Now I'm ready to develop some new interests and perhaps a few quirks and foibles. I am encouraged by a newly-purchased book: 'Growing Old Disgracefully' by Rohan Candappa. The subtitle, 'How to upset and perplex your children with increasingly erratic and unreasonable behaviour', is most encouraging. SNYD is one of several suggested alternatives for OAP, senior citizen or over-60 to describe this phase of life and there are lots of useful and imaginative tips for brightening one's days. I'm quite taken with the idea of 'digging up the hatchet' on page 70: '....now's the time to jettison all that namby-pamby, forgive and forget nonsense ....... just send a letter with the simple, reassuring, unsigned message 'I haven't forgiven you.' Just imagine that former boss wondering who sent it!
I recommend this book to all in their 'later middle years', whether 60 or 90. It tells you how to be outrageous, how to have fun and how to make the most of being a nuisance.
Old and Grumpy
One of the features of ageing is increasing grumpiness. It isn't simply about having more time to notice annoying things but there is an increasing urge to express that annoyance. According to the Telegraph, David Hockney is developing a fine reputation for grumpiness:
David Hockney's return to Britain might have passed quietly had it not
been for his keenness, after 40 years away, to remind us of where we have
gone wrong. The artist has taken to the streets in support of foxhunters,
complained about the persecution of smokers and objected to travel
restrictions on football hooligans. He has sounded wobbly on Iraq, sceptical
on Europe, disapproving of New Labour, and likened having to wear a seat
belt in his car to legally-enforced bondage.
This is pretty impressive but not in the same league as a letter sent to my local paper, the North Devon Journal, by one N.J. Greenslade:
As a lifelong member of the South Molton community, aged 64, can you please
get someone to give me the answers to the following questions.
Firstly, we seem to have several derelict 'bomb sites' - being the disused
land by our car park, the YMCA and the old infant school in New Road. Why is
this? Plus, why are the streets littered with dogs' mess, and why do some
councillors not have the time to speak to you? "Make an appointment" we're
told. There are no cycle paths in South Molton either, and the crossing
near Boots the chemist is in the wrong lace, and why is one of the flashing
beacons covered up? Why do so very few drivers bother to stop?
In my opinion we need a mini roundabout at the top of New Road beyond
Somerfield. Cars and motorbikes are racing around the town at all times - far
too fast. Cars in the Square park in a dangerous position on double yellow
There's illegal drinking in the park, not enough policemen or a proper zebra
crossing in New Road. Toilets in the pannier market are disgusting and need a
good coat of paint and finally, how long has the Health Centre been closed
between 1pm and 2pm?Now that really is a grumble!