turning 60

Big day! An achievement of sorts, I suppose….avoiding one’s demise this long. What if anything does it signify?

If there was ever any doubt, its now clear I am more than half way. Although in these modern times, 60 is not considered old, it is certainly not young. Despite my best efforts, physical powers are dwindling. Aches and pains are daily companions. The need for spectacles grows steadily. And so on…

Mental changes are more difficult to chart. I’m certainly more absent minded. I’m also calmer and more patient. I’m probably not as sharp, but I might be a little wiser. Which in my case adds up to admitting that not a one of us knows a damned thing about anything. Not really.

In the UK there are a number of things I am now entitled to! Famously there is the bus pass, which allows free travel on local buses. I will mostly pass(sic) on this. Where I live, buses come when it suits them, then sit interminably in dreadful traffic. I can walk there faster. I have a very nice bike, the riding of which may keep me nimble a little longer. What I have recently discovered, which is far more appealing, is that henceforth I can swim in the local pool for free. A good habit I have developed will no longer cost me a penny.

Other than that, I am now entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment to help with the cost of staying warm. There are a number of things that have special rates for us old-timers; cinemas, trains, theatres & art galleries, etc…. I will now get free prescriptions, sight tests, and chiropody.

So, as my friend just said, ‘It pays to survive!’ From here on in, the state will provide more and more rewards, culminating at the age of 100 in a telegram from Her Majesty. Although, as her teeth are even longer than mine, the chances are she will pop her clogs before I do. So if I make it that far, there will most likely be a ‘His Majesty’ on the throne. In order to receive this telegram, you must ask for an application form at least 6 weeks before your 100th birthday, but you mustnt send it in any earlier than 3 weeks before.

Which demonstrates that even at 100, if you crave recognition, you still have to work for it. A bit like the ‘Tell me you love me!’ request, innit?

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