar on a bus SHE would find it any more easy? Please send me a copy of the novel. And go to bed earlier.

    Mark - the day I get mistaken for a zebra, that's the day I give up even bothering to look in the mirror in the mornings.

    June - that made me laugh!

    Deborah - yes I do think this hard about everything. I think I was dropped on my head as a baby or something and the 'don't over-analyse' part of my brain got dislodged.

    English Rider - I'm guessing that's one of their slogans, is it? Another world indeed, when one gets propositioned by the weird elderly.

    Steve - you weren't waiting for the G1 at 12.36 on Sunday were you?

    Eternally Distracted - I've begun to realise I'm not as desperate as I thought.

    Rachel - were YOU waiting (with Steve?) for the 12.36 G1 bus on Sunday?

    Moptop - that's such a great backhander!

    Annie - don't be so LOGICAL about stuff! What would I write if I made sensible conclusions like that?

    Jayne - you are so right. It's living in a pingless world that has perhaps distorted my view of things. Bring back the PING!

    Talli - me on a tricycle? Have you noticed how much trouble I get into even when someone else is controlling the vehicle, deciding on the directions and avoiding the rest of the traffic? I would be a liability. Although that would, I'm sure, produce lots of blogging material ...

  17. Fran, I found you via Karen G's link, brilliant writing.
    As someone else said, I'd take my compliments anywhere these days, be proud.

  18. Maybe she's spotted that the buttons on your cardi are actually teeny magnets...

    Or quite possibly you actually did look nice.

    I find that I look fondly at younger people with downy skin and think ah, sweet. And to a 75-year-old (or even to me, come to think of it) you probably would look smooth and dewy.

    Enjoy your 40s while you have them, my dearie (cackle cackle).

    You are very funny, by the way. You probably realise this.

  19. Eliza - I enjoy my buses! They are (to me) an endless source of amusement.

    Brigid - how nice to make your acquaintance! Thank you for coming over and following. Anyone with a profile picture as purple as that is very welcome - it's my favourite colour. (The ONE thing that would make my life perfect - apart from the Clooney option - would be if my buses all got painted purple.)

    Isabelle - 'Smooth and dewy' would not be the words I'd choose for a complexion that is going very much to the dogs, but thank you for the encouragement. I do have a couple of years of my 40s left, but they are slipping through my fingers like a greasy football ...

  20. Ewww. While I am totally entertained by your public transportation stories and bearded ladies tales...these are exactly the reason why I'd rather walk, bike or drive my own car. I'd be scarred for life by greasy spectacled lady! (please tell me she didn't smell bad)

    Thanks for today's laugh! ;)


  21. Free oil! Grab yer wellies and a bucket and come to the beautiful shores of Louisiana.
    It's all yours.

  22. Ha Ha please don't give up your bus journeys they are so funny. The last time i went on the bus with a group of 'elderly' people it was a very amusing and slightly scary experience.

  23. I really like that cardigan. I bet you looked lovely and everyone studied the floor because they just didn't know how to put into words just how right the bearded lady was. And I don't have the the Look of the Somewhat-Crazed. Honest:-)

  24. It was that "I do like your shoes " comment . You were supposed to say "Thankyou! but I could never look as delightful as you "

  25. Lola - no, for me, even bearded ladies who try to pick me up couldn't take me away from my bus.

    Lane Savant - I will tell any old ladies I meet about your kind offer.

    Alexandra - the bus stories will keep arriving, sometimes none at all, sometimes three at once.

    Lane - I've studied your profile picture very carefully and you are right: you don't have the Look of the Somewhat-Crazed. You have the look of the Gone-Right-over-the-Edge-Crazed. But I'm sure you're very nice really.

    Smit and Son - I tried to say that but the words just, somehow, stuck in my throat.

  26. Bus stops are for the brave hearted,
    when little old dames are about
    who manage to rattle the cages
    of polka dot wearers with clout.

  27. Jinksy - Rattle my cage? So ... so ... so .... you reckon maybe she DID think I was a leopard?

  28. Nah! A cool pussy cat, Fran!

  29. Yikes! I think I'd rather walk at that point.

    I do like the cardigan though.

  30. Fran, dump the cardi and appear at the bus stop into a red pvc jumpsuit slashed to the waist. I think they're currently on offer in Bonne Marche.
    Anna May x

  31. I wish we had a bus.
    I love the cardigan too and I also take compliments when I can, wherever I can :-)

  32. Jinsky - purr, purr, tickle my belly.

    WW - walking's an option, yes, but then I'd get hot and have to take the cardi off, and then everyone would see the shabby old vest top I have on underneath, then I would look like the old lady....

    Anna May - I know where to come for sensible fashion advice in the future.

    Cait - you don't have a bus? How can this be? It's against some human rights law, surely?

  33. No, she was right, you look great. I saw you on a bus the other day but was overcome by nerves and didn't dare say hello. The lingering vision of your beauty remains with me still.

  34. Mise - you were the one in the very thick-lensed glasses, right? And the white stick. And the dog.

  35. I'm sure you did look great and she was only stating fact.

    Love that cardie.


  36. Suzanne - I love that cardie too. Even now.


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