BBC HomeExplore the BBC
This page has been archived and is no longer updated. Find out more about page archiving.

13 November 2014

BBC Homepage

Local BBC Sites

Neighbouring Sites

Related BBC Sites

Contact Us

Mum's the Word!

You are in: Beds Herts and Bucks > People > Mum's the Word! > Mum's the Word: Life begins at...

40th Birthday Cake

Mum's the Word: Life begins at...

Introducing the often dubious, politically incorrect, humorous musings of a Bedfordshire housewife extraordinaire!

It’s all downhill for your looks after 40. Unless you’ve a face like Joan Rivers where it may be it uphill but unfortunately also resembles a chicken wrapped in Clingfilm. Personally, I’m reconciled to the fact I can’t halt the aging process without actually killing myself which is not exactly my preferred solution.

However, should I be dramatically killed by an out of control Frisbee or a golf ball between the eyes launched by one of my three affectionate sons, the question is who would look after them, the three cats and my aging mother? Of course, my husband, the redoubtable Mr T, might remarry and then the children would get a stepmother. But we all know that a stepmother always turns out to be an evil witch with a penchant for talking to mirrors and serving poisonous apple desserts…Oh wait a minute, I already do that. Okay, perhaps she will be hideously ugly and cruel…

Oh wait a minute…

Madonna and children

Should Jane entrust her kids to Madonna?

Anyhow, now that I’ve passed the Big 40, my mortality, my huge estate (read “peanuts”) and deciding which unlucky person might be the guardian to the terrible trio, are now subjects I must contemplate seriously. On this last matter, the important issue is; who would look after the boys if Mr T and I were to meet our maker at the same time? In fact, Mr T went through our list of contenders the other day and I came up with some thoughtful and considered responses; “Nah,” “Nope,” “Bonkers,” “Are you crazy?” and “Pigs might fly.” So, I’m left with the thought that it might just be easier to entrust them to Madonna in the hope that, at the very least, they might inherit a large stack of cash. Of course, the downside is that they might start warbling and dressing a little peculiar. Ah well, that’s the price of celebrity; one must dress outrageously in order to make the front page of the tabloids.

On the other hand, I’ve often wondered if celebrities do genuinely wear puff ball skirts and Vivien Westwood “creations” just to please themselves. It’s a worrying thought. As worrying as Gary Linekar appearing on yet another series of Walker’s Crisps adverts. Isn’t it bad enough watching him talking (foot)balls on Match of the Day without him trying to look like he can act as well? But I admit even Gary being nominated for an Oscar doesn’t strike as much fear in me as being forced to wear a Vivien Westwood design.

Being somewhat “Over the hill” I often fantasize about having another life. In fact, I often dream I’m standing on a street corner (looking for the kids who have disappeared) and I get picked up by a handsome millionaire. He whisks me off to an exclusive shop just like Richard Gere does to Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman and says to the consultant “We are going to be spending an OBSCENE amount of money in here. So we are going to need a lot more people sucking up to us because that’s what we really like.” My heart is all of a quiver, my eyes light up…. and then the dream turns to a nightmare… when I realise I’m standing in a Vivien Westwood boutique….

Vivienne Westwood

Vivien Westwood in one of her own 'creations'

Anyhow, back to more important matters, in just over a year’s time there is an exciting option for guardianship for my boys. Master Samuel, who is nearly 17, could become legal guardian to Master Jacob who is 10 and Master Benedict who is only 7. Why, what sweet vengeance that would be! To look down from the Pearly Gates and watch Master Samuel suffer for all the years of hell he has given me would be like the pleasure of watching Bugs Bunny deliver the next Budget. Enormous. Yes, victory would  finally be mine for those times Master Samuel has snorted at my burnt offerings, requested ingredients for his cookery lessons 5 minutes before the school bus arrives and asking me stupid questions like;

“Will you help me with my maths homework?” (No)

“Can you explain The Theory of Relativity to me?” (No)

“Can I have some more pocket money?” (No)

“Have you seen my Ipod/bag/PE shorts/ diary/ book/coat?” (No, I’m busy getting the cookery ingredients….)

Children are fascinating creatures aren’t they? Almost as fascinating as all those ridiculous anti wrinkle creams beauty firms try to sell us. I’ve tried them and personally I think I’ve got as much chance of reducing my wrinkles as George Bush has being nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.

Have you heard the old wives tale that says women end up looking like their mothers? Now my mother uses anti wrinkle cream but I can’t be bothered anymore. So if these creams did actually start working would that mean that one day I would look more like my mother and my mother would look more like me? Do you see what I mean? And what if Mr T got confused? Hmm… it doesn’t bear thinking about. Only suffice to say, I might make it to the front page of the tabloids myself.

