Tuesday, 19 May 2009

On becoming promiscuous in my old age

I took this picture a couple of Saturdays ago. It seems to capture life as part of me wants it to be, especially now that I am, officially, an 'OAP'. Me, swanning about, doing my thing, sometimes oblivious to the real world of hustle and bustle which surrounds me in Nottingham. And so it will be… sometimes.

It has been a month since my last blog, since when Susan has posted a new look Local History Online website, I have been poorly and, of course, time has flown by. The question is with so many things on my mind, where do I begin?

First, I have found a certain clarity of vision comes with being 65 (and not because I have new glasses). I know what I want to do after I have all the routine chores out of the way. I want some order and ongoing projects to keep me occupied and I want time to be like the ducks.

I am planning to do some local history research, with a view to sharing what I discover with others, and I have two projects:

  • A history of what is now The Lenton Centre.
  • A history of bus and travel passes.
  • There may be a third, which will span the Atlantic. If my American friend decides to do it, I have promised I will help.

My community activity will be limited:

  • I am about to become a trustee of a 300 year old Nottingham housing charity.
  • I have created the Lenton Footpath & Amenities Register with the aim of recording and promoting all the footpaths in and around Lenton, of which over twenty are unregistered, so it may take some years!
  • I will also find time to develop my Lenton 'healthy heritage' walks and maps.
  • Then, there is my long-held ambition for Lenton to have its own urban parish council, which will probably be called a 'community council'. This is something for next year.
For relaxation I will read and walk more, play bowls, continue to bake bread, cook and use my bus pass for visits and tea in new places. I also hope to spend more time with Susan on our 'sofa den' and continuing to do all the things we have done together for ever, but even more.

So there you have it. The life of an official OAP, who has told his family and friends that the next and only birthday he wants to celebrate is being 80! I know the odds are against me, but I hope fate is kind to me. In the meantime, there are things to do, people to see and a world to be changed. This month has also seen 49 years as a Labour Party member and a Party activist of some kind for most of that time. At the moment, I beginning to wonder if 50 will be a year too far, but I am saving this debate with myself for my next blog.

If you've got this far and wondered where the 'promiscuous' bit is, then look no further. Many years ago I watched a television programme about supermarket shopping and discovered that I am a 'promiscuous shopper' because I am not loyal to any particular chain. I shop at Sainsbury's because it is convenient and there is no Co-op close by, but thanks to the Internet I am going to Waitrose more. I use local, independent, shops when I can and do my best to be an 'eco' shopper, but I am OAP on a limited income, so needs must and all that.

I am seriously thinking of becoming politically promiscuous, spreading my favours about and going where I can to get what I want. I would be less than honest if I didn't say that I have voted Communist more than once and would like to see a popular Marxist party emerge from the current political crisis. I am not sure the Labour Party is capable of representing the working classes. But enough, I am already straying into my next blog in a few days time.

Well that's it for now. Even parkviews.org has been updated today, so the show is back on the road. As for me, I'm now off to join those ducks for the rest of day and to enjoy some smoked salmon, anchovies, sardines and roll mop herring for my lunch.

Michael Martin
will this afternoon announce his plan to resign as Commons Speaker, according to The Guardian.

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