People are beginning to visit our new abode and (with some of them) there’s a hint of surprise in their voices when they say, ‘oh, it’s really nice’.  And one visitor, who was really negative about the whole idea of us moving into a ‘retirement’ flat, said, ‘it’s not what I expected at all.’  Apparently she was imagining something much more chintzy and old-fashioned.  But readers, we’re not chintzy, old-fashioned people, why would our flat look like that?

There’s a lot of ageism in people’s reaction to the move.  Only yesterday I got a letter from an old friend, which said, in the first sentence (!) ‘I fear your neighbours may be elderly and infirm….’

I fear?  Fear. Hmm.

Look ageing isn’t for softies. I ache in places I didn’t when I was younger and I’m kind of stiff and slightly crooked in the morning – yes, really. And the previous night I stubbed my toe against a piece of furniture I forgot was there, so I’m hobbling around the place and looking a bit, well, infirm!  And.  Don’t forget I am 71 now. So, actually, I’m, if not old, I am approaching older age.  And I say approaching, because, of course, old age is always 10 years older than you are!  Yes, some of my neighbours are in their 90s and that to me, is an older, elder age.  But you know what, I look forward to getting to know them.

What is it you fear, I think to myself?  At least I won’t be moving into somewhere like this in a crisis.  We chose to be here and are loving it.  OK. End of rant! Because there are positives about ageing, really there are.

First.  I don’t give a sh.t about a lot of things I used to. Contrary to the belief that with ageing comes a lack of confidence.  Me, I have more confidence than ever before.  I wish I could give my younger less confident self (at 40 and 50 especially) a hand and say ‘everything will be good, everything will come together’.

Second.  This is the age of opportunity.  Yes, I do mean that. I was lucky enough to retire at 60 (on zilch money and virtually no pension, I have to tell you) and I grabbed the opportunity to just develop at my own pace into a writer. And I have become the person I always wanted to be.  You could say, it’s a pity I didn’t do this earlier, but truly it’s never too late to do anything.  Also a lot of my wage-earning life was a preparation for what I do now, so it’s worked out and still is working out.

Third.  This is the time to take on challenges.   Me, I always have a project on hand and one on the back burner.  The current project is furnishing the flat in a modern/retro way.  There’s lots to do. But that’ll end at some point, so the next project is to be a bit more academic in my approach to ageing.  As in, perhaps less ranting and fewer anecdotes (!) and more evidence-based research and writing.  Not sure quite how to do this but I have some ideas.  And that’s the point, to always have something to tackle and grapple with, something that’s in the distance, that you can just see, that you walk towards…

Also embrace your age, because actually you can.  Here are a few pics of me over 5 years? What’s the difference and who cares!

  1. Aged 66 – 2012. Dyed hair and undyed eyebrows.

2. Aged 68 – 2014. Hmm

3. Aged 70 – 2016. That’s better

4. Aged 71 – 2017.  Who gives a ….!

And finally taking into the consideration the state of the world, and at the age I am, I say, you have a duty to enjoy yourself – whatever your age!

That’s all for now!

With love, Penny,  the frugalfashionshopper

P.S Just want to give a big thank-you to Anuj  Agarwal and his Top 50 Budget Fashion Blogs. I’ve just been awarded a place on the list – I’m #43! Very honoured to be on the list – thanks again.

And sharing with:

Judith of Style Crone and her July hatattack session for my 3 hats

Patti of Not Dead Yet Style and Visible Monday

Catherine of Not Dressed as Lamb and her iwillwearwhatilike linkup

and Nicole of High Latitude Style and the Ageless Style linkup party

Thank you for hosting – not sure if my rant qualifies but I do feature hats and  2 of them (the pink beret and the black straw hat) are charity shop hats!





30 thoughts on “Over 70 and loving it – most of the time!!!

  • 4th July 2017 at 11:27 am

    Hi Penny I couldn’t agree more. At 73 I have so much more confidence, I tell myself that I CAN do it, and I do. I was quite surprised. I didn’t do it earlier because I didn’t believe I could. I’m going to say this really quietly – I’m talking to our local University about getting involved in some of their work on ageing and health and they haven’t told me to go away. In fact, they seem to see take me seriously!!!

