My passport went off for renewal last week. Naturally, the application process entailed getting some new identity photos.
Or, as it’s also known, a reality check.
Compared to ten years ago I’m rather paler (the Abu Dhabi tan has long faded) and the face fungus is still a comparatively recent addition. Otherwise, not too bad really: a little more lived-in of course, but the jowls are still defying gravity and no signs of turkey neck as yet. Overall, can’t complain. I’m certainly not the oldest-looking 62 year old I know, and I don’t look like my own idea of what a 62 year old ought to look like. Although who knows whether that’s right or not?
Obviously, I’m not in the first flush of youth (if indeed I ever was), but neither am I completely decrepit (other opinions are available). Anyway, appearances aren’t everything. In terms of Shakespeare’s seven ages of man, I reckon I’m somewhere in the early stages of number five:
“…..And then, the justice,
In fair round belly, with a good capon lined,
With eyes severe, and beard of formal cut,
Full of wise saws, and modern instances,”
So hopefully a way to go before we get to the lean and slippered pantaloon stage. Even if a bit more ‘lean’ probably wouldn’t come amiss.
All this has led me to muse on some of the less obvious signs of ageing. Apart from the archetypal one of all the policemen looking younger than they used to, I came up with a few more, which I offer up now as a checklist for my readership who, just like me, are not getting any younger (fact). You’re welcome.
- You realise that on the day you were born people as old as you are now were born in 1890. That’s even before Ceefax.
- Confucianism sounds increasingly attractive because you read somewhere that it’s big on respect for the aged.
- Presidents and prime ministers also look younger than you. Because they are.
- You buy a few things at the local shop for loose change and realise that for what you’ve paid you could once have fed your family for a week. And had to.
- Nobody looks at you disapprovingly when you sit in the seats reserved for OAPs on the bus.
- A ‘Pointless’ question on music of the ’90s or later might as well have been asked in Klingon for al the sense it makes.
- You know what Klingon is.
- You watch your seven year-old grandson playing Minecraft and have absolutely no idea what’s going on.
- The text messages you send are always grammatically correct and spelled properly.
- You still send text messages.
- You start to use the expression ‘in our day’ (but not yet).
Most importantly of all, you keep telling yourself to make the most of today, because – slowly but surely – you’re running out of tomorrows.