The Blog

If your dresses get tight you need to lose a bit of weight!

Gillian 70 married with two children and four grandchildren. Lives in Surrey, originally from Lancashire. 

How are you? 

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I am really comfortable with my life. I am very happy with my children and my grandchildren and I’m in a good relationship.

How do you feel about the weather?

I definitely feel better on a sunny day, it doesn't have to be hot. I love fresh days. I think I suffer with SAD - we try and get away in the Winter months.

What do you think about marriage?

He’s my best friend, I have been very lucky. I’ve known him since we were five years old and we've been together since we were seventeen. There’s something in his eyes that I’ll never get tired of seeing. He’s the kindest most generous man, he’d move heaven and earth for me.

What do you think about kids?

I’m glad I got my two boys, I wanted two and got two.

What do you think about body image?

If your dresses get tight you need to lose a bit of weight! 

What are you dreams?

When I was ten years old I was accepted into the Royal Academy of Dance but I couldn't go, my mum and dad couldn't afford it. I’ve always danced. I joined the local amateur dance group. I just love anything and everything to do with dance. My husband has to drag me off the dance floor at the end often evening. Dancing frees your mind and the music frees your soul.

How do you think other people see you?

Not confident. I am very conscious of not showing off too much - I underplay things. I hope people see me in a good light, maybe I talk too much!

What brings you down?

Sometimes other peoples attitudes bring me down and when I see starving children, but I am a fairly up beat person. If I ever have a row I’ll stew on it for a few days. My parents dying has been a killer. 

Where does all your energy go?

I love a clean, tidy house and I walk a lot. I have a lot of energy and rarely get tired. I wake every morning with the sunrise.

How do you see yourself? 

I am loyal, I’m a good mother, wife and grandmother. I’ve done a good job. I’m too honest!

What do you like about yourself?

That I am healthy and have a strong body that I can enjoy. I can do most things. I’m a kind person, if I see someone in difficulty I’ll be the first one in there. I can’t walk passed a dog without putting my hand out.

How do you best express yourself?

Gesticulating, dancing, interior design - I love doing up houses. And through what I wear; my dresses, come and see, I’ll show you. (She shows me her wardrobe, there must be 50 or so beautiful dresses and Chanel suits, in all array of colour, everything is pristinely hung in covers).

Who or what inspires you?

My grandkids, they're so confident about life. People who do amazing things. Victoria Beckham, Maggie Smith and Judy Dench.

What’s your most memorable experience?

In the 70s my husband got a transfer with his job to Nigeria, we moved out there for a few years. One day there was a public execution on the beach: three men who had shot the head of state were sentenced to death. We didn't go but the next day we walked along the beach and saw three pairs of shoes where there bodies had been shot - it was shocking.

What do you think about life?

I love life. I don’t think a day goes by when I don’t say ‘thank you’. I think I must have a spiritual nature. I feel very lucky. I still think I’m twenty-one. Life is just a circle, you start out as a baby then move through life - full circle and go back to being that child again. I feel a kind of elation. 

What do you think about death?

At the moment I don’t have a fear of death. I do remember when my dad died. He’d been to Belsen after the war to help with the clear up, he developed chest problems from all the chemicals and ended up getting emphysema, seeing him on oxygen was awful. He died when he was fifty eight when I was just seventeen. 

My best friend died when she was sixteen. I had a very vivid dream about her soon after. The same happened with my mother -  you're very lucky if you get a visit. 

What would you like to leave for the next generation?

I wish the political structure was better and there wasn't so much unrest in the world. Everything seems to be on the edge at the moment. I hope the kids of the future have job opportunities, there were so many opportunities for my generation. 

Are you free?

Yes I am a free spirit everyday.