Meter of Life

Phil Claydon

Phil Claydon

Edge of the World travel correspondent. Embarks on assignments in a futile effort to preserve his sense of youth, acknowledging always that he ‘Won’t pass this way again’.
Phil Claydon

Phil Claydon

Edge of the World travel correspondent. Embarks on assignments in a futile effort to preserve his sense of youth, acknowledging always that he ‘Won’t pass this way again’.

Perhaps it’s another unsurprising consequence of the unsettling situation we find ourselves in but I seem to have become ever so slightly acquainted with a sense of my own mortality. My philosophy and mantra – ‘Won’t pass this way again’ – is very much informed by a belief that we all get but one chance at life, every day is precious so we’d better make the very best of every single one of them. 

Lockdown necessarily imposes restrictions on fun and adventure and instead provides far too much time for reflection. That’s heightened my consciousness of the passing of time and got me pondering about the many signs that serve to meter one’s life and remind us of the relentless ageing process?  Here are a just few I’ve noticed or encounter on a daily basis:

  • Rapid growth of bristly hair in my ears
  • Waking up stiff (but it’s only my joints and muscles; nothing else) 
  • Increased micturition frequency (I always need to get up for a piss in the night)
  • Always falling asleep in front of the telly (even when I’ve sat down to view something supposedly captivating) 
  • Wincing at the frequent and casual use of the C-bomb on TV (I still fondly recall the first F-word on prime-time TV courtesy of the Sex Pistols and Bill Grundy in 1976)
  • Noticing that younger work colleagues start to respect me and appear to seek my professional guidance and judgement (totally undeserved; they simply think that someone who looks old must know a thing or two)  
  • Moaning about stuff, life, politicians, youngsters, lazy overpaid footballers, the roads, the environment, public transport……….. Everything!
  • Not recognising any tunes or artists in the hit parade (or Official Singles Downloads Chart as I believe it’s referred to now)
  • The absence of any denim in my wardrobe (I gave up wearing jeans a few years ago for fear of looking like a Top Gear presenter)  
  • Retaining a vast collection of ties (I don’t think I’ve worn one in the least a year) 
  • The sense of panic when I realise I’ve left my reading glasses at home
  • Failing hopelessly to keep up with the evolution of social media (Tik Tok?).

What are yours?

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5 Responses

  1. Lol, well all of the above Phil, except for I do live in denim truth be told! How about making a noise whenever you do something remotely strenuous like sitting down or climbing the stairs? Ooooff to sit down and arghhh to get up again!

  2. Brilliant post poor old Bill Grundy! After that he was never allowed on TV Again! I am watching “Gangs of London” the swearing is crazy !

    Everyone is looking old on TV nowdays and I keep thinking I am still 21 ?

  3. One of my hips aches. Constantly. What’s all that about?
    No cartilage in my lower back.
    Often taken aback when I see my reflection and think, ‘Who’s that old git?’
    True story, I was stood in a queue (we have to get used to queues) to go into Sainsbury’s the other morning, half-asleep and weary as arse after yet another Tesco shift, and the security guys were letting people in about half-a-dozen (only old people use phrases like half-a-dozen) at a time in dribs’n’drabs. I hadn’t taken much notice of the people around me, but the woman behind me was in her thirties, I guess. Anyway, when the batch of folk I was in were allowed to go into the store, I walked through unopposed, but the woman behind me was stopped and the security guard explained to her that at this particular time of the day, the store was only allowing in, you know, OLD FOGIES….yet he hadn’t batted an eyelid when I walked in. FFS.

    1. Maybe, having examined the signs that remind us that we’re getting old, we should concentrate on the things that make us feel young? Unfortunately for me travel adventures are firmly at the top of my list closely followed by going to the pub, football, cricket, restaurants…………etc. I reckon the ‘new normal’ will age me by fifteen years.

  4. Well as far as the pass this way once attitude goes here is my input and announcement. I have decided to have a tattoo done this year. I am 59 in the next few weeks so am going for it. As a paid up pain coward its going to be interesting. Currently working on design with my eldest daughter.

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