Monday, March 15, 2010


So, as mentioned in the last post, my third novel GETTING THE PICTURE comes out at the end of this month.


It's the story - in mostly letter form - of love, life and sex in an old people's home. The genesis of it began when an elderly woman turned to me at a poetry reading and said she hoped she would never get too old to cry over love.

I suddenly realised that I did too, but more importantly that I had only really thought of writing about love in youthful terms before. And once I started thinking, I realised how limited that approach was.

Publishers Weekly have said this about it:
'Salway (Tell Me Everything) refutes the adage about old dogs and new tricks in this breezy epistolary novel set in a British retirement home. Not that the residents of Pilgrim House don't know plenty of old tricks already: Salway's appreciation of her characters is refreshingly nonpatronizing—her oldsters have rich and naughty pasts, but live in the present, very much alive and eager to gossip, conspire, and seduce... relationships and characters evolve nicely in this lighthearted novel about family and lovers and the not-so-lighthearted secrets that separate them.

Anyway, now I'm offering you the chance to win one of my very first copies - signed and dated. All you have to do is to send me - either by email (sarahsalway - at - or in the comments box - your favourite quote about love and old age. It can be old, new, or you can even have made it up yourself.

Here's one of mine: Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young. Dorothy Canfield Fisher

I'm compiling a panel of over-eighty year olds to judge this, and they are fierce so no quarreling with them please. As we all know, and as GETTING THE PICTURE begins with: Old ladies must never be crossed: in their hands lie the reputations of the young ones. (Pierre Ambroise Laclos)

My panel will pick their favourite, and the bonus is I'll put up all the quotes on the blog so we get to have beautiful words too.

And thanks to the wonders of Twitter, I asked Alain de Botton for his recently and this is what he came up with ...
Some people would never have fallen in love if they hadn't heard there was such a thing La Rochefoucauld

So what's yours?

Entries should be in by 26th March, please. Winners announced on 6th April. If two people choose the same quote, the one who sends it in first, gets to enter - but I'll let the second one know. You can enter as many quotes as you like!


Caroline said...

This is quite difficult and I am struggling to think of any... proving the need for your wonderful novel and quotes to be found within it! (sucking up will help me win, yes?)

This is my favourite love quote ever from Gut Symmetries, Jeanette Winterson (it's not age specific, but I like to think the starships can arrive at any time):

"The probability of separate worlds meeting is very small. The lure of it is immense. We send starships. We fall in love."

Brigita said...

One of my favourites is this one by Jeanne Moreau: Age does not protect you from love. But love, to some extent, protects you from age.

Ririn.Cen said...

my fav is :
"And in the end, it's not the years in your life that count. It's the life in your years" ~ Abraham Lincoln

Sarah Salway said...

Oh wow, why don't I do this every day? Three amazing quotes already here, and two through my email, and it's not yet 9am. THANK YOU!

Alex Johnson said...

'If your blonde won't respond when you flatter 'er,
Tell her what Tony told Cleopatterer'
Cole Porter, Kiss Me Kate

Brigita said...

This one is not a quote but rather my opinion. I believe that love in old age is perhaps of the truest kind because old people have come to know themselves well enough to be able to love fully and freely.

katrina said...

My grandparents have just reached 73 years of marriage and when I asked them how they had managed this, my grandfather said it was down to "sheer hard work and always doing what my grand told him!"
Not really a quote - but how many people manage 73 years?

Clare said...

My favourite is: "Better to be an old man's darling than a young man's slave."

I only quote the first half, though: my husband is in his 40s, and is as likely to feel old as he is to feel young.

Sarah Salway said...

Lovely, Brigita. Thank you. It reminds me of a quote from Alice Duer Miller, possibly my favourite woman - ‘Everyone who’s worth anything begins life again somewhere between thirty-five and fifty, begins it destitute in some important respect.’
More positive than it seems!

And Katrina, that's wonderful! Perhaps you could do a little interview with them and I'll put it up on the blog. Do you think they'd do that? 73 years!!!

Lia Leendertz said...

what a great competition! I hope I win. This one's been on my mind lately. From one of my favourite poets:

'I've been loving you a long time,
Down all the years, down all the days.
And I've cried for all your troubles,
Smiled at your funny little ways.'

Rainy Night in Soho - Shane MacGowan

ss said...

Love is the word used to label the sexual excitement of the young, the habituation of the middle-aged, and the mutual dependence of the old.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

You'll get this one a million times. It is written on a scrap of paper, pinned on the wall near my desk. Makes me feel calm, when the world seems black.

"Those who love deeply never grow old; they may die of old age, but they die young."
T. S Eliot.

broken biro said...

Here's a fruity mini-poem based on personal experience:

I've given up on youth, I quit
I’m tired of lovers young and bitter
An older lover’s what I like –
Delicious fruit, so soft and ripe.

Sarah Salway said...

More, more ... I LOVE THIS!

Lia Leendertz said...

Did you say more?! OK:

'I met my old lover
on the street last night.
She seemed so glad to see me
I just smiled.
And we talked about some old times
And we drank ourselves some beers
Still crazy after all these years
Oh still crazy after all these years.'

Paul Simon

The Hit TV Show Site said...

"The good life is inspired by love and guided by knowledge." ~ Bertrand Russell

"Ever has it been that love knows not its own depth until the hour of separation." ~ Kahlil Gibran

Debi said...

I love it too, Sarah. What a celebration.

BlundstonedLove said...

As I grow older and older
And totter towards the tomb
I find that that I care less and less
Who goes to bed with whom

Dorothy L. Sayers

Elliott said...

I've thought long and hard as to whether this is the quote to include. I asked someone whose opinion counts for a lot... So here goes.

