I tried to meet the dawn but I didn’t get to bed until 4.00, so had a short walk at lunchtime.
It’s eventime in the old cottage.
The cats curled up on the armchair.
The dawter’s in the bath.
The ‘oosbind’s preparing supper in the kitchen.
The stove is roaring and the house is warm.
The air outside is chilly cold.
Radio 4 is on.
Monday Night is Quiz Night. ‘Mastermind,’ ‘Only Connect,’ and ‘University Challenge.’
There’s also a new series on tonight so I’ll whip my socks off and land my feet in the old gits’ lap, he’ll massage my toes and we’ll settle down to Martin Freeman.
The inevitability of ageing, staring in the mirror to see just how like your mother you’ve become.
The tucking in of unwieldy flesh.
The checking in the car mirror making sure another line hasn’t appeared on the top lip.
And then there’s the abandoning of any kind of undergarment.
The adoption of track suit trousers
The staring in the shop window just to make sure that the woman walking towards you is not your dead mother but your maturing self.
Clint Eastwood when asked how old he was on his next birthday said 91.
When asked what he was going to do he said he was starting on a new film.
How do you do it? asked the interviewer.
‘I just get up and walk and I dont let the old man in.’
Well I’m waiting for my writing partner to show up in Cape Town in the mean time I’ve started on a new comedy drama. I am not letting the old woman in.
I recently asked a little 7 year old boy – Reg – how old he thought I was. He sunk his chin into his chest and did some mental calculations. Reg decided I was 95.
Doctors say you’re old after 80.
But the aging starts around 26 and if you’re lucky it just keeps on going.
Some years ago I went to buy a new bra. I complained to the Spanish corsetier that my boobs were getting bigger.
It happens to all of us, she said
I dont like it. I replied.
Well you have a clear choice, she said with that wonderful Spanish lisp.
You either grow old or die young.
I think I’ll go with ageing, said I.
Things may be dropping off and fading but, by jove, I’m still here. Waiting for the ten o’clock news when I can shout at Boris and throw a sponge brick at the telly screen.
Lights down, bellyful and a reminder that not complaining every night is ok. Indulging in our very own indulgences is allowed and that, even though mercury is in retrograde, that all plans are on hold because of covid, and Putin is playing check mate, the world keeps on spinning, we’re all getting older, and we’re still here to share the experience; with a cuppa or some vino or a tot of something or a bottle of fizzy water. Whatever your tipple may you grow old gracefully – or not.
Long live life and Jeremy Paxton.