The Young Ones

I received an email via my web site this week from a very nice lady in the Philippines. She had just watched a video on YouTube of me hosting a quiz show from years ago and she decided to contact me to ask this question. “How’s your carer doing?”

I confess I did a double take. Yes,  I know I am getting a bit older, but that’s the first time anyone has assumed I need help going to the bathroom. When it comes to putting on my support stockings and corset, or rubbing liniment in to my stiff old joints, I can manage by myself thank you but, after emailing her back, I discovered to my relief that it was simply a typo; she had meant to write “how’s your career doing?”. Phew.

It made me think, though, that it won’t be long before we’re all interviewing for carers whilst hoping our kids carry no grudges as they pick out our nursing home. Thanks to the fact I stole some sweets from their Christmas stocking four years ago, mine tell me they’re going to choose one that smells of cabbage and wee and they’re going to tell matron that, despite any protestations or begging from me, I’m allergic to chocolate. Apparently they’re also going to furnish my room with  nailed down chairs that face the wall and a TV set that can only pick up QVC Japan, unless I put up their pocket money. Blackmail seems to suit them. When the time comes I will rest easy in the home reflecting that I’ve obviously done a good job of bringing them up.

I don’t think I mind the idea of getting old, in the same way I don’t mind the idea of waking up as a woman, or having a werewolf visit me in the middle of the night. There’s no point worrying because it’s just not going to happen. If God meant us to get old he wouldn’t have invented Wikipedia. There you can go in and change your date of birth and make yourself as old as Justin Bieber’s younger brother any time you want.

A close pal of mine asked me last week if I knew how to change Wiki entries and, like a good friend, I said I’d find out. Turns out it’s not that difficult, so he then he asked me to alter his entry. I guessed he wanted his age or marital status changed, or maybe I was to insert the lie that he was a male model in his spare time. But no, he wanted his “official” nationality altered. He was born while his parents were on holiday and he won’t accept that he, therefore, isn’t “properly” English by birth. Had his mum and dad been vacationing in Italy or The Seychelles he probably wouldn’t have minded but it seems he could no longer take the humiliation from having his Wiki entry begin “Welsh born....”.  I’ve now fixed it and he’s happy to be “British born” though, being a Celt myself, I may revenge the Welsh by going back in and adding that he has haemorrhoids.

But age has its advantages. I had the privilege this week of being invited to a showcase for Norwegian singer Anita Skorgan, a lady who has served her apprenticeship and consequently doesn’t have that distracted, “look at me”, air about her when she talks to you. Anita sang four or five numbers, and she has so distilled down her song writing and vocal technique that I found myself with tears in my eyes.

And there’s the thing. When we’re younger, our choice of music is designed to get us dancing, snogging, impressing our friends or singing along, but with a bit of maturity we look for something more, and Anita has it in spades.

Mind you, now that I know how to change Wikipedia entries I may go in to her page and change just one thing. It states she’s represented Norway in the Eurovision Song Contest five times. No one should have to put up with that in the public domain, should they?