Wednesday 25 August 2010


From time to time, I re-read the odd blog post - do I hear the mutter that there are more than one that you would classify as odd? - in an attempt not to be too repetitive. It comes to me that if there is a repetitive tendency it is in a hint of complaint. Let us be clear and reiterate that the very thrust of this blog is to throw in to relief the condition of those of us who are, in real life, pushing eighty but whose inner worlds are just as they were when we were forty. I know, I know, you haven't forgotten, well, not all of you have forgotten, but I did feel the need to remind you that the good examinee will always keep in mind the need to focus on the question/title to which one has been asked to respond. It seems to me a time must come when we find our selves. We establish the self, recognisable and basic, ready to expand and adapt, but which is, essentially, the who-we-are. This person is ageless. The physical self cannot arrive and stay in the same known, secure place. It is not ageless. On the contrary, it wears out. It moves on. It declines in strength and capacity. The delightful 'ah yes' which signifies growth in the inner world is counterbalanced by the sad 'but no' of the failing body. It is one thing to know this intellectually, another actually to experience it in three dimensions, in the heart of you. Thus, I blog on in the hope that you will read with magnanimity my accounts of the inconsistencies and frustrations occasioned by this human condition, accepting that they are merely the recognition of what is, and not a moan in disguise.

There are, however, advantages. Intermittent faults: in my bathroom there is a noise. It is not a welcome noise. It comes from behind the wall, an outside wall, in front of which is the lavatory and its cistern and the hand-basin. It sounds like a drip. It can, sometimes, be stopped by giving an extra lift to the handle of the cistern. This can't be classified as a scientific way to deal with it so wit's end is in sight. A dear friend who helps me in the garden and looks after my Beloved (Cat, of course: who did you think I meant?) if I am away, crawled in to my roof space and out on to the roof to see if he could identify the source. This was no mean feat. He is enormous, scarcely narrower than the trap door he squeezed through. He found nothing untoward and I was left to worry. And thereby hangs the advantage. The time one has left to worry is palpably less than it was nearly forty years ago. In principle, I can leave my heirs to worry. In my car a red symbol turns up occasionally. It never turns up when I drive, with decorous speed, to the garage to show them. "Intermittent faults; they're the worst". I know. But I dont have to put up with such things as long as, say, the Guru, on his first own-car. The same with my heart. You may remember the rush to A and E with my personal George Clooney look-alike. (See below if you are in doubt about the reference.) I am in process of going through a number of investigations to pin down and treat what caused the rapid heart-beat. It simply won't happen when we need it to, to make the job easier. It is intermittent. Funny thing: I saw this as an advantage. The Medics would prefer some current evidence of what has been described as an electrical fault... no pun intended: my unconscious chose the word. You know that I pass some time as a spy/mystery shopper. One of the companies for which I work has suddenly instigated a questionnaire, by telephone, to test whether or not you have remembered details of the 'brief' you have been emailed. This annoyed me. I cant think why. Yes I can. I have been reading and understanding for three score and more than ten - minus the first five - and I don't need any more exams. More, I am a very experienced observer and reporter. The advantage is that I am now free to turn down that work if I dont feel suited to doing it. As the elderly Maurice Chevalier assured us in the lovely film "Gigi", "Forever more is shorter than before": the ultimate advantage.
Anyway, that's my attempt to redress the balance of moan versus yah boo and sucks. (Is that a polite expression for a ladyof my generation?) My scarlet swimsuit and I are going to the seaside for a week again in a little while. If I dont see you before I go, I'll see you as soon as I can when I am back.

PS. The 'drip' has been tentatively diagnosed as air in a pipe.


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