Category: Ageing

Young Blood

Young Blood

It’s been a while between drinks (strictly figuratively speaking). Speaking of which I have been favouring a lovely pinot noir discovered with a sensible friend in a seaside cafe during a wild storm that nearly knocked us into the Indian Ocean.

Two Paddocks Picnic Pinot Noir is a from actor Sam Neill’s vineyard in Central Otago in the south of New Zealand.

sam neill two paddocks

I know little of wine but I could keep drinking this one until the Central Otago cows come home.

On another type of red, it was reported this week in New Scientist that there’s some blood-swapping going on. For some years researchers have been seeing what happens when the blood of young mice gets put into old mice with interesting results which hit the press this May, enough to spawn a human experiment to happen in October. Alzheimer’s patients will be given transfusions of blood from healthy young people with an eye to reversing some of the damage caused by this terrible disease.

If successful the procedure has widespread ramifications. In a Flowers for Algernon twist it may only work for a short time, perhaps a day, but as the article points out even a day of greater health will warrant further research.


While the first thought of many my age will be the endless cosmetic applications, there are some genuinely useful rejuvenating effects that could be possible if the trials are successful: New Scientist’s Helen Thomson reports that young blood could help stop or reduce the muscle wastage that occurs with chemotherapy. There is also investigation into the possibility that it could inhibit the growth of tumours.

Perhaps Eric Northman’s healing powers are seated in more than just racy tv drama.

Eric Alexander Skarsgard
Entirely gratuitous photo of Alexander Skarsgard aka Eric Northman


Oxygenetix Rules

Oxygenetix Rules

Maths is Fun.

First of all, it’s actually not.

Secondly, I am nervous that my companion to getting through Chapter One of Statistics For Psychologists is a children’s interactive website called Maths is Fun.

Who knew that when you multiply a negative number with another negative number you get a positive number? That’s just plain crazy! Or that when you add things you have to add what’s in brackets before you add and you have to multiply before you add or subtract. Really? Why?

There’s even a song about it. Not as good as the latest Busta Rhymes song, Thank You if you like a bit of hip hop.

Finding a new foundation that acts as a poly filler while looking light and translucent on the skin…now that is fun.


Say hello to Oxygenetix, introduced to me by a dewy-skinned sensible friend: It was designed by a Beverly Hills makeup artist for a plastic surgeon to cover and even heal procedural scars.

Designed for doctors, Breathable foundation covers and treats a wide variety of skin problems: skin injuries, wounds, rashes, cracked, dry skin, acne scars, rosacea and other skin conditions. On post-surgical scars, patients are re-assured and impressed that after care includes safely camouflaging any evidence of surgery.

Basically, this is a healing cream that also just happens to be a banging good foundation. It comes in a variety of shades so you look like you. I use Beige which seems to be the most popular colour.  It also has an SPF 25 – ticking all the boxes.

It’s a small pump bottle and costs $85 here. I was recently in Beverly Hills (I know, I know…did a little damage in Melrose Ave…) and checked it out there thinking I would stock up cheaply, but in fact their price control is pretty standard so no need to hunt around  for hours online or travel to the States for it as I did. Do let me know if you find differently.

Also it lasts for ages and ages as you use a tiny amount for amazing coverage. I’ve had mine for months, use it religiously and there’s still plenty left.

I bought mine in Subiaco, Perth at Skin Evolution, conveniently located next to Jean-Claude Patisserie in Rockeby Road.

There’s nothing in this shameless promo for me, I still pay the $85 like everyone. Also, they are not likely to give free stuff to someone who has six followers on their blog, are they?

Now if someone could just explain interval ratio scales to me I will be content for the rest of the day.


Let’s Do Coffee

Let’s Do Coffee

Finally. Proof from my favourite people (scientists) that coffee is good for you.

Huffington Post reported earlier this week that drinking coffee can lower your risk of developing Type 2 Diabetes. I went to Google Scholar to check the paper the news came from and yes, it’s true.

black coffee

That’s not all my fellow Cimba’s regulars: Coffee has also been discovered to do the following. I am keeping this very short as I know you want to skim over this and rush to the kettle to get cracking.

  • Coffee can lower the risk of developing Parkinson’s by as much as 25%
  • It can help ward off basal cell carcinoma (more so for women than men)
  • It can reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer in men
  • It can reduce the risk of Alzheimer’s by boosting GCSF levels in the brain (google it)
  • It can lower the risk of depression in women by 15% to 20%
  • Finally it can help you spot grammatical (although not spelling) errors in your writing

The ‘dose’ seems to be around three to four cups a day and it’s still unclear as to whether the benefits are specifically tied to the caffeine although the evidence seems to point in that direction.

If this isn’t the best news you’ve had all day…you just haven’t had enough coffee.

Why the Frown? (It’s Bitchy Resting Face)

Why the Frown? (It’s Bitchy Resting Face)

Oldest Daughter: “Why are you always frowning at me when I talk to you lately?”

Me: “Because the Botox has worn off and I have ‘Bitchy Resting Face’. Sorry.”

This is something that has bothered me for years without my having any idea what it was; ever since I was in a restaurant with a group of friends at around the age of 20 and the glamour-boy lawyer sitting next to me suddenly said, with no preamble, “Why are you so serious all the time?”

If only we’d had the Internet back then in the eighties (actually, I thank the Lord above we didn’t).

It’s all over the web right now: Bitchy Resting Face (BRF) is the syndrome of one’s neutral expression looking like one has just swallowed half a lemon, or is gearing up to belt someone in the head. Or is simply a total bitch. Usually the person who has this affliction is thinking nothing more cantankerous than whether the sheets need changing, or whether anyone remembered to lock up the chicken that night.

