It all adds up when you’re growing old

Columnist John Ward
Columnist John Ward
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WARD’S WORLD: Ny John Ward

I don’t think the batteries fitted in watches these days are coping all that well or rather as we (okay, me then) expect them to as the following may enlighten you.

It was in passing recently I picked up on a comment made about one of my old neighbours or somebody I went to school with or rather we went to the same school at the same time but we went different ways to get there – I think that’s what I mean but carry on as if you’re still interested anyway as I will be asking questions later.

I received an e-mail of sorts from a friend that related to how people are that we both know or in some cases, knew and what they are doing to maintain a steady flow of oxygen to the body etc as in the passing of time as we don’t get to see them much due to the fact they get word you are looking to see them and they hide away plus selling the binoculars doesn’t help but the joys (?) of the electronic highway or the internet if you prefer are quite enlightening but at the same time, as in this instance, I am going to bore you with (advance warning or what?) about the above mentioned school friend/neighbour/ and general soothsayer of bits and bobs that is Our Val.

It seems that in the passing of this thing called time, there are discrepancies like our Val above who although as outlined we went to school together but in different classes but the same year which is a clue or two here, it seems that she is now nine years younger than me. I like to think I am careful with things and thus I don’t lose or misplace them but nine years? – that is nearly a complete decade after all and at this rate the dodo will be back with us.

It must be a sort of lady-type thing about age as in some film stars and suchlike people seem to have a sort of wasting illness where as they grow older their age decreases, much like a old woollen jumper where once it fitted like a glove its now reduced to something a seven year old would struggle to get into as with all the washes it’s had it’s shrunk but I never realised it happened with humans so I assume she has taken too many baths or showers and this has happened although you think, well I do at least, why with all the water contact she has not shrivelled up.

It makes you ponder how many years you could lose if you were a Channel swimmer as in the English Channel, the big bit of sea that separates and stops us from banging into France and bits of Holland on windy days and not something as found on your telly that still show the repeats of the repeats of the repeats of the repeats of the..

Our Val had a friend who used to have a girlfriend in the next class to us and we were amazed to see him carrying her school books home for her and this looked all rather choochy to us ‘die-hards’ but it wasn’t until a few years ago at a school reunion – another earlier chapter I scribbled about a while ago but if unsure ask nurse to get it out to read to you – that while all this looked a bit ‘lovey-dovey’ at the time it appears he was actually helping himself to books from the school library without the bother of having them stamped out so to speak but in fairness he did look after them as he made a wooden bookcase for them in the woodwork class and he paid for the wood.

I still watch Crime-watch OK on the telly to see if his photo should appear as being ‘wanted’ as I think I would know him even now although perhaps he wouldn’t be wearing the school cap or tie as he did in the last group school photo we had tooken before we all left to start our careers in the after-life that was called the Real World.

My mum knew Val’s mum, Peggy – not a wonderful combination all things considered but there you go – and when Peggy was in hospital, mum went in to see her while she was recuperating and not only that, also getting better as well at the same time.

Peggy was having problems with her leg and it had been operated on and now she was ‘on the mend’ and so mum went in one afternoon to visit and the physiotherapist was there having a word or two with Peggy about her walking stick she had used for some time leading up to the operation. The stick itself was a wonderful bit of craftsmanship in that it had a delightful carved handle that must have taken ages to carve due to the detailing but it seems the aforementioned physio lady was telling her it was the wrong size and was too long for her. Peggy said 
she could have it short-ened as she said it had 
great sentimental value 
and was, and had been, 
very supportive of her and had been for some time and then my mum added her input by saying shortening it would a be a great idea 
but would it be best to shorten it at the bottom end rather that the top end as Peggy would miss the handle part if it was shortened from the top or Plan B was to cut a portion out of the middle and join the two ends together. The end result was classified under the Official Secrets Act I believe.

If all things in life could be as simple as my mum - or thereabouts.

Back to age fast depleting Val.

The friend who had sent me news of her current situation was wondering what sort of birthday card to get her as it was coming up soon and I suggested one that said it was ten years younger than Val to give to her and he replied that despite everything, he couldn’t send his wife that. As I said at the beginning I would be asking questions, so hands up all those who knew my friend and Val are a married couple and to each other as well.