I am one of those rather annoying people that is always banging on to other people, usually my family about having their photo taken. “In years to come” I say, “You’ll look back at photo’s because that’s all that’ll be left.” And as they all make groaning sounds and line up and pose, I know that they are only doing it to keep me happy. But I must admit that I am the worst person for not wanting my photo taken. Why do I need it taken, I think. I know only too well what I look like. Afterall, I see myself everyday in the mirror, and to be honest that’s quite enough. So, you can imagine my horror when a few people made comments that my Barnsley Chronicle photo doesn’t look like me anymore.

Oh, heck I thought, I hate having my photo taken. But, after much deliberation I gave in and asked one of my daughters to do the honour. Well, what a carry on. I wasn’t happy with any of them. In the house, up the garden everywhere except standing on my head. When I looked closely, (by that I mean zoomed in) I had lines that, to be quite honest, I didn’t know existed.

I went into the bedroom and sat in front of the mirror and had a conversation with my face. “Where the hell have all these lines come from face?” I asked it. Face didn’t say anything, it just glared at me. “And where the bloody hell have my eyelids gone? Sunken in by the looks of it. I know that every line tells a story.” I told it “But by the giddy ants mine must be a long story, talk about War and Peace. And another thing face.” I said, “I know all about laughter lines, but where was I when all this laughing was going on?” face looked serious. “I know where the frown lines have come from, but come on face, you’re taking the mickey now.” And then the little voice inside my head piped up. “Chrissy, you are eight years older than when that Chronicle photo was taken. What did you expect to face? Stay forever young ish?”

I sat and pondered for a while. I know exactly where I’ve been whilst all these changes were taking place. I’ve been working, holding hands, holding hearts, holding things together, when sometimes I’ve felt as if I was falling apart. I’ve said my first hellos, I’ve said my last good-byes. I’ve laughed and cried with friends. I’ve got up far too early when I haven’t had enough sleep just to see the sunrise. And I’ve certainly burnt the candle at both ends. I smiled at face, and face smiled back, and I swear that I saw a small watery glint in my face's eyes.

I went back downstairs. “Right let’s choose one.” I said. My daughter asked if I’d like it ‘air brushed’. I was quite tempted, I mean after all, other people would see this picture, most likely for a long time. I honestly thought about it but declined.

Air brushing is ok for a bit of fun for facebook and such when out with friends. No. I am who I am, lines an all. More and more celebrities are having photos taken ‘raw’ why shouldn’t I. between you and me, I secretly embrace my lines. My laughter lines, my frown lines, all of them. Because to gain my lines I first need to have lived, and yes maybe every line does tell a story. But I know far too many friends that never lived long enough to have this privilege. So, I shall wear mine with pride, and embrace the older woman within me. Long live the older woman. (Especially this one.)