Over the hill at 58? I certainly hope not

Youth versus experience

I recently celebrated my 58th birthday. Well, when I say “celebrated”, I mean “grudgingly resigned myself to acknowledging”.

Nobody likes the idea of getting older. And it’s especially difficult if it’s combined with the sense that your shelf-life is about to expire thanks to shifts in the job market that seem to favour younger people with less experience.

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Is it my shout? Or should I stay cool, calm and collected?

Speak no evil?

“What are you looking at, you fat c–t?” I was walking down the street and had turned around to see where all the noise was coming from. Of course, it was coming from the bloke who called me a fat c–t because I had turned around to find out where all the noise was coming from.

I admit to being fat. The accuracy of the other descriptor is subjective, I suppose, but it is undoubtedly offensive to many people. So, what right does this bloke have to shout that phrase very loudly in a public place?

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Farewell Priscilla, queen of Mae Ramphueng

The last picture I took of Priscilla.

The last time I saw Priscilla, she was in fine, somewhat feisty form. Although most nights she’d simply find a comfortable cushion and take a nap, on Thursday she was full of beans.

She was clearly in a playful mood when she followed her family to the beach to float their lit loi krathong baskets in the ocean — an annual Buddhist ritual symbolising the letting go of hatred, anger and defilement. The next morning, she was dead.

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News flash: I’m fat and I know it, so stop telling me

A few weeks ago, by no means for the first time, I received some unsolicited advice about my weight from a man I hardly know. Out of nowhere, amid a discussion about something else entirely, he posited: “Have you tried papaya juice?”

Before I could ask what the hell he was talking about, he proceeded, proudly, to tell me how he’d lost 12 kilograms (26 pounds) in a month by drinking a glass of papaya juice every day. He even said he’d give me some to try.

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After my final newspaper deadline, the search for me begins

The beach where I live.

I stopped counting how many of my friends and former colleagues had passed away when I realised that a lot of them were my age or younger at the time of their death.

I’m 57 as I write this; 58 very soon. A quick internet search tells me that the life expectancy for Australian men is 82.45 years. If that’s the case, I should be good for about another 24 years. Except that, according to this calculator, 67 is about my lot. Coincidentally, or not, that’s the age at which I can claim a state pension (if such a thing still exists then).

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