Tuesday 1 December 2015

Back to the Beginning

Other than activities that make life manageable for a baby, like eating, sleeping, crying and, ultimately even walking and talking, she/he starts, as soon as is practicable, to learn other ways to live a life as free from hassle as is possible. For instance, one of the first non-essentials I recall - Mother thought it was essential - was the difference between 'can' and  'may'. All these decades later, I can still hear her voice each time I need one or other. Unfortunately, 'can'  applies rather more often than 'may' in spite of the somewhat permissive age in to which I have crept.

Thinking about this, it came to me that old age seems determined to back-track on one's received knowledge, making it necessary to learn and experience all the little ploys again. An apple a day does not keep the Doctor away, particularly if you have dentures and the apple is crisp and juicy. I don't - have dentures, that is. I have green-inked long enough for you to remember that old age renders you invisible so, in an ideal world,  there would be a hand, or even one finger to hold on to walking in a crowded street. I have re-learned what happens to fine and wispy hair when it's wet: frizz, not  like scotch mist, more like wire wool. (Does wire wool still exist, do you know?) This covering was quite attractive when thin and wispy also meant a bow tied in the scrabbled together on the on-their-way locks. It  was a step in the ultimate direction  of a head full of woman's glory. Now it's a mess. Post prandial napping seems as natural as it must have been at six months, the difference being that it is rather late in the age to be wasting any time at all. I find, too, that I would have difficulty even in picking up as much as a Teddy Bear since my middle hinges have gone. I am also 'D' shaped in the middle, as little ones are, too, so that doesn't help deal with that stuff that's on the floor. I need a me from a former time when I was picker-up in Chief, to do my picking up, now. I recall the excitement of a whole page of script leaping out of the page as a readable reality. I was five, or maybe six and it was "Janet and John", (the book's title, of course). I have the same excitement when I press a key on my computer and find the whole page has actually not  been consigned to cyberspace. But one enormous gain wrested from the rules of baby-/childhood: I am so old I no longer have to eat my greens. Prynhawn da

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