Sunday, 29 May 2016


The exhausted memory prompter inside my head reports a general feeling, but not surety, that I have touched on this subject before. Then again, conversational repetition is another congenital aspect of growing old. What I have in mind is finding ways to get round and manage the hiccups and vicissitudes of physical - and mental -  handicaps that go with the elderly organism

The famous one is. of course, "What else shall I do while I am down here?" My trick when offering my short dark handsome housemate some food or drink on the tray permanently awaiting his delectation, is  to drop the empty plates from a not too dramatic height and then throw the food - dry of course - on to one of them. Milk is trickier so requires another inch of bentability to achieve the same goal. Water is lowered from a glass in to a waiting bowl and the subsequent splash cleaned up by he who drinks . I recommend a shower  above a bath. Most unfortunate would be to find you can't get out of the d... thing once having scrambled in. In the same vein, take a telephone in to the bathroom with you and, if single, wait until a friendly other is also in the house. Mind you, that other would have to be unshockable given the lack of glamour in the elderly appearance. Trousers work better than skirts because you can wear socks with them and thus avoid the contortionist requirement of pulling on tights. If desperate to wear a skirt, you could try pop socks. But I should warn you that many a laugh - usually kindly - has been prompted by the sight of a pale, creased knee peeping from the edge of a rather too short and/or too tight skirt.  You will need a shoe-horn with a long handle to put your shoes on.(What does that make you think of?)   Otherwise, should the vicinity lack such a thing, an ordinary table knife will do, but, obviously,  a kitchen knife may lead to a new problem: how to apply a plaster (band-aid) to the back of your foot when you can't lift it  up as far as your arm will reach.  In the UK a badge is issued to people with lessened mobility which entitles them to more flexible parking possibilities. Don't leave home without it. Women, make sure you have a tinted foundation to hand. Age does nothing for the colour of your skin. Well, actually, it does do something: it makes it sallow and dreary. Again, don't leave home without it. Ultimately, stick as close as you can to what is real. Dyed hair, stage make-up, denim trousers, baseball caps: don't leave home with them.  And when your stick falls to the ground for the double-umpteenth time, smile at the nearest able-bodied, least likely to be a mugging murderer and ask if she/he would be kind enough to pick it up. Bore da

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Dear Elizabeth, I remember a long time ago you wrote that you stood near someone who looked like a rugby player beside an airport carousel in order to get help to take your bag off. My Mum and I would love to hear of even more 'expediences'