A seasoned look at life - September 13, 2012

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MONDAYS can still bring grey starts to the week, even when retired.

A recent one was particularly challenging, with a hospital appointment followed by the dentist – arrgh!

My usual lazy start was replaced by hurried taxi ride to Blackpool Victoria. Still, it was a sunny day and everyone seemed helpful and cheery, except those anxious looking outpatients.

The GP had said my check-up was routine. “I doubt there’s any real problem – don’t worry,” he had added, worryingly.

“Turned out nice!” said a genial, old gent sat close to me. “What time are you due?”

“9.30,” I replied.

“I’m 9.40,” he said. “Must be going well, today. Usually I come later but morning’s best – you’re less likely to forget or feel tired.”

I asked him about our consultant.

“Oh, he’s OK – but not one to joke with. Still, not surprising with his job,” he laughed. “Let him do the talking,” advised my veteran companion.

Our own conversation moved seamlessly – avoiding personal probing, the consultant would do that – from rainy weather and gardens to afternoon telly. “One thing that makes me angry is that homes programme they keep repeating,” he said. “You know, where couples have half a million to spend and insist on having a kitchen that seats 10.”

“Like another world,” I agreed, adding, “and with pensioners who never ask about heating costs and want acres of land to maintain.”

Then my companion was called in. “Sorry, I’ve jumped ahead of you!” He apologised. Minutes later he was out again, waving pills and calling: “Good luck, mate!”

I concurred, while thinking that if there was an Olympic event for ‘grumbling’ us Old Gits would win easily. I’m not deriding our senior citizens, who I regularly champion. But there are novelty wines of those names that, incidentally, are pleasantly mellowed while retaining a kick.

An encouraging doctor eventually told me that all looked well within – for now. So I was out into the sunshine again. A stroll through Stanley Park, with a singing robin by the lake, lifted my spirits further.

In retrospect, it had been good to break with routine – get out and meet others coping with life. Everyone’s friendly thoughtfulness was reassuring. And the new bridge finally inserted by my dentist? Brilliant!

You can tell by my smile.

n Novels and other feel-good books by Roy are available in bookstores or online. Go to royedmonds-blackpool.com for details.