Tag Archives: Old Age

A Guilt Complex, Espresso, Burns Suppers and A Little Help From Oscar

I am currently suffering with a severe bout of guilt, I blame it primarily  on all the experts, commentators and their advisers that are constantly  instructing or should that be coercing us into reducing;

  1. Our alcohol,
  2. Take less salt
  3. Consume less fat
  4. Drink less coffee
  5. Avoid growing old

to mention just a few.

Now I can put my hand on my heart and ease my guilt a little, by having  very little difficulty in satisfy their demands with items one, two and  three.

But in all conscience to drink less coffee seems a step to far, as a  freshly made espresso as the day dawns and before I throw a leg out of bed in  the morning is as essential as a single malt whisky and a haggis is to a Burn’s supper.

As far as halting the progress of age, remaining child like or even  youthful I fear it already is too late. I never was that fortunate to know a  painter named Basil Hallward anyway and my name is not Dorian, it would also be my  misfortune that someone would find the portrait and do the honourable  deed.

“The old believe everything: the middle-aged suspect everything: the young  know everything.”
Oscar Wilde

Tea pot


 

A Sentimental Journey , A Taste For Scott and True Patriotic Fervor

March 23, 2009_Cambridgeshire-1148_001.jpg

I am feeling disorientated, I put it down to feeling over nostalgic, yes it could be explained as an effect of reaching an age where grey becomes silver and elderly is an acronym for wisdom or is it just the plain simple fact that being away from what is vaguely called home if  your place of birth is home, for more years than I care to remember.

It would be ludicrous to try and blame my craving for a breath of Lowland air or Highland hospitality on all this talk of independence for Scotland but it certainly is having an effect.

I have always had moments when I  have lusted after Heather Honey, Macroon Bars and Tablet made in Fintry but it seems more fundamental than a sweet tooth.

Now when this feeling is rationalised it has to be admitted I have been reading too much Edwin Muir not to mention Sir Walter Scott, so perhaps the solution is a Shakespeare Sonnet, a chapter from The Pickwick Papers or a paragraph of Laurence Sterne but I do not believe I can ever erase the sentiment in the following which flows through my veins.

“Breathes there the man, with soul so dead,
Who never to himself hath said,
This is my own, my native land!
Whose heart hath ne’er within him burn’d,
As home his footsteps he hath turn’d,
From wandering on a foreign strand! “

Extract for: Lay of the Last Minstrel. Sir Walter Scott


 

W B Yeats, The Kinks and Natural Recall

June 16, 2011_Cambridgeshire-1612_001

I have a confession to make that I am having a great deal of difficulty remembering the events of a week ago not to mention that yesterday can have all the appearance of a complete blur

There are certain elements that always have a tendency to stand out, the appointment with the optician who recommends an increase in bifocal strength so I can read the news that the cost of living is increasing on the hour every hour, the unexpected meeting with a friend who tactfully informs me that my hair is whiter (not grey) than the last time we meet and the all important doctors consultation where he advises you when complaining about the pain in your left ankle on wet september mornings “what else can you expect at your time of life” I would hate to contemplate what his reaction would be to my memory crisis?

I have been taking comfort from the fact that my recall cannot be that severe as I can vividly recount every scrape and abrasion I received to my elbows and knees fifty years ago not to mention the long ever ending warm summer days strolling in Edinburgh’s Princes Street Gardens or the tree-lined paths of The Meadows with the strains of Ray Davis escaping from open windows.

Perhaps I should reach a conclusion that this phenomenon is not a softening of the grey matter but a mechanism to cope with the realities of everyday living, the momentum of a headlong rush to reach a undefined destination in time or maybe I should bow to the inevitable.

When you are old and grey and full of sleep,
And nodding by the fire, take down this book,
And slowly read, and dream of the soft look
Your eyes had once, and of their shadows deep;

W. B. Yeats


 

Dylan Thomas, A Different Generation and An Illusion to be Cherished

Kersey From Church Hill

I am slowly coming to the realisation that what appears to be reality is no more than an illusion, a trick of the senses and as much a figment of the imagination that our school and teenage years were the best days of our life.

Although when comparisons are made between the present ethics and attitudes to that of over 30 years ago, it has to be concluded that morality, respect and even religious expression are all measured against a different template.

It is unreasonable to expect that the youth of today, should live the lives that a different generation experienced but on the same token when we reach that certain age where the illusion that our school and teenage years were the best days of our life becomes a reality, we should be allowed to cultivate the realisation and live the life that our own generation cherished.

There is nothing more depressing than being afraid to grow old in grace and wisdom but hastened to add I am also not adverse to the sentiments expressed by a welsh poet;

“Do not go gentle into that good night,
Old age should burn and rave at close of day;
Rage, rage against the dying of the light.”