Saturday, 23 March 2013


I notice it most when I'm driving, and there was no escaping it this morning as I drove the kids back from an unreasonably early play centre party.

The hands which grasped the steering wheel belonged to a woman of advancing age. Crepey.

I remember sitting in a pub with my dad on his 50th birthday, gently mocking the way the skin on his hands maintained soft peaks for a good few seconds after being pinched. I compared them with my collagen packed 24 year old child hands which elastically sprung back to smoothness no matter how long or hard the pinch.

Not so much these days.

I tried not to care too much this morning. It was very cold after all. I hadn't drunk much water. I hadn't used handcream for at least a week.....

These explanations weren't too convincing.

I'm a 41 year old woman. I can't avoid the hand ageing process, and the good news is that neither can anyone else, most especially those freakishly unlined 40'something actresses who claim a desire to age 'gracefully' with the assistance of only a healthy diet and some soap and water.

I looked at my hands and thought of all that they had done in their 41 years to earn their slightly weathered appearance.

They wash and dress, embrace and occasionally chastise two children. They soothe a recently stressed husband's brow. They stroke and calm an excitable puppy.

They clean a home and are extremely grateful to the dishwasher for saving them a nasty job.

They cook for a family. They ice birthday cakes.

They administer medicine to sore tummies.

They dress dollies and build lego helicopters (for hours).

They type documents which detail life stories, grievances, tragedies and misfortunes. They have written and written and written through schools, universities and degrees.

They have held more than their fair share of wine glasses.

They have smothered all kinds of snake oil onto my face in a bid to halt the ravages of time, receving only the most cursory of attention in return.

They have climbed cliff faces, grasped horses reins, fed llama's, fenced, painted, bottle fed lambs and babies, and turned hundred's of thousand's of pages.

Most of all the miraculous fact that they have opposable thumbs, renders me an infinitely lucky member of the most dominant and powerful species the planet has ever known.

I can forgive them a few wrinkles, but I think I may invest in some nice driving gloves.