71 Things About Getting Older

1 Knees start to go, where I’m not sure. Is there another dimension filled with leg middles somewhere?
2 Bones stiffen. Hands, wrists and ankles. My arms either feel floaty and not attached to me properly or heavy as lead pipes dangling off the roof of a vandalised church.
3 Dexterity in the fingers gets less and less until I can’t tell what my fingers are touching anymore. Where once the fingertips were one of the most sensitive parts of the body, everything now feels like rice paper.
4 Eyes start to go. Can’t read texts or the comments on Facebook without glasses. I didn’t upgrade my phone I changed it to get a bigger screen.
5 Hesitate at the top of dark stairwells.
6 Put my seatbelt on in the backseat of cars straight away. If I can’t find the buckle I start squawking, ‘I can’t find the buckle to my seatbelt.’
7 People that drive buses and serve me in shops look like children.
8 Land into chairs, not a gentle lowering.
9 Feel out of focus less locked onto life and miss the most obvious things.
11 Hair loses its lustre.
12 Can’t sit cross-legged for more than five minutes.
13 Walk down stairs unconsciously then realise half way down that I’m walking down stairs, then scare myself that I could’ve easily fallen without knowing it.
14 Worry more about certain things.
15 Care less about everything.
16 Worry less about everything.
17 Care more about certain things.
18 Sit down on benches in town.
19 Sit down at gigs.
20 Takes a few attempts to put the key into the front door lock.
21 When I get some new technology the first this I do is increase the font size in the accessibility section of settings.
22 Got glasses.
23 Drugs change. Friends still slip each other pills they just have different names; less catchy, more scientific sounding.
24 Have to be careful when coughing.
25 Fall asleep anywhere at anytime apart from at night – it’s getting closer and closer to the day I won’t wake up.
26 Hold the banister going down stairs.
27 Cold gets right in my bones.
28 Wind blows right through me.
29 Uncomfortable to sit in the sun too long.
30 Bed not as soft and womb-like as it once was.
31 The cold air at night stiffens my neck and right elbow.
32 When I kiss my girlfriend our glasses hit each other and make a clicking sound.
33 In laptop light my fingers are starting to look all old and gnarled and brown like ET’s fingers.
34 Getting out of a BMW roadster is near impossible.
35 Don’t want to go to see anything at the Warehouse Project like ever.
36 No idea who is Number 1 in the charts.
37 A vague notion of what the charts are.
38 Water escapes from my vagenie half an hour after a bath.
39 When I stand up from a sitting position I am still in the sitting position.
40 Lose blood circulation in arse from sitting down too long.
41 Start shaving nasal hair.
42 Make a beeline for any clearly identified priority seats for elderly and disabled people on public transport.
43 A lot more talk about illnesses instead of what’s sexy or being cool.
44 Trying to out do other people’s illnesses in conversation.
45 Falling in love is different. It is much more scary.
46 Problems are easier to solve.
47 When I go shopping I get the basket with the long handle and wheels so I can pull it around like a dog on a lead.
48 Knicker elastic around leg holes chafes on inner thighs.
49 Need a seat in bars.
50 Prefer conversation to music.
51 Bands that I think are as popular and fresh as when I was young only have a few thousand hits on YouTube.
52 Being honest and true to yourself gets easier and deeper.
53 Buy clothes from the same rack as my mum in the M&S Outlet Clearance Store in Salford Quays.
54 Keep putting the wrong passcodes in my computer and phone.
55 Watch telly with the sound down.
56 I keep seeing people who I think I know and vaguely recognise from afar. Up close they look nothing like them.
57 Can’t reverse parallel park as well due to less turn in my neck.
58 TV shows have to really fucking good for me to watch a six season box set. Time is of the essence.
59 Will start watching a film then pause it to watch the rest of it the next day instead of ploughing on even though I’m tired because I must see the end.
60 Stagger to left.
61 Stagger to the right.
62 Walk into doorframes.
63 One Monday morning in May 2013 I noticed that the first knuckle on my right index finger is larger on the right. It feels lumpy and numb yet tender and tight all at the same time. Is this the beginning of arthritis?
64 Lost my glasses. Found them under my hat on my head.
65 Stepping down off high things IE anything more than four inches high like a kerb causes wee to fall out.
66 Grip lessens in hands.
67 Wrists hurt for ages after holding onto to something.
68 See your youth recycled again and again and again.
69 Bed shrinks.
70 Relationships with loved ones cement in the lines of your life.
71 Letting go of things is easier.

The Tory and The Tramp


The Lady and the TrampMy feet were still hurting from the march on Sunday just gone. I didn’t care too much as I practically floating on hope in the overflow of people, the seven thousand strong on a Monday night, who couldn’t get in to Manchester Cathedral to see Jeremy Corbyn speak at the People’s Post protest. Outside the organisers erected a gazebo and sound system near Harvey Nicks and Selfridges so old JC and friends could speak to us as well. His main point was to try and save the last fifteen per cent of the Royal Mail and the heart of the postal service – the cherished Universal Service. This service is the promise that no matter where you live, whether that be Land’s End or John O’Groats, if you pay 63p on one day, your first class letter will get there the next.

We the people all pointed forwards like penguins at feeding time. Hungry for change, we clapped after every sentence was delivered. Posties everywhere were coming alive in our minds as a vital part of what makes Britain Great. Suddenly in the thick of it, a scuffle. A voice even louder than those on stage could be heard above our heads.

“Excuse me.” We the people moved out of the way.

“Excuse me.” We the people shuffled back stepping on each other’s toes.

A ripple effect was going through the crowd. Heads turned. Necks craned. Eyes darted nervously around. An old man in a blue pin striped suit wearing thick glasses marched through holding his briefcase aloft.

“Excuse me,” he bellowed in a voice more powerful than his slight frame would suggest. He was oblivious there was a rally going on. He cut through everyone easily. He disappeared into the sodium night. He left behind a trail of questions surfing waves of bemusement on the warm night air.

The penguins settled back down. A few moments later a leathery man with thick black hair and a beard appeared in our midst. He had piercing grey eyes. He held up a crushed polystyrene cup to one person then another. He mumbled, “Mer ner eeee.” No heads turned. Hands scratched at necks. Eyes fixed self-consciously on the stage. No-one moved. The skinny shabby man slid in between the cracks in the crowd. He occasionally repeated his incoherent mumble. His cup stayed as light on the way down as on the way up. No-one wondered who was he or where was he going. We the people couldn’t afford to look.

I shifted my weight from the left foot to the right and back again, desperate to get some feeling into my heels. Up on tip toes I got a better view of Jeremy stood square on to the crowd. His clothes were too big for him: a light grey tweedy suit coat, dark trousers, and a billowy white shirt haphazardly tucked in. He had new glasses. Half way through his speech he chucked away his crib notes. His hand jabbed the air awkwardly. His was a different kind of leadership; an intelligent academic voice, not a anaphylactic political one, and it rang soft, insistent and true.