Archive for the ‘Age’ Category

Previously on Bignjuicy

Friday, May 20th, 2016
All manner of stuff happened. It really has been quite entertaining reading back through around 12 years of bignjuicystuff. Some painfully naive, some far cleverer than I remember being and some woefully dated and now rendered strange by shriveled topicality. Talking of which – I have yet to succumb to facial fillers, botox or any unnatural plumping agents. As my e-organ is, for the moment, enjoying revivification, so my visage and all regions south of there remain naturally toned and impressive. Hold that mental image.

Just lately I have been reflecting on my demise. As you do. The imminent clicking on of the birthday clock does that to a chap. The horse chestnuts are in bloom, the cherry blossom adorns the gutters. I am reminded, as I am at this time most years of Denis Potter. I make a point of looking intently at the blossom; it may be the last time. I want to revel in the frothy magnificence, the frilly exuberance, the floral gorgeousness of it all. A memory to hold on to for when days darken and branches become bare. I imagine a time when the blossom will be there and I won’t.

A few weeks ago I uncovered some online records of ancestors. The few brief traces of their lives recorded in census and property records reveal whole lifetimes spent in a network of city streets one can walk through in less than an hour. Looking at the names, picturing them as real people. Growing, ageing, dying, becoming just an entry in a ledger. Lives forgotten for the large part. Connected to me; their blossom.

Change you can believe in

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

One cannot help but notice the strains of high office manifested in the premature ageing of The Powerful Ones. Tony Blair was a fresh faced youth upon taking office in 1997 yet, just a few years later, he was going grey and looked knackered. Nobody needs to Labour the point (geddit) that Gordon looked seriously shagged out by the time he exited stage left yesterday. He too was a healthy looking specimen when first he walked into Downing Street.

After Now the New Lot are in and already we see how, within moments of assuming office, Our Glorious Leader has begun to decompose before our very eyes, such is the burden of Changeyoucanbelieveinwereallinthistogether.

Compare the election poster from a few weeks ago (above) to the image of Our Glorious Leader taken today (left). Notice the key areas of decomposition which have already started to manifest themselves on Our Glorious Leader’s once impeccable features. How cruel the ravages of leadership. How worrying that things as we saw them before May 6th may not not be as we see them afterwards.


Sunday, April 25th, 2010

I have, three times, applied to run the London Marathon and each time I have been rejected. They do not give you a reason for being rejected but I think it was probably due to a combination of not being demographically unusual enough ( late 30s / early 40s, white male, respectable race time ) such that I was in competition with vast numbers of similar applicants. Had I been 65, one legged and dressed in a parrot costume I’d have stood a far better chance of the gaining the ‘privilege’ of running in one of the world’s great races. Since my last application failed a few years back I’ve not bothered trying again. The running shoes have been gathering dust, the joints have become creaky; age is taking its toll on my physiology and psychology. Frankly, the thought of running the London Marathon now is losing its appeal. The wisdom of my position was confirmed to me earlier today when I happened to find myself at the finish line of the aforesaid event several hours after the TV cameras had gone home along with most of the participants. As the army of support workers dismantled everything in sight, hoovered up vast amounts of litter and raced to return Queenie’s front yard to it’s usual stately state a small slice of the Marathon continued to play out in the early evening sunshine. First, an old man (and I mean old – 65 at least) hobbled into view making for the rapidly disappearing finish line still wearing his race number, his spindly old legs powering him onwards to personal glory 8 hours after leaving Greenwich. Second, as I wandered through Hyde Park, walking towards me, a steady stream of apparently disabled people shuffling painfully along. The only sign of their true, Marathon maimed status – their red plastic kit bags slung over their shoulders or carried by supportive friends and partners trying not to walk too fast lest they leave the hobbled charge behind. Every one bore the expression of pained exhaustion; 26 miles worth of it. Later on as I approached Westminster Bridge, a Ronald McDonald lookalike, complete with race number, jogged past through a corridor of spontaneous applause from the crowded pavement. It’s a crazy thing these people do to themselves. The elite runners and the vast masses who finish during the TV broadcast are impressive enough ambassadors for human endeavour. But, for the first time today, I witnessed first hand the indomitable resilience of those who’ll never get on the telly. They’re doing it because they started it and they’re bloody well going to finish it. Me, I’ve never started it yet. I’m almost a ‘veteran’, registration for 2011 opens May 4th… I wonder, am I crazy enough?


