My regular readers will, by now, have worked out that I am no longer in the first flush of youth. Far from it, yet I do not yearn for my younger years, there are many advantages to getting older. Yes, the physical sometimes interfere, but on the whole, my health is reasonable for my age and my mind remains clear with only the occasional hiccup.

I, like many of my contemporaries, have a habit of mislaying objects. You put them down and then they disappear into the ether before popping up again right in front of your nose. Generally speaking, that is. There is a pale blue purse in my house that I distinctly remember hiding but cannot remember where. God knows where or why I hid it, as there was not a fortune contained within, so I can only warn any masked, balaclava-clad midnight visitors that it is not worth their time or trouble trying to turn over my home in the attempt to find it. Believe you me, I have been there before you. I worried about the purse not so much because of the contents but because I thought this might be the first slip on the slide to dementia. However, when I told some friends whose mental acuity I have no reason to doubt, they reassured me that they too might have similar problems if they did not take the following precautions. They gave me several helpful hints to prevent the Mislayingsyndrome from ever happening again. One said that she always made a cryptic clue in her diary as to where she has hidden any precious item that she has hidden, another friend said this would not necessarily be a good plan for him as he was not an expert at cryptic crosswords and he would find it difficult to decipher. However, a straight-forward entry would have been a good idea as it would have helped him to recover the photo he has been looking for in the last few months. Again, he remembers putting it somewhere safe. Always a Fatal Move! No doubt, it is lurking with my blue purse.

Another friend said that as the years rolled by, she was taking an increased interest in the Hereafter. Thinking that perhaps she was getting a little morbid, I asked if I could help. “No,” she replied, “it is only that when I enter a room, I have to think, “What am I here after?” Dah!

The advantages of being older are numerous. Only yesterday, when faced with an ATM different to the one that I am familiar with, some kind, younger person offered me guidance as to how to navigate it’s intricacies. Later, the Hereto-Help Lady assisted me in cashing out my groceries and Jack and Susie at my post office always address my parcels and letters for me, “ in order to give the Postman a sporting chance”. I smile sweetly and am genuinely grateful for all the help I receive as a result of my advanced age. Perhaps I am most proud of the piece of paper stating that I am competent in mind, memory and understanding. I will not go into the details as to why it was necessary for me to obtain this accolade, suffice it to say, I have been known to wave it in front of my son and my daughter and ask them to show me their equivalent! I have shown you mine, now you show me yours.

Yes, I know I am fortunate and perhaps a little smug, but I love being older. I would not exchange this time of my life for Youth with all its insecurities and angst. Selfishly perhaps, but I do not have to worry about the State of the World as it will not be that long before I make my final exit off-stage. Meanwhile, I appreciate my friends, family, and the love and laughter they bring me.