Thursday, 11 November 2010

The Freedom of Eccentricity

Aug 24, 2008 10:47 PM

by Moannie
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.
From, Warning, by Jenny Joseph

Don't you just love poetry? You can read a poem and be reminded that there is nothing new in the world; every emotion that man has ever felt has been covered in prose and rhyme: love, lust, hate, fear, anger and, well, you get the picture.
I believe this particular poem was written for me. Comfort comes first, then colour swiftly followed by thrift [a bargain from TkMaxx makes my day] I was the first girl to wear Jeans in my home town, and was hissed by a woman in Barcelona in the early fifties for wearing them on The Ramblas.
I wore filmy lavender to the Sports day at number two daughter's Boarding School, when all the other mother's were in twin sets and sensible shoes-terrible of me, I know and I did have frisson of apprehension that I might have gone a step to far.
I wore paper panties on a long hot car journey in Spain, only to find on reaching our destination they had disintegrated. As I was also in a mini skirt [in my forties, daring or what?] I spent the day glued to the front of JP.

Today I walked the dog wearing Uggs, flared jeans, a purple sweater and my Borsalino, [I mean me, not the dog] I stopped to talk to an old friend and she said, 'You look nice, dear.' I said that I had decided to become officially eccentric and she replied 'But I always thought you were, Annie.'
Favourites: My Last Duchess by Robert Browning, Seamus Heaney's poem: When all the others were away at Mass, a heartbreaking declaration of his love for his mother. Tony Harrison, Cristina Rossetti, John Donne, Dylan Thomas, and on and on and on.
And for Fat, frumpy & fifty... Wendy Cope's Faint Praise

And here's one I made earlier: Had I known then what I know now, I'd do it all again, and how.


  1. Clapping clapping clapping.

    Ok, and laughing my ass off at the disintegrating panties!

    I do believe it is time to wear purple now, regardless of age:)


  2. We should all wear purple and red. Paper underwear is a debate for another day. But purple and red, yes.

    Love this.

  3. I'm with you.....great point!

  4. For some reason this made me think of that song 'The ballad of Lucy Jordan' ... who at the age of 37 realised she would never ride through Paris with the warm wind in her hair. So I agree, be stylish..wear what you want...and I imagine that you have ridden through Europe in a sports car Moannie!

  5. Thank goodness (or badness), and you for eccentricity. I too love Jenny's poem and long ago it inspired me to write:
    Now that I'm older
    and a little bit gray,
    I'll shall wear sequins
    any ole day.

    I seem to always be out of step with the current fashion, but comfortable in my own. Of course this may have something to do with buying most of my clothes second hand.

    I like your style!

  6. No Moannie..... that poem was written for me! I wonder when we will be old enough to do all those things?!
    I am a bit eccentric now and probably always have been.
    Lets enjoy it!
    Maggie X

    Nuts in May

  7. To have always been eccentric is wonderful...congratulations.

  8. Eccentric is great--being comfortable in your own skin (even in paper underwear) is fantastic!!
    Love the poetry choices, too.

  9. I threatened my daughter with that poem when she was 15. She's now 33 and a couple of months ago when I was wearing purple she thought it was so funny because I didn't look eccentric, she said I looked fashionable. Oh darn!

  10. My grandson read it years ago and said "that's you Nan". What a great compliment. So much so that I have requested this poem be read at my funeral Annie.

  11. Delightful! Despite your clarification, I shall carry in my mind all day the image of a dog wearing Uggs. :)

  12. Good for you having an independent spirit!
    I remember when paper underwear came around. I don't know which idiot thought that up, what a disaster!
    p.s. not sure what a Borsalino is. I'll go and google that.

  13. Darlings all, I am so delighted that you are enjoying these old posts. These first few only had 3 comments the first time around.

    I am gradually begining to feel the vibes of my old blog creeping back as these old posts disappear into the vaults.

  14. It's a great poem. We all hope to be eccentric when we're old - how many of us succeed, versus how many of us become querulous and beige?

  15. "When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple"

    I've always loved that poem but I've got to say, I don't think you'll ever be OLD. You've the youngest heart and outlook I know in the blogosphere. So just go ahead and wear that purple now.

  16. There are definitely benefits (which aren't readily apparent to those younger) to "the golden years", or should I say "the purple years". :)