PINK GUITAR

Numb and naked in the kitchen

You’re there popping your pills,

Mourning ritual habitual

Stem the overkills

You knock ‘em back like candy

I say you gone too far

You say «stop acting like you give a shit»

And you grab your pink guitar

 

So, You’re naked on the sofa

With your pink guitar,

Strumming out your dead bar blues,

(You got) Menopausal mourning

(An) Afterlife lament,

You sing «There’s nothing left,

And, nothing to lose.»

 

I’m just so tired of you now

And you’re sick of me to

We’ve gone from love to hate, to drifting through.

There was a once upon a time

We were partners in crime

What was ours, was yours, was mine

 

So I’m leaving this place

That we once called home,

(Oh) Where my heart don’t lie no more,

You gotta listen to your heart

‘Cos your heart never lies

That’s the, beatin’ truth for sure

 

And now I’m drifting

No fixed abode

Following my heart

Down this broken road,

This sure ain’t tripping

This ain’t no movie too

You’re road running in my head

Can’t run back to you

 

Now I’m sittin in a bar

In a town with no name

Or a name I can’t remember,

Been driving day an’ night

I can’t forget you right

Need a drink to forget you better.

 

And there’s a girl up on the stage

So full of hurt an’ rage

She’s strumming out on a pink guitar

Screaming her dead blues

Say’s she’s got nothing to lose

I hope she never gets that far.

 

 

Timely Writing

Pressed for time recently, I have had no time for that activity I always try to make time for – writing. Now that I have found time, here is some timely writing.

A well-worn time cliché that has stood the test of time until it is as worn as a pair of old jeans.

« Today is the first day of the rest of your life » which is true of everyday, though it does to some degree negate what has gone before. As if what has gone before was not worth living. A new day, a fresh start, let’s forget what has gone before, from this day forth I shall be a better person. This morning I am full of good intentions.

This day is the first day of the rest of my life and as such it is not just another day in the life, it is special, therefore I shall try to live all life in one day. I shall pursue constructive , worthwhile and well meaning actions. I will fix myself objectives, I will … I will …

A life in a day, you never get done what you can in a lifetime, let alone what you reckoned you could get through in one day.

I am paranoid about time – getting as much done as I can in one day rather than making the most of this day. There are those goals, objectives, targets that I have fixed and want to attain.

« If you don’t do it today, you can do it tomorrow » says the wife – and she is right, though I am frustrated at not having achieved what I set out to do.

This behaviour is very stressful for others, so on this day, I shall pull on my well worn jeans and continue to live like today was just another day in life. I shall not try and squeeze all life into one day and I shall cease that clichéd morning repetiton, for saying that this is the first day of the rest of my life, imparts that I don’t have much life left and therefore must make the most of my time.

Of course, what time freaks like me will never admit is that, by trying to lead a life in one day, the quality of that life is pretty abysmal – you might hit those time targets, but the quality of life will suffer.

Better to do one thing everyday and do it well. Constructive acts or futile pusuits – at the end of the day, you can revel in the success of one thing well done, because you took the time to do it.

Today  and everyday, I want to take the time to do those things that should be timeless … telling you I love you.

Hello Toulouse

Hello Toulouse

P1040575 2

Part One – The Twilight Zone

This ain’t the Bates Motel. This ain’t Bagdhad café …..

« You unlock this door with the key of imagination.

Beyond it another dimension.

A dimension of sound

A dimension of sight

A dimension of mind.

You’re moving into a land both of shadow and substance, of things and ideas.

You’ve just crossed over into the Twilight Zone. »

You unlock this door with a swipe card but no matter how many different swiping configurations you try, the bloody door just won’t unlock to reveal the dimension beyond, and as you stand outside in the driving rain and storm force winds slowly working yourself up into a fit of door rage, wondering if you’ll ever make it into the dimension beyond, the door magically clicks open. What did I do?

I pick up my suitcase and slowly penetrate into the darkness of the dimension beyond, groping the walls on both sides of the door for the light switch. Knowing my luck it’s going to be on the other side of the room. Lower and lower my hands go until I fumble upon the switch – was this dimension designed for the dimensionally challenged? The light switch is set at dwarf height – and even then, you’d have to be quite a small dwarf.   Beyond the door is my home sweet home for the next few nights – a rabbit hutch room in a cheap hotel with all the exterior aspects of a Lego model house made by the blind.

