Then there's this pome not sure which I like more both make me laugh

Then there's this pome not sure which I like more both make me laugh

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 the flowers in other people's gardens

And learn to spit

You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

And eat three pounds of sausages at a go

Or only bread and pickle for a week

And hoard pens and pencils and beermats and things in boxes

But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

And pay our rent and not swear in the street

And set a good example for the children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.

Taken from the book

When I Am An Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

7 Replies

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  • Ah Tricia I love this one. I did a foundation course backing 1996 to get into University (I was a late starter) so I did english literature and we did some poem anthologies. My friend did this one, and I have loved it ever since,because we were mostly mature students and it seemed to fit us all!! There was this group of "wrinklies" walking around Worcester Sixth Form College amongst all these terribly serious teenagers and we used to get some right looks! Love this. x

  • Yes,

    I remember this one too. My lovely Nanna reached 80 and declared that she was no longer going to worry about what other people thought was 'appropriate' behaviour - I was already getting juicy thrillers and racey novels from the library for her (the home-help got out what she thought 'old ladies' should be reading'), recycling the gin bottles and bringing her duty free ciggies on request. We took to riding down the hill in the park on her wheelchair, shouting 'wheeee!", sitting outside the village pub drinking on a weekday morning and many other minor infringements of local etiquette. Giving that she was born in 1903 - lived through 2 world wars and was widowed young, I'm glad that she felt able to kick over the traces:-) She lived to the grand age of 96 and despite being crippled with arthritis, having a kidney problem and being blind in one eye from cataracts - she knew how to laugh at life. She lived independently right up to the last 18 months of her life so she's my role model:-)

    Cece x

  • How wonderful to read about your Nan. I went for my lunch in a cafe today and sat alone listening to the elderly lady at the next table chatting to two friends. It turned out that she is 90 years young and as she was passing my table I said you have really cheered me up. I told her friend a younger woman in her fifties that I had recently lost my Mum and found myself blubbing to a total stranger. We both agreed that we wanted to be just like her if we made it to 90.

  • Love it, hope I can get away with wearing purple when I'm older! x

  • maybe purple should be NRAS new colour that would be cool xx

  • Purple is my favourite colour and always cheers me up. I fully intend on growing old disgracefully :-)

  • Girl after my own heart :-) :-)

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