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ALONE AND AGEING (and We Moved House) WE MUST BE MAD!




Hello everyone (optimistic).  Just Trish and - here she is - Lilley, back in the room.



‘YOU. Ageing, Childless person. You don’t matter.  


Long as you know’. 


You talkin’ to me? 


'Guess we’ll find out…'


............................................................


And so - finally - after several months of trekking the house moving jungle, scouring local handyman listings and an intimate knowledge of the area's official tip - we're back. 


I say again - just me and her.  We’re nifty at it, I’ll give you that.  Good job we are really, innit?


I/we have moved house many, many times in my lifetime and I've never really had a problem with any of it.  Until this move.  And I've been trying to work out why it's been so difficult.  It isn't just because of my age or being alone.  I've moved several times alone and gone straight back to work. Why so difficult? Well, partly I think it may be because this house is a new build and, as such, you don't get anything in it but the necessities.  It might have something to do with the never ending pile of boxes. What in the name of Jesus, Mary, Joseph and the little donkey had I got in 'em? Clothes that I will NOT ever wear but CANNOT rid. Ornaments that 'have meaning' yet I didn't miss one iota whilst I was renting for almost twelve months. 


I decided I must waft through 'my stuff' and get ridding. Bit by bit.  


It's taken me months to reverse our arse ends up position as we work our way though our new house.  I'm utterly knackered and please remember I am elderly.  Perhaps that's why we are where we are in the way of things. Confused, dizzy, frequently to be found stood in the middle of the kitchen for no particular reason and hanging by a thread to 'optimistic'. 


Note: at almost 75 I AM elderly.  What I get is a voice from the back of the room going 'no, you're not'. Yes I bloody am!  Let me tell you what it means - I require special treatment in shops, public transport and anything digital. My name becomes Patricia not Trish to anyone in authority roles, local or otherwise.  Especially to builders who clearly enjoy saying the full name. I realise it makes me sound like the spinster neighbour in an Agatha Christie novel but I'll take it. 


The other side of coin - in my head I remain aged 28.  Something momentous must have happened at that time of my life but I'm so old I can't remember it.  I no longer particularly care what I look like as I walk the dog across the park. The thought of sitting alone on a park bench (exhausted and aching) is an absolute must and outright pleasure.  Guess I must resemble a bag lady at that point. She skips off to pastures new for her meet and greets of recognised furry pals and I doze quietly in the sun.  Inevitably a child becomes involved in the doggy gang and one must stir to avoid complete chaos.  There will be a young mum with a triple decker pushchair thingy and youngsters of varying ages hanging out the sides.  Everyone's happy. 


Now I tell you all this and I make light of, what has been for me, a darned difficult time and, OK I know I'm not in the middle of a warzone, but one must carry on.  


 One has no choice, apparently. 


So,I say again, we're kind of back in the room.  Apologies if our tale takes a bit of a swerve as being ageing, alone, childless has had big, big impact this time round. 


That will be my theme from now on.  


We look forward to the ride…



The photo shoot that ended up as (what is commonly known) a 'sh*t show' due to onlookers and bystanders. Including one chap whose dog wouldn't clear off so when he attempted to catch it, he fell *rse over tit in the sand. Smack in front of us as we photo shot. Folk stood around like they thought we were famous 'cos I'd got a tripod! Anyway, thank you marvellous Trusthorpe Beach, Lincolnshire, with your wide and wonderul, endless skies and views.


And so…


I went in for my recent rheumatoid arthritis check ups and came out with a physio appointment and a cataract referral.  No idea, if you're asking.  Nice enough chap, the consultant, but couldn't understand a word he said and clearly reciprocal. Anyway,  I'll sort it as there's no one else to sort it.  The NHS are determined to give me an appointment somewhere so if I could suggest cosmetic surgery?  I'd be up for that…


Anyway, back in the room, and how are you?  Been a while and It's no good me apologising but I will if you wish.  


Just to be clear, I don't mind being 'of years'.  It's alright a lot of the time.  I don't mind being on my own - most of the time.  But at night times, when I watch the tele, it's all families.  More than ever. Not meaning to be a Depressing Debbie but I can't see it ever being any different or any better in the future.  


Governments want young people and they want them to breed.  We oldies can flaunt our 'young look' selves all we like.  And, by God, we do!  (Note: please put it away if you're out there with your naked bits on display on Instagram. Who wants to see that at any age? I’ve got a full length mirror for that caper). And - a workman called me marvellous the other day. To be honest I have a feeling it was one of those 'patty heady' kind of things folk do to old people. Like giving a condescending  'aaah' at you when you randomly shout Led Zeppelin and then follow it up with Duo Lippy as you struggle to keep pace. 


Somewhere in the ether we have our place we oldies, we aloners.  It should be called welcomed, adored and worshipped.  Allowed to work, Goddamit (frankly, at any age if you're capable of the job).


