Emma Peel was my idol

I have never been one for role models well not since my youth when I aspired to be like Emma Peel in The Avengers. Didn't you just love the way she and Steed could karate kick the baddies into oblivion? And of course I have always admired Dr Who, but who wouldn't want the ability to travel any time, any place, anywhere.

I have never been one for role models well not since my youth when I aspired to be like Emma Peel in The Avengers. Didn't you just love the way she and Steed could karate kick the baddies into oblivion? And of course I have always admired Dr Who, but who wouldn't want the ability to travel any time, any place, anywhere. And then there is Sooty - couldn't we all do with a sense of fun and a magic wand. But no-one else has inspired me much lately, until the other day that is when I read how a particular celebrity considers age to be “just a number”.

Believe me, I felt like doing cartwheels - only felt - and he immediately shot up in my estimation especially as he has just taken over hosting Countdown at the age of seventy-five. So I've decided that from now on I will do my best to be more like…yes … Mr Des O'Connor.

No, that doesn't mean that I shall be dashing off to some exotic shore in order to replicate his wonderful glowing tan. Whilst a light honey tone would be good I'm afraid I would end up more of a beetroot red and that is so not my colour. Nor will I be attempting a spot of crooning although having said that I wouldn't mind a go if I can find some decent tracks for my karaoke machine. What I will definitely be doing though is trying to adopt his relaxed and positive outlook and ignoring all the current pressure to look young.

I am heartily fed up of makeover programmes that dominate television schedules and relentless advertisements for products that promise you the chance to defy your age or even remove it altogether. Like the tube of face cream I was offered in a shop the other day. I wouldn't have minded but I only wanted to purchase a concealer stick that covers minor blemishes. Although the assistant's automatic assumption that I must want something to stem the tide of time amused me for a while, by the time I got home from town I was seething. Just why is it considered essential that we all look more youthful?


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“What's wrong with the way I am now?” I growled to my hubby without waiting for an answer.

Well I'm blowed if, after spending the first twenty-one years of my life trying to convince people I was as old as I was, I'm now going to try and persuade them I'm not. Yes, I know Des appears to be at least twenty years younger than he actually is, but I think that is more down to his 'joie de vivre' than anything else. As Des himself says, it's not your age that counts it's your “energy” and “spirit”.

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Now I think my hubby will agree that I'm always a spirited dancer - I can't help it if I keep trying to lead. In future though I shall also be doing the housework with a hop, skip and a jump while clutching my karaoke microphone and belting out 'let's take it nice and easy' rather than moaning. You see, there is no way I will be having any face lifts, botox, or nip and tucks. Well, not for the time being at least.

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I hate to be the bearer of bad news but if you managed to bag yourself some bargain clothes in the sales it seems it's likely that they will be pushed to the back of your wardrobe never to be worn. A recent report claims that rather than saving money, people waste it on items that they realise are totally unsuitable when they get them back home.

According to a psychotherapist, “the January sales tend to cause a rush of blood to the head” and people seem to be “immune to rational thinking”.

As someone who refuses to be sucked in by all the hype surrounding discounted items

I can't help wondering how I still possess all sorts of clothing that has yet to see the light of day.

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Hasn't the weather been peculiar lately? I pity the poor plants and animals who think that it's spring when in fact it's still winter. They're not the only ones who are confused by unusual seasonal variations though. Put me in a supermarket and I'm hard pushed to remember what month it is. All year round their shelves are packed full of fresh produce that only used to be available at certain times.

Take strawberries for instance. Weren't they once a luscious treat that could only be eaten during Wimbledon fortnight? And what about Brussel sprouts? No longer just a traditional accompaniment to the Christmas turkey they can be roasted on a summer barbecue if it takes your fancy.

Now you can blame these strange occurrences on global warming and globalisation if you like, but that doesn't explain why Hot Cross Buns are now on sale every day of the year.

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“You sound terrible!” my friend Mo exclaimed when she rang me last week. I hadn't realised how bad my cold was until then. It got even worse after that. A long-winded phone conversation with a computer service technician didn't help.

Well, it's bad enough contacting a call centre at the best of times but not being able to speak or hear clearly, I could feel the tension rising. Can you believe they put the phone down on ME?

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