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NICKY MARR: Fantastic Fifties are a stat to get behind

By Nicky Marr

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Nicky Marr - coach/writer/broadcaster...Picture: Callum Mackay..
Nicky Marr - coach/writer/broadcaster...Picture: Callum Mackay..

I AM always deeply sceptical of press releases from dating websites. Their marketeers have done enough research to know I’m in the north of Scotland, so there is often a geographical “hook” to entice me in.

Statistics might shout that Inverness is the seventh most popular Scottish city in which to have an affair. At first glance this makes me wonder what my friends are not telling me. And then I remember that there are only seven Scottish cities, eight if you count newbie, Dunfermline. So, most folk are behaving exactly as they should be.

Another email will excitedly proclaim that Highland men are the most desirable in the world.

I will raise an inquisitive eyebrow at the headline, until I read paragraph six, and realise this was a survey of American fans of Outlander.

Ep16. Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan star..
Ep16. Caitriona Balfe, Sam Heughan star..

In the books and in their fantasies, Jamie Fraser strides and rides manfully round Loch Ness, his kilt swaying in the breeze.

Pity those surveyed have overlooked that actor Sam Heughan, who plays their Highland hero, is actually from Galloway.

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Claire Randall (Catriona Balfe) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan)..
Claire Randall (Catriona Balfe) and Jamie Fraser (Sam Heughan)..

But one report which I wholeheartedly bought into, did arrive by email from a dating site. It declared that women feel at their sexiest at 53.

I should declare an interest here, I am 55. But if I deduct the last two years for Covid (we’re all doing that, right?) then I would appear officially to be at my prime.

Tell that to my daughters, and they’ll roll their 20-something eyes around their preciously unlined faces, and think their old mum is losing it again. But bear with me – there’s some logic behind this.

In my 50s, I finally know who I am, and I know what I want. Our daughters have grown up, and are happy, for now. I have a job that I love.

I am, thanks to physio appointments, and repeat prescriptions for HRT, asthma inhalers, and painkillers, fit enough to walk, run, cycle, swim, workout and stretch.

It’s true that in my 50s I don’t bounce as well as I used to, but here’s the thing. I respect my body not for what it looks like (I realised long ago that looks don’t last) but for what it can do.

My body is amazing. And so, frankly, is yours.

My body, with a little help from Mr Marr’s, grew two whole new humans and fed them each for a year. It transports me to my happy places in the middle of lochs and to the top of hills and can – when fuelled with appropriate levels of gin – still be on the dancefloor at 2am.

I care less in my 50s about what other people think of me. I have finally learned to please myself and find pleasure where I can.

And to be honest, it probably helps that Mr Marr’s body has aged similarly to mine. I have no desire to try and compete in a different market.

So, thank you. I’ll dance to that. 53 (+2 that don’t count) is the new sexy.

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