Tag Archives: ageing

Love thy neighbour

2 Jun

I live next door to a German (ex) prisoner of war. His wife died 9 years ago, and he has noone.

No family. No friends.

It’s true he’s pretty much alienated everyone in the street over the years. He doesn’t have boundaries. Is selfish and often doesn’t think.

But he has noone.

He comes by 5/6/7 times a day. I never ask him in.

He comes to drop off the Daily Express.

I don’t have the heart to tell him i’d rather pull my own teeth out then read the Daily Express. But he needs an excuse. For human contact.

And i wouldn’t begrudge him that. However inconvenient or annoying it is.

And it usually is. Very.

But he has noone.

You see, at the end, my dad was isolated.

He could be selfish, arrogant. So he lost friends. And when he was old. Deaf. Blind. He found himself very alone. So i did everything i could. I saw the hurt, the regret, and i tried to make it better.

I don’t do much. Shopping. Phonecalls. Drinks at Christmas and birthdays.

Because he has noone.

The other neighbours won’t speak to him. Incase he asks too much.

And all i can think is, his life is much harder than yours. You heartless bastards.

Don’t they look old?

5 May

How did everyone suddenly become so old?

I went through my 20s bumping into old friends and thinking “Gosh, they don’t look any different”. And they’d say the same abut me. I felt pretty smug about it actually. 10 years had gone past and i hadn’t aged a bit. hurrah!

Now we’re well into our 30s and suddenly everyone does look different. Definitely older. A few wrinkles around the eyes. A few skin tags here and there, and definitely some grey hair. Just a bit more worn.

And the men all have beards. Sometimes i catch some of my bearded friends (male only, for now anyway) out of the corner of my eye, and i think to myself “This is what my maths/physics teacher looked like when i was at school”. And now these are my friends.

I always rate myself by age compared with people i meet. “Oh, she’s definitely at least 5 years older, look at the crows feet.” or “Ah yes, she’s been around a few more blocks then me”. You get the idea.

Problem is my self concept hasn’t changed for 10 years. So i’ll often look at people and just assume they’re older than me, when in reality they’re the same age, or worse, younger. And i know people do this about me too.

And what about celebrities? Suddenly all the faces i’ve grown up with are looking old. Christ, have you seen Ant and Dec recently? They’re looking positively middle aged.

And that’s not to mention all the ones that are currently dying. Patrick Swayze. Oh The Swayze. And I don’t even want to think abut Dennis Hopper. Only yesterday he was sat in that motorhome all brave and smouldering, stoical and proud in the face of the Walken. He was the cool guy. The sexy mature guy. Now he’s the old, dying guy.

Even Marti Mcflippin Fly is 50 this year…..

And it’s all happened so fast.

No gentle weathering.

Savaged, seemingly overnight. BAM! Just like that.

It’s no wonder i’ve been grieving time now is it? I keep losing it. Can anyone tell me where the bloody hell it’s gone?

twice round the block

4 May

The first time breastfeeding, the challenge was always how to latch my son on without exposing a hint of nipple. Timing was everything. Unhook, cup down, top up a fraction, boy on. All in the blink of an eye. Any longer and i would be exposed. My modesty shattered.

Second time round, my whole breast could have been on show for all i cared – so long as my new “grandma” tummy was well tucked into my trousers. Waistband pulled up, tummy tucked in. Now unhook, cup down, top up…(get baby ready, maybe stop for a chat), baby on. If anyone was looking, who cared, i had two children to look after for goodness sake.

It’s true what they say about your stomach shrinking back more quickly after the second child (no doubt due to the agonising “after pains” you get, as if commupance for an ever so slightly shorter labour). Unfortunately the truth is, your skin doesn’t shrink back at the same rate, resulting in skin like a hippopotamus’s behind.

Tights are my new best friend. Great for tucking in an unsightly bulge. A tummy safety blanket. Big knickers AND tights, even better.

Mind you, this new skin thing isn’t confined to the tummy area. If you catch yourself while bending over to pick up some small play item from the floor you may be surprised by the texture of your decolletage. That coupled with the sight of a tummy that, without any thread of musculature, hangs there like an enormous teardrop, crying for the toned tummy it once was.

There’s nothing like a second child (or 3rd or 4th god forbid) for letting yourself go.

Turns out i was in pretty good nick after the first.

Selfishness or vanity – this is one reason why i’ve decided not to have anymore. I’m not sure my body could take it. Or at least i doubt i would much like the result.

Time

28 Apr

When i became a mother i also became aware of time. How quickly it passes. How once it’s gone you can never get it back. That you don’t know how much of it you’ve got.

You look at your baby and they are a constant reminder. Forever changing. Growing bigger every day. Learning new things. Walking. Talking. Thinking. So clever. So quickly.

I suppose it’s about understanding your own mortality for the very first time.

I remember when i was a teenager existential thoughts were easily dismissed “Well i can’t do anything about that, so i might as well live for the moment”. It just felt so far away. So intangible.

I threw myself out of aeroplanes with abandon. Experimented. Invincible.

Then a baby comes along, and time doesn’t seem to pass so slowly anymore. The end isn’t quite as far away as you thought. You become more nervous. More vunerable. You have so much more to protect.

Memory is fragile. You only really remember your children as they are now. You struggle to picture them as a baby. Remember them toddling. Recollect their first word.

You never take enough photographs. Never capture the moments you really wish you had.

I grieve for time like a lost friend.

And where once you were at the centre of things. You’re now on the outskirts looking in. At your children. The New Generation.

And time keeps passing. Ever more quickly.

(Thank you to the ever wonderful Deerbaby and her gorgeous post Kind of Blue for the inspiration.)

Skype me. That sounds painful.

2 Apr

I got a new phone this week. For anyone interested, i managed to resist the draw of the iPhone and plumped for an htc hero instead. Apparently it’s a great phone. I say apparently, because i have not yet worked out how to use it.

And how did i know to choose this uber sophisticated, much venerated piece of metal wizardry? My husband told me.

My husband has also since accused me of failing to punctuate my messages properly when emailing him from my new phone. What does he expect? Either the buttons are too small or my fingers are too fat. Whichever way, I can’t text accurately for tripe. He’s lucky to get a text at all.

As you probably know by now, i used to work in digital marketing, so would like to think i knew my way round technology better than your average joe. But something has clearly changed this past year because quite suddenly my brain and technology don’t correlate very easily.

It’s a very odd experience. I’d like to say it’s because i’m too busy. No longer interested. Have more important things to do. But the truth of the matter is that when people start talking technology my brain seems to start whirring before grinding to a stop. You know that experience where you hear the noise of the words in slowmo but the “intepretation to meaning” bit doesn’t happen.

Now this is all far too reminiscent of my experience at the hairdresser in Oh mum you’re so embarrassing for my liking.

My mum used to be the techno-phobe. The one we used to giggle at (sorry mum) for calling out the computer repair man (usually my husband) to fix a technical fault that involved plugging it back in.

So is this what motherhood does to you? Only it can’t just be an ageing thing because the husband is still well down with the kids (he can splice an image and everything).

Some of the propositions i’ve had recently which filled me with fear:

add me to your Google reader

why don’t you use facebook mobile to sync contacts?

skype me later if you fancy

try managing it with tweetdeck

Of course, you wouldn’t know i was struggling. I’ve always been able to lie well.

Let’s just hope i don’t mistake a proposition for cyber naughtiness for someone asking me to list them on twitter…..