8 October 2013

Sixty


This wasn't meant to happen. Not to me. I was meant to be eighteen forever but I woke up this morning and realised that I was sixty. Sixty years since Mum forced me out into the world with much grunting and gasping in that Victorian school house's front bedroom with the village doctor and three kings and three shepherds in attendance. I weighed ten pounds and seven ounces.

This morning the radio alarm clock sounded at seven and Shirley gave me cards, "The Rough Guide to Yorkshire" ( I assume that means all the rough places in our county - like Leeds, prisons and abattoirs) and my new camera. It's a Sony bridge camera HX-300 which will supply wonderful results I am sure - once I have learnt to master the bare minimum of its many functions. It finally replaces the Nikon D-SLR camera that was stolen from me as I cycled around Ayutthaya, Thailand in March.

Shirley went to work and an hour later I got up, showered and then walked out to a local high street cafe for breakfast. Full English with a mug of tea, getting sweaty by the upstairs window as October sunshine beamed in. Back home Frances has sent me an ominous e-mail "...I’ll speak to you later and tell you all about our secret plan!" Oh dear, I wonder what it could be? 

I never like much fuss on my birthdays but tonight to celebrate my sixtieth, Shirley and I are going out to one of the best restaurants in the region - Fischers at Baslow Hall. Probably the one and only time I will ever eat there - using the money that I won by betting that Hull City would be promoted last season - £195 for a £15 stake.

At sixty I am presently in rude health - a full head of hair with little grey, financially solvent and no need for spectacles quite yet. I have done and seen many things in my life - and have been blessed with a lovely wife and family and some good friends. But I can't help feeling it has all gone so fast - like a travelator at an airport - it just keeps rolling me forwards even when I want to get off and just hang about for a while, chase a dream, savour a moment.

Sixty. They say it's the new forty... Now my new camera's battery appears to be fully charged I shall stroll out along the valley of the River Porter up to Forge Dam and take a few practice shots. Happy birthday to me - you old fart!

Later, I am looking across The Shepherds's Wheel Dam on the River Porter - across at the allotment gardens there. This is what I see:-
Can you see the little allotment hut to the left of the tree? Then I zoom in on it - standing in the same position. Wow! This new camera has such potential:-
And here are some beech leaves:-
 And this is the cafe at Forge Dam where I sat in the birthday sunshine with a cup of birthday hot chocolate:-

34 comments:

  1. Many Happy Returns....and congratulations. You can now draw your pension.
    I assume the Rough Guide to Yorkshire was written post the creation of Humberside. That'll save you some grief on this auspicious day.

    The food in Fischers should be superb. It's a year or so since I ate there but I have never been disappointed by the taste, choice or presentation. If you have a healthy appetite save some money for chips and curry sauce on the way home.
    Have a great day, I hope your young lay has a suitable surprise and not a shock.

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    1. Adrian...My daughter is not a "lay", she's a lady! (I think I have covered this before!) The meal was as wonderful as you suggested it would be but thank heavens it was accompanied by speciality breads

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  2. Happy Birthday YP. You're right it is the new 40... I should know !!!!

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  3. Well done, Sir Pud! Enjoy your meal and many years to come, you old socialist you!

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    1. Thanks Hippo! How did you guess the last bit I wonder?

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    2. Because of the shrine you didn't build to Margaret Thatcher in your front garden?

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  4. Hope your Birthday is a happy one, and all the days to follow.

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    1. Thanks Mary Z. Much appreciated.

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  5. Happy Birthday Sir Yorky. Hoping it is a wonderful day for 60 year olds :)

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    1. Yes Carol it was a wonderful day. I met up with other sixty plus people at the walking stick shop!

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  6. At almost 67, I am soooo envious. Have a great day.

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    1. 67? How come you look 47 in your pictures?

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  7. Happy Birthday YP! and many happy returns x

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    1. Thank you Libby! See you at Monsal Head!

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  8. Have an excellent day, good zoom!!!

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    1. Thanks and yes Mumasu - that zoom is 50x. Amazing.

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  9. You're just a youngster yet, YP. A new camera! Lovely present. Enjoy your celebration meal. :) Oh, and Penblwydd Hapus i ti.

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    1. Penblwydd Hapus i ti? No need to swear at me Jenny! Just cos I am a "youngster"!

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    1. I shall take that as a compliment Earl!

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  11. I hope you have a very happy birthday, YP. Sixty, and even seventy, didn't bother me that much. Fifty was the big eye-opener for me -- I awoke thinking, "I'm nearer today to my 100th birthday than I am to the day I was born." Now that I'm 72 the days, weeks, and months just fly by. It goes faster and faster. You'll be 80 before you know it. So enjoy life, by which I mean Shirley, Frances, Ian, your new camera, your long walks -- all of it.

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    1. Thank you Robert. Nice thoughts appreciated sir.

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  12. Have a great day, week, life :) Happy Birthday!

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  13. Your 60 years of living have been a great blessing to your family and friends, and my life is enriched because of my getting to know you, even if it is strange to say you know someone this way. I wish you a great 60th birthday and a great year to come! And, thank Shirley for me for the new camera. Very good pictures! Ta, ta!

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    1. Kind thoughts appreciated. Thank you Mama Thyme.

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  14. Great zoom. I have a great zoom on my fantastic little point and shoot camera. The trick is to be able to hold the camera steady enough ... for me any way. You don't seem to have a problem.

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    1. But I am not a nervous wreck Helen! Mind you it always helps if you can lean on something.

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  15. As a 56-yr old who will never catch up with you (enough of a reason in itself for following your blog) may I wish you a happy birthday too from here in Japan. You remind me of my uncle who passed away recently at the age of 92. Let's hope that longevity runs in the family. And that I can pass it on to online friends. There, I hope that this passes the genuine comments test :-)

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  16. Hadashi - Thanks for dropping by. At 56 you are just a boy! But me? I am a long way off 92 my friend. As Americans sometimes say - "Do the math"!

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  17. Happy Birthday old fella! Looking forward to being roughly shown around Yorkshire.

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  18. happy birthday!

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  19. Haven't been checking this blog for a while so missed your 60th birthday. It seems you enjoyed the day. Although late these wishes come from the heart of an old acquaintance who at 74 feels a little envious..ha ha. May you have many more birthdays. Hanisiof...Saa Erasito..Rotuma High School

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.