One low double bed. Orange lino flooring. White artex walls and a pre-moulded modular shower unit stuck in the far corner, although the room is so small, that with a couple of steps, I am already in the far corner. Just enough room to swing an anorexic kitten as opposed to a full-sized cat. Welcome to the Twilight Zone – a cheap chain hotel stuck on the edge of town between the car wash and the local shopping mall. Oh to be back at home in my comfort zone. I sit on the bed and my heart breaks in this heartbreak hotel – the sort of place that is home to the recently divorced or drunken office workers who missed the last train. The convenient plasticity of the cheap hotel – home too for all those errant workers in the nation’s building trade. The migrant masses obliged to work far from home, so they can manage to pay for a home to go to at the end of the long week. Drifting from one building site to another across the country, never able to just « go home » at night and enjoy the fruits of their labour

The car park is a sea of white transit vans, and as we check in, the reception area is a miserable mass of cold labourers in damp and grubby work clothes – soaked to the skin after a day in the rain erecting edifices in the Edgelands with perhaps as much architectural charm as this heap of concrete junk.

A notice in the room warns me against stealing anything. But there’s nothing to steal. Everything is firmly glued, clamped and screwed down right down to the metal soap dish in the modular washing space. You might conceivably want to steal the towels, but a notice warns that any of the thin rough rags are stolen, then « guests » will be billed.

Despite the cell, cum cabin like appearance of the room, it is warm, it is clean and the riveted to the wall TV set actually works.

So, what are you going to do for the next eleven hours or so until breakfast is served? How are you going to spend this, your first night of those several nights that you are spending way from home?

There is the temptation to head out across the road, buy some strong alcohol from the local supermarket and drink yourself into a stupor. How many people are doing that right now in similar hotels across the land? How many lonely people are they’re sitting in similar plastic cells getting smashed? Lying on the bed in an alcoholic haze in this « land of shadow and substance », in this « dimension of sight… dimension of sound … » but out of their minds on booze to stem the pain of not being where they want to be with those they should be with – out of sight, out of sound.

So, I’ve just crossed into the Twilight Zone. It looks reassuringly familiar, but this is not my dimension. I slide back the stiff red PVC curtains and stare out the small rain spattered window. Through the drops I can see the bleary neon signs of the shopping mall across the highway – the familiar colours and lettering of those national retail chains, the same we have « at home » – There is however a moment of wide eyed wonderment – « Wow they’ve got the same shops here as we’ve got back home » – the tendency to think that what exists where I live doesn’t exist anywhere else, but there are differences – there’s a KFC, we don’t have that where I live and all the shops seem bigger and better. Maybe this place isn’t so bad. I can have a KFC, and when I finally venture out into the vast shopping mall, I discover it is open until well past my provincial bedtime. My cheap hotel homes from home blues are suddenly blown away by the gaudy neon of the cavernous shopping mall. I draw some comfort from astonishment. It’s not so bad. What the hell ! It actually feels almost like being on holiday, even if I am here to work.

Part Two – Of Romanian Builders and Potatoes

I was working away from home last week, down in the fair city of Toulouse. Home from home was a cheap hotel in the edgelands, sandwiched between the motorway, and shopping mall.

P1040651

There I was, sitting up in bed, trying to get to sleep and trying to get some sleep above the eternal din of fellow hotel guests coming and going in the wee small hours. That’s the problem with cheap hôtels. They seem to be peopled exclusively by the nation’s itinérant building workers, who in turn all seem to be swarthy romanian types with loud raucous voices and a penchant for late night drinking, arguing and noisy sex with local ladies. The regular, mechanical sounds of a little late night fling resonating through the thin, plastic walls.

Yes, plastic walls. You don’t get real walls for just over forty Euros a night . You don’t even get a real bedroom. The hotel is a set of pre-moulded plastic cells, bolted together one on top of the other. Apart from the bed, all the fixtures and fittings are pre-moulded into the plastic cell.

So, there I am, trying to sleep as the Boys from Bucharest are banging away in the next room. I bang back on the walls and ask them to make a little less noise. A very muffled « Pardon monsieur » comes through the wall and a few minutes later, the banging starts again. Around 2 am, a giggling gaggle of young ladies, heavily under the influence of alcohol, clank their way down the metal stairs, more than a little unbalanced in their high heels. There are several thuds and a flurry of curses as some ladies miss their step. One girl misses the stairs altogether and rolls to the bottom, provoking loud laughter from her companions which soon turns to grunting and burping. Ah, for the charms of drunken ladies, at least they don’t piss and vomit everywhere like their male counterparts – yes some of the Boys from Bucharest are indulging in the aforementioned activities from the third floor walkway.