I've even considered starting up my old business of estate agency again. (Joanne, if you're out there?).  At my advanced yearage and I'll tell you why…


First of all I could do with the money.  Obviously one has to pay out to start up a business but, as I know what I'm doing in said business for once, it should start to make money reasonably well in first twelve months (Fearless Fran here brandishing her sabre and shield with a sprinkling of mindless optimism). But also, in spite of various news channels reporting on the wealth of we oldies  - who are they?  Where are they?  Wiltshire and the Home Counties plus Islington?  Don't see 'em living round my way.  Anyway, as I say - startup in old age -  it's all just a little, wriggle thought in my muddly, fuddly shrinking head. 


Also - and here comes the bummer - I kind of feel childless has enough folk on its bandwagon without me. Occasionally, or very occasionally, shoving in a couple of left wheel snippets. (Not political left, by the way. Just to be clear..)


I do believe AWOCUK are doing great work in the social service, ageing childless sector.  Which is what is needed for we without kids.  And who can compete with Jody Day at Gateway?  Or Sue at York AWOCUk?  And so many other marvellous men and women across the globe. 


What I do is who I am - ageing, childless, oft times hopeless, - living my life.  Muddled, befuddled and alone.  


A very windy, blustery Moulton Marsh Sea Bank, Lincolnshire with its endless views and and wonderful bird watching opportunities. This is near our new home, now. We're in South Lincolnshire, you see. Not far from the North Norfolk border so guess where we'll be going - a lot.



But, it has come to pass as time marches on, I'm more than 'being childless'.  It doesn't define me.  I'm neither proud of it nor ashamed of it.  Sometimes I want to shout it from the nearest rooftop (that'd be an interesting Tik Tok - how to get an old person on the nearest rooftop).  But most times I'm just living my life best I can.  With or without 'being childless'.  


(Do you know - I’ve just proof read all of the above and, for a nano, wondered who the hell I was writing about).  


You can’t help it when you describe yourself. It ends up sounding like someone else.  Because the sheer, visceral misery of my s*dding life appears to have just been whitewashed in the above witterings.  


Me and her .. frankly I don’t know how we’re both still here.  The stuff!  She’s now on arthritic tablets which also appear to  have some sort of supernatural woo woo effect on her.  I’m going to ‘strength for oldies’ classes as the HP Sauce bottle top has become a challenge to open. That’s the line in the sand isn’t it, really? Also, I figure if I start going to the local big Church services every Sunday I’ll guarantee myself Christmas Day lunch somewhere.  Now that IS sad!


So, you see nothing’s really changed for us.  It/we remain chaotic, reactive not proactive (sales team talk), hopeful whilst hopeless, lonely when all around is family talk - especially the tele.  


And yes - childless.  We remain childless. I say 'we' when you know who I mean.  She adores kids, you know? 


Someone told me to make her an official ‘Assistance Dog’.  She’s five years of age. She’s most definitely set in her ways.  I can’t see it.  Another bright spark suggested I put a jacket on her and paint ‘assistance’ on the jacket.  For some reason I’d not thought of that.  


It’s so she can accompany me everywhere - shops, pubs, dentist (?).  Because I need her. I lean on her. I lose confidence if she’s not there.  


All true, by the way.  


Sometimes she has her own 'accompaniment' in the shape of. a handsome young man called Barney. He's younger than her so guess that makes him her toy boy? She annoys him, actually. Can't say I blame him.



But I don’t want her spirit dampened by ‘good behaviour’ as an Assistance dog.  She encompasses good behaviour in public but she has her moments privately.  And best we don't mention her Teddy Bear.


Anyway, I got to thinking. The above is very genuine so, although at present I don't need her picking up my library book if it falls on the floor nor reminding me to switch the tele off, I do need her with me. For instance I had an invite to a very important  official event in London coming up, to discuss stuff we all discuss here and other relevant sites and I'm invited as an ageing, alone, slightly disabled person.  Who definitely has need of the NHS and may need Social Services later in life. 


But I've lost a lot of confidence. The thought of travelling down there on my own then navigating 'journeys' exhausts me, to be honest.  See, people tell me about age (like I don't know!) and I empathise - I do. And we're all different under the bonnet and so thus produce various reactions to situations. Some are confident, some are shy and so on and so on. But age and the current environment of 'don't speak to me nor look me in the eyes' makes me anxious. Not something I've ever suffered from in my long life but I do now. Little L helps with my anxiety.  She picks up the slightest bit of concern and walks steadily by my side.  She may well be little but she's a mighty presence.  I can mutter to her.  We've not got to the level whereby she answers me back with solutions but I am lost when she's not there. 


Also, her funny face starts conversations with passing strangers. 


And I feel calmed. 


 But it seems a girl needs a jacket with a slogan across its back.  Suggestions for a suitable slogan please. And keep it clean! 


The lens is wrong before any photographers start. I know that now. But still, I quite like the effect. A beautiful afternoon at Moulton Nature Reserve, again. Look at the space. An endless horizon



I must pick up on my above comment about the 'age' thing.  At almost 75 I struggle a tad with folk telling me they're old at aged 55 plus.  It's not for me to tell a person their 'social' (if you like) age but come on…55 is not old.  Neither is 65, to be honest.  I never felt remotely old until I hit 72.  Then I felt old. But not for long.  


