Being stylish isn’t always about looking fabulous, sometimes it’s about being fabulous too. Sheila Hancock is certainly well turned out at 75 with great poise, but it is her wonderfully no-bullshit, I’m-far-from-perfect-but-I’m-trying attitude that makes her such a wise bird. We loved her in the TV series Grumpy Old Women and she has a wonky glamour that we like.
Not to put a dampener on things, but as we hit our 40s and 50s illness and death seem to be unpleasant and more frequent companions. Over Christmas there seemed to be more stories from friends of life threatening illness and sad demises among our loved ones. Health is something we start to appreciate just as it slips away.
Sheila Hancock wrote movingly about loosing her second husband, the actor John Thaw, to cancer in The Two of Us .It was a big time best seller and rightly so as it chronicled the journey of their life together and the misery of his early death from oesophageal cancer.
And being made of the strong stuff that makes her into one of our style icons, Ms Hancock has decided that there is more to tell, not of John’s demise, but of how she mad a decision to swim, not sink and live adventurously in widowhood. She says John would have said ”Be a depressed widow boring the arse off everyone, or get on with life, your choice”.
Her new book Just Me is uplifting and amusing, just as you would imagine and might be a help if you are struggling to imagine a life after loosing someone important. Inspiring stuff.