Lynne Mortimer - Being accused of looking like Deirdre Barlow is as close as I have come to being called 'totty'

PUBLISHED: 16:44 25 April 2016 | UPDATED: 16:44 25 April 2016

Lynne could only manage 100 yards with George aloft her shoulders

Lynne could only manage 100 yards with George aloft her shoulders


The great tits are nesting in the garden (despite the magpies patrolling under their box); the mouse is back (I thought a magpie got it); I managed to get an appointment to see the doctor - in just over two weeks time; and grandson George is getting heavy. All true, writes Lynne Mortimer.

I had a few days off work last week and this gave me a chance to spend quality time with the boys so I decided we would have an outing to imposing English Heritage property Audley End House, in a leafy part of Essex. Little Wil was in the pushchair and big brother George wanted to be in there instead.

“No, George, Wil can’t walk, so he will have to be in the pushchair and you will have to walk.”

“Carry me, grandma.” It was an alternative I hadn’t considered... the three-year-old is quite tall for his age and I’m quite weak for mine but I was prepared to make an effort.

“You can sit on my shoulders, George,” I said.

When my son was a baby, I used to walk into town with him in the buggy and his older sister Ruth sitting aloft on my shoulders so what could be so hard? I hoisted George up, over my head and sat him down (eat your heart out, Britain’s Got Talent). I’ve still got it, I thought but then I felt myself shrinking. Maybe I hadn’t still got it after all. As I trudged across the greensward towards the children’s play area I was getting smaller and smaller.

After about 100 yards, I had to concede.

“I’m sorry, George, I can’t carry you any further.” I lifted him back over my head and as he raced off, I was left to face the awful truth. I’m not 30 any more.

I had to admit defeat… and that’s not easy for a control freak like me.

I need to come to terms with the fact I am no longer in my physical prime... although, of course, in many ways I am as near perfect as it is possible for a woman to be. I am confident, not ashamed of wearing big knickers, and I am prepared to look silly in pursuit of a general laugh (just as well).

But though I am nearly always right (check with Lynne’s husband before this is printed. ED) I’m not so stridently sure of myself as former MP Edwina Currie, who has caused a rumpus. She was on BBC Radio 4, last week, debating sexism in the workplace and saying that being referred to as “totty” shouldn’t present too much of a problem for a woman.

Well, I’m not really qualified to comment. It’s never been a problem for me because I have never been referred to as “totty” (defined by Oxford dictionaries online as: A girl or woman, especially one regarded as sexually desirable). But, if a man or woman in my workplace called me “totty” without irony I would give them a stern telling-off before suggesting they should’ve gone to Specsavers.

Many moons ago, in the days before you could run your finger across a screen and make a phone call, a chap at work said I looked like Deirdre Barlow in Coronation Street with my curly perm and whopping great glasses. That’s about as close as I ever came to being called “totty”... ie I once looked a bit like someone off Corrie. At least it wasn’t Ena Sharples (younger people may like to look her up on Wikipedia... or maybe not). And speaking of t’hairnets and gaberdine, I am now officially on the hunt for my wedding dress. I made a determined start by searching on t’internet. First result an ad for: “Mother of the Bride Dress:”

I refer you to my earlier illusion of youth... and subsequent disillusion.

Anyway, with the way my shoulder is after lifting George over my head, I don’t think I’ll be able to try on any dresses for a while. The Big Day is now just six months away and there are still a few important things to be decided, none more so than tasting 12 bottles of wine, two or three of which will be chosen to accompany the wedding feast.

This onerous task is coming up at the weekend and I suspect, from previous experience, it will be bottles 10, 11 and 12 that will be favourites.

As a non-drinker (ie no more than two or three glassses, glashes... glasses of Prosecco a week) I am designated driver for the occasion and I can tell you now I’m having no singing in the back of my cab on the way home.

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