"You were the first woman I trusted enough and that I loved enough, that I wanted to have children with. The first woman I ever wanted to grow old with. " Elliott Rodgers (16th January 2010, the day she left me and broke my heart)

Anonymous said...

Has to be The Old, Old Song by Charles Kingsley, does it for me every time and has been a favourite since my youth

When all the world is young, lad,
And all the trees are green;
And every goose a swan, lad,
And every lass a queen,
Then hey for boot and horse, lad,
And round the world away;
Young blood must have its course, lad,
And every dog his day.

When all the world is old, lad,
And all the trees are brown;
And all the sport is stale, lad,
And all the wheels run down,
Creep home, and take your place there,
The spent and maimed among:
God grant you find one face there
You loved when all was young.

From Pamela

Marisa Birns said...

Aged love is like aged wine; it becomes more satisfying, more refreshing, more valuable, more appreciated and more intoxicating!

This is from Leo Buscaglia

Sarah Salway said...

Fantastic. Thank you. And another from me ... Love and magic have a great deal in common. They enrich the soul, delight the heart. And they both take practice. Nora Roberts

Jacqueline said...

Love is always open arms. If you close your arms about love you will find that you are left holding only yourself.
~ by Leo Buscaglia ~

Jacq said...

Love is an act of endless forgiveness
A tender look which becomes a habit.
~ by Peter Ustinov ~

Megan Warren said...

Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.
And stand together yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow.

Kahlil Gibran - The Prophet

Anonymous said...

“If you live to be 100, I hope I live to be 100 minus 1 day, so I never have to live without you.” -Winnie the Pooh

Miriam Drori said...

Methus'lah lived nine hundred years,
Methus'lah lived nine hundred years,
But who calls dat livin'
When no gal will give in
To no man what's nine hundred years ?

~George Gershwin

Kathryn said...

People think you can't see clearly or count properly when you get old. But that only applies to us, my love. We don't count the wrinkles or see the rows clouding our judgement. A rose-tinted future is behind us and we hold hands as we jump into oblivion. Let's go.

Vanessa Gebbie said...

Ha, silly me, I've just been nicking stuff (!) from your blog post to reproduce on my own... and seen you've got my fave quote up there already! Remind me to get a new pair of specs...anyway. Comp will be plugged in a mo!

Anonymous said...

"My love is like the ground on which you walk, always there, always strong, always even. And even if you go, even if you turn away, I shall be here. The light you cannot see. The sound that if it went would fill you with despair. Fill my arms. Reach out and hold my hand. I am here - in the warmest place of your heart."

trying to write ... said...

from one of my favorite movies "The Bishop's Wife" is one of my favorite old quotes

"Prof. Wutheridge: When you want to know about a woman, ask the old men. They know."

congratulations to you!!! hope I win


verygoodservice said...

Might be a bit simple but:
"love is timeless"

Tim said...

What does age matter? "Love looks not with the eyes, but with the mind, and therefore is winged Cupid painted blind." (Shakespeare, of course!)

Kate said...

Fantastic news, Sarah. I'll order the novel straight away. Congratulations!

Nik Perring said...

Here's mine:

Like all good things, love grows.


Sophie Playle said...

"Some people make the sky more beautiful to gaze upon."

Simple, but true.

And this isn't my entry, but some lyrics that stand out to me about love:

"Give me something good to die for, to make it beautiful to live" (Queens of the Stone Age) - makes me think of love.

"It's easier for me to get closer to heaven, than ever feel whole again" (The Cure)- reminds me of the pain of losing someone.

Sue Guiney said...

Hi. Can I submit two? Here you go:

"Love is like a violin. The music may stop now and then, but the strings remain forever." Anonymous

"Love, with very young people, is a heartless business. We drink at that age from thirst, or to get drunk; it is only later in life that we occupy ourselves with the individuality of our wine." Isak Dinesen

Holen Sabrina Kahn said...

The Whitman quote that Danielle LaPorte sent "Will you give me yourself..." is close to my heart as it was an essential part of my marriage vows.

But my offer today is Paul Eloard's - Even When We Sleep.

"Even when we sleep we watch over one another
And this love heavier than the ripe fruit of a lake
Without laughter without tears has lasted forever
Day after day night after us."

Glyn Pope said...

Can we enter more than once?

Glyn Pope said...

From 'I Want' by Adrian Henri and Nell Dunn
Dolly and Albert have unrequited love throughout their lives. This is the scene from the last time they meet.
'As I drove away I saw him lift his hand. What really broke my heart he wasn't looking for a last glimpse of me. Instead he was lighting a cigarette.
Goodbye, dear Dolly,the old body still warm and wanting under that beaded crepe dress. Please try and love me, remember today the only time I nearly told you what I felt about you.'

trying to write ... said...

Hi Sarah,

I'm including my bloglink for something I had written a while back about love and old age.


Di said...

Loved reading through this, glad to have found you out in the world.

Gary Wilson said...

I've always liked ...

But whatever lies behind the door,
there is nothing much to do
angel or devil I don't care
for in front of that door... there is you

---Jacques Brel 'My Death'

And on a lighter note ...

If I'd been out till quarter to three
Would you lock the door,
Will you still need me, will you still feed me,
When I'm sixty-four?

---Beatles 'When I'm 64'

Kathryn's Daily Writing Workout said...

Loving each other and growing old together is like getting fat: something to fall back on in leaner times.

patricia said...

Well, I'm adding my quote at the last minute. And I'm being a contrarian (because really, I don't mind if I don't win the book; I'm very happy to purchase a copy!) So here is my quote (which is more about 'love' than old age):

It serves me right for putting all my eggs in one bastard. ~ Dorothy Parker

Congrats on the new book, Sarah!