Sunday 28 February 2016


It has occured to me that the thrust of this blog may have given the impression that there is little or no acceptance of chronological age, that the inner world has stuck at 40. I hasten to disabuse any of you faithful followers who may have come to that conclusion. Where the 40 bit matters is largely in the physical. My inner forty-year old fights the restrictions various painful conditions impose. There is a certain irony in having to choose a cinema I can reach, by public transport or car, that deposits me near enough to avoid a - for me - long walk. Indeed, one of my locals has steep steps up to one screen and steep steps down to the other. In the same vein, restaurants with facilities on the same level as the tables are a necessary first choice. The 'going on 40' section of my title is still dancing through the wee hours, going to jazz clubs and walking three miles home after public transport has stopped. That part of me doesn't expect to be invisible to people who bump in to the old lady as if she were not there at all.

If I am really honest with you,  if I were still forty, I could join in the lives of the young people close to me in a way I would really relish. As it is, their stories are mostly a closed book to me and I would be in serious danger of a painful rebuff if I pushed too hard to be allowed in. (Too many metaphors, I fear). My toes curl at the memory,  when I was young, of my elders attempting to be one of the girls when my friends and I were in to the cocoa- and- biscuits- sitting- on- the -floor stage. At the heart of the matter, though, is the way it actually feels to be the age I really am. I am who I am. That's the best bit. I am, as the French would have it, comfortable in my skin. There are huge advantages in this condition. I know what I mean and can find the exact words to express it. I am confident to say that I am not about to stick to a regulation that doesn't make sense to me and is, at bottom, an expression of power in she/he who laid it down. I find I am willing to have a look - alright, analyse - my responses and reactions particularly when they are negative, thus cutting down the number of times I do or say something inappropriate and/or foolish.

 The other evening I went to a gig the Guru's band was playing at an extremely illustrious venue. His music is swing and jazz: my era for certain. They gave one set in an hour of pure excitement and joy and were well cheered to the over-air -conditioned rafters. There was an 'after party'. Me, I am no longer forty. I went home. Bore da

1 comment:

mary said...

Dear Liz
I agree with you, there are lots of things which are better being no longer young. I dont much like the physical rubbish though