Saturday, 19 March 2011

Now I'm 64

Tomorrow I reach the grand old age of 64. As in the Beatles song When I'm 64. Except that it's about 40 years out of date, and things have moved on since then. Nobody's past it at 60 any more.

Knitting a sweater? Digging the weeds? A holiday in the Isle of Wight? I think not. How about sky-diving? Or a trip to Australia? Or climbing Kilimanjaro?

But I'm definitely aware that time is running out. I no longer have my whole life ahead of me, and if I have any major ambitions left, I'd better tackle them now. Who knows, I may be six feet under in a few years' time.

Not that I had many ambitions to start with, and those I've mostly realised or given up on. I'm never going to spill out a literary masterpiece or a world-changing invention. On the other hand I can read an Italian newspaper and I've seen the New Year fireworks in Sydney.

Being 64 also makes me feel I should be passing on my lifetime's experience and knowledge to those who are just starting out. But is that knowledge as useful as I think it is? And do young people want to hear it anyway?

I know when I was young I got very impatient with grizzled old farts giving me well-meaning advice. Firstly I didn't trust any of them. And secondly I just wanted to follow my own instincts and see where they took me. On the whole, they served me well.

At my advanced age, I also wonder if I'm still open to new ideas and attitudes or if I've unknowingly got hidebound and blinkered. I wouldn't like to be one of those crusty old diehards people secretly laugh at.

I think the rot sets in when an oldie starts to dismiss every new trend or fashion as a step back from some mythical golden age. Not me. I can think of too many relics of the past that were far from golden. Bring on the future, I say.

Victor Meldrew I am not.

*Victor Meldrew was the classic grumpy old man in the BBC TV sitcom "One Foot in the Grave"

Pic: Not me and Jenny, just a lovely old couple....


  1. Definitely not a Victor Meldrew and that photo looks nothing like you and Jenny!

    Welcome to the '64' club! We are in our prime, so lets make the most of it.

    Ha Ha! The word verification is headfat - not you by a long shot. They got it badly wrong this time!

  2. Grannymar - The 64 Club? Does that entitle me to 64 boxes of chocolate and 64 tubs of ice cream? If not, I won't be joining....

  3. 64?!


    It's funny, but from your writing I thought you were perhaps a few years older than I. 30, in fact (tee hee).

    I hope you enjoy celebrating your birthday honey.

  4. Roses - That's very flattering of you. Or is it? Maybe I should be exuding the infinite wisdom of the seventh decade. Goodness, are you thirty? You don't look a day over 21.

  5. Happy Birthday, sweetie.
    We are now numerically interchangeable!

  6. Roses - Forty one, the perfect age. Lots of interesting experience behind you, but plenty of time to do all the things you haven't yet done.

    Scarlet - Is that so? Forty six, the perfect age....

  7. Happy Birthday, Nick! I wish you health and happiness and sixty-four more. Best to you and Jenny.

  8. Of all the names we could call you Nick, 'grumpy old man' aint one of them. Many, many happy returns. Only my gammy knee tells me that 60 aint quite the new 40.

  9. e - Thanks! Though I shudder to think what state I'd be in at the age of 128....

    Baino - Well, you can get a gammy knee at any age. It's just one of those things really. My mum is 88 and her knees are just fine.

  10. Happy birthday Mr. Nick, sir. You are in kindergarten judging by your blog which I've been reading for nigh on half a decade. And I'm saying that in a good way, always open to new ideas and still having your sense of wonder intact.
    Long may it continue may I point you in the direction of one of my favourites?
    this is a man who is close to 100 and still writes about his tomato patches and his memories every day.

  11. No lie - For a second there, I couldn't remember if I'm 41 or 42. And now I can't decide if that's good or bad.

    Anyway, happy birthday to you, Nick! Have a lovely day!

  12. W3 - Not half a decade, my blog is only four years old. But I remember you were one of my very first visitors. A blogger who's almost 100, that's wonderful!

    Megan - Forty one is the perfect age. So is 42 of course. And 42 has the added advantage of being the meaning of life.

  13. Happy birthday, Nick! I think that 64 is a grand age, and yes, we'll still love you.

  14. Heart - Thanks! I keep thinking my life must have peaked, and then something new and exciting comes along.

  15. i'm the baby!
    not often i get to say that these days :)

  16. Kylie - You are? Goodness, you must be incredibly young. Have you realised all your ambitions yet?

  17. HAPPY BIRTHDAY HONEY!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. *sigh* 44 was the perfect age.....

    but if you're happy and healthy then it's all pretty good isn't it?

    happy birthday nick, may you have many many more of them

  19. Happy Birthday Nick! that's a very fetching photo of you and Jenny!

  20. Roses - Thanks!

    Kylie - Oh, you'd better get cracking then. Still, I guess finding another job is the first priority....

    Myra - Being happy and healthy is the main thing. Fortunately I'm both. I feel for those people who're dogged by ill-health from an early age.

    Macy - Aren't we adorable, lol? Perhaps I should put up a pic of the real Jenny and Nick, just long enough for you lot to see it.

  21. Sorry, Jenny's not happy about me putting up a pic. You'll just have to keep imagining!

  22. First, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

    Every year, I think the ages that used to sound old to me sound much younger. I'll be hitting 50 in a year and a half and that used to sound impossibly old to me. Now? I feel like I'm in my prime. I have every confidence that at 64, I won't be knitting. But I might just be gardening since I love doing that now!

  23. Secret Agent - I know, 64 doesn't seem very old to me. Not when my mum is still going strong at almost 89. Yes, gardening is always enjoyable at any age.

  24. Happy Birthday, Nick!
    I'm just a few years short of you (on the younger side) and quite often I don't feel a day over ninety!
    On the other hand, I do 'act my shoe size' (5).

  25. Had I known,I would have sent you birthday greetings and best wishes for many happy returns. Here, in any case is conveying the same to you.

    I am older by a cool four years. At this age, that matters! Don't worry, the way things are developing, we will all hit centuries.

    I was never ambitious so, I just floated along and as I look back, I believe that I had a grand time. Since I have that reality, I don't see why the future should be any different!

  26. Val - Me too, I don't feel a day over ninety! But sometimes I act like a screaming new-born.

    Ramana - Glad to know your lack of ambition was equally successful! Often our instincts can be much more fruitful than the worldly goals and plans we're expected to pursue.

  27. Belated Happy Birthday, and many more to come :-)

  28. Suburbia - Thanks! Now I've said time might be running out, I'll probably live to 109....

  29. Happy birthday, you old optimist!

  30. newjenny - Oh yes, an optimist, that's me. Everything's for the best in the best of all possible worlds, as Voltaire said. Well, not quite....

    "Voltaire's work was a perennial fight against the evils of his day: religious fanaticism, war, colonialism, prejudice, cruelty, injustice, and slavery." Sounds like one of the good guys.