grey: not pregnant

Hello, here is my new hair, and my new cardigan.

For quite a while it has been obvious (to me at least) that my hair was no longer naturally brown, but grey. I got to a point a few months ago when I was just tired of the continual touching up. What might my hair look like if I just stopped piling on the L’Oreal? So I let my roots grow out a little, then (once we had completed the photography for Shore – my Milarrochy Tweed collection of simple summer patterns, the last of which I published yesterday) I decided I was going to cut my hair quite short.

A few weeks ago I just took Tom’s hair clippers, and shaved my head.

I’m surprised by how much I like the result.

I was concerned that my hair might have a peppery appearance, but, apart from a few residual brown areas at the back of my head and around my temples, most of my hair seems to be growing out a nice silvery shade. I will probably continue wearing my headwraps on occasion (they keep my ears warm, and add interest to an outfit) and I have not quite decided, yet, whether (or when) to grow this very short crop out. But whatever I decide to do, I honestly feel much more comfortable with my new hair than with the unevenly-dyed, sometimes-veering-on-the-obviously-dyed brown mane.

All of this is, of course about managing my style, enjoying my style, feeling comfortable with my style, in these, my middle years.

I’m 45! I’m grey. That’s grand.

Which is one reason I was all the more confounded that the response of some of you to yesterday’s post was to immediately assume that I was pregnant.

No: actually, I’m just silvery-haired and menopausal! Congratulations to me!

In all seriousness, though, it would never occur to me that an off the cuff remark about a change in appearance might lead anyone to assume that I was having a baby. Perhaps that is because pregnancy is, and always has been, so far off my radar that those cultural cues just don’t signify for me.

Sometimes I meet people who, knowing what has happened to me, assume that childlessness is part of what they regard as my post-stroke “tragedy.” This is more than mildly infuriating. I had a stroke: I have no children. Neither of these facts, either alone or together, would make me someone to be pitied. I’m not a victim or a tragedy. I’m just a disabled woman without children, who, actually has never had any desire to have a child. That’s me, and I’m just fine.

But I also know other women who do want children but whose own situations of ill-health or disability complicate the prospect of maternity. While it is a matter of complete indifference to me personally, childlessness is also associated with loss, grief and pain for many women. Because of that, I would probably pause before congratulating a woman who made a chance remark about her change in appearance on the happy event I assumed to be forthcoming.

But as it happens, I am in fact, heartily amused, and not the least offended by the response of some of you to yesterday’s post. I am very sorry to disappoint you with my haircut, and not my baby, but hey ho, here you are.

Finally, to the other point I’d originally intended this post to make: here as you see, I’m wearing the St Catherines cardigan in a larger size (the second) with 8 inches of ease at the bust.

With more ease, the garment becomes more of a comfortable jacket than a shrug, and I love wearing it with the fronts open.

Mel knit this sample, and we thought it would be interesting to work the garter stitch in stripes, not least because the shift in shade shows off the shaping. Mel chose Milarrochy Tweed shades Birkin and Bruce (which are very Mel-like neutrals), but I’m afraid I have temporarily requisitioned her sample. I’m enjoying wearing this St Catherines too much to give it back at the moment – (apologies, Mel).

So here I am, happy with my new hair and my new St Catherines cardigan. 45, grey, and definitely not pregnant.