Charlotte's Web

Blogging my world since 2006


Going Grey with Obama

Please note that I:

am in very good company:

Barack going grey

I swear here and now, in the company of my three children and some discarded pieces of Lego, that if Obama gets in and becomes President of the USA, I will never dye, highlight or ever maltreat my hair again.

After all, we grey-hairs must stick together.


Project: Thin, Grey Novelist

So my goal for this year, my 39th as it coincidentally happens to be, no smack of a midlife crisis in this corner, is to get fit, learn to accept my grey hair and finish my novel. I thought you might like an update.

Getting Fit

I am attending the gym regularly (three to four times a week), despite having been called a Teletubby by a fitness instructor. I’ve attended two more of his classes since then and he tore a strip off someone for being five minutes late, and the next time gave someone else a lecture for chewing gum in class (admittedly a dumb thing to do in an aerobics class). I clearly got him on a good day. I also do my circuit and am getting stronger, and can go for longer and faster on the treadmill and cross-trainer. I have only attended one spinning-class and I loved it, but have not gone back. I must because it’s a brilliant fat-burner, but I do get sore nethers.

Writing a Novel

I have just submitted my difficult and by no means perfect Chapter Four to my writing cheerleaders. Their job at the moment is to say “Yay! You did it! I love this bit.” Later on, when there is a full novel to read, they will be allowed to provide critique. I am now starting Chapter Five, which in theory should be a breeze because it’s a part I wrote three years ago, but we no longer have the computer it was on and I’ve lost the print-out, so there’s a chance I’ll be reimagining it from scratch. Also, I am planning a writing retreat on my own, probably in the Black Forest, sometime in June and I am very excited about that.

Going Grey

This part is going well. My hair is doing the job all by itself with no input from me. I had a moment in a department store in Karlsruhe when I saw a lady with multi-coloured hair like mine fixed into a rigid helmet with a pouffe-like thing going on front, and my mother-in-law had to forcibly restrain me from running into the nearest hair salon and shrieking for highlights. A couple of days ago I heard an insert on my favourite source of information, Woman’s Hour, that as more and more women of a certain age are refusing to go grey and are dyeing or highlighting their hair blonde, that blonde is becoming seen by the young (see how that ages me) an older woman’s colour. Young women now favour chocolate brown red and black as their hair colours of choice.

Well, mine is neither blonde, brown, red or black. It is, as you see below, stripey:

But, because I am growing up, I am happy about that:


Missives from my Mid-Life Crisis

In case I’ve not mentioned it before, I turn 40 at the end of this year. I think I’m suffering more angst about this than I let myself believe, because I talk about it to everyone. In the course of all this talking, I’ve heard a brilliant description of a mid-life crisis, which I’m going to share with you. My friend said, “It’s a period of mourning, in which you have to grieve the dreams you are never going to achieve, and set out to achieve the ones that are still possible.”

To me, that makes a spectacular amount of sense. And just in case you’re worried about me, let me assure you that these are some of things I’m not grieving:

1. My chance to be a supermodel

2. My Formula One career

3. My bestselling album

However, I am focusing intensely on the dreams that are still achievable:

1. Completing my novel and submitting it to a literary agent or two

2. Getting fit

I am writing industriously and have the strong bones of Chapter Three, which is now 5,000 words long. This week I plan to go back and add the meat.

I have also been a gym member for a month, and am going religiously in the mornings and sometimes at the weekend. I do the circuit and some cardio, or the circuit and a class. I’ve tried spinning, Pilates and a German speciality called Bauch, Beine, Po which targets tummy, legs and bum. It hurts. After the gym, I cross the road to a fabulous cafe, order myself a huge steaming Milchkaffee and write, write, write in my notebook.

Then there is a third, smaller, thing about which I feel just as intense: my hair. I have, ahem, natural highlights, folks. About a year ago, I wrote about my dilemma about whether to continue colouring my hair and since then I have not returned to the salon. Instead, I am in the middle of a real-life attempt to live with the grey. And the grey is winning.

By the end of this year, I hope to be a thin, grey novelist.

I’m workin’ that midlife crisis, baby!


(Does that sound a bit young?)