Quick & Quirky Questions with Marilyn Bersey

Marilyn Bersey is 75 years old and is from the Isle of Wight. Having been a pre-birth and early years outreach worker for years while raising her family and then caring for her husband, Marilyn’s life has been transformed by burlesque dancing. Now performing as Foxy La Mer and Foxy Faux Fur, Marilyn encourages you to find your inner diva!


Tell us 4 important facts about yourself: 

  1. I value my family and friends.
  2. I love adventure and trying new things.
  3. I lost almost 7stone in weight, and try and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
  4. I try and promote self-belief in others.

What is your favourite age that you’ve been so far in life, and why?

I love the age I am now – 74. Growing up was not easy. I didn’t have a great relationship with my mother as she never really wanted me, so my childhood was … confusing. My first marriage ended in divorce, and I brought 2 children up on my own. My second husband developed Parkinson’s, and I ended up being his carer till he eventually went into fulltime care, then sadly passed away. I am now living alone and able to live the life I want.

Who is your favourite fictional character or famous person over 60?

I love Judy Dench. Not only is she a great actress, but she is also a great advocate for being true to yourself, and down to earth. She’s not afraid to make fun of herself. As for a fictional character, that would have to be Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple.

You are alone in your house (no pets). You have three minutes to get out before the house collapses and burns to the ground. What one possession would you grab and take with you?

My phone, so I could let everyone know that I was safe.

What’s your favourite creative pastime?

I love all aspects of the performing arts: acting, dancing, set design, costume making … Since taking up burlesque, I love designing and making nipple tassels and pasties.

Tell us something about yourself that’s surprising or unexpected.

I was voted one of the top 6 inspirational women by the SunLife over 50s insurance company.

Our monthly flash theme for May is Walking or Chronic Illness

In May we celebrate National Walking Month with some blogs from keen walkers and ramblers aged 60+, accompanied, hopefully, by some of their photos. We also honour World MS Day with a blog focused on multiple sclerosis and looking generally at how chronic illness and creativity intersect. We would love to read your flash submissions in honour of either or both of these themes. Would you like to tell us something about your experience of being an older person who loves to hillwalk or ramble? Are you an older person managing a chronic illness which has had either a positive or adverse impact on your creativity? Send us your flash submissions! 


Entries will be accepted until midnight on May 31st and flash submissions can take the form of a poem, short story or flash memoir. The winning entry will be chosen by the Autumn Voices staff team and the winner will receive the books Walking For Creative Recovery, by Christina Reading and Jess Moriarty and Piranesi by Susanna Clarke.

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