Life begins at 40. So does lumbago...

QUITE frequently at our meetings we get round to discussing the problems of old age and although we know what life begins at forty, so does rheumatism, lumbago, arthritis and a long list of other ailments.

Our eldest member stated recently “If I’d have known I was going to live this long I’d have taken greater care of myself”.

Most of us are still waiting for that maturity which they say comes with old age but we are handicapped due to the decline in our bodies ability to function as in days of yore.

One member was given a rocking chair for his 70th birthday but needs help to get it started. We go into rooms to do a job and then forget why we went in. We’d go back to where the thought first occurred, but we can’t remember where that was. Some time ago we discussed the theory claimed by some wives that as their husbands age they develop a form of deafness, which exhibits selective hearing and a tactical incompetence doing domestic chores which means we are never asked to do them again. It appears that is now commonplace amongst our members. Our revolutionary youth has of course been replaced by our right to be as grumpy as we want about whatever we want. We hide behind “if I was younger, I’d do something about it” realising that we are now at a stage where we look forward to a dull evening and we wake up with the “morning after the night before feeling” when we didn’t go out the night before.

We regret the BBC shifting the evening news from 9 to 10pm – Much too late. Our days of women, wine and song are gone, in fact some of our members can’t even sing. But we can rant on about the youth of today, usually about the very few who give us cause, knowing that the generation gap will never be closed.

We can bleat on about the good old days and point out the decline in chivalry, respect for others, in effective teaching, health services and referees who can’t see that a grossly overpaid footballer has just been blown over by a pull of wind. Consideration and discussion often takes places regarding the number of youthful activities which we were told would have certain consequences in old age, if we indulged in them.

Although most of us do wear glasses we have come to the conclusion that most old wives tales have no validity. None of us have curly hair and we all ate lots of burnt toast.

But above all we are reassured in the knowledge that old age and treachery will always outwit youth and enthusiasm.