Jeanne Ellin: Back to the 60s at 70; a comic and a farm

Banner with Jeanne Ellin's quoteContinuing my preparation for cataract surgery, I see that forward bending is forbidden for some weeks. It is surprising how often I find myself bending forward from loading the dishwasher to washing my hair.

woman with pink bunny earsI find a lovely coconut spray dry shampoo, which just leaves the dishwasher to sort. Given my poor memory I need to build a new habit beforehand. So, I decide to revive the Bunny Dip.

For those of you who were not born then, skirts in the 60s would be blouse length today. Mine barely covered my knickers when I kept my arms by my sides. Bending was done with bent knees and upright torso – as demonstrated by Hugh Hefner’s Bunny Girls.

No, I did not reach up for anything! Fetching and reaching was what boyfriends were for, as well as climbing into my flat when I locked myself out. It was practically an audition for a relationship, the willingness to climb in without complaining.

A happy memory to make me smile as I fill the dishwasher while making like a Playboy Bunny!

Collaborating on a comic

My illustrator friend and I are working on two projects together. One is our individual response to the same theme – THIRST. I produce a poem and he an illustration; we are sending it in jointly with individual pieces of writing to explain how we work.

The second is a longer and more challenging project – a graphic novel style piece on mental illness, specifically psychosis. We had a good meeting today, wide-ranging conversations while working on our projects. He is so kind in coming to me, finding time in his very busy day.

Buying a farm

Had another good idea today – a pre-funeral shower! Friends and family gather with the old person to share laughter and memories and say all the lovely things that are normally saved for the funeral tea. I want to hear and say all those nice things. So, for my 80th birthday I will invite family and friends to share a meal and our memories, to say all the things we always meant to say. Perhaps we will write them down to go back to.

I say 80th but hope to live into my 90s. And, while on this theme, I do not want flowers for my funeral, but a farm. There was a WWII saying, ‘buying the farm’, for when someone died in battle. I always wanted a smallholding but lacked both cash and agricultural talent. So I would like everyone to buy something for a farm instead of flowers.

Oxfam does a scheme – beehives, hens, apple trees, goats, whatever you can afford. It goes towards a farm in Africa or India.

It makes me happy to think of something so positive rather than a load of dying flowers, which may be traditional but help no one except florists.

Jeanne Ellin

About Jeanne Ellin

I am a poet working at living a creative life in a one room flat, companioned by a menagerie of chronic health problems. I began this series of posts after being inspired by two women younger than myself, who, fearful of their imagined old age spent in ill health and poverty, committed suicide. I explore every year as a bonus of adventures, with moments of discomfort or fear, but with unexpected treasure to be found - helped by a sense of the ridiculous, a world perspective and creativity.