May showcase

Wendy Gregory

I am getting old now and rather creaky, but that’s not surprising really. I’ve seen a lot of action in the last forty years: insatiable young lust, conception, childbirth, energetic but demanding children jumping all over me, then the slowing down of fond familiarity which has its benefits. In the words of the late Margaret Thatcher, we seem to have swapped “the hurly burly of the chaise longue for the deep, deep peace of the double bed.” At least I get a bit of calm at night. But it all takes its toll and I am experiencing the angst which I know is common amongst the middle aged – can I keep the affection and attention of my nearest and dearest? When I was young and supple, it seemed like everything just sprang back into place. Have you heard of the crocodile test- where you pinch a piece of skin on the back of your hand? When you’re young it just pings back into place. As you mature (that great euphemism for growing old), it takes several seconds, in a rather repulsive way, to snake back into place. Depressingly,what used to just spring back into its previous shape now takes considerably longer. Put pressure on any part of me and it makes a clearly visible dent, sometimes lasting for several minutes. Bits of me are not just creaky but positively sagging. Quite often, there doesn’t seem any point in getting made up or smartly attired: who cares? On the rare occasions when I am involved in carnal relations, I find that my joints groanmore and more loudly every time. I’m convinced that it won’t be long now until I get dumped for a younger model. I guess it’s inevitable. Or maybe not? After all, Tracy Emin won a Turner prize for hers.

The Wendy House

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The Little Book of Retorts


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