Marketing for life

I AM what's called a lady of a certain age, and I don't mind admitting it. In fact I'm 53.Which is a jolly good job really, because it seems I don't have much choice in the matter.

I AM what's called a lady of a certain age, and I don't mind admitting it. In fact I'm 53.

Which is a jolly good job really, because it seems I don't have much choice in the matter. Long gone are the days when it was considered rude to ask a lady her age and a gentleman never revealed it.

A generation ago it was certainly a female's prerogative at least to keep such information under her hat if she so wished like my aunt who believed it was nobody's business but her own. How times have changed!

Nowadays people's personal details are bandied about for any old Tom, Dick or Harry to see or hear and nobody gives a jot whether the person in question cares or not. Take the letter I received the other week from a major supermarket. Addressed to me personally, it had 'over 50s life cover plan' plastered in bold blue print right across the front of the envelope.

Add to that the fact a high street chemist also recently mailed me an offer for a certain brand of denture fixing adhesive so I could 'feel more confident' and perhaps you can understand why I am currently spitting feathers. You see, not only do I never shop at that particular supermarket, but I also luckily do not - at the moment at any rate - have false teeth. I was totally lost for words - a rare occurrence indeed!

What a cheek I thought. Get past 50 and everybody automatically thinks your body must be falling apart. As if having calls from a company implying I could do with a stair lift isn't bad enough. Then it dawned on me that it was probably because I have, on a couple of occasions, bought denture cleaning tablets from that chemist for an elderly relative. Talk about making assumptions!

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Tracking people's purchases may seem like a great marketing play to stores, but they clearly don't take into account the fact you may actually be shopping for someone else. I, for example, frequently purchase items for family members ranging in age from teenage to 90-something. I dread to think what my customer profile reads like!

It certainly appears to account for why this chemist also sent me a voucher urging me to buy a sun cream for when I step out onto that beach in my bikini. Fat chance! If and when I set foot on a sunny shore this summer I'll be covered in more than just sun screen I can assure you.

Of course at the end of the day it's all down to the world of convenience we live in. We happily hand over bank cards and loyalty cards willy-nilly completely oblivious to the fact that everything we buy is being logged on computer systems left right and centre and the information used to encourage us to buy related products.

Believe me I'll be keeping a far closer eye on what I put in my basket/trolley in the future.

While I enjoy watching Channel 4's TV show Big Brother I'm not too keen on Big Brother watching me!

Did you read the story of Bif the ten-stone Newfoundland that got its head stuck in a cat flap?

Luckily he wasn't hurt but the flap had to be dismantled. I can sympathise with his family entirely.

When our dog Katie was a puppy, she happily nipped in and out of the house through our cat flap blissfully unaware of her ever increasing size. Unfortunately one day as she flung herself through the flap, the whole contraption went with her leaving a gaping hole in the door.

Thankfully she hasn't attempted this gymnastic feat since although she still sticks her head through the flap whenever she wants someone to let her in or out of the house. I just thank heaven her head's not the size of Bifs!

I know time is supposed to pass more quickly as you get older, but it's becoming ridiculous in our house.

Preparing to go out the other afternoon I checked the time on our cooker clock before going upstairs to get ready. When I arrived at our bedroom however our mains radio-controlled alarm clock was showing it to be almost 25 minutes later.

Now while I may not race around the house like a spring chicken anymore I was positive it hadn't taken me that long to ascend 12 steps. If that didn't spook me enough I then returned from nipping to the bathroom to find it displaying a time 20minutes earlier!

Boy was I relieved when hubby experienced something similar with the same clock a few days later.

At least it showed it wasn't me, for once, that had gone haywire.

So much for radio-controlled clocks being super accurate! If any readers happen to have such a clock and they've noticed it behaving strangely recently, do drop me a line, I'd love to hear about it.

Stockings it seems, are on the brink of extinction -with few for sale in Ipswich shops compared to tights - and I couldn't be more delighted.

They were on the catwalk in New York this week, and may be a symbol of glamour to many but to me they are one of the most annoying and uncomfortable forms of female apparel ever invented.

My teenage years were spent in a constant state of fear in case the suspenders holding them up snapped or pinged undone at inopportune moments because more often than not they did. Once it happened to me three times in one day!

Now thank goodness new sales figures apparently show women prefer to wear tights and leggings.

But I'll still be living in dread of stockings making a comeback. Well, if 70s smock tops can find their way back on the high street then surely anything's possible?

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