Tag Archives: Lifestyle


Forever Ulay


My colleagues love playing a good game of ‘Guess Angel’s Age.” I don’t know why – I’ve already told them I’m old. What more do they need to know?

“I reckon she was born in the 1940s,” laughed one of my colleagues.
“Of course I was,” I replied, “though you’d never know due to all the Oil of Ulay I’ve been using.”
“Oh my gosh,” cried another colleague, “my mum used to use that all the time!”
“Yeah but back then it definitely would have been called Oil of Ulay. None of this Olay Business.”
“I know – I don’t know why they bothered changing the name. They should have just left it.”
“Don’t lie – Oil of Olay used to be called Oil of Ulay?” (Bless her, it was before her time.)



Trust me, the conversation was a lot more riveting than it sounded – and of course took me back to my childhood when a bottle of Oil of Ulay adorned the dressing table of many women – and my mum was no different. Ulay, back then, was heavily advertised on television, urging consumers to purchase a bottle, with promises of beautiful, youthful skin. As a child, I figured that was what I needed if I wanted to keep looking, er, eight!


Olay began life after the Second World War when it was invented by South African chemist, Graham Wulff, a man who undoubtedly has the gratitude of females all over the world! He named it ‘Oil of Olay’ as a spin on the name of the product’s key ingredient, lanolin. Packaged in a heavy glass bottle during the early days, Olay stood out from the beauty product crowd as it was a soft pink fluid rather than a thick white cream.

In fact, what Olay actually was was a bit of a mystery as it was never labelled a moisturizer and neither was it referred to as a beauty fluid. the packaging didn’t say what the product actually did but it was uniquely marketed as a ‘beauty secret’ and promised a ‘younger looking you.’

It was soon launched in other parts of the world as Oil of Ulay (UK and Ireland), Oil of Ulan (Australia) and Oil of Olaz (continental Europe). It was only in 1999 that the product was given the globally unifying name of Oil of Olay – which is exactly as Wulff intended.


Sales really took off in the 1970s, with a huge television ad campaign and an extended product range which included a cleanser and a night cream. The sub heading ‘beauty fluid’ was added to packaging.

Today, the product range has exploded with a multitude of products catering for virtually every age, skin type and skincare requirement. All these years later, Olay is still very much a giant in the beauty industry.


This iconic, pretty, pink beauty fluid is so symbolic of ‘my era’. Oh and it’ll always be Ulay to me!




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Mobile Phonies

I’m not in an altogether nostalgic mood right now. In fact I’m in rant mode and to say that I’m furious is an understatement.

A certain phone company who I would love to name and shame has been stealing from me. That’s right STEALING! There is no other word to describe it. I’ve been fobbed off with a whole bunch of pathetic reasons, excuses and justifications and I’m ashamed to say I even doubted myself. However, the latest bill is so unbelievably shocking that there is no way some smooth talking customer service representative (also known as liar. Service? What an insult to the word!) can convince me that I must have made more calls than I’ve realised. With the hours I work it’s virtually impossible; Most days, I don’t even have the energy to talk to my husband let alone anyone else!


Having spoken to various people, I now understand that this problem is more common than most of us realise. Even the solicitor from whom I sought legal advice and the bank cashier I spoke to have all had the same problem. I’ve been advised to cancel the direct debit and make bill payments instead. I will also be taking this matter further as I refuse to let a bunch of crooks masquerading as a legitimate business help themselves to my hard earned money. I’ve been told that this was typical of phone companies and a friend who has worked for a major phone store admitted that there are all sorts of underhand tactics that those working in the phone industry employ. So why are they being allowed to get away with it? They do so because a) no one kicks up much of a fuss and b) phones are virtually a necessity these days so we are all easy targets for phone companies or scammers as I should say, who want to make money literally at the expense of their unsuspecting (or suspecting but helpless) customers.


The sensible thing to do would be to wash my hands of anything that even slightly resembles a mobile. But is that so easy to do? I went to school in the 1990s when mobile phones were becoming more accessible for everyone so I grew up with the concept that a phone is vital. Then there are practical reasons; I might need it for an emergency; someone may urgently need to contact me and as a freelancer, I need a phone for work. Also do I really want to be the only one in the village without a phone? Probably not!

However, peer pressure isn’t a good enough reason to keep shelling out for extortionate phone bills. I still remember life back in the 1980s when the only people who had mobile phones were the young, upwardly mobile crowd – and those were not phones you wanted to be seen with in public (not so much bricks as breeze blocks!) Those of us who didn’t have them certainly didn’t feel as though we were missing out. In fact, my parents take pride in being the only people in the world (I’m sure) who don’t own mobile phones. They don’t give two hoots about the ridicule and when challenged about their lack of a phone, Mum replies that she has no desire to make phone companies richer than they already are; “And years ago people didn’t have mobile phones. How did we get by? We just did!”

80s icon Delboy showed us how 'cushty' life was with a mobile phone

80s icon Delboy showed us how ‘cushty’ life was with a mobile phone

An older gentleman with whom I went to drama school explained how he liked to live simply: “I don’t have a mobile or a computer… I don’t even have an email address. I prefer to live simply.” Maybe he had the right idea but is such a concept compatible with modern day living? I’m not sure I’m brave enough to find out but that doesn’t mean I want to be held to ransom just because I choose to have things which aid my everyday living. After all, these gadgets, gizmos and latest technological advances to which we so greatly adhere were meant to make life easier and more comfortable and the cheap deals that came with them meant that they were affordable and accessible to all. Instead it’s made us a society of stressed out and overanxious individuals who work harder than we should just to pay the (phone) bills.



Posted by on May 8, 2013 in I Don't Believe It!


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