Gary Strachan – "Write" Said Fred

Off The Wall Essays From Deep Within A Capricious Mind

Still Standing

Recently I was asked by a younger acquaintance to describe life residing on the sometimes fraught pastures of middle age. They didn’t ask in exactly that manner, their enquiry delivered more along the lines of “It must be s**t being middle aged, you fat b*****d!” However, I thought my version more poetic.

Ordinarily, when questioned about the merits (or otherwise) of residing at this juncture of the ageing process I respond with cliched tales. Stories of diminishing bladder control, increased skin tag manifestation, short term memory loss and something else which I’m currently unable to recollect.

However, on this occasion I endeavoured to avoid the above old chestnut references to being one ageing step from being classed in my dotage. Instead informing my inquisitor that since reaching 50 years of age my days are predominantly spent asking my wife Karen if she’s seen my slippers, spectacles or the whatyamacallits.***

*** – The catch all term people of my vintage start utilising when floundering at recalling the word they seek.

For a while (I think) I’ve sought effective long-term solutions to help with the scourge of middle-aged forgetfulness. These included using memory jogging post-stick labels (both paper and electronic), smart phone apps designed to improve recollection capacity and asking my younger mate (whose still a few years off being 50) to remind me stuff.

Sadly, each approach has thus far failed to counter my recently acquired neurological tardiness. For example, I’m forever mislaying the post-stick reminder labels and the smart phone apps have yet to effectively address my erratic powers of recollection.

I also stopped utilising my 45 year old buddy as a reminder tool. This after growing tired of him trying to mischievously con me into believing he’d lent me £200 the previous week…… Subterfuge necessitating me to point out my memory wasn’t that chuffing bad!!

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I’ve noticed in middle age my right knee has started clicking when I walk up the stairs at chez Strachan. A disturbing development as, not only may the noise be the onset of arthritis, I live in a bungalow and am completely flummoxed as to where the stairs came from!!

Seriously though, being a pragmatist, from a personal perspective middle age has thus far thrown what I’d expected, apart from two life threatening illnesses (a heart attack in January and gastric haemorrhage in April). With that I mean a gradual increase in aches and pains, heightened cynicism, along with gaining an understanding of which plants thrive in ericaceous compost.

Once I’ve finished my cardio rehab gym in a few weeks, I’m determined to take out a gym membership at a local leisure centre. A move to continue my mental and physical recuperation that’ll hopefully contribute, with good diet, to keeping a tight rein on how gracefully I age.

It’s after 9pm and I’m still writing as a busy day meant I didn’t get the opportunity to start writing until around 7pm. This delay a consequence of undertaking garden maintenance for mater, a weekly food shop, along with a cinema visit to watch the Elton John biopic ‘Rocketman’.

Yes I’m firmly entrenched in middle age; yes I’ve suffered a heart attack in my mid-50’s; yes I was seriously ill last month following a gastric haemorrhage. However, as Elton sang from the rock pulpit after emerging stronger from his tougher time “I’m Still Standing!”

Categories: Blogs, fiction, health/medical, humour

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