‘Older Women Rock!’ rock

Rhubarb & custard flavour rock sweets that will be distributed around Folkestone to promote ‘Older Women Rock!’




in my day…


Embroidery by Allie Lee, interpreting my poem, ‘In my day’ –

In my day, stockings came in black, bronze and American Tan.
Opening a bank account needed the signature of a man.
Vintage was plain old secondhand. Girdles held in sexual urges,
touching below the waist was no-go and Dusty passed as hetero.
There was no such thing as pubic hair wax and you daren’t use Tampax
or have a sexual climax for fear of being thought nymphomaniacs.
In my day, women were men’s property. There was no Equal Pay Act
till 1970. In the media Black women were only portrayed as maids
or African Royalty. Women had no rights to a husband’s pay,
‘housewife’ was a synonym for female, rape in marriage was
legally OK. To get the Birth Control Pill you had to be married
or you had to lie. In my day, abortion was a crime.
Nowadays a lesbian label can be a fashion accessory,
while gender binary is so last century. Nowadays we’re sold
sexploitation and feminisms of choice in the guise of liberation.
Nowadays age-defying procedures make us older women pixel perfect.
Because We’re Worth It. Nowadays, liberation is distorted into
fifty shades of grey and what was once hard-core porn is now
matter-of-fact everyday. So I navigate nowadays,
excavate my day,  my day is nowadays. ‘In my day’ is NOW




lines are one sign I’ve survived


Felt & embroidery artist Jan Lewis of the Profanity Embroidery Group interprets my poem, ‘lines’ –

Lines come from frowning, from genes of course,

from antidepressants and from divorce, from

free radicals, from rays of the sun, from sleeping

on your face and going for a run, drinking from

a bottle repetitively, from diet and pollution and

chewing gum excessively, from denying age-defying

cream, from smiling, from squinting, from inhaling

nicotine, from alcohol [in excess], from drugs,

from grumbling and from too little sex. Yet lines

are one sign I’ve survived. My lines equal ageing.

Anti-ageing equals anti-life. My lines will go, the moment I die


STOP PRESS ‘Older Women Rock!’ has been flagged up as one of ‘the best literature projects with older adults’

older women & the beauty industry

An amazing embroidery by Allie Lee of the Profanity Embroidery Group interpreting my poem, ‘cream’


The beauty industry screams Buy This Cream.

Stay Young, Be Happy, perpetual happiness

by virtue of a billion pound industry

that drip drip feeds the need for chemical warfare,

for cosmeceutical skin care to hydrate,

replenish, regenerate. Got taut, tight skin?

You’re in. Got ticking clocks? Botox  Detox.

Resist signs of ageing at all cost.

Stop. Reverse. Hide. Slo mo. Smooth your skin ego.

Feel the urge for a youth surge?

Want a victory of science over time?

Want to reignite your youthful light?

Deny age. Defy age. Youthful looking eyes are in sight

with caprylic triglyceride. Uplift with palmotoyl oligopeptide.

You’re in control with phenoxyethanol.

Replump with sodium phytate. No. Retaliate, fight age hate.

It’s a diabolical conspiracy for women to age agelessly,

line-, scar-, blemish-, crease-free.

I refuse to let the forever-young drug

                       erase the handwriting of life across my face

inspired by  ‘Out of Time’ by Lynne Segal, ‘How to Age’ by Anne Karpf and Boots beauty counter

thank you


Thank you to everyone who has donated in the first two days of the Crowdfunder. I’m loving the messages I’m receiving alongside the financial support. In fact the connections I’m having with each of you is so much part of growing ‘Older Women Rock!’.

I was on the computer for most of yesterday trying to fathom the intricacies of linking ‘socials’ and getting my head round the Crowdfunder and what kept me going was the show of interest in the project and the relationships that are forming already. I received an offer from singer/songwriter Jude Adams http://www.judeadamssings.net/ to perform at the Poetry & Music gig on 3rd March. And last night, when I was typed-out, I heard from Harriet Walters about her book ‘Facing It: Reflections on Images of Older Women’, which reminded me what the work is all about.

And then there’s the actual making of the artwork. A group of us are getting ready to work on a wedding dress, embroidering and printing on it words from one of my poem –

Nowadays we’re sold sexploitation

and feminisms of choice

in the guise of liberation.

Nowadays, liberation is distorted

into fifty shades of grey

and what was once hard-core porn

is now matter-of-fact everyday