Tuesday, 19 June 2018

A Youth Who's Long in the Tooth?

Hmm, there seems to be something strange happening here. See, inside I'm still about eighteen, yet outside I seem to be morphing into my dad.

I was out in the garden the other day, busily adjusting nozzles on the watering system and deadheading roses, hibiscus and assorted other plants, whose names I have to admit to having allowed to escape me for the moment. Oh, and I power-sawed a pallet that I'd 'rescued' from a field where a nearby hotel (in that typically environmentally aware way that they have) dumps all its old 'stuff', which includes anything from old sun loungers to paint pots, through old cupboards, to cracked lavatory bowls and cisterns. 

I do rather get infused with fury at how so many local Greeks treat their natural environment, and then allow my righteous indignation to lapse a little while rummaging through all the detritus and finding some rather serviceable plant pots (we once 'rescued' a huge terracotta pot that would probably have fetched 40 Euros in a garden centre) and pristine new wooden pallets.

On the subject of pallets, we 'rescued' three last week that will make - among other things - a very acceptable gate between our BBQ and the house wall, sectioning off our side patio from the rear of the house and making it feel more cosy as a result. returning to the one I power-sawed, I made a very smart platform to stand on while having an outdoor shower under the strategically-hung hosepipe gun on the side of the car port. I was well pleased once I'd stained it and installed it where I'd 'dug' out the old one that had rotted away.

So, anyway, there I was ambling around the garden, pair of secateurs in one hand and plastic bucket in the other, when I caught a glimpse of myself in one of the windows of the house. When I'm out there at this time of the year it's essential to wear a hat to avoid my ears burning and the glare getting to my eyes. Plus, since my hair has always been rather thin, without a hat I get sunburn on the crown of my head. Don't laugh, it gets very sore! The hat I'm currently sporting when out there is a cream-coloured panama with a black band, which rather resembles the one worn by Josh O'Connor, who plays Lawrence Durrell in the TV series "The Durrells."

Photo courtesy of British Period Dramas
Of course, like most blokes wearing one of these, I rather fancy it looks quite rakish on me. No one else would agree though. Probably. Hats and my head don't generally enhance each other. 

Anyway, there I was, passing the window, when I glanced sideways, just in time to see my dad staring back at me. Since he died in 2009, it was rather a shock. Of course, it wasn't really him, it was me. I'm morphing into him as I get older. I still miss him terribly and, if I'm honest, I don't mind this metamorphosis that I'm undergoing, because I rather though my dad was a looker, even when he was heading into his dotage.

What made me stop and reflect was more the fact that I turn 65 later this year and I shall soon be receiving my UK state pension. In true Bryan Adams style, I (like just about everyone who's ever lived) still consider myself to be eighteen on the inside. The trouble is, on the outside my body's started telling lies. In fact, it's got to the stage now when, if someone asks us how long we've been married, our reply indicates that we were married quite a few years before my wife was born. I never was good at maths.

So, here I am finding myself saying to friends that I'm "looking forward to receiving my pension, as it'll make quite a difference to our financial situation." Then I take myself in hand and ruminate on the fact that it can't be me saying that, can it? Surely not. After all, the chiropractor who I've just been to for an - what we'd call in the UK - MOT, agreed that I could pass for an eighteen-year old. From the neck down that is. OK, well, from just below the neck downward, maybe. Probably he was just humouring me though, after I told him what the surgeon had said when I had my hernia done a few years ago (check out this post).

Finally, we had a really, really lovely evening yesterday, when some friends from the UK of many years came over for a meal and we caught up on old times. Gareth, our dear friend Kim's fairly new husband, is as mad about music as I am, so there was no shortage of conversation there either. When, however, we got around to the subject of 'selfies", since Kim and Gareth are quite a bit younger than us and hence of the generation that's been weaned on mobile phones, I pronounced my dislike of them (selfies that is, not necessarily the phones), largely because one gets fed up of staring at peoples' nose hair. Gareth and Kim, though, have a lens that you attach to the phone which gives a wider angle to the shot. 

Thus, Gareth shot this one out on our driveway, and I have to admit, it's not half bad...

Gareth, Kim, Kim's mum Mary, my better half (Yvonne)Maria, me and Tessa, who's Mary's mum-in-law and Kim's grandma.
Ooh, and another thing, for those of us that have been young a couple of decades longer than others, the Lindos Rock event takes off on Wednesday for ten days. Tuesday 26th I'll be there listening to "Floyd in the Flesh", who played their debut gig here a couple of years ago. They were pretty good then, but I'm betting they've even improved since, with practice and experience. I'll be there among the rockers who usually have more hair coming out of their ears than they have left on their heads. 

Zimmers will be parked outside the door.

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