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Perchance to dream - of old age

    I had a great idea for a column yesterday. Now what was it? Ah yes, it was about ageing. Not that I'm old or anything, you understand, although I am slightly more middle-aged than I used to be.

    But despite my relative youth (at least when compared to people who are older than me), I have recently had a very scary insight into what my life might be like in 40 years time, when I will be properly aged.

    Last Wednesday, I lost the hearing in my left ear. I wasn't too worried as this has happened before. It was due (with apologies to people who are grossed out by the thought of earwax) to a build-up of earwax.

    On Sunday afternoon, because of a problem with a contact lens, my eyesight was also temporarily affected. This, added to a slight foot injury, meant that I couldn't get about as quickly as usual.

    In other words, I began to experience a few of the symptoms of old-age.

    I was slightly hindered by my slippers and overcoat

    Almost immediately, my way of thinking began to adapt to my new circumstances. The Killers album I had been listening to suddenly sounded distorted and shouty as did everything else that I had on my iPod. I searched the wireless dial for something to listen to, eventually finding something rather nice and soothing by a chap called Benny Goodman on Radio 2.

    Then I got hungry. Because the pressure on my ears was causing my jaw to ache, I began to crave something that slipped down effortlessly… calf's foot jelly - yum. I shuffled to the shops, more slowly than normal, my progress slightly hindered by the fact that I was wearing slippers and a big overcoat on top of my cardi.

    Of course, I couldn't find a calf's foot anywhere. Neither did I get any respect from the check-out girl who, for some reason, kept saying "whatever!" because I couldn't find the right change to pay for the five cans of pilchards and bunch of bananas (which you couldn't get during the war, you know).

    Because my eyesight was not sharp enough for me to drive, I was faced with a long trudge home, during which I mused upon what a marvellous woman the Queen Mother used to be and began to brood about the fact that my children had neither called recently nor produced grandchildren (not really their fault as they are six and nine respectively).

    My slow pace meant I was chilled to the bone. I briefly considered applying for the winter fuel allowance (thinking that it could easily take 20 years for the application to be processed) but then settled into my warm, tartan blanket as I flicked through mobility scooter brochures and briefly entertained the thought of taking up bridge or perhaps even bowls, before I drifted off into an afternoon shluff.

    I awoke with a start to find my ears had popped, my lenses had repositioned themselves and, not only was I unfeasibly sweaty, there was some dreadful swing music playing in the background.

    A glance out of the window confirmed that the police officer looked a perfectly reasonable age. The nightmare was over - for now at least.

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