Tag Archives: ageing

‘Man cannot live by bread alone; he must have peanut butter.’ James A. Garfield.

Stories from my Sketchbook . . .

I love bread.  In fact, I never really met a bread I didn’t like—brown, white, rye, seeded, ciabatta, damper, focaccia, roti, soda, multigrain, pumpernickel, (banana—not sure that counts as a real bread but . . . yum)—the list goes on and on and on. . .

And, although I do agree with James Garfield that bread needs something to go with it, for me it’s not peanut butter.  For me it is cheese (any kind of cheese) and ham . . .  and chutney . . .  and  pickles . . . or . . . if it’s toasted, pâté.  I could, seriously, live on toast and pâté . . . and red wine . . .

Well—when I say I could live on it, I probably actually couldn’t.  My digestive system seems to have much more to say about what I can, and can’t, eat (and drink) these days.  Sigh.

Sometimes getting older sucks . . .


Posted by on June 6, 2017 in Uncategorized


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‘For all the advances in medicine, there is still no cure for the common birthday.’ John Glenn.

Today is my birthday.  I am now 58.  I don’t feel 58.  Well—that’s not entirely true—some days I feel every bit of 58, but . . . in general . . . if I haven’t recently over-indulged in food . . . or drink . . . or had a sleepless night . . .  or done a solid four hours of weeding and pruning in the garden . . .

Okay . . . maybe I’ll qualify that.  What if I say my brain doesn’t feel like it’s 58? Hmmmmm . . . I’m not really sure that’s going to work either . . .

Last Sunday, while I was out mowing my front lawn, one of my elderly neighbours stopped by to chat.  Ronny is an ‘old soldier’ and as he knows I was in the army myself several centuries ago, he occasionally likes to ‘pull up a sandbag’ and reminisce. That day, however, while chatting, he asked a question which pulled me up short‘So, when was it that you were you based in Germany, Sal?’  A simple, straightforward questionand for the life of me I couldn’t answer it.  I mean, I remember being in Germany (my mind has not completely abandoned me . . . yet . . . ) but I couldn’t for the life of me remember what year I got there or when I left . . .

In my defence, and before you start giving me a hard time about my advancing years, I should point out that I have always been dreadful at remembering what-happened-when.   I also always think something happened much more recently than it actually did.  I reckon I would immediately become the number one suspect in any murder enquiry when the interviewing officer asks ‘ . . . and where were you on the morning of *insert any date here* ?’—because I wouldn’t have a bloody clue . . . )

Anyway, as it seems I can no longer completely rely on my body or my brain, perhaps I should say my ‘inner Sally’ doesn’t feel 58.  That might work My ‘inner Sally’ doesn’t feel any different than she did ten, twenty, or even thirty years ago.  (At least I don’t think she does,  but, you know, my brain . . .   If I can’t remember where she was 30 years ago, chances are I probably won’t remember how she felt either.  This is getting tricky . . . )

Seriously though, turning 58 honestly bothers me no more than turning 57 did. As a good friend of mine likes to (constantly) remind me‘any day above ground is a good day’and if adding another candle to my cake means getting a bigger cake, so be it.

It is probably just as well I have a sense of humour about these things anyway. Last week it was gleefully (a little too gleefully I thought) pointed out to me that soon I would be able to tell people I was ‘no longer middle-aged’.   WTF!   Me? Middle-aged?  I don’t mind owning up be being 58, but who said anything about being middle-aged?  I want to see the proof . . .

 ‘Sure-fire signs you’re in the throes of middle-age

Losing touch with everyday technology such as tablets and TVs

(I have a computer, tablet, kindle, TV and mobile phone.  Okay the mobile is kaput and I haven’t replaced it yet, but I do have one . . . )

Feeling stiff, groaning when you bend down, talking a lot about your joints / ailments
(Not so very much.  Honest.  And I mostly only mention it to the dogs . . . )

Needing an afternoon nap
(Hardly ever . . .  except maybe after a particularly taxing morning, or a workout, or mowing the lawn, or an extra-late night . . . )

Thinking policemen / teachers / doctors all look really young
( . . . and, hopefully, cute . . . )

Choosing clothes and shoes for comfort rather than style
(Sniff.  I like to think I still have some style even if my heels are becoming slightly lower . . .)

Forgetting people’s names
(I’m sorry—who are you?)

Booking on to a cruise
(Not yet, but I have friends who have . . . you know who you are . . .)

Misplacing your glasses / bag / car keys etc.
(Okay.  Possibly.  Sometimes.)

Complaining about the rubbish on television these days
(Well.  Seriously.  There really is a lot of crappy TV out there.)

Gasping for a cup of tea

(How is this a middle-aged thing?)

When you can’t lose six pounds in two days any more
(What do they mean ‘any more’?)

Falling asleep after one glass of wine
(It’s a BIG glass)

When you know your alcohol limit
(see above)

Post Script:

As far as I can see the list above proves nothing.

You will note that nowhere . . .  no.where . . .  does it mention the number 58 . . .


Posted by on March 31, 2017 in Uncategorized


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‘If any of you cry at my funeral, I’ll never speak to you again!’ Stan Laurel.

thoughtfulHistorically, I have never been much of a crier.  Since a young girl I have watched people around me cry when they were happy, or sad, or scared or even just when they didn’t know what else to do with themselves.  I understood that this was their way of dealing with whatever the situation was, but I rarely felt moved to join in.  I never cried at sad movies, or when listening to amazing life-changing stories, or while watching some of the horrors that unfolded on the nightly news, or even at funerals (Stan would at least have approved).  These things usually left me more pensive than tearful.

sallycryingIt is not I never cried of course.  I had the occasional emotional ‘woe-is-me, life-is-unfair, why-can’t-I-do-that, all-men-are-bastards . . .’ meltdowns over the years,  and I cried for (literally) weeks after my lovely dog Frankie died unexpectedly during the night (well, who wouldn’t?)  but crying was not something that seemed to come naturally to me.  In fact, it happened so infrequently that I would sometimes stop and wonder (albeit briefly) if there was something wrong with me (‘Should I be crying here? Everyone else seems to be . . .’ ) but that feeling wore off again pretty quickly.  I just didn’t seem to be built that way.sookylala

But lately something has changed.  I have become aware that I am being moved to tears far more often now than I ever used to be—and often over things I would rarely have given much thought to before.  I fear I am in danger of turning into a bit of a sooky-la-la.  It’s kind of disturbing . . .

So, now, instead of wondering why I am not crying, I am wondering my I am.   Why, all of a sudden, have I become so  ’emotionally incontinent’?  I’m not depressed.  I don’t feel particularly isolated, or unhappy (and often the things I cry about are quite lovely and not sad at all).  It doesn’t seem to be dementia-driven (at least according to Dr Google . . . )  So what gives?

fineI have been forced to conclude that it must be (gulp) one of those ‘age-related’ changes that tend to sneak up on you when you are not looking.  (A couple of years ago I would have automatically blamed menopause because—why not?  I blamed it for everything else.  But (please God) I seem to be past most of that now.) Maybe I am just growing more sensitive as I get older (Ha—I can hear some of friends howling with laughter at that) but it’s possible . . . I guess.  Maybe rather than hardening with age, I am actually softening . . . becoming porous . . . and leaky . . . 

Well, that’s embarrassing.

Does that mean that from now on, when something strikes me as happy . . . or sad . . . or beautiful . . . or frustrating . . . I am going to be sobbing all the time?

I hope not, because that sounds utterly exhausting . . .


Posted by on February 24, 2017 in Uncategorized


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