Document 1494

Miss Sixty

Author(s): Sheila Templeton

Copyright holder(s): Sheila Templeton


The morning I turned sixty, I stood in my kitchen
thinking about soup. Lentil, cullen skink, split pea
cock a leekie, vichysoisse, broth, even gazpacho
which gave me a headache,

so I took to the beach,
all blowing and striding and sea washed sky.
And ran as hard as I could, holding my arms out.
Pinned myself to the wind and flew, hanging
from my shoulders like a dress from a coathanger,

looking down at council workmen,
busy with solemn spades and wheelbarrows
shovelling up heaps of sand from the prom,
tipping it back on to the beach, where it lives,
but each winter, sneaks over, trying
to take over the town, creeping in,
like the sixty years of my life,
sidling up on me, piling up the decades.

I have not reached
the stage of trying to shovel
any years back, by tummy tucks,
face lifts or even just lying in my teeth.

But one thing I do know.
Soup doesn't have to be complicated.
In my kitchen, from today onwards,
I will make either Orangey-Red Soup.
Or Green Soup.

Leaving plenty of time for flying.

This work is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

The SCOTS Project and the University of Glasgow do not necessarily endorse, support or recommend the views expressed in this document.


Cite this Document

APA Style:

Miss Sixty. 2024. In The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow. Retrieved 23 February 2024, from

MLA Style:

"Miss Sixty." The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. Glasgow: University of Glasgow, 2024. Web. 23 February 2024.

Chicago Style

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech, s.v., "Miss Sixty," accessed 23 February 2024,

If your style guide prefers a single bibliography entry for this resource, we recommend:

The Scottish Corpus of Texts & Speech. 2024. Glasgow: University of Glasgow.


Information about Document 1494

Miss Sixty


Text audience

General public
Audience size 1000+

Text details

Method of composition Wordprocessed
Year of composition 2006
Word count 189

Text medium


Text publication details

Part of larger text
Contained in Slow Road Home (Sheila Templeton) / Running Threads (Jim Hughes, Rowena M Love, Michael Malone, Sheila Templeton)

Text setting


Text type



Author details

Author id 1075
Forenames Sheila
Surname Templeton
Gender Female
Decade of birth 1940
Educational attainment University
Age left school 18
Upbringing/religious beliefs upbringing Protestantism, now Eastern Yoga meditation practice
Occupation Retired Teacher
Place of birth Aberdeen
Region of birth Aberdeen
Birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Country of birth Scotland
Place of residence Troon
Region of residence S Ayr
Residence CSD dialect area Ayr
Country of residence Scotland
Father's occupation Railway Engineer / originally farm worker
Father's place of birth Stoneywood
Father's region of birth Aberdeen
Father's birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Father's country of birth Scotland
Mother's occupation Doctors' Receptionist
Mother's place of birth Dyce
Mother's region of birth Aberdeen
Mother's birthplace CSD dialect area Abd
Mother's country of birth Scotland


Language Speak Read Write Understand Circumstances
English Yes Yes Yes Yes At work, at home, writing
Scots Yes Yes Yes Yes At home, writing work mainly poetry