There are times when I feel as though I’m still about 11 years old. Sod what the birth certificate and the pension schemes say, I could be back at junior school reading Sweet Valley High books and swapping scratch ‘n’ sniff stickers. There are also times when I feel about 1,000 years old. Despite the nice man who asked for ID when I bought wine at the weekend (bless you), this week has left me feeling weary beyond my years. A funeral, family worries, my darling cat being run over and killed - I know these things are all part of life’s rich tapestry, but this kind of embroidery sucks.
One other thing has been making me feel like a proper grown up recently. It’s the trend for something called microdermal implants, a form of body piercing, whereby a piece of metal - the anchor - is inserted under a customer’s skin, then they can attach a little jewel to it. I’ve seen a handful of girls sporting tiny, sparkly gems under their eyes, and they look very pretty. The lead singer of the band formerly known as Sugababes has three next to her right eye. You can get them on your arms, hands, neck, back - wherever your piercer recommends. Once upon a time, I would have been queueing up to get one. I was briefly an apprentice body piercer in my teens, and still bear the studs, loops and bars to prove it. I loved the idea of making my mark on my body.
Chloe Peart, a PR executive, had a microdermal implant on her wrist three months ago. “I really like it. It’s a great talking point – it breaks the ice with any one. People say “oh my goodness, what is that?” Inspired by her sister, who has three on her chest, Chloe took the plunge. “I was originally going to have it on my neck, but the piercer asked me “do you brush your hair? Do you wear jewellery” to which I answered yes. He said “Imagine catching it every day” so I said I’d rethink.” She tells me she still spent the first two weeks after having it done catching it every time she put her hand in her handbag. “It drove me nuts, but you learn very quickly to be aware of it.” There’s a tiny part of me, the 17-year-old bit that’s beneath the 30-something carapace, that would love one of these pretty but painful, inconvenient but interesting piercings. I might still feel like a teenager sometimes, but I don’t always need to act like one.
Anyway, life has left me sufficiently bruised and battered of late without me having to pay someone £50 to put a sparkle on top.