I’m Lisa Edwards – I’m in my forties and I decided to start this blog as a result of experiencing life after marriage, with no children, as a professional publisher living in London. I’m part of a new demographic discovering a second life after coupledom, where the new emphasis is on independence, freedom and the right to act as one chooses. I cover a wide range of topics from dating younger men to the male libido; from the ridiculous of dieting to deciding not to wear makeup. It’s all about the freedom to choose. Because we can.
So here I am, Mum, Dad. Witnessing something colossal on the world stage, in the week where we remember events we thought could never be repeated. For the first time in my life I believe that they genuinely could. And for the first time in my life I feel compelled to define who I am, and witness my friends doing the same.
I don't know why, but a strange silence descends when a woman pours out her scorn. Men call her a 'vindictive harpy', and in hushed tones, women tell her she should be more dignified. What if we don't? What if we call them out on it like Bey? The world doesn't end, does it?
At home, I can go for a drink or have dinner on my own and it feels like the most empowering thing a woman can ever do. I haven't found my Felipe, but in a sense I don't want to right now. The end of my journey hasn't happened yet and I can't wait to find out what's waiting for me.
I think back to when I was fifteen and developing major crushes on older, unattainable men wherever I went. I never acted on them, but I think the targets of my devotion must have been only too aware that there was a young girl mooning around after them, hanging on their every word.
As for many people mourning today, Bowie's music has formed the soundtrack of my life. From the first time I was mesmerised by <em>Sound and Vision</em> whilst on a fairground ride in 1977, to my very first gig ten years later, when he descended to the stage from the belly of a spider, this man has captivated me.
I sat there listening to the stories of 70 and 90-year-olds still yearning for the company of their spouses - one keeps his wife's ashes in a bag on the chair next to him - and thinking about my own mother's story. Her husband died when she was my age, and her life pretty much folded. By choice.
Why is female flesh so fearsome? Why do the Overweight Haters think it's ok to distribute Fat Cards to women on the London Underground? Why is the worst insult a rejected man on Tinder can throw at a woman is 'ur fat and ugly anyway'? They know it strikes at the fear in the very centre of our being.
The main thing I learned last year is that if he appears to be too good to be true, then he usually is... This is such a cliché it's almost embarrassing to be writing about it. I had two instances of it last year, both with men in their late thirties.
I started out feeling scared - of the foreboding mountainous landscape and the dark drive from the airport through it; of the inevitable street hassle one gets as a European walking past Egyptian shops. On my first trip I even had a panic attack because a guy offered me tea in the back of the shop and I suddenly had visions of him bundling me off in to the desert.
When I first started using Tinder, I took it as 'seriously' as other online dating forums, expecting to match and actually date someone. I've since discovered it's actually much more fun to treat the app like a dating Gogglebox due to the myriad ways in which people present themselves as potential mates.
From being dropped off at school in the morning to going home at night I worried about leaking. If I sat down too long during lessons the worry would mean I couldn't concentrate. All I could think about was how I could subtly spin my skirt around when I finally stood up just to check the back.
I'm childfree-by-choice, but as my life fills with young female friends, I find myself thinking about what I want to pass on to them - in a wise-woman way. If I'd had a daughter when I was thirty, she would be eighteen now. So these are the things I'd like to say to her, and weirdly, lots of them are things my mother said to me...
I don't know quite why I love the Tour de France so much. These days I never get on a bike, and when I used to do it, I chose mountain-biking, not road-cycling. That was, until a move to the city put paid to my weekend forays into the countryside.
Thinking about it, though, I've always gone on solo walks. As one could in the seventies, I roamed around on my own in the Welsh countryside from about the age of eleven. No one thought anything of it, then.
To me, all of the small stuff that objectifies and demeans women gives rise to the big stuff like rape culture, and there is no doubt that an urge to be sexy and fanciable to men comes from socialisation among women to do so from a young age.
It happened only this morning. I was gaily walking along the canal through Maida Vale, smiling at an approaching little dog and its lady owner, when WHAM she rammed straight into my shoulder rather than move out of the way.
Whilst going to a bar alone might shock some people, what about going to a club? I've done it, lots of times. In a busy environment like a club, no one knows you're on your own. You may have become separated from your friends, you may have just arrived and are looking for them.
When the 'No Makeup Selfie' craze started two years ago, I posted a defiant 'NEVER' on Facebook, and then immediately wondered why I felt so strongly about not doing it. I often think my friends look more beautiful without makeup, and their selfies showed it. Why not me?
09/03/2015 16:11 GMT
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