This faded photo, like the subject, has seen better days. It was taken in the mid 60's, in the grounds of the Tower of London.
A rehearsal of Yeomen of the Guard, for the London Summer Festival was in progress, a few of us were bored with hanging around waiting for our cue and took photographs of each other.
I was singing in the chorus (on loan from New Opera Co) at the time, hated the costume (particularly the bonnet) and was generally fed up with the way I perceived my appearance.
My male counterpart did not agree and thought the picture would change my mind. It didn't!
Looking back on it after all these years, I am amazed that I could have had such a poor opinion of myself. Compared with the old crone who looks back at me from my unfortunate mirror these days, I was positively good-looking.
Appearances aside, because they unfortunately change beyond recognition as time passes, there are other aspects of advancing years which are infinitely more important.
Ist of all of these, in my opinion, is health.
So many people simply allow time to decrease their mobility, kill off their interest in living, and let their grey cells curl up and die.
Ill-health is not always something that can be avoided, but there is so much we can do to remain reasonably fit and well within our limitations that I thought I'd make a list of ways to stay part of the 21st century rather than an onlooker.
At the risk of being accused of being a Pollyanna they are:
1, Do not over eat or drink - or if you must, do so only occasionally.
2. Do not smoke, ever!
3. Try to eat as much fresh food as possible, and reserve dry or packet or tinned foods for 'siege' occasions.
4. Take some exercise every day of your life, even if it is only walking up and down stairs.
5. Be interested in what is going on in your immediate surroundings, and in the wider world, and perhaps most of all, in people, especially those who are lively and interesting.
6. Try, however inhibited or shy or reluctant you may be, to join in some sort of social activity.
7. Never neglect the spiritual side of your personality, even the tiniest glimmer is worth fanning into a flame.
Last, but not least, trust God to support you if you find yourself flagging.
Needless to say, this is only what I think is important, not necessarily how I live my life, but I am trying and hoping.