The Delights of Becoming Eighty

Three weeks ago, on Saturday 22nd of January to be precise, I turned eighty. This blog is about that birthday and how, despite earlier worries coupled with elements of dread, the day turned out to be very special. Amongst other things I had often thought that I might not last long enough to be there to celebrate in person - at my age the future…

“I Know This Is Going To Be Difficult”

Over Christmas there was an added treat. For the first time in years the meals were made complete, now I could see things that, a few weeks earlier, would have been a horrible blur. After years of feeling an outsider, I was able to enjoy the expressions on the faces of family and friends as we chatted and laughed. The removal…

“It’s Much Better in German »

Opinions of others can change in a moment and several years ago this happened to my wife, Rohan. In our family, her account of that day’s events has become legendary and recently she retold the tale to friends over tea. It is that retelling which prompted this blog. The story was several years in the…

“You’re too old to do that”

When it comes to beaches, my favourites have miles of fine sand and the occasional rock pool. On a recent trip to the seaside the view down to the water’s edge could not have been more disappointing. For the next hour or so I would be ‘playing’ on a short stretch of a narrow, steeply banked, pebble beach with nowhere…

“Not Odd, Just English »

When Rohan woke that morning she told me how her night had been broken by bursts of unusual and worrying sounds. Volleys of coughs, snorts and whimpers came in through the window from the garden below. Both of us hear less well these days but our losses are complementary. So whereas she is good on…

A Song at Tea Time

Our tea that day was very special. It was a warm and sunny afternoon and we decided to eat in the garden. When Rohan’s Russian teacher arrived the table was already set with a spread that included home-made biscuits and an apple tart baked for the occasion. Masha, once a teacher of Russian in Novosibirsk, emigrated to France over…