This blog has been fairly infrequent this year, and it’s time to admit I’m unlikely to write anything during the summer.

That’s because I’m more preoccupied with table tennis activities than I expected, and the quiet moments when I would like to be thinking about life and age are instead filled with wondering what’s next on my to-do list. Principally, I’ve been busy setting up a new, city-wide short-format table tennis league for the summer, and planning changes for the regular sessions I organise when the church we play in is finally sold.

Exciting possibilities, but also time-consuming and distracting.

So forgive me for a few more quiet months, I hope to be back in thinking and writing mode in the autumn!

The app We Croak got a few write-ups recently with its promise to remind us of our mortality five times a day. Anyone who keeps an eye on the news hardly needs reminding that death is everywhere, even if it isn’t touching our own lives right now. But knowing that people in general die is one thing. Accepting we ourselves will one day simply no longer exist, is quite another. How do we live, knowing this, especially as we age?  Read More →

Three people I cared about died in August. A fit, active man of 70, whose heart gave out suddenly on his weekly cycle ride. A woman of 90 who’d wound down gradually but stayed active until her last weeks, when she died of cancer, peacefully at home surrounded by family. My father-in-law, experiencing various health setbacks and partial recoveries through his eighties, until he could take no more. I thought of them often as I read Atul Gawande’s Being Mortal, an important, moving, challenging book on “illness, medicine and what matters in the end”. Read More →

Getting older means going downhill. Hearing goes, sight worsens, memory stutters, everything takes twice as long. We head inexorably towards Shakespeare’s “second childishness and mere oblivion/Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything”.

Or do we? Read More →