“Will you do one of those really harsh edits that bring out all the flaws on a photograph of my neck? I want to really emphasise the lines.”

A bit of a weird request, really; counterintuitive in an age of smoothing, retouching and perfecting. The thing is, the lines on my neck really don’t bother me. In fact, they kind of fascinate me. How they appeared quietly over time, without me really noticing. How there’s a symmetry to them, as if someone drew them in.

I remember about ten years ago a woman on a Clarins counter convincing me it was time to invest in neck firming cream. Did I apply it religiously? Did I hell. It sat in my cupboard for years, went off and I threw it away. The £40 would have been much better spent on music, wine, books, adventures!

Our bodies changing as we age is as inevitable as day turning to night and worrying about it is about as far down my (pretty much non-existent) worry list as it’s possible to get. Like a tree, my neck may carry a few rings that reveal its age and the rather obvious sun damage shows a foolish lack of care with the SPF, but a few lines don’t change how good it feels when a lover kisses it, or casually grips the back of it in a public place, or idly plays with my short hair as we laze on the sofa.

And it keeps my head on my shoulders!

Photo by Adam.

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Sinful Sunday


The lovely Maria Opens Up was 40 this week, a landmark that can’t possibly go unnoticed on the Exposing 40 blog. 

Those of you who follow Maria on Twitter will know her online moniker is Maria Sibylla and her handle is @MSM1647. What you may not know is that Maria Sibylla Merian, born in 1647, was a talented scientific illustrator who David Attenborough (hero!) regards as one the most important entomologists the world has ever known.

Divorced from her husband, she took her daughter to the jungles of Suriname and turned her love of butterflies and insects into her work. In the early 1700s, way before cameras existed and when common belief was that insects were horrid creatures born of mud, she published a beautiful book of paintings that charted the life cycle of the insect world. Today her illustrations are regarded as art and science. What a woman!

There’s nothing very scientific about this photo, but there’s some pretty insects! Happy Birthday, Maria. Welcome to Club Forties – it’s a fabulous place to be! Xx