A couple of quotes to kick off:
“You are old, Father William,” the young man said,
“And your hair has become very white;
And yet you incessantly stand on your head—
Do you think, at your age, it is right?”
“But now I am Six,
I’m as clever as clever,
So I think I’ll be six now for ever and ever.”
A A Milne
Now I’m tucking into my 71st year on the planet (that I know of), I am ruminating a little more on life, the universe and everything.
So to kick off, a few downsides for me of the processes of getting old:
My little toenails – they’ve grown thick and distorted and so grow hard to clip and unsightly. As those who know me will let you know, I’m not generally a vain person but this one part of my body morphing into another state irks me a wee bit. The rest of my toes are just fine.
My fingers are increasingly susceptible to the cold, making the most of any opportunity to turn into blocks of yellow numb woodenness. Luckily I’m aware of this tendency, so often I’ll overdress on the bike, wearing double gloves even in summer sometimes.
Forgetfulness – not because it happens, but is it a warning of dementia setting in? I think all this health publicity is getting to me.
Death – so many friends or folk I know seem to be getting life threatening illnesses or succumbing to them. I know this is bound to happen, but I seem to become more emotional as I age.
As a cyclist in Britain, this is probably inevitable – driving that endangers others or is just plain inconsiderate. My plan is to try for the cycling hour record for a 100 year old. I’ve got 30 years to go, providing I can stay alive and healthy. So if I’m knocked off my bike and injured or killed, that might well put paid to my plan, especially the latter. While cycling in Spain I was amazed at how wonderful the drivers were with cyclists, how can the common spitters of hate or disdain in the country be persuaded to think otherwise and respect others?
As a quick finale to this section, the tendency of some more youthful than I to ignore me or my opinions because I am older, a wee bit irritating at times.
Oh, and I forgot – football, but that’s been an annoyance all my life.
And the benefits of growing older – loads and loads and loads, the joy of living, growing old disgracefully with other friends, not giving too much of a hoot about what others think and delighting in life. Also being grateful for still being able to do all the things I’m able to do.
And now for:
Strange Encounters of the 3rd Kind?
I’ve had many odd encounters on my travels, white albino squirrels bouncing through the trees above me, running with a deer, a fox leading me up an alpine trail, another across the mountain tops across the winter snows.
Yesterday on a longer cycling trip, going slightly uphill under the trees, I felt something like a bundle of leaves with thorns in them drop down onto my neck. I looked back and a young buzzard was rising off my shoulders, much to my surprise. I could feel that the talons had penetrated. When I got back I realised it wasn’t too deep, but bathed & put stuff on. Not sure why? Probably guarding a nest?
They say things come in threes? Well, the last one was cycling up a local steep hill when a van came round the corner at the top and drove onto the wrong side of the road and down towards me. I was looking at any way I could bail out when a car came up behind me. The van then went back to it’s own side of the road. I had my sports cam on and when I looked at the footage the van had no number plate, so the police couldn’t trace it. I posted the incident on youtube: https://youtu.be/PPVjYPPtS9k
Then a week late, we had a table sale and heard a humming noise, looked up and a swarm of bees had arrived. Luckily they settled down above us. After and hour they flew off towards the river, came back for another hour then departed again.
Life is never dull, hey?