Friday, 17 January 2014

'Know Thy Place'

    In some respects this post is a natural follow up from my last post. And it comes about because of something I recently read. Evidently visitors to  hospital 'A and E' departments suffering from cannabis, cocaine and amphetamine overdoses, particularly around seventy five  year olds have increased massively over the years. The suggestion is that twenty year old representatives of the 'flower power, free love' years of the 1960's are at least partly to blame. Ah, I remember them well; any of you, dear readers  dare also put your hands up!
    My quirky mind started to go into overdrive. They're not assuming, I surmised, that its almost OK for long haired, bearded student types (and that's only the girls) ' to indulge in such drug induced frivolity, but staid, upstanding geriatric types, never! And it began to dawn on me how much 'society' puts us all into categories, groups. The expectations of others makes, or tries to make us 'conform' whether we like it or not. We may or may not like it, but my goodness, we lump it, so to speak.
    Most of us live in houses, in the western world at least; at the beginning probably with little choice as to where. But as we 'prosper', heaven forbid, we aspire to better things. We move to bigger houses, better places. Ever been to Derby, my friends? What is it they say, nothing special but 'There's no place like home.' Yet within all of is a desire to be different. So often in little boxes with our green doors, or blue, or black, orange or white, we dream of bigger and better things. And one day, in the far distant future, worn out but happy, our house with its green, blue,  black, orange or white door paid for, we die happy. And the children sell our little house with its green, blue, black, orange or white door, split the proceeds between them and look for something bigger, better; same old confines, same old story.
    Now I do realise I've exaggerated the picture just a little! (Oh come on, you can't really expect the 'History of The Western World' in just two paragraphs!) But you know, what's the modern term, 'where I'm coming from'.  But the part that particularly fascinates me is the end bit, you know, the bit between paying all the debts off and doing what I like (WE if the dear wife has also survived the journey)  before shuffling off this mortal stage. You may, just may have some money left, legally or otherwise that the Government or the children have not yet prized off you. And there are things you might like to do, mainly legal before you 'shuffle off', so to speak. And, if what you fancy doing, large or small is within your grasp, is do-able, so to speak go for it. If eyebrows are raised by your aspirations, great, you're on the right track.
So you've got some money in the bank, great! Fancy some transport? How about a Ford, A working man's car; you still consider yourself a working man so a Ford it is! Wrong. How about a Volvo, owned by many a retired man. Solid, reliable; yawningly boring!  Or how about a second hand ten year old 'cheepo' similar to many other second hand cheepos' you've had for the past thirty years. The children will love that, money saved to share out when you've said your last goodbyes.
    I bought a new car in the summer. The first new car I've ever bought. (Very novel I thought at aged seventy three.) I thought of all the things the 'young uns' would have fitted to their cars if they could afford it: bucket seats, tinted windows, sports suspension, spoiler, stripes, metallic paint, top of the range model. Half of which was unnecessary. So I bought a car of my choice that had: bucket seats, tinted windows, sports suspension, spoiler, stripes, metallic paint and top of the range model.  
    I suppose the point I'm making is that we are barely in charge of our lives, from beginning to end. And we live within restraints, whatever our wealth, our 'station in life'. BUT if there ARE goals, however small you wish to achieve, go for them whilst there is still time.
     I thought you might like the sketch concerning The British and their attitude concerning The Class System made famous by Ronnie's Barker and Corbett. I've always thought the British 'Oh so set in their ways'. If you doubt me, an example concerning the attitude towards 'old' people and sex.  Any couple over seventy years of age, sit in a local bus shelter and give your partner a kiss. Be ready for the horrified looks. (eighteen years olds doing the same, no problem.) For maximum effect, same couple, keep a straight face and announce at the next cocktail party you attend, 'Oh by the way, you do realise we are sexually active.' You will no doubt be remembered forever!(There will be readers no doubt that will be highly embarrassed by even the mention of such 'goings on'.) If so, my apologies; we are oh so conditioned in the western world! 


Bitchy said...

Well I guess I am a bit of an odd duck as if I se an old couple still kissing and even holding hands in public it just reminds me that their is hope for me and my better half to still love each other after half a centry... And nope I have told my step daughter to enjoy all the traveling and stuff we do together because I plan on going out of this mortal world broke nothing but the money to pay for my cremation.But with all the memories I am going to make with the money I spend will make me one of the richest people I have ever meet.

Grumpy Old Ken said...


I love your philosophy re life. You and I are in many ways different yet I have no doubt we learn from each other. Good luck on your travels.