Showing posts from June, 2019

Reasons why Fran prefers winter

Yesterday was the hottest day of the year so far. My husband heard some advice on Radio 4 that to keep the house cool one should shut all doors, close all windows, and pull all curtains. So we had two choices. Sit outside in the garden in heat so oppressive we could feel it wrapping its sweaty arms around us and squeezing us tight, or sit inside in the dark. Most of the day, we sat indoors. It's officially true, then. You can escape a heatwave by staying in and feeling trapped and lonely. Neither of us is good with heat. For our holidays, we look for anywhere north of the Midlands where rain and perhaps mist are likely. One of our best holidays was in the Lake District a few years ago. It was cool and drizzly and we saved a lot of money not buying sun cream, ice cream or insect bite cream. Also, my husband could persuade me up gentle slopes, which he can't if I'm convinced I will die from sunstroke halfway up.  I couldn't do what my sister is currently doing, ther

Evidence that even at her age Fran is still experiencing rites of passage

I guess you could call it a rite of passage, the first time you squeeze the toothpaste onto the plastic back of the toothbrush and not onto the brush at the front. It's a very different teeth-cleaning experience - not unpleasant, but odd nonetheless - so I'm not recommending it and it'll teach me to wear my glasses in the bathroom. Is 57 still middle-aged, or am I sliding inexorably towards the autumn of my life? How long until I experience the rite of passage that is washing my hair with body butter or trying to apply shampoo to the hard skin on my feet? A more significant rite of passage recently was my trip to Northern Spain with my daughter and her partner. It's over 20 years since I've flown so I was nervous and, after listening to various horror stories about imploding ears, had 49 fruit-flavoured boiled sweets in my hand luggage. As the plane lifted off the runway at Gatwick, I sucked the sweet as though trying to extract its soul, my cheeks falling in