There came a day, when I was 38 years old, when I looked in the mirror and realised that I was too old to go without make-up, unless I cared to risk being handed a bell and a sign saying 'unclean' by someone who thought I had a dreaded disease, rather than just looking like this naturally. So, ever since, my mornings have started with a few minutes being spent putting on some slap - usually in quite a casual fashion, for I'm content with a general cover-up and don't expect miracles.
Occasionally, however, this transformation from scary to mere old bag doesn't happen first thing, and this always proves to be a mistake.
Today, for instance, I did this and that, read a few blogs, answered an email and wrote another, wrote the last post (migraine gone, by the way, thank the Lord- and the chemists, of course - for M1gr@leve) and finally, around 10.30, went to wash my hair. I was just smearing moisturiser on the boat race when a car drew up.
That's it. Whenever I don't present a reasonable face to the world, someone calls. I dragged a hasty comb through the wet hair and went to answer the door. My friends recoiled in horror momentarily, but recovered their poise quickly, and Tilly came to my aid by playing in a most friendly fashion with their two little children.
After they left, I went straight to rectify matters and now have painted on a smile and a complexion. My hair is a bit beyond redemption, having half-dried pointing the wrong way, but no matter. It's the face that frightens people the most.