Letter: Sad old man

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The Independent Culture
Sad old man

Sir: I sat down to read John Walsh's article "All our tomorrows" (11December), and felt much comforted by its chatty appraisal of what it feels like to be faced with approaching old age. Yes, I thought, he's got it right; obviously he is facing the same problems of change of tempo as I am.

In fact I had been thinking almost exactly those same thoughts a few minutes earlier as I jog-trotted home from the hairdresser's. It was necessary to trot as it was too cold to walk, but en route I had cursed my growing awareness of arthritis in my right hip. Too bad that age has to take its toll in this way.

Then I read on. Suddenly my idle appraisal of the article was catapulted out of its languor. I realised that I am almost half as old again as John Walsh. John, wake up! What are you doing, thinking of yourself as becoming old? You are scarcely in the middle years! It sounds as if your attitudes are hardening before your arteries do. Change your outlook and maybe the arteries will last a bit longer also!

See you in the yellow-curtained day-room, in about 40 years. I shall be 103, you a dapper 85-year-old.


Newport Pagnell, Buckinghamshire