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two hilarious chapters from my new book..

Life Begins At Fifty - The Book
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I can't keep calmMy youngest daughter is getting married this summer and I’ve just started looking for a dress…and I’ve just realised that all shops that stock mother-of-the-bride outfits seem to think we’re all looking for rent a tent dresses at absolutely extortionate prices. And to add insult to injury, the dress sizes are all two sizes bigger than they say they are.I had half an hour to kill today, as my car was in the garage getting fixed, so I ventured into a posh local shop and perused what they had in stock.

My mum then joined me so I tried a dress on, and just for a split second I went back to being a child.
‘Ooh, it’s lovely,’ she told me.
‘Yes, well I like the colour but it’s obviously not a size 8.’
‘Ooh, I think you need to put a bit of weight on.’
The guy who owned the shop told me his sizes were ‘on the slight side.’ Nooo, it was at least a size 12 and hung like a coat hanger on me. I looked blooming ridiculous!

I then started looking at mother-of-the-bride websites. None of them have prices on any items, (surprise, surprise) so you have to ring up to ask what the damage is. I spied a dress and jacket I quite liked the look of so I rang up for more info.
‘No, it’s not in stock yet, but we will have a 12, 14 and 16 coming in soon.’
Why on earth would you only order it in those sizes, for heaven’s sake? And the price? I nearly fell off my perch!!!

A few years ago, I had a bit of a dilemma. I’d broken my toe when I was training to ride a motorbike (!) and as a consequence I couldn’t wear heels for weeks as it made me feel distinctly sick. I was then invited to a lunch party and couldn’t think what on earth I was going to wear with flat heels. Then I remembered a short, brown, wool skirt I had in my wardrobe, which, paired with a white shirt and jacket would probably do the job.

Horror of all horrors, when I tried the skirt on, it was really short…and I didn’t really have any other options, so, quick as lightening I shot down to our local ‘quick stitch’ shop and asked the Turkish guy who owned it if he could take the hem of my skirt down as far as it would go.
‘Yes, that would be fine, madam. When do you need it for?’
‘Err, now! I’m on my way to a party?’
‘Oh, right,’ he laughed. ‘Okay, madam, sit down on that chair, wrap your coat around you and I will do it straight away.’
So I did! I sat on the lone chair (minus skirt) in his 10’ x 10’ shop and waited for him to do his bit on his sewing machine. In the meantime, several people traipsed in and eyed me up as though I was a flasher ready to expose myself. Not so far from the truth, really!

Strangely enough my little Turkish friend now greets me like a long lost friend. I’m no longer ‘madam’ but ”Elene’. On one occasion he even asked me if I was interested in some Turkish tea, (thank you but no thank you!). He’s obviously never forgotten me. Soooo, if I don’t fancy remortgaging my house to buy a taffeta meringue, maybe he could just make an outfit for me! Now why didn’t I think of that earlier ?

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