Can I mention ill health at this point?  (Obviously the following excludes those of you who, for medical reasons, are unable to exercise.  Sending much love and good wishes to you all).  For those who can, listen up -  because me and her pose like 'good 'uns' in front of our new camera it doesn't mean I'm not rattling with my daily dosage.  If I said 'can't' instead of  'get up, get out 'cos you can'.  If I said 'can't' instead of  'take the damn tablets for back pain and go forth'. Or 'walk with a stick'. I walk with a stick because if I didn't I couldn't walk. So what? Who's looking? Who cares? Because the NHS and Social Services are, quite rightly. 'politely' coming for you.  


If we're going to live longer we must try to live better.  If we can - through exercise and good diet.  Otherwise the country is going to sink under our ageing population weight.  It is our responsiblity to age better by ageing healthily.  And we ageing without children folk, are oft between a rock and a hard place, let's be honest. 


But, listen  - if that's not your bag it's fine - for you. But no good complaining when your body says 'what's walk? Are you mad?'  And eventually the NHS goes down like the Titanic. 


Aah - I can hear the ol' refrain of 'we can't all be the same, Trish, can we?'  No we can't.  But I will say this - I have no one. No one at all.  If I didn't get out the chair, walk with a stick, take the tablets I might be placed in a Home.  On my tod and Lilley taken away.  Because 'I can't' became the refrain.  It's my responsibility to myself to stay as healthy as possible with good diet and some exercise.  I have no soft landing, you see - you know!


Please keep mobile for as long as you can if you can. Take your prescriptive pain killers (under medical guidance, obviously), walk with a stick (because no one is looking at you, promise) enjoy your food but eat sensibly.  


Or don't do any of that.  But don't complain if stuff goes a tad tits up.  But hey - it's still not too late to come join us and let's get - older better.



One of us attempting getting 'older better'. With 'young' friends Marie and daughter Milly. At my new house. Always lovely to see them and anyone else who'd like to drop by. Lilley distancing herself from Barney and - very naughty but gorgeous - Daisy the dachshund.



I'll finish with the one reason I started all of this blog stuff. The reason I feel I have no choice but to look after myself as best I can, dietary and exercise(ry?), is because there is no soft landing for me and her.  Well, there might be one for her but not me.  There is no middle aged child, grandchild, holding out a metaphorical trampoline for me to bounce onto when/if I hit the buffers.  So -  only I am responsible for the two of us.  I have no siblings, remember.  There is many of you out there in the ether living the same ol' song.  


Don't anyone think it's been easy.  It's not.  


Resilience is not for everyone, I'll give you that.  But it's more than a word.  It's a lifestyle that's been thrust upon some of us.  And I'll tell you this - it's better than the alternative! 


…………………………………….


 'In awe I watched the waxing moon ride across the zenith of the heavens like an ambered chariot towards the ebony void of infinite space wherein the tethered belts of Jupiter and Mars hang, for ever festooned in their orbital majesty. And as I looked at all this I thought …I must put a roof on this toilet'.  Les Dawson ( late, great, British writer and comedian)


'We'll be back and sooon I say - be soooon!'


(To quote the late, great Hilda Baker and for any under 60s. Look it up…)


See ya, luvverly people! Xxx


A winters day at Chambers Farm Woods, Wragby, Lincs., Just me and Lilley does me fine.


Thank you and Goodnight for now! xx

















8 comments

8 Comments


Guest
3 days ago

As always, I love this post. Congratulations on landing a new home. If you're old, I'm right behind you, trying to keep moving and taking care of myself as long as possible. Keep writing. We love it.

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Guest
Jul 07

I look forward to reading your posts and I feel that a friend is talking to me. Keep strong and wishing you and Lilley all the best. Xx

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Guest
Jun 29

Bloody amazing blog Patricia. You write so well and have a brilliant sense of humour. Very courageous strong woman even if you don’t always feel it - a true inspiration ❣️ x

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Replying to

Thank you. Really appreciated. I definitely feel better now for your very kind words xxx

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Guest
Jun 29

Yay! The fabulous duo are back! The world has missed you, dear Trish (or should I call you Patricia now?!) Love, Jody x

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Replying to

Wey hey! Jody, Jody - I've missed you an' all. It's not been a bad time. It's not been a great time. It's been a lot of time is all I'm saying. Any road up - it feels darn good to be back - albeit somewhere in ether land. When I get to 'back of the net' I'll celebrate with a glass of (zero alcohol, naturally at my age) wine. He! he! Really good to hear from you Jody. Thank you xxx. Hope you keeping OK, by the way? Looking good, I must say xxx

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Guest
Jun 29

Hello Patricia, I love reading your updates! And you are an absolutely beautiful woman for your age! It's funny, but I also just went through a house move and into a new build and yes they are a lot smaller aren't they? It was exhausting, just myself and my two dogs. Absolutely exhausting. Anyway, just to say hello and send a big hug to you and the little white one :-) I reckon there's quite a few souls like us out there....

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Replying to

Thank you for your kind words. I'll take your lovely hugs and a big hello with hearts back to you! xxx

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