I would stay somewhere decent, but my employers only give an allowance of 40 Euros per night, which condemns me to staying in cheap hôtels that look they have been built from Mega Blocks – Lego being far too expensive.

And come half past five, my raucous Romanians are off to work, climbing into their white transit vans. The banging of doors, the revivng-up of motors and the honking of horns. I hope they exercise their building skills with more finesse. I don’t know why, but I just wouldn’t want to live in anything built by these guys.

P1040575 2

During the night’s noisy proceedings, I try to concentrate on something that might take my mind off the noise and even send me to sleep. At times like this, it is traditional to count sheep. I, on the other hand, am wondering, just how many ways there are to cook a potato.

Boiled, fried, mashed, sautéd, chipped, baked … surely I’ve missed one or two. I seem to have been living off a diet of potatoes all week – at least, potatoes are always on the menu.

That is the problem of working away from home, you have to find somewhere to eat of an evening.

I’ve got a KFC and a number of burger outlets next to the hotel. Across the road, in a large shopping mall, there are a number of cheap family restaurants offering real food – steaks, fish, chicken ans suchlike, all served with as much veg as you can eat – except I don’t eat green beans, cauliflower or anything cabbage-based, so, I am limited to potatoes in one of their many variants – except when their are carrots or rice on the menu.

Seasonal Pumpkin Brain Surgery

Here is a Halloween post full of the philosophical musings of an aging dad and plenty of spelling mistakes. Enjoy and Happy Halloween.

Halloween? What’s that ?

It’s the time when dad hollows out a pumpkin to make a lantern, and the pumpkin is always too bloody hard, and dad never has a decent knife and ends up using a selection of power tools and kitchen utensils and gets covered in fibrous orange gunge as he hacks away to dig out the inside of this most indigestible of vegetables.

I’m not a brain surgeon, but Halloween is that time of year when I come as close as I will ever get to carrying out major brain surgery.

In our house, the Halloween pumpkin was a true father/daughter moment.

When the offspring was too young to handle sharp impliments, I was the magical pumpkin maker and all my creations, however bad would be welcomed with squeals of childish delight. No matter how crap the creation, we had a pumpkin. Of course, dad being dad, I would never bother to measure the area of the windowsill and I would buy the biggest pumpkin possible that was always too big and would inevitably fall off the windowsill and go crashing to a squelchy orange death in the garden below.

In later years (when the offspring could do all that creative stuff with a sharp kniffe without asking an adult), it was my daughter who made the pumpkin, and of course dad would go mad because she wasn’t making it the way dad would.

We’ve never been great pumpkin makers, all our efforts have been far too smiley to ward off evil spirits, and then, in this, my daughter’s 18th year – up pops an enthusiatsic dad asking if nearly fully-fledged adult wants a pumpkin, to be greeted by a nonchalant and very non-commital « maybe. »

« Make one if it makes you happy, » says my daughter, who, despite her leck of pumpkin enthusiasm, is busy making herself a Witch costume to go Trick or Treating with friends.

I guess like all dad stuff, I have come to yet the end of another era, and now, unless I make pumpkins for myself, my next venture in seasonal brain surgery will be with my grandchildren (Yes I am sad.)

Trick or Treat

And so to the art of the Trick or Treat. Yes, this is France, where, until 20 years ago, no one had ever heard of Halloween. So, I remember back when my daughter was still a kid, I would run round the neighbours palnting sweets and treats in the early afternoon, so my daughter and friends would have something to fill their baskets when they went knocking on doors.

You know, in a country where Halloween is not really a tradition, a successful Halloween takes a lot of organising ; Now, though, my daughter is too old for this « kids’stuff » and that dad/daughter rite is more or less dead and I am kind of sad, yet tomorrow night my daughter will be terrorising people for sweets – I still can’t work this out… you don’t want to make a pumpkin with dad, but you want to go Trick or Treating with your mates.

I now have a confession to make – I hate pumpkins. Over the years I have tried making soups and pies, and the humble pumpkin is just a « difficult to cook » and tasteless veg that gives you bad indigestion (but no flatulence).

And to the point of this post. What is Halloween ?

A good marketing opportunity for toy retailers to glean a few extra pennies before Christmas really begins.

