Picture this: you’re 96 years old and not only can you pull off a high kick and sing like a star, but you habitually have pieces of your fluorescent red hair made into false eye lashes. Not likely, you think? Meet Ilona Royce Smithkins, a women challenging the notion of what it means to be in your 90s.
In this little book, Joy Dust: Illona at 96, we get to know a little more about a wise, down-to-earth woman who happens to be a unicorn personified. Seriously, the photographs in this autobiographical work – which come from a variety of talented photographers who’ve captured Illona over the years – are so full of colour and energy I’m almost certain this woman is made of magic.
Ilona’s poetry, peppered throughout these pages, tell a very real, honest story of what it’s like to experience the process of aging (and the almost inevitable pain that comes with it). Shared insights, like this one: ‘My body is old, but at this age it has learned all the love and care I can give it,’ make this collection of thoughts a true gem for all readers to digest and remember long afterwards.
PS. It’s the last post of the year, and I’ve got plenty of fun things in store for 2017. Hope everyone gets a little silly on New Year’s Eve! I’m currently en route to Poland to enjoy a super snowy vista. Happy new year x
[Fourth Chakra House, 2016]