Purveyor of Bollocks to the Crowned Heads of Europe
Saturday, 27 April 2013
I listened to a man on the radio this morning who has spent the last 60 years since he left the RAF restoring the stiles on footpaths that criss-cross the Sussex Downs where he lives.
His voice was that of a man of half his age - 91 - and I couldn't help thinking that it was this combination of unpaid work, exercise, fresh air and a strange sort of obsession that has kept him going so actively for so long.
I quite often find myself envying proud-looking old men who I see limping down the road alone, and I haven't yet worked out why I do. Maybe it is because I don't have enough faith in myself to get to that age self-sufficiently and more or less intact, still retaining enough dress-sense to buy trousers which actually fit me.
I was wondering the other day, why it is that you don't see many 'beige couples' around these days, then I realised that it because they are probably all dead. You know what I mean by 'beige couples'? They came about because the man in the relationship - once he retired - allowed his wife to buy all his clothes for him, and she - because she was so sick of a life-time of laundry - would buy almost matching outfits for herself and her husband from Marks and Spencer, made from a beige, semi-synthetic, drip-dry, perma-creased material which would be suitable for almost any weather conditions, making the choice of what to take from the wardrobe in the morning easy - they probably had two identical outfits each, for when the other was in the wash.
Even when I was young, I knew that I would never retire, and I certainly knew that nobody would ever choose my clothing for me, unless I suffered some sort of catastrophic brain-damage which left me unable to even speak.
When I am at a low-ebb, I cannot see any future for myself, but I console myself by remembering that I never could see any future for myself, even when I was 20. Things seem to have a way of working themselves out.
Tonight, I am going on a stag-party outing for a middle-aged man. I bet he didn't see that coming.