The Cork Board

The Pedantry Confessions


It’s a strange thing, getting older. On the one hand you are grateful for the continued birthdays – the alternative is unappealing – and on the other your body isn’t as rigorous as it used to be. At 65 I didn’t care too much. Everything felt much the same. Somehow at 66 suddenly everyone is a lot younger, as if that single birthday has signalled a shift in consciousness.

It’s just a number, people say. Agreed. Other numbers include 26, 36 and 46.

I know that to this point my lifestyle has been a subconscious balance of enjoying the pleasures of life whilst trying to maximise my chances of prolonging it.

I’ve had to give up on the hippie dream of peace and love, man. But only lately. Perhaps a little naivety protects us from endless disappointments. We become what we always were in our youth – just a little saggier in skin and bone. 

Arnold_now
still wouldn’t let Arnie punch me

 

 

One of the most frustrating aspects of ageing is that the body takes longer to heal these days.

For example, Mrs.Monkey had retired early after a hard day self-isolating and I stayed up to watch a Vietnamese film about a man who recalls his past lives ( I suddenly realise how apropos that is). She was fast asleep in darkness when I retired so I thought it would be thoughtful to get ready for bed in darkness so as to not disturb her. When I say darkness I mean DARK. We have BLACKOUT curtains. Nothing shall pass. 

Imagine my surprise to find that in order to stand on one leg to remove your trousers it is easier if you “spot” on a point, like dancers do when spinning. Otherwise your notion of balance is somewhat impaired. One leg free of trouser and one leg waving to get free I spun like a shot flamingo and crashed into the wardrobe wrenching my ubiquitous dodgy knee. Mrs. Monkey snored on. The knee, however, doesn’t quite bounce back like it used to and has temporarily turned me into Chester from “Gunsmoke”. (Dated reference.)

Thus I’m beginning the day massaging the offending limb. Day 9 of self-isolation lockdown house arrest and I’m very disappointed in the spelling and lack of punctuation on show in our village lockdown Facebook support group. I suspect that the curse of autofill may be part of the problem, but only part. In my early days as a manager I used to read all customer correspondence sent out by my staff until they upped their game. I’d use a red pen too (in self-parody). One of my “stars” still calls me “Teach”. I was fierce on the difference between “affect” and “effect”. Screenshot 2020-03-30 at 18.02.49

My own black spot is the use of “its” – “it’s”. Dang it!  Yesterday I entered a flash fiction competition only to find that I’d tripped up over an “it’s”. Somehow I‘d gone a£&e over its. So, not winning that one then. 

The day has begun. I’m off to perch on one leg in the shower. Pray for me.

 

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