Wednesday 12 October 2011

Late bloomers

Pat Gallant-Charette is the oldest female to have 
swum the English Channel
at age 60.
Flora Thompson wrote Larkrise to Candleford 
at age 63.
Laura Ingalls Wilder had her first Little House book published
at age 65.
Alfred Wallis took up painting when his wife died,
at age 67.
Mary Wesley wrote her first novel
at age 70.
Mary Delany began her cut paper botanical collages
at age 72.
Minna Keal had her first orchestral work performed
at the BBC proms
at age 80.
Fauja Singh is still running marathons
at age 100.

I have taken up ballet
at age 57.
My pliés are comical and creaky.
I get cramp when I point my toes
and do not appear to know my left leg from my right
but, it is not quite too late
to follow in my mother's footsteps.


  1. Oh very well done! When you posted your original story about your Mother, I wondered why you had not studied when you were a child. Good luck for future pliés!

  2. How wonderful, I watch my five year old do ballet and envy her. Now I envy you too.

  3. And rightly so. A house captain would be expected to have a spot of riding, ballet and piano under her belt. I'm full of admiration for you and inquisitiveness about your dancing mother.

  4. 'What fun', and probably 'How brave', are what I'm sure I should be typing here. But what I'm actually dying to know is ... do you have a tutu too?

  5. No tutu and no ballet shoes sadly.

  6. Mise -I got to grade 5 on the piano but didn't take to the horse riding. That was my sister's speciality. She got the ballet lessons too. I had Scottish dancing, so that's on my CV.

  7. Well done! It gives me hope, since I want to learn to salsa one day, money permitting, but was starting to think I'd be to old. I admire your sense of adventure.

  8. Good for you! I would so love to join you.
    I did a class many years ago that included an old lady who always turned up in a tutu ... she was easily in her 70s and clearly fulfilling a dream.

  9. My aunty is eighty four and has just creosoted her garden shed!
    Well done for taking up ballet, it is such a strict discipline, but very beautiful and graceful and you're right, it's never too late. I love the painting of your mother

  10. As someone who totally lacks co-ordination, I salute you.

    On a totally different subject, there is a message re quince trees and their fruiting times from Sue, over on my last post...........

  11. I find the list of late bloomers immensely encouraging, and I'm so pleased about your ballet lessons. All I'm doing in my declining years is - as you know - learning to swim all over again. But I love it!

  12. But I'll guarantee that your swimming is a good deal more elegant than my dancing.

  13. Wow-well done. Here I thought I was doing well going back to college in my late thirties. You rock. Can't wait to hear all about your first twirl on to the stage.

  14. Ballet! How wonderful. I am known for having no coordination, so I'd be too feraful to even try. I look forward to hearing your tales.

    How great to have such a portrait of your mother!

  15. That's wonderful! I didn't finish college until I was in my 40's and took up the piano in my early 60's and I've been threatening to learn French.

  16. A very encouraging post. I could take to ballet fairly well again, if I'd first done an hour of yoga to limber up!
    I would love to take a dance class again someday. I tried a couple of short workshops and found I had really lost my brain-foot coordination!