It is in increments that I am becoming my parents.
I realise that my large collection of ridiculous shirts and ironic tee-shirts, not to mention my keen interest in trivia and my cultivated teenage low attention span, are but the actions of a latter day King Canute as I struggle to hold back the onward march of time.
Some of the changes are inevitable – the growth of dental floss like nose hair, the increasing laughter lines, the coffee stained teeth (it’s wine, I know but coffee sounds more acceptable) and the increasing time it takes each morning for the vessel that is my body to boot-up and run the diagnostics: Feet? –
check -although we think something is broken; knees? – no answer; Hips? – were we out disco dancing last night?
And so on up the body.
But all of these signs are just physical and can be ignored with a little TLC or by just not looking in the mirror.
No, the thing that worries me is the mental changes that are taking place.
Earlier this year there was my irrational ranting at the man with the dog.
And there has my increasingly frequent commentary about the haircuts of the young. Not to mention their ridiculous pants. three words: Pull. Them. Up.
But most of these I can keep internalised and hope that, like someone with early on-set dementia, they will go away if I ignore them.
However, this last week has seen a significant deterioration in my condition. If you were unfortunate enough to witness me last week you’d have seen my wife and kids making worried eyes at each other. The sort of ‘we can’t ignore this any longer, can we?’ eyes. The ‘we need to talk about Richard’ eyes.
I have started shouting about the bloody heating.
I have been wandering around the house muttering about ‘putting on jumpers’ and setting all the radiator thermo-valves to zero and only turning them back up when the children present with blue fingers and toes.
Like a demented fire-officer I have been shutting doors where ever I go in the house in an effort to ‘keep the heat in’ and have started scavenging scrap timber from the shed to burn in the fire.When nobody is looking I can be found stealing around the house knocking down the thermostats a few degrees.
I know, you might be thinking that this might be a passing phase but if I told you that I own a cardigan and slippers (they’re leather, the slippers, mind you) I think you’d be taking next Monday off work to look into a ‘care village’ that could look after me.
I have found myself telling my kids that in Victorian times (the 1970’s in Ireland) we wouldn’t bring on the heating until there was frost on the inside of the glass. I somehow hope that this will make them realise that I am a benevolent dictator and not an irrational dictator but I think all it’s doing is make them look at me with those ‘weird dad’ stares.
To be fair, the fact that the gas company has raised it’s prices by 22% has exacerbated my condition. But that is like saying high strength beer has exacerbated your alcoholism.
So, hopefully we’ll have a mild winter and I can stop shouting about
and we can all get back to pretending to be like a normal family.
The running is going fine. I have nothing to train for so anything more than an hour of running seems pointless at the moment. Pointless in so much as I have no motivation.