    • 5th July 2017 at 7:54 am

      Great to hear about the confidence which is another myth about older age smashed! And gosh, Kay, very well done. You’re definitely further up (or down) the path than me. Yes, I’ve been thinking along the lines of how to get into and be involved in more academic work around ageing. First stop, is a friend who’s in the OU, then there are two local universities where I live. I have questions and ideas and want to be more rigorous and just get some evidence based stuff rather than my vague notions about boomers and ageing.

      This is the time of our lives, I think!

  • 4th July 2017 at 11:29 am

    Yeah! Would love to see pictures of you place when finished. Sorry, I just can’t help being nosy.

    • 5th July 2017 at 7:55 am

      Well, maybe!

  • 4th July 2017 at 11:30 am

    You’re one of the new generation of ageless women Penny – just as vital, lively and bright as you always were. And you look best in the photos of you now. Good luck with the decorating and your projects. I firmly believe having new projects keeps us stimulated. My mum does and she’s 85 and still “collects” old ladies!

    • 5th July 2017 at 8:00 am

      Thank you, Gail. Had a good chuckle about your mum collecting (and probably looking after) women older than her! And why not, because that’s her and my take on age! Also projects are definitely the way to go – always have one on the go (you’re right, current one is the decorating) and one on the back burner (research around boomer ageing).

      Very best x

  • 4th July 2017 at 11:34 am

    But we would miss your ranting and anecdotes! You have aged beautifully and are a great inspiration for aging women everywhere!

    • 5th July 2017 at 8:02 am

      Oh, Arlene, thank you so much. Btw, I think I’ll always have the occasional rant here on the blog as it’s so good when you find out that others think the same way!

    • 5th July 2017 at 8:05 am

      And thank you, Patti for featuring me on your Facebook page – so nice of you !

      Yes, embrace your age – it’s the only way. There are downsides to ageing, of course, but taking a positive attitude is so much more life-enhancing. Thank you again x

  • 4th July 2017 at 1:09 pm

    You look great, Penny. Keep up that positive attitude and keep smiling.

    • 5th July 2017 at 8:06 am

      Thanks so much Eugenia – great to get your feedback!

  • 4th July 2017 at 1:30 pm

    Thank you Penny, for your very positive and uplifting post…it made my day!

    • 5th July 2017 at 8:07 am

      That’s wonderful to hear – thank you so much. Glad to make your day 🙂

  • 4th July 2017 at 1:35 pm

    Love this post so much! Couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on aging. Life is meant to be lived and loved no matter our age and no matter where our journey takes us!!

    • 5th July 2017 at 8:09 am

      Thank you Marlene for your thoughts. Yes, there’s always a path to take and another interest to take up – age is not a barrier to this.

  • 4th July 2017 at 6:35 pm

    What an inspiring atttitude!! Because we should be counting our blessings with this age thing –just like you are!!!
    My mom (the 70+ model on my blog) is turning 80 next year and thinks the same way!!

    • 5th July 2017 at 8:17 am

      Your mum (as I guess you already know we used a different term in the UK) is a great role model – I love your blog for that, Jodie!

  • 4th July 2017 at 11:53 pm

    Yep, I so agree. I’m also 71 and enjoying life as never before. I wish I had your style, I have always struggled with finding my “look”. at just 5′ hats don’t work for me amongst many other looks. Anyway congratulations on the top 50 list. Barbara

    • 5th July 2017 at 8:24 am

      Thanks for the comment and great to meet another 71-year-old! The thing is I didn’t have much style whilst at work. I wore formal office clothes and always jeans at the weekend. Then when I retired (at 60) I went whoopee I can wear my jeans all the time, which is what I did for several years. And then one day I thought this is really boring. So I started looking and experimenting with clothes in charity shops. This is one way to find a style or a look, because if you make a mistake with an outfit it doesn’t matter if it cost under well under £10. Anyway, that’s how I did it.