Sunday, March 14th, 2010

Lucky seven
… just over seven years ago when I started this here blog that I’d still be drivelling on seven years later. This year is already shaping up to be relatively momentous with at least two life changers in da pipeline. Here’s hoping that this time next year, a. I’ll still be here and b. It’ll all be good then.
Lucky seven? We hope so.

Popular Science Magazine covers
137 years of Popular Science Magazine archives now online for free access.
Good old Google.

Time moves on

Friday, March 12th, 2010

As I’ve gotten older, something which has become more and more apparent to me is that if you wait long enough, sooner or later things that you have wanted to happen tend to happen. Likewise, if you wait long enough you tend to become part of an established scene and people seem to imbue you with wisdom and understanding that you may not really possess.  This might be linked with the other factor I’ve noticed; if you wait long enough in a particular job, keep your head down and don’t make too many cock-ups then eventually you will get promoted. I find the latter quite sad and dispiriting for some reason; evoking,  as it does, the notion that there is a vast army of time-serving drones who are in senior positions simply because they have succeeded in appearing marginally less incompetent than the ones who fell by the way. The ‘safe pair of hands’ approach to staffing. Healthy, I think, to keep these ideas in mind whenever dealing with senior staff in any organisation. They are likely to be there not because of especial brilliance (unless they are of the get in, make a name for yourself and get out quick before the s**t hits the fan, ‘high flying’ type) – but more because they have plodded successfully through the minefield of corporate slithering to get where they are.  A few months ago I hung a bird feeder outside my office window. Mainly because I wanted to feed Tweetie. Tweetie is my resident robin who first appeared on the scene last spring. She’s a charming bird and is currently building a nest outside the kitchen window. Tweetie’s boyfriend is on and off the scene, as boyfriends are; but Tweetie seems very happy in this neck of the woods and I, in my anthropocentric way, like to think that we have developed an Understanding. Anyway, Tweetie showed little interest in the bird feeder and so it has hung forlornly through winter days and nights, still full to the brim with its unwanted sunflower seeds. That is until the last couple of weeks when something remarkable has happened. Suddenly most of the birds in the neighbourhood seem to have discovered the feeder. It has become a magnet for blackbirds, sparrows, finches and my most frequent customer, Spike, the Bluetit. Spike is an ace flyer and likes to swoop in, grab a seed then swoop off to a nearby tree to chomp before returning for seconds, thirds, fourths and many other courses throughout the day. I was thinking back recently to earlier blog days and how, for a long time it felt that nobody was showing up to read this stuff. Then it all started to get busy, with comments and links and connections being made and all that. A bit like the bird feeder. Something of a full circle of sorts was achieved today when the latest visitor to the feeder was Mr Chaffinch. Life does imitate art it seems.


47 – day 1

Monday, May 18th, 2009

This week I’ll mostly be 47. It only seems a moment ago that I was 42. 42 is sort of old. It’s sort of just over 40 which although ‘old’ when you are 16 is not really that old when you get to be 42. But 47. That’s nearly 50. And I’m noticing that I’m getting crustier and the funny thing is that I don’t care. That’s what mental decline does for you. You become more annoying and argumentative and less willing to put up with sh*t but you don’t really mind too much that people find you annoying. You actually quite enjoy the feeling that you are making an impact. For example, today I had to deal with the unfortunate case of the credit card company that failed to follow their own procedures and then tried to charge me £37.65 for having done so. Not only did I hear myself saying, “This is a terribly disconnected organisation. How much money are they wasting by having you deal with my problem in such an inefficient manner?” I also heard myself saying, “I expect to be compensated for my time in having to come here today when all of this could easily have been sorted out on the phone when I called two weeks ago.” I suspect that the 42 year old me would not have said those things. He might have got the same outcome but in a slightly less abrasive (dare I admit pompous) way. He might have felt a tad more awkward about speaking up for himself than 47 year old me. I still have gnawing uncertainties in these situations but I now believe in myself much more than I did when younger. I’m dangerous, I believe I’m right and I mean to have satisfaction! What has become of me? This week I’ll try to break my recent dearth of postings and get to grips with this final week of my 46thhood. Mainly as a way of creating something to look back on when I’m even more decrepit. Partly as a snapshot illustration of what might lie before you if you are younger. I never saw myself quite as I am now. This week I might see myself even more differently; I’ve not decided yet what to write about. Let’s see what happens.

Unfortunately named energy companies: no 1