What can YOU say in six sentences?
No, it’s true, this is not fiction, though I tell a porky or two about my age for be it young or old such knowledge tends to colour judgement so, technically, a part of this narrative falls into the realm of romance, for I am in emphatic denial concerning the number of years I have been on this earth.
The French overlook the Seven Stages of Man and try to tell us there are only three; of which the Third Age begins at forty-five but really, I gave up running and, come to think of it, jogging at forty, except for the horizontal variety, which reminds me of a question that George Bernard Shaw put to a Parisienne in her eighty-eighth year: ‘At what age do you cease to fall in love?’
To which she replied with a smile.
In my head, of course, I am thirty-six years of age and in my fiction age has no boundaries, as for retirement (which I regard as among the most offensive words in the dictionary if ever it be suggested to me) — can you imagine having a wonderful life working away at a keyboard or being behind a camera, or dipping a brush into paint, or jotting down an idea on a notebook with the sharp end of a 2b pencil — that I could tolerate anyone who dares order me to retire?
I still fall in love at the sight or sound of a beautiful woman for the way she walks, or for something she says, or the state of her mind revealed by a poem or book or letter she writes; or by the sound of her voice if she sings Puccini or plays the piano.
And I am still of the age when the woman I love, and so many others for the briefest of moments walking by, who returns the look that I have in my eye.