Article by Fabafterfifty
Christyne followed her dreams in her 60s, going to Oxford University and entering (and winning) beauty contests, coming second in the Mrs Commonwealth Pageant at the age of 65. A very lively lady with an incredibly positive outlook on life.
I was married in Oct 1968 to Douglas who was a Builder. My daughter Justine was born in July 1969 and my son Marcus in 1971. In 1974 my husband and I started our Property Development Company which my husband still runs to this day.
Being an older mum
Over the years I helped in his company by designing and wording brochures, writing editorials for the papers, furnishing show houses, looking for land and dealing with estate agents and solicitors. We were also both members of the Institute of Directors for many years. But I did devote most of my time to looking after my 2 children.
Then in 1988 my daughter Belinda was born so I still had a child to bring up, when she went to school all the other mothers were my eldest daughter’s age, but everyone thought I was the same age as them.
Time for myself and an opportunity to study at Oxford
It was not until I was in my 61st year that I felt I had enough free time to perhaps think about myself for a change. I found out about a resident further education course that was specifically for the over 55’s and was being held at Ruskin College Oxford (the college John Prescott attended) I was then accepted to study History, always my favourite subject for the 3 month summer term in 2006. On the day of my first class I was told that I had come to the wrong place as it was for over 55’s. However of course I was in the right place. It did take a bit of getting used to living in the halls of residence and sitting down to communal meals with strangers but I found it lots of fun being a student wearing ripped jeans and becoming friends with different people from all walks of life etc. I was successful in my course getting the highest marks and was offered a place to study for a degree. However I decided not to do this.
Creating a new social life
That year also I joined the NWR, a group of women now mostly now retired, the oldest is 83 but no way is she old in her ways or looks. We organise ourselves, some have been members for over 30 years so I am sort of a new girl. We have a day and evening group with something going on every week, we meet up at one another’s houses where we organise a program of event which include giving talks about things that interest us, my last talk was about Disraeli, there is a theatre group, supper club, book clubs and we organise garden parties, walks, outings and lots of other different events, to a lot of things the husbands are invited as well. I call our group jet setters as they are always travelling to different places all over the world. They are all fun young type people and I am pleased to say they are all my friends now. One of the best things I have ever done is to join this group
The ‘Beauty Circuit’ in my 60s
In Oct 2008 at the age of nearly 64 I saw an advert in our local papers asking women to enter a competition to go on the catwalk with footballers, you had to submit a photograph for this. I thought that sounds fun and I thought I would send in my youngest daughter’s photo, then at the last minute included one of myself in a bikini top and mini summer skirt. Out of the hundreds that applied I was surprised to find out that I had won. It was a bit nerve racking to go on the catwalk for the first time but fun. A couple of weeks later I saw another local model competition that Sarah Beattie (footballers wife) was organising so again sent in photo and again to my surprise out of hundreds again I was selected to be one of the 36 to do the pre show.
I managed to get down to the last 12 but not the last 6 who were eventually selected who were all young in their late teens and early 20’s. I did enjoy the catwalk experience again and Sarah told me I should try and become a model. Also in that year Douglas and I celebrated 40 years of marriage at Gretna Green.
In June 2010 I went back for the first time to the place where I was born Haddo House just outside Aberdeen, I happened to be born in Queen Victoria’s bedroom so when I arrived the press were there and I made front page news in the Press & Journal
.In July 2010 that I had the opportunity to take part in the Mrs Commonwealth UK Pageant and was thrilled to be placed 2nd the girl who won was 39 and 3rd place went to a girl in her early 30’s. In Oct I took part in an International Pageant representing Germany (stepfather) national costume Bavarian serving wench. I did not win but it was great fun, all winners were in their 20’s. Phoned in and spoke on the Alan Carr radio 2 show when it was mentioned women were finished at 40 I made it plain to them this is certainly not the case. 2010 was quite an eventful and exciting time.
Age is just a number, you’re never too old to try something new
I do hope in 2011 I might be given the opportunity to show other women you are never too old to try something new. I am a positive thinker and think the best is yet to come. Age is just a number to me, I am part of the new old/young generation who can still have long hair and wear mini skirts and look the part, there are a lot of us out there and we need a voice.
Making the most of what we have
I have never had any surgery or face fillers of any kind but have used a hand held twin face massager since I was 49 I use this once a week for about 5min; this exercises the muscles in your face. I have never gone in for facials or any other beauty treatments surgery or other type treatment. I might consider it if I need it in the future the one thing I have always done is make the most of what I have got.