Being Dead – A job for life

A chance for the Dead to have a night off – because we are celebrating that porous moment where those in Purgatory come back to haunt us and we also celebrate the dead. So why shouldn’t dead people have a party and a day off? You are dead for a very long time, so a day off being dead is a very good idea. We all take a day off work from time to time, so why shouldn’t the dead get a day off work as well?  Actually if being dead was a real job ???? I suppose the wages would be quite low and you certainly would not have the very complex question of retirement and pensions. Being dead is a job for life.

Time to leave you for Halloween as I go downstairs to make my own pumpkin.

 

 

 

 

Fifty Shades of Test Tube Poops

Been away for a few months. Guess I didn’t write anything because I was sitting around getting depressed at the thought of being 50 … and now that I have reached that venerable old age where I should officially be heading for the scrap heap, well … I FEEL GREAT. I can only describe it as reaching that level of nonchalance where you don’t really care anymore. I’ve got nothing left to prove and no one is expecting me to prove anything, yet I have loads left to do, but youngsters think I am too old to do anything. I am not yet officially old and yet I am old enough to annoy youngsters by telling them that I too was once a youngster. I think I’m going to enjoy being 50. Anyway, here are some fifty thoughts written on my fiftieth birthday a few days ago.

Fifty Shades of Poo

In that long list of «things I have not yet done in life»; hezre are a couple that I can add: I have never read “Fifty shades of Gray” and I have never had the test for colon cancer. Now that I am fifty, though I have a few shades of grey, I still have a full and thick head of hair, and in this morning’s mail, I received an «invitation» from the local hospital to pop in and do the colon cancer test. The hospital letter assures me that the test is quick, easy and painless – I just plop a bit of my plop into a small test tube, then plop it in the mail and hopefully, my happy smiling postman will bring me an equally happy, smiley letter giving me the all clear. Poo in a tube, what could be easier? On the old test you had to plop six poos six times in six seperate tubes – sounds like the old test really was a load of old sh**.

Ready to Retire

Other unmistakebale signs that I have reached fifty: a letter from the local work and pensions department telling me just how many years I have left to slave away before I can qualify for a full pension. I haven’t received this letter yet, but it is on its way. Hopefully, I won’t have too long left to work and with a stroke of luck I might already have worked enough to retire in the next few weeks.

Regress into Delinquancy

It was French writer, Marcel Proust who described ones’ fifties as the adolescence of old age – so here I am, all set to regress into semi-geriatric delinquancy. I wouldn’t actually mind having a second mispent youth: lord knows the first time around I was too good to get up to no good, so I might just try to make up for lost time.

In the Middle/Half Empty, Half Full

I officially turned fifty on Wednesday 14th October. I guess that this was a good day to turn middle aged – the middle of the week in the middle of the month, of course though, I am fifty no longer. My fiftieth year is lived and gone and from her on in, I am living out my 51st year. Middle aged???? I always though that middle age started at 40, though at 40, I didn’t feel middle anything – on the contrary, I felt more teeange than middle age. Middle aged (to me) means that you are exactly halfway through your life. It is like having a half empty bottle of wine – is it half empty or half full? Do you sip what is left with the true parsimony of a wine connaisseur, or do you just swig the whole lot back in one go and hope that there is aznother bottle in the cellar? I personally would adopt the last solution. Why make the bottle last?  Just enjoy every bottle as it it were your last.  – Oh dear Iat this rate I’m probably not going to live very long. Of course, you don’t know your true middle age until you finally shuffle off this mortal coil. I guess I will just have to wait until I am dead, so I can come back via some space/time portal and tell my younger self the exact age I died. Actually I wouldn’t bother. Imagiine that if you really knew at a certain age that you had lived exactly half your life – hey, you only have hal a bottle of wine left!!!!

