My eighty third birthday passed without too much attention on Friday. We went to see a film (The Grand Budapest Hotel – I recommend it if you enjoy weirdly entertaining pictures) and then shared a meal with our daughter and grand daughter. On to my eighty fourth year, I thought a couple of days later on a sunny morning, so went into town for a stroll around the shops and a trip to our excellent public library. ‘Trip’ is a salient word for what then happened. I misjudged one of Bath’s uneven pavements and with a dramatic lunge, fell onto the ground, face forwards.
‘Are you alrights’ came from the voice of several people, who got me up, found my hat and my spectacles and the lens that had fallen out, gave me tissues to mop up the blood and took me into a nearby shop where two first aid men sat me down, bathed my face and gave me helpful advice. Later with loving help from my daughter, I went to a clinic and excellent care there confirmed that basically I was ‘alright’; there was no serious damage.
People are very kind. I am now under a strict injunction, never to venture out without the aid of a walking stick, which is a prospect I don’t look forward to. A day later I realised that I had lost my keys, and try as we may we can’t think where or how. They are amongst the few things that normally never lose, so now I have to get a new set made.
The family have decided that our old computer needs to be pensioned off so yesterday we collected an up-to-date laptop which everyone is contributing to buy me as a birthday present. In addition we paid for a half hour teaching tour, to introduce us to the wonders of this sophisticated machine, utterly different from the familiar old friend I am now typing this posting on. My wife took notes and both of us asked what we felt were intelligent questions, but after a time I mentally switched off, accepting the fact that I am virtually unable to understand not only the processes but the also the language with which the excellent young salesman was trying to educate us.
A challenge that lies ahead.
So in just a few days there have been unwelcome reminders that I can’t escape from the fact that I really am my age, and I’ve got to accept it and live accordingly.