I fear that after wearing a hat (which I do de temps en temps to protect myself from the blazing Cambridgeshire sun), my earlier use of the milliner’s art is obvious for quite some time. This is not as a result of any disruption to the styling of my barnet (though this can happen), but down to the impression of the brim which remains etched into my forehead. Certainly, the mark left by the liner of my cycle shorts where they grip my sturdy thews can remain visible for well over an hour. My belief is that this is caused by the declining elasticity of my ageing skin – though it’s possible that even in the first flush of my youth such marks might have endured for similar periods (sadly, our current understanding of temporal mechanics precludes the testing of this particular hypothesis).
I have also reached the stage where it is far more pleasing to shave without wearing my glasses – so many more illusions can remain un-shattered with the slightly softer focus that my uncorrected vision offers.
Whilst my vanity does run to dyeing my hair and a bit of exercise, I’m not letting members of the medical profession (and by extension, any other profession – it would be odd to forbid a surgeon but happily allow a milkman) near my body with a knife unless it is absolutely surgically necessary (and I will be demanding quite a high standard of proof). As a result, the surgical facelift is not for me – so my face will slowly succumb to the ravages of time.
However, I think I may have found a short-term, non-surgical option. As I have alluded to before, I enjoy (perhaps in a slightly masochistic sense) a massage on a semi-regular basis – and today my back was getting the “treatment”. This involves the subject (me) lying face down on a padded bench, with my face resting above a small hole in the bench which permits breathing. The hole is quite small and holds the edges of my face fairly fixed, while the weight of the head (plus any pressure being applied to the body by the masseur) presses down over the course of an hour. This tautens the skin of the face very effectively – or so it feels – and this effect seems to endure for a while after release from durance vile. Surely, a portable version could be developed for use before a close-up or other occasions when a wrinkle-free visage would be a boon?
Talking of wrinkles, during the week I read of research into the wrinkling which our fingers undergo when left immersed in water for an extended period. Apparently, a scientist is proposing that this is an evolutionary adaptation to improve our grip in the wet (rather like the tread on a tyre). The really interesting fact though, was that if the nerves to a finger are severed then it does not come to resemble a prune, however long it is left in the bath. I’ve been trying to find a way to shoehorn this fact into a post for a while, but somehow just when I think I have a hold on it, it eludes my grasp. Perhaps I just need a long soak in a hot tub…