Say Anything

Years ago I went to visit my late Nan in a retirement home. At the time my daughter was only a few months old and as I walked through the corridors, quite a few residents came up to say hello and look at the baby. One man approached me, smiled at my daughter and gave her head a gentle pat. “What’s her name?” he asked. “Asha,” I replied.

He stopped, looked at me in exasperation and cried, “They’ll call children anything these days!”

Brilliant! After he shuffled away I told my mother, “I can’t wait to get old. You can say absolutely anything to anyone.” It’s always been an aspiration of mine to be the old lady that sits on her porch while the kids in the neighbourhood cross the road to avoid her honest mean comments. (Well, that happens now but the kids are my own).

English writer, Ian Martin has just turned 60 and to mark the milestone,he has penned 60 thoughts about turning 60. Here are my favourites:

1. People who "hate getting old" are idiots. Every year is a privilege. Let me tell you, callow miserabilists: getting to 60 feels like a triumph. I have no idea how I made it this far, but I am very grateful.

6. When someone starts a sentence "I'm not being …", they always are.

7. Actions speak louder after four pints.

10. Grandparenthood is a beautiful revelation. You have kids, you know you will never experience that feeling of unconditional love for anyone else, ever, and then it happens all over again. A heart-stoppingly beautiful miracle.

23. Sixty observations is suddenly feeling like quite a lot, to be honest.

34. Bah!

56. Before you say anything nasty about someone, just pause for a second and browse through some really good adjectives in your head.

There’s something to be said for saying what’s on your mind and speaking the truth. So much more interesting than towing the line.

With that in mind, here’s some of mine:

1.  I find Justin Timberlake’s music overwhelmingly underwhelming (although he seems nice, funny and a good actor ... sorry, I’m not copping out but honesty is one thing and totally trashing people on the internet is another)

2. What is the point of wine racks? Storing the empties before recycling day?

3.  I like both Apple and Moses as human names.

4.  For everyone confused about all this tech talk of the ‘cloud’ I’ll let you in on a little secret: ... it means “the internet”. End of.

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