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When he gets older... we won’t mention losing his hair

PUBLISHED: 09:42 18 September 2017 | UPDATED: 09:42 18 September 2017

I wait until a few things are on the floor... Picture:BB

I wait until a few things are on the floor... Picture:BB


It’s his birthday and he’s wondering if I’ll still feed him and if I’ll still need him, now he’s hit the Beatles limit.

My husband is... well, it was his birthday last week and he took it very well.

At one point he said: “I won’t be able to sing that song any more”, and broke into The Beatles classic

When I get older, losing my hair...

Will you still feed me, will you still need me

When I’m 64.

“Because I am,” he added.

I observed that in terms of lyrics it is inaccurate anyway because I rarely feed him as he is the better cook; that our grandchildren do not include a Vera, Chuck or Dave; moreover, he is not getting older... though I do still need him (see feeding me, above).

We are expected to have a sense of humour about advancing years. Card shops seem to glory in cards that refer to age. Here are sample jests:

Two golfers. One says: “My eyes aren’t what they used to be − did you see where my ball went?” The other replies: “Yep, but I can’t remember.”

“If things improve with age then you are approaching magnificent.”

“You’ve reached the wonder years... wonder where your glasses are... wonder what day it is.”

“A little grey hair is a small price to pay for all this wisdom.” (Nice try, I suppose)

“Hang on, if I’ve got a suppository in my ear... where the heck is my hearing aid?”

“When you’re getting on a bit, you reinstate ‘being patronised’ to your list of pet hates. It hasn’t been on the list since you were a teenager and got asked: ‘And what do you want to be when you grow up?’”

These days, it’s various cards that allege: “Growing old is compulsory − growing up is optional.” (yuck)

To be fair, as an over-60 household, my husband and I are fairly relaxed about age − even if we do have to wait for our feet to start working before we attempt to go downstairs in the morning.

And these days, if I drop something on the floor, I wait until I’ve dropped one or two other things, to make it worth bending down to pick them up.

Being one of the senior members of the newsroom, I am fairly resilient when it comes to friendly joshing about my age. (Just as well, Lynne. ED.) The art, I find, is to get in first. When recently I was asked to go along to the nearby filming of The Antiques Roadshow and write an article, I suggested it was less an assignment, more a case of turning myself in.

Not that there would be any point in that, I imagine, as there were a lot like me − not exactly the same but similar − made in England in 1955. And I don’t have a specific maker’s mark on my bottom, although, like Steiff teddy bears, I occasionally wear a pin through my ear. Nor am I in mint condition, having been subject to a repair, a few years back, when they replaced my knee. You can see where it happened.

And neither do I come with my original box. I have suffered from use, although, fortunately, I have never been stuck by the front door to look after umbrellas, pushed to the back of a drawer or encased in bubblewrap and stuffed up in the loft. I have, I suppose, sentimental value and trust that, even if I was worth a fortune, my family wouldn’t be putting me up for auction. “No, we’re going to hang on to her...”

My husband had a good birthday. Two bottles of wine, two dvds, two shirts, an Amazon voucher, a pen set and a book. Plus, and this made him very happy, more than 60 birthday greetings on Facebook, including one from BBC radio broadcaster Stephen Foster, who hoped I was spoiling him, to which I added that my husband shouldn’t hold his breath. To which his cousin, in Ohio, America, added that my husband’s aunt (aged 97) would be very happy to spoil him.

Back to the Beatles:

I could be handy, mending a fuse

When your lights have gone.

You can knit a sweater by the fireside

Sunday morning go for a ride,

Doing the garden, digging the weeds,

Who could ask for more...

I should just like to say that the chances of me knitting a sweater by the fireside are considerably less than my chances of winning the lottery.

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