Photographer of Families, Small People and Delightful Places, Travel and Lifestyle Writer and Blogger, Lives in Newcastle, Loves the North, Often Accompanied By A Beagle Named Holly Bobbins

Sunday, August 13, 2017

When did I start looking like an old man?




Me, fugly, I'm turning into Ernie, Mandy Charlton, Photographer, Writer, Blogger, ageing, parenting
This image has had skin smoothing applied for your own protection, it was far too crinkly beforehand!


So you've probably ascertained from the lack of posts that I'm super busy at the moment, either that or I've fun away to sell cupcakes to koalas on a deserted island (I wish)...

No, for shame, between travelling, planning more travel and working 23.5 hours per day, I know, I'm a rebel, half an hour of sleep, I'm such a slacker! (those hours may be an exaggeration but still...)

I don't know what's going on with me exactly at the moment but I can tell you this, every time I look in the mirror (or run past quickly) I see my face and wonder how I became to look so much like a fugly old man, yeah, not even a woman, I'm clearly becoming Bert in my old age.  I'm also getting wider and don't even get me started on the ratio of grey to not grey hair.  I think it's probably best that I just cover up all of the mirrors and if anyone asks I'll just say it's because I'm a vampire.  I mused earlier that it doesn't matter because I'm going to be single until I die so what I look like is unimportant and yet I think to myself, how can I have gotten to this point where I hate my body/face/hair so much.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not looking for sympathy and mentally I'm actually in a really good place and love the person I am on the inside, it's just the outside I'm at war with.

So here's the thing, I noticed that on dating sites with most men the ageing process really kicked in once they were past the age of 42 and I think that's what happened to me, it was all going pretty well and then 43 hit and now I'm Bert, or Ernie, I haven't decided my old rotund man name yet.

I do feel like it's time to cut the carbs again, I just wish I didn't like food which tastes nice or cake, I mean, why even invent cake, it's just unfair.

In other matters I'm planning for Looby's great home ed adventure, so far I've worked out we're doing projects on Poland in September including a cultural trip, we're then going to do something around farming and agriculture and hopefully we'll go stay on a working farm and then in December we'll be doing Christmas around the world and visiting some Christmas markets.  I think this next year is just as exciting for me as it is for Looby, I mean, who gets the opportunity to spend a whole year with their teen daughter?  It's like the biggest adventure ever and I'm wholeheartedly embracing it, now don't get me wrong, I'm sure there are times when we'll argue and not speak, that's just par for the course when you have teenagers though.  Mostly I think what I'm trying to say is that it doesn't matter that I am turning into a rotund old man, I'm also getting the chance to live and breathe and travel and explore with my youngest daughter who I love dearly, things will most definitely never be the same again in that respect.

Work feels so good to me right now, I love what I do so much and yes, I see work as part of the journey because it's my life as a photographer and a writer which has lead me to the point of being able to facilitate this great adventure, I may work on average 16 hours a day at weekends but mostly I get the week to do whatever I want.  This week I have a couple of weddings to edit and then I'm caught right up to date, I have plans with Looby to go to Beamish, to decorate and hide pebbles around the North East as part of the Tyneside Rocks group on Facebook (it's seriously a cool treasure hunt and creative activity which costs practically nothing) we're also having a Caribbean street party for Looby and her friends and if there's any time left we are starting on turning her bedroom into the bedroom of her dreams, she's got some brilliant ideas and it's going to be a room she can sleep in, socialise with friends in and somewhere she can work and chill, I guess like a giant den and place where you can feel safe and as one, we all need a little zen space!

And so, back I go to working again, just a few more hours tonight and only 1 photo shoot tomorrow, oh and just in case you're wondering, I'll be taking time off in between to cover up all those mirrors...
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