Latefortiesfiftysomething

I like being 50, it is a good, round age. I can look the world in the face and declare «I am fifty». I can square up to younger types and affirm my age. I wear it like a badge of honour. It is so difficult to admith thay you are 48 or 49. When asked to give your age, you shuffle around looking for age excuses. «Erm, I’m in my late forties» you might mumble to some stunning girl at a party. What is late forties? Where exaclty does that period of life begin and end? I suppose next year, at the ripe old age of 51, II will be telling the world that I am in my late forties – it certainly sounds better than «early fifties» which I guess is a term being used by all those who are pushing on sixty. It seemed to take forever to get to forty – well over forty years at least, however it doesn’t seem to have taken long to get to fifty – and if I follow the logic, then next week, I’ll probably be celebrating my sixtieth birthday. I think though, that I will be celebrating my 60th well before I am 60. I think that when (and if) I reach the age of 55, I’ll just have a huge party to celebrate my 60th, 70th and 80th birthday all at once. I won’t go beyond 80 though because I’m not sure at 80 that there wil be enough friends left alive to invite and by then I might just be too senile to enjoy any party. No matter what fifty brings, I think that attaining the age is indeed a cause for celebration, after all, you are only fifty once, it will never happen again, it is unique, but then everyday is unique and will never happen again either, so live everyday like it is your birthday (perhaps not good advice). I know at this young ripe old age, life is a dwindling ressource – I am a dwindling ressource … and I am unique – is this a valid argument to get my employers to pay me more for the time that I have left to work?

Proustian Bowel Movements

Back on the retirement theme – my aim now is to stay alive longer that I actually have left to work, so that I can enjoy some kind of retirement – of course were my employers to offer me huge amounts of cash to clear off because I’m too old andf leave my place to someone younger ..; well yes, I would if the price was right – I could spend my days enjoying my second youth to the full, rather than waiting for real retirement, where we retire in middle old age (if I follow the Proustian model) and slip slowly back into gurgling infance with the speech, reflexes and bowel control of a baby.

Make the most of it!

Okay – make the most of what is left. Live with passion, love with passion and hope that my shades of grey make me even more desirable than I already am. No joke – looking back at photos of myself in my 20s and 30s – I look far better now, but that’s what you get for growing up in the eighties and nineties – hellish hair cuts and criminally insane clothing. It’s good to finally be a decent age. Now, pass me that test tube.

Death and the Banker

A couple of days ago I celebrated my 49.5 Birthday. I am at that age where people are starting to tell me that I should think about making preparations for that day when I finally shuffle off this mortal coil.

“I’m not dead yet !!!” I scream

“But you will be one day !!!!”  The world screams back at me.

I’ve been to the bank to see …

My personal banker

My Financial advisor

Mr Personal advisor

Or – the person at the bank who issues a gentle admonishment and tells me that I really should pay more attention to my financial affairs, and then, proceeds to try and sell me a whole plethora of products from pensions, car insurance, life assurance … there’s even a new one that I would call « gadget insurance » – for 9 Euros a month, insure all your latest hi-tech acquisitions against damage or theft. « Imagine that your laptop is stolen or gets damaged during transport. We will replace your computer with a new model. » beams my banker reassuringly. Reading the small print of the policy I tell him that my laptop is over 5 years old and therefore is not covered by the policy. « Imagine though that you buy a computer for your daughter … » Well, if I did buy a laptop for the offspring, it would possibly be of the second-hand and reconditioned variety and the 9 Euros would be paying off the loan I’d probably take out to buy it.

I am at the bank for my twice yearly “rendez-vous”. A couple of hours spent in the company of my advisor « friend », going through the various bits and pieces that other advisors have advised me to take or purchase over the years. Now, I don’t mind the bank trying to sell me savings schemes or pension plans with snappy single syllable sound byte names, but every couple of years, it’s always the same story. What you have been sold or told previously, is now old hat and so you have to update.

« You don’t have any death insurance. » Utters my banker in half quizzical consternation.

« I’m covered for funeral expenses up to 5000 Euros with my life assurance. » I reply hesitantly, with no real enthusiasm for broaching this particular subject.

« Ye-e-e-e-es » expires my banker « BUT… »

Here is the bombshell – the 5000 Euro payout designed to cover funeral expenses in case of my demise, only applies until I am 70, therefore I should seriously think about taking out new death insurance. (or dying before I am 70).

My banker takes a glossy leaflet from the top draw of his desk. It is about the banks new death insurance/savings scheme – DEATH-U-LIKE* – the new swift and painless way to see off those you love(d). Despite the funerary subject matter, the leaflet is covered with photos of the recently-bereaved all wearing those tacky “relieved” smiles, like they have just got shot of their diorreaha or the positive cancer test result they just received in the post is not actually theirs’ because there was a mix up at the lab – (meaning there is some poor bugger out there leaping round for joy, and uncorking the champagne believing that he is clear – go tell him the bad news)

*Not the real name, but what would you call it otherwise? 
EASY DEATH or TROUBLE FREE DISPOSAL

So , it’s not actually death insurance, but saving up for death. I patiently endure the banker’s hard sell for 15 minutes. Basically though, this is how it works. Put away a minimum 31 Euros a month over ten years into a “death savings scheme” and then, no matter when you die, your nearest and dearest will get a guaranteed 4000 Euro lump sum to bury you. On top of that they get a team to arrange the funeral and give psychological support “at this difficult time” (says the banker.)

