by Jenny Joseph
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
Red moments in my life:
On our first date, all those years ago, Tom and I went to see the movie The Rose, we had supper at the Red Mandarin Chinese restaurant.
Kyle and Roarke’s baby room colour theme was red. The curtains were red with little white birds. I have a red lounge suite, red curtains in the dining room. I had red walls down the passage and along the stairs at one stage. I made myself a red evening dress. I made a red suit (long flowing jacket and trousers) for my role in Kindly Leave the Stage. My favourite coffee cups are my red Nescafe ones.
If I look around me now there are red things everywhere: purse, gloves, leather folder, candle, tie backs, flowers, dark glasses, placemats… Without realising it, red seems to feature strongly in life.
Everybody needs a little red in their lives. Look for your bit of red today…