Warning - When I am an Old Woman I Shall Wear Purple

When I am an old woman, I shall wear purple

with a red hat that doesn't go, and doesn't suit me.

And I shall spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves

and satin candles, and say we've no money for butter.

I shall sit down on the pavement when I am tired

and gobble up samples in shops and press alarm bells

and run my stick along the public railings

and make up for the sobriety of my youth.

I shall go out in my slippers in the rain

and pick the flowers in other people's gardens

and learn to spit.


You can wear terrible shirts and grow more fat

and eat three pounds of sausages at a go

or only bread and pickles for a week

and hoard pens and pencils and beer nuts and things in boxes.


But now we must have clothes that keep us dry

and pay our rent and not swear in the street

and set a good example for children.

We must have friends to dinner and read the papers.

But maybe I ought to practice a little now?

So people who know me are not too shocked and surprised

When suddenly I am old, and start to wear purple.


                                                 Jennifer Joseph



Just a poem I put up on my blog today. This is my first posting on this site. 


I have discovered blogspot and find I am addicted as it is a way for me to get rid of some of the awfulness of this experience and embrace some of the wonderful at the same time. 

C x

  • Great! I know the poem well and agree with a bit of 'old-age' rebellion! Man the baracades... and throw the custard pies...!


  • It was lovely to see this peom on here this morning, really made my day. I lost my mum recently and it was very sudden and unexpected. This was my mums favourite poem and she used to read it to me when I was little. I used to be so embarrassed cos I thought she was really going to do those things, and I remember thinking I would be horrified! LOL However I am now older than she was then, and I know exactly what the poem means! Anyway, off now to run my stick along the railings, and to learn to spit!

    Thanks for evoking some very happy childhood memories xx

  • FormerMember

    thanks for those lovely comments.

    I found this poem very 'rallying' and I look forward to progressing towards purple, not so much when I get older but more, as I progress towards getting better. :)

  • FormerMember

    Great poem!

    I believe there is a society of women somewhere who meet regularly and actually wear purple clothes with a red hat - good on them!

    Who gives a hoot about convention - I certainly don't and I don't give a hoot what people think about me either.  

    Thanks charlie.

    Love, Madge x x x x

  • FormerMember

    One of my favourites!  Thanks for sharing