Old Age Isn’t The Place For Cissies! So said the late great Bette Davies, one of the truly great movie stars.
Just to make sure she did say that, I checked out her still-active website and discovered a whole bunch of her marvellous quotations. Check out http://www.bettedavis.com/quotes.html
Another age related one was ‘If you want a thing well done, get a couple of old broads to do it.’ One which has particular relevance to me as I struggle with rewriting or edits is ‘Attempt the impossible if you want to improve yourself.’ Must remember that one! Preferably pin it up next to my computer.
Remember the song ‘She’s Got Bette Davis Eyes.’ In case you’ve forgotten, my reason for posting this YouTube clip? Well, when I was younger, people said that about me. Just to prove it, the lead pic is of me from 1962.
Kim Carnes - Bette Davis Eyes
But this isn’t a rant about old age or even a eulogy to Bette Davis. It’s a celebration of a life well lived, mine.
Because much of my childhood was spent with my parents working in domestic service, I got to live in some pretty impressive houses, which gave me a glimpse of how the other half lived. (I always said I should have been born a rich man’s daughter and my father agreed with me!) We moved around a lot with jobs and once, I went to four different schools in one term.
At the age of 15, I was working as a towel weaver in a cotton mill and I feel proud that I was, for a time, part of the once great cotton industry. In the early 1960s, I went to live and work in the United States, something young women just didn’t do, which changed my life forever. I’ve written about some of these events in my memoir-based blog ‘Passionate About The Past.’ http://annelharvey.blogspot.co.uk
In my mid-70s (how did that happen?), I self-published my first novel ‘A Suitable Young Man’ on Amazon Kindle and as a paperback using Amazon’s Createspace. Apart from the fantastic cover, designed to my brief, by a professional graphic artist, I did all the necessary work on my own, something I’m very proud of.
Then, at the end of March this year, I published on Amazon Kindle the follow-up novel ‘Bittersweet Flight.’ The paperback isn’t available yet but as soon as I receive my proof copy and approve it, it will be. Sales have been steady but even if I don’t achieve massive sales, I’m proud of what I’ve achieved so far. And there will be more because ideas are buzzing around in my head already.
Life isn’t always easy. I suffer from arthritis and have already had a knee replacement with the possibility of an ankle replacement sometime in the future. I have something called an ‘essential tremor’ which is doctor-speak for not knowing what’s causing it. What’s essential about it I have yet to discover.
Yet living life the best way I can under less than ideal circumstances is the only way to go. A short time ago, I came across a wonderful prayer by Peter Marshall, an American preacher who died far too young in 1949. He said, ‘When we long for life without difficulties, Lord remind us that oaks grow strong in contrary winds and diamonds are made under pressure.’