On a philosophical note, why is it that a daughter can’t look like her father? It’s not as if I haven’t got enough facial hair these days. Yes, it’s a cruel fact of life that once a woman hits 40 her hair starts falling out of her head and sprouting on her chin. In fact if I forget to check my chin for a couple of days I often find myself being followed by the council’s hedge trimming service and having to make a quick getaway. In contrast, when a man turns 40 he just looks sophisticated and suave.( However, I’m not so sure about Ken Dodd, although I’ve heard a rumour that his tickling brush is adequate compensation.) Humph, a woman gets facial hair and the menopause, a man looks distinguished; it’s just blatantly unfair.

It’s almost as unfair that a man’s favourite passion is football which keeps him fit if he plays or preoccupied for hours in front of the telly but a woman’s favourite passion is chocolate. Unfortunately, even with immense self restraint, chocolate can only last a few minutes. It also leads to a lifetime of dribbling over truffles in Thorntons, deceitfulness (“I only had one little piece.”), wobbly thighs and a huge crush on Willy Wonka. Not that I have any of those problems. I’m immune to the stuff.

However, my children are looking forward to the outing I’ve planned to Cadbury’s World in Birmingham. I think they’ll really enjoy it. Sadly, I’ll be bored stiff with nothing to do but look, smell and taste chocolate all day. And I suppose I’ll be forced to buy some misshapes and a few other tedious treats. Yeah, sometimes it’s really, really tough being a mother but I suppose I can put up with it. You know; just for the kids.

Chocolate Face Cream

Chocolate anti-wrinkle cream - brilliant idea!

I’ve just had an amazing idea. Why don’t they add chocolate to anti wrinkle creams? It would be a lot cheaper than using celebrities to advertise it. Just imagine how successful it would be? Women all over the world would be smearing it over their faces all day! And what about a chocolate body scrub? Mmm… I think that’s the first time the word “Exfoliate” has inspired me. Previously, the only times I’ve use that term is when I’ve emptied the potted plants into the bin that I’ve successfully killed.

Oh dear, I just Googled “Chocolate Face Cream” and I can’t believe it! There’s already a chocolate face cream and its £40 for a 50ml tube! Well, that’s my plans to become a billionaire overnight ruined. Damn, looks like I’ll have to stick it out as a Housewife Extraordinaire for just a bit longer.

Now the objective of this little article was to introduce myself. I hope I’ve succeeded. But for anyone who has lost the will to live and fast tracked to the end to sum up; basically I’m over 40, wrinkly, slightly delusional and I’ve got a family who are happy to tell me just that. Great.

I also a humanitarian, so I’ve declined the option to have my photograph added.

Well, not before I’ve got the Clingfilm out anyway...

last updated: 19/09/2008 at 13:56
created: 19/09/2008

Have Your Say

The BBC reserves the right to edit comments submitted.

Oh this made me giggle Jane.God forbid that Sam should have to take over guardianship - but does he have any spare places? He could charge.

You go girl! Everything you say makes alot of sense to me! Don't worry about who will look after the kids if you die - look forward to the years and years of humiliation you can inflict on them as a 'politicallY incorrect OAP!!!!! The possibilities are endless!!!

Mallika Ganguly
Great article Jane and so you !I can relate to absolutely everything you have written although we are geographically , poles apart.I can see though , that nothing can keep you away from mentioning chocolates !

M.K. Louie
As an American, I always learn something new from my favorite British housewife extraordinaire. Chocolate face cream!? Sounds like a gift my wife may like when we reach the infamous 40-year old milestone.Thanks for sharing more about your life, Mrs. T. I enjoyed this post very much.

Mike French
We keep tripping up on doing our will because we can't decide who to put down as the guardian of our three kids. Thanks for sorting out this problem for me Jane - hope Madonna doesn't mind sharing our kids should we be the ones to kill you and ourselves in a head on smash.And on that happy note, back to work. :-)

Great article, Jane, but have acquired more wrinkles because of laughter you induced. Pass the choccy face cream.

As a 39 year old Mum of two teens, I thought I was ok with innevitable big 40 fast approaching, but now i`m not so sure!!!!!!!!!!!

Nikki - 42 years young!
Brilliant, could identify with all of this!!!!! Thank you for making me smile today!

You are in: Beds Herts and Bucks > People > Mum's the Word! > Mum's the Word: Life begins at...

About the BBC | Help | Terms of Use | Privacy & Cookies Policy