Getting old: I've just turned 80!

I can’t believe it, I’ve hit 80! I feel very much like the block of wood in one of those fairground machines, where you hit a pin with a very large hammer and the block shoots up to hopefully, ring the bell at the top. I guess I just hit the bell!

Perhaps I’m one of the lucky ones, but I honestly don’t feel like 80 inside my head (though my body tends to disagree), I’m still about 40 up there behind my eyes, still reasonably creative when it comes to painting or writing, still interested in looking at attractive girls (Jacqui allows that because she says it proves I’m still alive!), and still interested in doing the occasional silly thing in my car, but only on completely empty stretches of country road these days!

I’m an avid wine drinker now, which I suppose is a bit of a clue to advancing years, because I was very much a beer man until I was about 70. But I haven’t touched a drop of the amber liquid for about four years. These days I find I fill up before I can feel the benefit when I drink beer, whereas a few glasses of wine have the same effect, but I still have room for a meal. Wine has more flavour too – you need more flavour as you get older, I pile pepper onto anything savoury – I suppose this is a clue that the taste buds are wearing out, or have worn out!

I’ve been fortunate that my hair is still with me, albeit a nice shade of pure white now, whereas it was virtually black, just few years ago, or so it seems, (the time passes so quickly)! The strange thing is, although both my hair and my beard have become lost in a snow-drift, my eyebrows still sit like two black caterpillars, just above my eyes! My facial skin too, has been kind to me, remaining pretty smooth and of good colour, though it has been unable to do anything to correct the dreadful bone structure underneath. We’ve always eaten well, thanks to Jacqui’s skill; nothing too exotic or daft or chemical, just good healthy food with plenty of vegetables and nice lean meat. I think the last time we ate anything in a McDonalds was at least three years ago and even then I went for the chicken salad rather than a hamburger. I also gave up smoking in 1979 – I doubt if I’d be alive today had I not, let alone be as fit as I feel I am.

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As I say, I feel much younger inside my head than my eighty years, but I have to admit, when I get out of the car after an hour of driving, I have to walk like the hunchback of Notre Dame for the first 20 paces or so and Jacqui’s not a lot better, so we look like a regular Derby and Joan until we can manage to straighten up! It’s the same when I get out of bed in the morning. Now you’d think, wouldn’t you that after a good night’s sleep, you’d feel refreshed and relaxed, ready to face whatever the day has to offer, but to be honest I feel better when I go to bed than I do when I wake up in the morning! Rest is no cure for old bones!

At least I am grateful that I am still here and able to enjoy life with Jacqui, our personal friends here in Yarram and our Starts at 60 friends on the internet. Whether they compliment me or swear at me, they are indisputably a part of what I am, exciting to know and to interact with. What more could an old bugger like me ask for?


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