There are some famous people who share this affliction with we everyday people: Kristen Stewart aka Bella is the poster girl for BRF.Kristen Stewart

My BRF pin-up girl is Anna Paquin aka Sookie Stackhouse – frowny forehead and yet absolutely gorgeous.

BRF Sookie Stackhouse

.Sookie Stackhouse Anna Paquin

A few men even suffer too, often called Resting Asshole Face for the guys. Kanye West does it best and Robert Downie Jnr scares young children with his.

BRF Kanye West

BRF robert downey jnr

As we age, our neutral, or ‘resting’ face is the one that becomes etched deeply upon us. For some lucky souls like the lovely Jennifer Aniston, this will be laugh lines.

BRF Jennifer Aniston

For many of us however, Bitchy Resting Face it is. Even the ever-beautiful Jessica Lange.

jessica lange

For we sufferers from Generation X, how different would our twenties, and even thirties, have been had this been a recognised ‘thing’ then? I, for one, wouldn’t have sweated about being ‘too serious’ for about a decade and just worn a brooch announcing ‘I’m Not Unhappy, I Suffer From BRF’.

So this chick walks into a university…

So this chick walks into a university…

So I enrolled at university yesterday. As a result, I’m feeling hip and cool enough to start all my sentences with “so”.

So I walk in to Winthrop Hall at the University of Western Australia and I want to say I was transported back to my first year of university in the mid-1980s but in fact I felt like someone’s mum (well I guess I am; my oldest is freaking the fuck out at the prospect of possibly sharing a campus with me next year and to be honest I don’t blame her).

So there’s me and all the other (extremely young) students-to-be, sitting in chairs waiting to be taken through Step One (of eight!) of enrollment  playing with our iPads. I was cruising the ‘Net, checking out the holiday snaps of someone I barely know on Facebook as you do but the young people were getting frustrated; couldn’t get online with the free UWA wi-fi link. One guy asked me “So how did you get into the free wi-fi?” “What? Oh, I’ve got 3G…sorry”, I replied. Poor darlings: No working wi-fi, no 3G. They had to just sit there like something out of 1985.

So there I was: Old….but rich. Rich enough to have an iPad with 3G. I was living the dream.

So I get to the front of the queue. By this stage I am in about Stage Three or Four of enrollment.  Each stage took us to a different part of the campus. I even got to see inside the Maths Building. A flushed-with-the-beauty-of-youth girl rushed up to me with handfuls of flyers, handing me each one with a little spiel. At one point she started to hand one to me and then hesitated, looking confused/embarrassed. “Are you a mature-aged student?” she asked. It was like asking someone if they are pregnant as you watch the head crown out of the mother’s body. “Ahh yes, I think I might be!” I said brightly.

[I’m over the So. So is so ten minutes ago.]

A little later, perhaps it was around Stage Six of the enrollment process – they are all blurred now – a handsome young fellow thrust a flyer at me and asked me if I was familiar with the Uni Guild, “you know,” he said, “sundowners and stuff?” From [alcohol-damaged] memory, that was the part of uni back in the day that involved an enormous amount of drinking and staying up late. The sweet chap had obviously been instructed to offer this social opportunity to everyone so I tried to make his day a little easier saying “Yeah I was familiar with it about 30 years ago” Did I want the flyer? “Ahh no that’s okay.” Really? Really.

Stage Seven saw me handing over my now-renewed student card for ID to the computer girl and I got this reaction:

“WHOA! Your student number starts with a ONE! Ohmygod, I have seriously never seen that before. A one…wow! When were you here? Woah!”

But I am saving the best for last and possibly only other Western Australians will truly appreciate this.

Exhausted and nearly brain-dead after going through all those stages of enrollment, I stopped by the university cafe for caffeine. Friends, I paid $1.90 for a coffee. Granted it was a little dampened by the fact I had to show ID (for the opposite reason one usually breaks out ID), but I grinned all the way to the car with my ONE DOLLAR AND NINETY CENT coffee. Best coffee I have ever tasted. I’ll try to sneak a few of you in, maybe we can get some fake ID’s made up…

psychology text book

You Are So Beautiful

You Are So Beautiful

Sometimes when I get on the Internet I feel like everyone is young and beautiful.

So a sensible, successful, beautiful friend said to me this morning and it got me thinking (kids back to school today so finally for the first time in two weeks I can think rather than just do). The world-wide web is like an insidious competition for who is doing it better than us. Often, rather than feel energised by dropping off the edge of reality and wandering for an hour or so in the world of the almost-real we can be left feeling a little….inferior.

I’d heard that being a middle-aged woman could leave one feeling a bit invisible, but never really believed it. I thought all those older women were being a tad whiney and precious.

They’re not.

I waited at a bar recently for ages while hordes of gorgeous young things got served either side of me. Then the next row of them got served, and the next. I was halfway sober by the time I finally got my vodka and soda.

And yet I look around at my sensible friends and their friends and I see a sea of truly beautiful women whose beauty is born of the experience that lies comfortably in their faces. I don’t love that my triceps rock to their own beat when I am waving at someone, but I do love that I really don’t care all that much.

My oldest daughter is seventeen, so the house is often filled with strapping young lasses with praying mantis figures wearing tops they call dresses: God they are gorgeous! But in their eyes is a wide-eyed innocence that lacks the beauty of a life lived, with all its joy and sorrow.

At my mother’s seventieth birthday party on the weekend all her friends lit up the house with their laughter and wonderful stories and anecdotes. They came bearing platters of food, genuine warmth and fun: now that is beauty.  What’s more they didn’t have to wait a second for the next drink.

I was the only one waving though, so still a few tricks to learn…

Age is something that doesn’t matter. Unless you are a cheese.

~ Luis Bunuel


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