That’s the thing . If you were to ask what benefits Old Age brings, that would be my current answer .It’s not that I feel remotely old , you understand …but…The thing is that time moves so quickly from the moment I arise in the ,morning and flies by throughout the day that it sometimes seems like a breathless dash. I know I’m getting old only because time is literally zooming by. Lookout…there it……… goes! Whoosh!! That’s why patience is so easy now. Totally unlike when I was thirty one …or thirty two … say about half my current years. There is no real sense of having to wait for anything . I just have to zone my mind out and …no worries …I’ve arrived where I want to be without that long wait. It’s the same when I’m sitting in traffic now or queuing up in the supermarket with my case of wine.Waiting for the girl at the checkout to deal with some “real” old person in front of me .I’m there thinking …”That old dear needs all the time in the world to futter with her purse and count out her shakey- hand shillings”. I’m still young enough to hold the door open for her.Or when I’m waiting for that book coming in the post from Amazon. No worries .No checking every five minute and wondering why it hasn’t come yet, when they said it would only take two days…It’ll come when it comes …there’s no hurry.
Why the rush, anyway? When you get older , a day , a week, a month, a year….just flies by too quickly to worry about something like waiting for a taxi or a film to begin . That’s the thing about ageing …learning to be patient. Or rather , having patience creep up on you.
Then there’s the ongoing joke my poor wife has to constantly suffer….”You married Peter Pan , y’know?” He never gets any older…. Is everyone going blind?! Have they all swallowed “lying” pills?…”He looks the same as he did in his twenties”. He does , my arse! My hair was nearly black and it was down over my shoulders back then , shining like a glossy penny. Something for the girls to envy….ha ha !Not this  current ,spikey grey crop with a growing landing- patch trying to take purchase on the top floor.My barber refers to it as my”tax disc” holder . Well at this stage of the game , your barber is like a confessor. He knows all the secrets. I was barely weighing ten stone back then too . Now I’m hovering at eleven.I suppose it could be worse.
When I look in a mirror I can’t see it . This Peter Pan. True there’s my skin that I’ve my dear mother to thank for.She left me that. It’s held up pretty well so far, but looking back at me in the mirror is some old stranger with thinning, greying hair and a bus pass in his pocket. An old acquaintance whom I hadn’t seen since my honeymoon over thirty years ago , give or take, asked me at a very old friends’s birthday party, recently …Fixing me with a knowing eye, and looking at my skin, she asked did I still smoke ? Well, the last time she saw me smoking  I probably had a big nine skin Camberwell Carrot clenched in my lips at about three in the morning…but that was over  forty years ago and I gave up smoking most everything when the reponsibility of small children took over. It would be a bit late to worry now about the sins of youth..Just be thankful we survived at all….never mind the skin….or the skins…
It’s a good job I’m not carrying any access weight so my knees don’t buckle and  I  can still fit into my clothes most of the time. That really would be a disaster, wouldn’t it? . A wardrobe full of fine clothes and you can’t wear them ? Imagine ! It’s almost unthinkable .I suppose you could still wear some neat, flash shoes, but it would be such a bloody waste to have a lot of useless clothes . You really do owe it to yourself to wear some proper clothes  now and again ,when you get on a bit .Clothes maketh the man and all that. Well , they’ll never make much of a guy carrying thirty stone in his shoes,with his belt-buckle straining,  but you know what I mean.You need a bit of style when you get on a bit.
So anyway…patience , that’s the ticket.
Mind you , living in Norneverland you need a lot of it. We must all develop it in our genetics here as we wait for all the adults to grow up and get a bit of sense. As I type this we are hurtling back to the Groundhog Day of the Summer Marching and Rioting Season at a rate of knots. As you get older, time compresses and It comes each year quicker and quicker with little change to offer. They were supposed to sort it all out last year but the politicians  left it to about five minutes ago so that they could make a big Huffy Show just at the right minute when all the wee kiddies get out of school. They like to have plenty of the young ones on the streets , wrecking about and all that. It gives them something to do in the summertime … a bit of recreational rioting and that. There’s not much else to occupy them after all. The police will be expecting their annual overtime boost, too . It helps to pay for the holidays and maybe that wee pony the daughter’s always asking for .Maybe this’ll be the year to get it.I wonder if they ever did get around to buying those new water cannons from whatisname …Boris , the Mayor of London .Aw , you know the way your mind begins to wonder…. Boris was talking only a few weeks ago about standing in front of one of those things to see if they worked okay. I wonder did he ever get around to that one .He could come over here this summer and watch them working anyway. Take a quick Easyjet flight and get back to London in time for tea.I wonder will they put some dye into the cannons this time. It would need to be indelible stuff or maybe have a radioactive isotope to help find the rioters afterwards. Watch them glowing in the dark. That would make life interesting on the streets, wouldn’t it? That would be the sensible thing to do wouldn’t it? Mind you , none of them seem too sensible, do they? I suppose that would be too much to ask for.
The politicians are still trying to learn how to be politicians, even as they turn into old fat bleary men right before your eyes . They’ve had a right old go at it but it’s like swimming .Some people never get very good at it no matter how they try. They still behave like little children , huffing and puffing and totally unable to work anything out. Splashing relentlessly in circles.
Like some old fart with a Gameboy…..Remember Gameboys?……
Sulking and gurning like children in the playground as they pretend they are fit to be in charge of us all. Their minds ageing in reverse all the way, like a gang of Benjamin Buttons..There’ even talk now of them bringing down the institutions of government. They do this every year or so..Like a playground game of taking the ball away. I’m not sure we’d notice if they went away, to tell the truth.
Do you think it’s a cover up for lack of smarts or a cry for help? Have they figured out at last that they’ll never be any good at this political lark and are twisting about looking for any excuse to get out of their responsibilities. I don’t think they can hack it myself . They don’t seem to have a clue .Maybe you need to be dumped , as an eight year old ,into  Eton or one of those rarified schools and board there from childhood to pick it up. Like Flashman in Tom Brown’s Schooldays.
It would age you looking at them wriggling like so many trapped salmon in a net. They don’t seem to have any idea about what to do next and are hoping that the Big Governments in Westminster or Dublin will throw them a saving line …let them off the hook or whatever ….all these fishing references….
Children and childish forever. Peter Pan politicians who’ll never get any older …or wiser.
Aw , you need patience alright……

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