Myself? I have been coming to terms with this “advancing years” thing since my late twenties. An ever increasing need to seek support for various parts of my body. A chest of drawers full of various bits of underwear that promise higher buttocks and breasts, pants to flatten the tummy, trousers to trim the thighs, tops to shorten your neck and various bits of big sparkly jewellery to draw the eye to an ever lengthening cleavage and away from the landslides that have occurred in other areas of my personage.
While all of this support can give the impression of youth, I am convinced that it is in the mind you must try and remain young; try new experiences, use your active brain, and take on new challenges, all help to stave off the feeling of impending doom. Mention of this to my husband a few years ago, and it would have instigated cries of “there is still time”,” if your good enough you’re young enough”, “you can’t buy experience like mine” and “some of these youngsters would kill for a left foot like mine” Lately, as he as approached forty, his mood has mellowed, with brief periods of acceptance that there may not be a career in football for him. On several occasions he has suggested that as the children were getting older we should look for something that we could do together. Hiding my horror and stalling for time, I agreed, and said I would give it some thought, as long as it mean’t keeping our clothes on, and it wouldn’t create any conflict with my TV schedule.
Unfortunately my plan of stalling in the hope that reality would dawn on my husband’s ambitions to be a footballer backfired. A friend of ours generously arranged a surprise drinks party at her house overlooking a river. Many of our family and friends were there, and a good time was being had by all. Early in the party, a guest spotted through the window an Osprey in a tree, and flying above it a Red Kite. As we watched from the window, the Osprey dropped from the tree and took a trout in its talons from the river, apparently, a rare sight in this part of the world and one that drew sighs of wonder from the watching party goers. My husband stood silent, transfixed, and then turned to me and said in a whisper:
“It’s a sign, on such an auspicious day we have been given a sign!” Stanley Mathews played until he was fifty three, and so did Puskas, I still have my dream, I shall play on!”
“Good grief” I exclaimed
“It’s a fish-eating bird, eating a fish, how can that be a sign of anything? It’s not like its using chopsticks or cutlery is it?, more like the Vultures gathering if you ask me!"
And so we are back to where we were five years ago. Emboldened by his new found vim, vigour and virility, he explained at length to several friends at the party, that in some cultures this would be a significant event. If, for example, he were a North American Indian, his next job would be to add a Kite and an Osprey to his totem pole, and start looking for a football team with a bird Motif. After convincing him that it was only an Osprey, not a bloody Liver Bird, I persuaded him to wait for Liverpool to ring him rather than he ringing them, then we went home.
Since then I have gone down my “trying new things route”, and have secretly booked a course of dancing lessons for two starting in a few weeks time, if he hasn’t returned to his senses by then I shall be straight on the phone to Anton Dubeck with an offer he simply cannot refuse. Two hours a week tripping the light fantastic with Anton? Now that would keep me young!