There’s no fool etc etc

There’s no fool etc etc

What’s that expression?

“There’s no fool like an old fool”.

One of the tragic things about getting old is that:

(a)  despite all the evidence to the contrary, you never think it’s going to happen to you

(b)  no one, other than yourself, actually gives a damn about the fact you’re getting old and creaky and wrinkly.

(c)  the world today is definitely geared towards youngsters & not wrinklies.

I go through moments like this every time I have to state my age…”dammit, Christine, despite the wrinkly crinkly face, you still feel about 23 in your heart and your brain, so how come you are SO old?!!!”  – that kind of daft, totally pointless conversation.

Since I started getting really old, as opposed to being in middle-aged denial, I began to do things I’d never done before – notably running & mountain climbing, both of which are known to be uber safe pursuits for senior citizens, right?

But one of the very, very rare advantages of age is that you actually don’t give the proverbial anymore, so, most of the time, I ignore the carping and the not-so-subtle “What are you trying to prove…at your age…don’t you think…you are being ridiculous…what are you trying to prove…”

And then.


It hits you.

I was just climbing in the Himalayas for two weeks, on a super fun climbing course, with an attempt to summit Friendship Peak.  As ever, I was about 50 years older than everyone else in the group – yeah, OK, slight exaggeration, but everyone was so damn young.

Loved every single minute of it, survived with no major damage other than hideous sunburn, had a blast…and then, in the car on the way down from Solang with the first connectivity in 2 weeks, I got a message that a friend of mine from Oxford had died.

I met Michael when I was 18, and an undergraduate.  And now the dear man had died.  I sat in the cab, with a slightly bemused but very kind Himachali cabbie, and wept for my friend.

And then, surprisingly, rather than making a decision to abandon crazy activities like climbing and running marathons, and take care of myself, the exact opposite happened.

Bloody hell I could be the next.

Carpe diem and all that stuff.

Michael will be buried today, in Gloucester.

And just so long as I can, I will continue to run, and climb, and fall over, and get sunburned, and learn how to slide down a mountain slope and arrest my fall with my ice axe…

One comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *