When I'm 64...
PUBLISHED: 09:35 19 February 2019 | UPDATED: 09:39 19 February 2019
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NOW I’m 64, that is. Yes, I have reached the age the Beatles pegged as being in need of knitting and Sunday drives.
There is a Beatles song, kindly pointed out to me by local BBC radio presenter Stephen ‘Foz’ Foster that relates directly to my birthday, this week.
I have taken a few days off work in order to lie down in a darkened room until it’s all over. If there’s anything I don’t need, right now, it’s another b****y birthday. I have had loads of them already and have barely managed to get over the last one.
When I mentioned that Beatles song to my husband, he did what all great men do, he asked which Beatles number it was - and suggested it might have been “I Wanna Hold Your Hand.”
More like, “I Wanna Hold My Head in My Hands”.
The problem, of course, is that it is now less a question of “When I’m Sixty-four” and more a case of “I Actually Am 64”.
How has that prescient piece panned out?
When I get older losing my hair - true. It’s all gone from my legs, there’s little under my arms and elsewhere.
Many years from now. Not so much
Will you still be sending me a Valentine, birthday greetings bottle of wine? No, yes and no.
If I’d been out till quarter to three, would you lock the door? That’s academic as neither my husband nor I would ever be out that late. The last London train pulls into town around 1am and so the latest we’d get home is about 1.30am which feels much later when you get to 64. And our night-clubbing days are over (since 1978).
We always double lock the front door if we’re out but, if he is going to be back in the wee small hours, I forbear from shooting the two bolts and putting on the door chain... you can’t be too careful.
As it is we have a magic car key that unlocks the vehicle from a distance and there has been news, recently, that unscrupulous thieves can access your key code with a computer and use it to steal your car. As a result, we keep our key as far away from the car as possible, behind the toaster - I believe it is more difficult to contact through metal. Apparently a lot of people pop them into the microwave which, as far as I’m concerned, would be a calamity waiting to happen.
I could be handy, mending a fuse, when your lights have gone.
You can knit a sweater by the fireside, Sunday mornings go for a ride
We have to remember this song was written in the old days when there tended to be stronger demarcation lines between male and female tasks. As it happens, I, a woman, am very handy when it comes to replacing (surely no one mends them any more) a fuse. As for knitting a sweater by the fireside - the last sweater I knitted took me three years to complete.
I have made a contract with myself never to become a “Sunday driver”. I have sat in the passenger seat beside so many people who fume about Sunday drivers. I assume this is because they drive at a rather sedate speed so that they can take in the beauty of the countryside.
Doing the garden, digging the weeds, who could ask for more? Well, I’m thinking a pergola and a bench in the sunny corner so that I can sit and watch my husband digging the weeds. He likes it; a son of the soil.
Every summer we can rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight, if it’s not too dear. It is too dear.
We shall scrimp and save
Grandchildren on your knee, Vera, Chuck and Dave. We didn’t get a Vera but we have Herbie, George, and Wil.
After a request to send a postcard − who does that any more, the song ends:
Will you still need me, will you still feed me, when I’m sixty-four?
The short answer is yes. The longer answer is that my husband still feeds me and he definitely needs me - who else is going to go with him to Outpatients for a 7.45am appointment?
• We went to Essex to pick up the grandsons from their various schools and nurseries, last week. George, aged six, is at primary school; Wil, aged nearly four, is at the village nursery and Herbie, aged nearly one is at nursery for tiny chaps and lasses.
There is not enough room in the car for grandpa, me and three car seats so we did the bigger boys first, changed car seats and I went out to pick up Herbie. He was in the accident book.
He is keen to walk and consequently climbs to his feet, pulling himself up on anything he can find. Often it is something that tips over as soon as he pulls on it. This is a danger when you’re learning to walk but, being a baby, he won’t be easily put off by a fat lip and a bruise on his head.