4 Feb 2014

lipstick, cigarettes and car keys

When I was a small child I loved watching my Nan get ready for a night out. The smell of her perfume (Yves Saint Laurent Paris), her lipstick (Estee Lauder), the cigarettes that she held but rarely puffed on (Regal king size) and the drinks her and her friend Winnie sipped as they chatted (vodka? gin? Not sure), these things make up such strong memories for me. 

To me she was the height of sophistication. 

Remember when you were a child and you got to peep behind the curtain into what you thought was the adult world, that glamorous grown up world that you eventually realise doesn't actually exist at all? The smells, the silky petticoats, the snatched fragments of conversation that only make half sense. For me, the symbol of adulthood above all others was a set of car keys. I wasn't interested in actually using them to drive, I just wanted to jangle them about in a self important way. Of course they had to be my keys, not my dad's or my boyfriend's, that just wouldn't have the same impact. I managed to achieve my ambition at the age of 33, just 16 years after passing my driving test. And yes, it does make me feel like a proper grown up holding those keys, I'm in the club now.

Things that make me feel grown up. 

My kids
My car keys
Having a pot plant that hasn't died yet
Radio 4
Having a dog

Things that make me feel like a kid
My hair
My mess
My parents
In fact, mostly everything else

Is that the same for most of you? 

Do you feel grown up most the time? Or just like me it it only really when holding a set of car keys? 


  1. I loved that perfum too- it always reminded me of cherry lips the smell! Funny my Nana sounds just like yours, right down to the cigarettes barely drawn on! You know it's only when I look at others my age that I see how old I am now! I'm still 23 in my head. I have a blind spot to myself I think. And see my hair, it's never, ever looked grown up or remotely like a neat hair cut. I've given up now. To be honest and try for hipster messy (I'm kidding myself!!). Lovely post and beautiful painting. Jo xx

    1. You know what, we haven't got a mirror in this house other than a little one for our faces in the bath room and I swear it's helping me stay feeling young! We'll have to get one soon though and then I'll be like holy crap who's that middle aged woman with those strange clothes on? Oh it's me and I have a toast crust stuck to my arse. You and your hair both look lovely btw. You are the very definition of cool hipster messy. That's not to say I think you look messy, in fact you always look very together to me. So cool-hipster-together-with a dash of intended messy just to take the edge off. X

  2. Yes! I had the exact same feeling about the car keys - I just longed for my own bunch of keys to jangle around. Fab painting x