How old do you think I look? Go on, be honest. I’m used to people refusing to believe me when I tell them, so take a good long look.
I’ll let you in on a few vital statistics. I’m 5ft 4in, a tidy size 12 and not only is that long blonde hair you see all mine, but you won’t find a grey hair in it. I haven’t grown one yet.
I’ve also never had plastic surgery, Botox, fillers or tooth whitening.
I am, however, the proud mother of one daughter, who is grown up now — my figure snapped back after giving birth.My slight, Bambie-esque ankles are prizewinning, as is the rest of my body — I’ve entered beauty pageants in the not-so-distant past — and my eyes are the same clear blue as when I was a teenager.
My body is in full working order and I’m as lithe and limber as I’ve ever been, with no health complaints or problems to speak of. And yet I’m 81: one year older than Judi Dench, three years older than Vanessa Redgrave and old enough to be a great-grandmother ten times over.
I’ve been able to collect my pension and enjoy a free bus pass for over two decades and, two years into my ninth decade, I’m older than many trees in the village where I live near Woodbridge in Suffolk, and most of the houses, too.
If you still won’t believe me, you are one of many. I have spent much of my life appearing decades younger than my age.
Most people assume I am in my 50s. Some (in bright sunlight) put me at 60, but no one gets much closer than a couple of decades south of the truth.