Sometimes when I look at my daughters I am completely blown away. Not just by my daughters but other people's as well. I simply cannot conceive that we were, in our teens and early twenties, anywhere near as gorgeous, confident and poised as the current crop.
My oldest spent Monday morning here chatting to a features writer from the Yorkshire Post and having her photo taken. She looked so beautiful and hopefully the pictures will reflect that. They won't, I hope, show that as well as wearing a tie-dye dress (aah, I remember tie-dye!) and my cardigan, she was also wearing her father's socks. Anyway, there she was, telling her life story and looking as though she had spent her life dealing with the media. Later in the week, she gave a speech at the school prize giving and held a hundred and something 11-14 year olds in her spell for fifteen minutes. She is, in an email I got from one mother, 'a beast' according to her teenage boys. Not sure what that means but apparently it is very good!
Unlike daughter 1 whose dress style can only be described as 'shabby chic', daughter 2 is the epitome of power dressing. I gaze in awe when I see her in her work clothes complete with very high heels which deal neatly with the vertical challenge issues she has. I couldn't wear those heels for an hour, let alone a day but she tells me they're comfy and who am I to argue? I can imagine that in that dress and those heels she is formidable in the workplace.
Daughter 3 is my style guru. I now require her approval before leaving home if it is an important event. 'No, you can't wear a jacket with that.'... 'It might rain.'...'Tough! It won't look right.' And so it goes. She has her own style and is fully up to speed on Vogue and Harper's Bazaar in a way that she probably isn't on chemistry and biology.
When I was the age of my daughters, it was the 1970s. How could you be a style icon in the 1970s? The other day, my friends and I were discussing the fashions of the time. I had, no word of a lie, lilac hotpants. On the other hand, the older sister of my best friend had turquoise loons - now they were a thing of beauty. She wore them with a pink mohair jumper and she looked the business. She also went out with the most good looking boy of all our friends. No more about him as he now lives rather near me these days and someone might tell him... One of my other friends admitted that every pair of jeans she possessed had a tartan stripe down the side in homage to the Bay City Rollers. See what I mean about how hard it was to look good in the '70s?
Anyway, on a positive note, my daughters presumably don't think I am such a dinosaur as they all borrow my clothes - daughter 2, I'd like my boots back please! I certainly wouldn't have dreamt of borrowing my mother's clothes - but then her wardrobe didn't extend to hotpants! It is flattering when I see them rifling through my wardrobe looking for various items (usually the newer ones that I have hardly had time to wear). Though it is equally annoying to find the same items either on the floor in their bedrooms, or worse still in either Leeds or London where daughters 1 and 2 live.
Their friends are equally lovely and glamorous. Do they realise how immensely powerful they are with their long hair, fabulous clothes and all that confidence? Boys of similar age must be in a permanent state of anxiety - they look so completely outgunned by these amazing creatures. The two daughters of a friend of mine regularly arrive at cricket matches looking stunning - I'm surprised the players can concentrate on the game, so lovely are these two.
I hope all these girls are really enjoying their moment in the sun. Looking back, I can only remember being so lacking in confidence that I scarcely realised this was my time. But, if I knew then what I know now ...