Tuesday, 2 February 2016

Writing - Signs of ageing

It is often said that you know you're getting old when police and doctors start looking younger. I've been in that boat for some while although when I consider my father when he was my age, he seemed older. A very subjective opinion.

Image result for police and doctors

In the last few weeks there has been unrest and a strike by the doctors and seeing them on the news it was clear that they were all from high school!

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Boxer David Haye (35)

There was an interview today of the boxer David Haye about his return to the ring after three and a half years out due to injury. There were one or two indications that the guy is feeling his years which tends to be different in a sporting context than in everyday life. He admitted that he couldn't train as hard at 35 as he could at 25 and also named another boxer who he said had almost had his whole career while he'd been out of commission.

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Decimalisation 15th February 1971

Of course another indication that you are getting old is when key events in your life appear in the BBC History magazine. I was almost 21 years old when we in the UK changed from base 240 to base 100. Almost as complicated as the above poster! I was obviously taught the old system with 12d in a shilling, and 20 shillings in the pound. It changed to 10p in a shilling (ten pence piece) and 10 shillings in the pound, an altogether simpler system. We lost things like guineas, farthings (1/4d) and eventually 1/2p; and pounds shillings and pence. 
For the uninitiated 1 guinea = £1 1s 0d

Cost 5 guineas in 1950

So prices, as for my teddy above, stopped 45 years ago.

So what does this have to do with writing? Well it springs from the fact that I was asked a question last weekend about how much I write by a much younger fully employed person. In fact I write a tremendous amount most of which would come under the heading of practice. The question was about my daily diary and what goes in there. It was jokingly suggested that all that would go in was things like 'went to the pub, had three pints'. In fact to make that a relevant phrase add 'costing £3.10 each', suddenly gives a concrete fact that will be historically pertinent. A simplistic example, but one that can change the quality of the diary you write.
I also include significant world events, my feelings on a variety of subjects and even the deaths of people who have had some significance in my life. This weekend Terry Wogan (77).

The point is that I am writing. I am also retired now and it hasn't always been the case that I produce the quantity of work produced just now. The diary has been going 20 years but writing in longer forms only for seven years. I have written poetry for longer than my diary but much of my early stuff has been lost in house moves.

If you have the ambition to write - then write. It can be good therapy to write a diary and is as time consuming as you want it to be, but it is good practice and may lead to more exciting forms.
Just do it!

God Bless