  • 5th July 2017 at 4:44 pm

    Dear Penny,
    I love reading your posts and seeing what you have charity-shopped. You have great taste. I can’t get anything in charity shops as I am on the large size but, at 74, am completely reconciled to my size. I buy a few things online each season from Gudrun Sjoden, all of whose designs are really brightly coloured. Please let us have some photos of your new flat. I love decor almost as much as I love clothes. When I retired 9 years ago I moved to a small apartment which is anything but chintzy, all white walls and colourful pictures and accessories. I really love my apartment and hope you will be as happy as I am in your new flat. With regards,

    • 6th July 2017 at 7:26 am

      Hi Fran – it’s great to meet you. I have, btw, noticed that some of my local charity shops do have the bigger sizes (up to UK24) but can’t say if that’s the case in your area. Always look is my motto, and of course there are always good scarves and other accessories to be found. It’s the hunt I like as much as anything.

      And the flat has some way to go but at the end I may well show the blog what an over-70 person likes in the way of decor. I think a lot of places for older people are first of all designed by younger people who have an image of what older people want. Then there is a cohort of elders in these places who were born before the war who may indeed like chintz and antique furniture. But at 71 and the oldest age for a baby-boomer I grew up with Habitat and now frequent Ikea. I see us as the vanguard of elders who just might want a 21st century look to their living space – I speak ironically here as I definitely do!!! But I’m not getting involved in that yet. Just concentrating on the immediate decor of the flat. Thanks so much for your comment.

  • 6th July 2017 at 6:50 am

    Berets are such a cool hat. I love the pink one on you. It is such a great color on you and makes you look soft and friendly. Thanks for joining the Ageless Style Link up party.

    • 6th July 2017 at 7:32 am

      Actually, a beret is the kind of hat that anyone can wear – even those who say hats don’t suit them! No problem sharing with you – it’s a pleasure.

  • 7th July 2017 at 8:13 pm

    Hi Penny
    Just wanted to say how much I enjoy you’re blogs and how glad I am I found you. It’s always good to get advice on style from someone the same age. I’m 70 (gulp). So grateful I’ve got here virtually unscathed and still able to indulge my passion for fashion and decor. Although I’m still working through necessity my income means I have less to spend on clothes so I was so interested in your charity shop purchases. Having been a charity shop snob over the years I’m now changing my mind.
    Are you able to name the shops you go in or is it just anywhere by chance? I notice they are much cleaner places than in past years and a much nicer shopping experience.

    • 10th July 2017 at 9:21 am

      I only started serious charity shop shopping in my mid-60s and now that I’m (gulp) 71 think I’ve got it pretty sussed. So here are some tips. Most charity shops have upped their game and more like little boutiques rathe than the older rummage/jumble sale shops they used to be. But there are still good and not so good charity shops. And the thing is to look for good High Street labels. Are there plenty of Monsoon, Per Una and Next outfits? Is there an occasional even higher label like Karen Millen? If there are that’s a good charity shop! Now you won’t find something every time – but you have to just look. And now I can tell as soon as I step into a charity shop whether it’s going to be a good one or not. Btw, beware of inflated prices and the label Atmosphere sold at over £5. This is a Primark garment and was probably sold at £5! The hunt for the high-end label at a knock-down price is what I love about charity shops – good luck with it all and hope this helps!

  • 9th July 2017 at 5:28 am

    What a positive post and just what we all need!

    • 13th July 2017 at 7:52 am

      Thank you, Maddy, I felt compelled to write it. There’s a lot of ageism around but we can fight it! Yes, we can!

  • 12th July 2017 at 4:09 pm

    Such a wonderful post on how we embrace ourselves and our own sense of style as we age. I think you look marvelous in all of your hats, and that is a result of your confidence! Thank you for sharing your wisdom and style with Hat Attack!

    • 13th July 2017 at 7:53 am

      Well you are my role model, Judith. Thank you so much for Style Crone – love it!

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