Age is a peculiar thing, there is always an issue with your age, whatever it is, in your 20s you’re too young to get married (we were 20 and 19), in your 30s men start losing their hair, in your 40s, you start to tire a little more easily and so on. These are only but a few examples I’m sure you could add your own. I was 60 last year and besides the chronic illnesses (those which I’ve had a long time, are not life threatening and controllable) I feel quite fit. I ride my bike every day if I can, go swimming and eat healthily, not because it’s trendy but because I just do. These things in themselves don’t guarantee a longer, fitter life but they make me feel better for the now. In today’s world 60 is now considered pretty young compared to years ago, when you literally had one foot in the grave at that age. Is there a consequence of getting older on the rest of the community though? Well, yes there is the workforce is reducing, so the taxable income is falling, the hospitals aren’t coping, there are more elderly people than ever: over 9000 of us are over 100 and this figure is rising. It must a headache for this and future governments, the gene pool is getting older, and youngsters aren’t plugging the economic gap.
The Olympics is now but a dream from long ago, actually a few days and I’m not involved in the Paralmpics so have about 48 hours to organise the good lady wife’s birthday party on Saturday. She’s 60 and we’ve invited loads of friends and rellies (relatives to you Smithers) to help with an Olympic themed party. I hope many people turn up suitably attired, I shall of course be wearing my Games Makers uniform to greet everyone just as I was doing at the Excel. Then when the novelty wears off, I shall revert to ‘normal’ clothes. It’s a family tradition to have a barbeque every summer either to celebrate one of the daughter’s birthdays or just because. They were traditionally on the Bank Holiday weekend but obviously this year is different. I’ll let you know how it went. We celebrated Fran’s birthday today and she opened her presents: a camera, a beauty saloon voucher, a ‘Keep Calm You’re Only 60’ mug and others. Loads of flowers and cards from relatives and friends. She doesn’t look forward or particularly like birthdays with a zero on the end, but I embrace them, it’s a another rung on the ladder of life.
My daughter has encouraged me to keep on with this blog, and I quite like the idea of writing my thoughts down and sharing them with the world. Of course as soon people find it boring or dull, I shall stop, so let me know via the ‘Comment’ selection below. Having been retired just two years now, I still find I can keep busy, albeit at a slower pace. Whereas when I was working, everything had to be more or less finished over a weekend, now it doesn’t matter I can take my time and spread it over a week. After all, I now have six Saturdays and a Sunday to do everything! The nice thing is being to pick and choose jobs to do for other people. I am the ‘handyman’ at the local community centre and do minor electrical, plumbing and woodwork jobs for them. It’s a hard life, about 4 hours a month on average. But since my time is my own I can choose when to do it or not at all. As I said I like going out on my bike a lot, it’s a great way to get exercise and get CVE (cardio-vascular exercise), but the only down side is the lack of cycle paths. There is one right outside my house shared with a footpath, but then it stops at the top of the road, and I join other road users on the carriageway. I find a big disparity in the way people overtake cyclists. Some, with plenty of room to spare, wait until the road is completely clear and then drive past on the other side of the road, a good 2 car widths away. I don’t know whether they think the average cyclist is going to wobble across one complete side of the carriageway. I know the Highway Code (have you read it lately?) says ‘leave plenty of room for cyclists’, but some people take that to the extreme, obstructing road users coming in the opposite direction, a bit over the top methinks. Other overtakers wizz past at or near to (or over?) the speed limit and give you a couple of feet to spare. This is all any cyclist needs really, the worst type are those who just hang back matching your 12 mph and don’t even bother to overtake until a junction or other road change comes up when you can move over a bit. They are usually elderly and drive slowly anyway. Well that ‘s one hobby-horse of mine, what’s yours?
I aim to write about a 1000 words a day, a tall order but it gets me in the habit, and although it might seem I lead a full and interesting life, it still has its boring bits, and I find I can lose myself in my music at those times. I have played guitar for 50+ years and know three chords (it never did Status Quo any harm), so getting the ax (musicians expression) out is always a good time waster; likewise I play a bit of keyboard and smashing the old ivories (or plastic actually) is always good therapy. Right that’s enough for today, let me know what you think, seriously; I want to improve and entertain. See you soon.