Once Works Well was pure technology. Now it seeks merely to divert.
Pansy subjects - Verse! Opera! Domestic trivia! - are now commonplace.
The 300-word limit for posts is retained. The ego is enlarged

Thursday, 25 February 2010

They never told me this

Old age brings so many predictable changes that much of the experience becomes a cliché. That’s an unexpected change. There are others.

(1) Death. I find myself pondering the form it will take rather than simply averting my eyes. That may change. Question: will dying be a test of atheism?
(2) Clumsiness. But of a special kind. I pick my coffee-mug from the draining rack to dry it. There is a natural trajectory for this which I have never needed to consider. Now, once in fifty times, the mug glances against the mixer-tap spout. The mug has become precious and a bolt of fear passes through my chest.
(3) Irritation. Often related to (2). I place the newspaper half on, half off the coffee table. It slides on to the floor. My brief anger is disproportionate.
(4) Deafness 1. This is predictable and in any case limited to situations with high background levels (for the techies: a poor signal-to-noise ratio). I find I don’t care.
(5) Deafness 2. The sound tracks on American DVDs are blurred: a technical failing quite separate from accent and/or directorial preferences for inarticulacy. Often this turns out to be unimportant.
(6) Keyboard skills. Defects here could be a precursor to Alzheimer. Whole words, sometimes phrases, are missed out as my mind leaps ahead of my fingers. A lifetime’s devotion to revision and improvement solves this for the moment.
(7) Car driving. As far I can tell the skill has not diminished. What has changed is a never-absent fear that it might.
(8) End-of-the-day relaxation. Here the change is one of degree. What was once a mere cessation of labour has turned into sheer voluptuousness, a sensory wallow.
(9) Booze. Ability to withstand hangovers now varies widely.
(10) Vocabulary. Still highish but, as with (7), accompanied by anticipation of the first signs that is on the way down.

Novel progress 26/2/10. Ch. 16: 1447 words. Chs. 1 - 15: 67,628 words. Comments: Hatch opens up like a flower.