31 Euros per month over ten years for a capital of 3720 Euros at the end. Add on the interest and my nearest and dearest get 4000 Euros, even if I die before the 10-year term is over. (as well as a full psychological and logistical support for my loved ones – meaning they probably get a taxi to the funeral and a free session with a shrink, who will tell them that they are fucked up because I have just kicked the bucket)

I’m thinking… I lean back in my uncomfortable plastic chair.

« If I walk out your office now, and get run over by a bus, it’s sure that  my family will receive 5000 Euros. »

Taken aback by my impending hypothetical death, the somewhat flustered banker says yes.

« If I take out your death insurance right now and then get run over in a couple of months, even though I have only paid in 62 Euros, my family will get a guaranteed 4000 Euros. »

The flustered banker nods

« So if I am hit by a bus, in the immediate future, my family will get 4000 Euros, plus the 5000 Euros, guaranteed. »

« Well … erm… yes. » Replies my hesitant advisor.

Now, not saying that my finances are in dire straits, but 9000 Euros isn’t a bad sum.If you’re struggling to meet loan payments, or just general scraping along the bottom,  It’s almost in that « worth more dead than alive » category. Imagine, I get deliberately run over, the family get me a real cheap funeral for under 2000 Euros (or less) and there would still be enough left to buy a second-hand car or have a very decent holiday.

Are you thinking what I’m thinking? – Fake your own death.

As for these death insurance policies. Well to make them worthwhile, I’ll have to die within the next couple of years ( though I’m not planning to) or face the prospect that I’ll get bugger all if I die after the age of seventy, unless I pay 31 Euros a month into a death insurance for my nearest and dearest to get a 4000 Euro lump sum when I die.

At current prices, 31 Euros will get you 4 packets of cigarettes or roughly 7 bottles of half decent table wine or just over 18 bottles of the cheapest red wine on the market, « La Cuvée du Patron » which retails at 1.69 Euros a bottle (now this stuff certainly would kill me, and not even the alcoholics down the local supermarket buy this stuff it is so bad.)

31 Euros would just cover a monthly gym membership, but if I get too fit and live too long, I won’t get any cash when I die.

I could take out a loan and buy some new high tech gadgets, then pay back at 31 Euros per month. Of course, all this is hypothetical, because it is money that I will never see. It is just enough cash to pay for a half-decent send off, so that those I leave behind don’t have to dig deep in their pockets to pay the funeral.

I can hear them now. « HOW MUCH! »

I know, funerals are expensive things. « Let’s just take the old bugger and dump him in a ditch or behind the recycling bins. »

My banker gives a somewhat nervous an unappreciative laugh when I tell him that when I do die, 4000 Euros will probably cover no more than the price of a cardboard coffin.

I reckon to have around 20 to 30 years left in me. The bank sees fit to change my financial advisor every two years and every time I get a new one, he or she undoes what the previous one had done. Two years, just enough time to get comfortable and then… Since we are dwelling on the subject of twilight years; it is like a senile old senior just pissed themselves (or worse) – they are sitting their still warm and almost comfortable in their own excreta and then along comes a nurse to clean you up – « Oh, I was almost happy » Why do I have to change my « personal banker » every two years – and the older I get, the younger they get.

My current banker must be around 35, but he has all the assurance and allure of a young schoolboy, and no matter what he wears it never fits – yesterday his jacket engulfed him, hands disappearing down the sleeves. The time before that his jacket was just too small – like he had bought his suit ten sizes too big ten years before and he had finally grown into and grown out of it. No matter. I like my personal financial banker advisor person. He is very pleasant and I do appreciate his foresight in broaching the subject of my eventual demise. Now that I am reaching my half century, I am in that category that people refer to as « old » or « late middle age ». Magazines, clothes, medical tests … there is a whole new world out there. Mid you, when I flick through those magazines dedicated to seniors, everyone in them looks to be in their 30’s. The editors must commission photos of youngsters and Photoshop them into « oldies. » No matter what happens. Should nature follow it’s logic, I will shuffle off before my current Financial advisor, So, I have decided to invite him to my final sending off – if only so he can see kind of funeral you can buy for 4000 Euros in 20 years or so.