Susan Morrison: Growing old disgracefully..

Kate Moss avoids free radicals ' whatever they are. Picture: Getty
Kate Moss avoids free radicals ' whatever they are. Picture: Getty
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Well, well, well. It’s my birthday today. Yes, Friday the 13th. I’ll be 55, thanks for asking. I’ve never been one of those who get their knickers in a twist about telling people my age.

Well, what’s the alternative to ageing? Exactly. I’d much rather be doddering about John Lewis complaining about the youth of today than making like James Dean and checking out at 24.

There’s an advert that warns about the seven effects of ageing. I note they don’t actually tell you what they are.

Just as well. I think one of them is a faulty memory. One of the most dangerous memory fails you can suffer is to think you looked a heck of a lot better than you actually did at 17, and worse, you can still get away with what you wore in the years before the children, the vodka and the late nights.

Tip: you can’t.

I know exactly how bad I looked in the eighties. I’ve got the photos to prove it. The word “perm” still makes me shudder.

Great beauties like Kate Moss and Halle Berry have intensive anti-ageing regimes. They avoid exposure to free radicals. I am not sure exactly what they are, but I have met a fair few mad old lefties in my time, including Tony Benn, so bang goes my youthful glow.

Quite how hanging out with the sort of people who want a fair distribution of wealth and a decent welfare state is supposed to accelerate the ageing process is a mystery to me, but it would explain why you don’t see too many supermodels hanging out with the comrades on the barricades.

My anti-ageing regime is quite simple, really. I just down a couple of gins, take my glasses off and look in the mirror. By jingo, that George Clooney doesn’t know what he’s missing.

As long as my wee short Glaswegian legs can keep carrying me about and my scatty brain keeps working I shall rattle about the world glorying in the fact that the older you get, the less you care about what other people think.

Will he put his foot in it again?

OH lord. It’s my birthday. And that means a birthday present. Which means he’ll buy the wrong thing.

We’ve been together for nearly 30 years now and without fail the man never fails to stun me with his thoughtfully chosen gift. Well, not so much thoughtful as panic-stricken, I guess.

One year it was a care kit for my tootsies, including athlete’s foot powder. I know. It’s the thought that counts. That’s what worries me.

Why today’s teens need a smokescreen

AND would you go back there, do the teen years of acne and angst?

The years of writing terrible poetry about how nobody understood you, and door slamming until the house started to suffer structural damage. I’m not sure I would.

It was bad enough in my teens, where a social networking platform was the girls’ bogs at lunchtime. Back then it was possible to avoid the sneering comments of the fag smokers by just not going to the loo all day.

And yes, my young friends, kids used to smoke at playtime. So did teachers. Anyone over 45 will remember going to have a word with your geography teacher and being enveloped in a cloud of B&H fug when the staff room door opened. Embassy seemed to be the bully-favoured brand.

Today the bully can follow teens home and continue their campaign of snide sniping in that ultimate sanctuary, the bedroom. Nope, I must admit, I’m very glad I don’t live in today’s Big Bully teen surveillance society.

Don’t you know there’s a war on?

THE whole D-Day thing seemed to go off without a hitch. The Queen looked in charge, as well she might, as the only head of state there who actually knows what a world war looks like.

It was a sobering reminder that so many young men never had the luxury of getting old, and also a reminder of just why a peaceful, unified Europe is A Good Idea, Mr Farage.

The world I grew up in was dominated by the war. Just about every adult over 40 was marked in some way by those years. Our neighbour Mr Miller told hilarious tales of his reluctant navy career, like the day he wound up on a charge because he’d got uproariously drunk on raspberry vodka. His ship sailed without him.

Every Remembrance Sunday he couldn’t speak for the crushing grief as he remembered those lads laughing at him getting carted off as HMS Hood slipped her moorings to take on the Bismarck.

On the domestic front, my mum would tick me off and tell me to eat my crusts, otherwise I’d be helping Hitler win the war. It was 1965. Some habits lingered.