In Shine A Light – the Martin Scorsese film on The Rolling Stones – Keith Richard kicks the gig off with the words: ‘It’s really good to be here … it’s really good to be anywhere’! I don’t feel quite the same way about having arrived at the age when the State identifies one as being a ‘senior citizen’ status, by dint of paying one a pension. I do, though, still feel a sense of amazement at the fact that I have reached this milestone.

The Ericle is not a person who lets go of the past lightly, but I am mindful of the Buddhist-inspired saying: “Do not dwell in the past, do not dream of the future, concentrate the mind on the present moment.” This notwithstanding, it seems appropriate to me on this particular day that I should ‘shine a light’ – (see what I did there?) – on some non-family highlights of my journey so far.

So, in no particular order, here is a list of the 25 experiences that come to mind on my 65th birthday:

1966

1. Most enjoyable public occasion attended: The 1966 World Cup Final

2. Most shocking public event:  the Twin Towers attack

3. Most impactful invention: The Internet

4. Favourite writer: Hermann Hesse

5. Favourite book: Lord Of The Rings

bobdylan

6. Favourite modern musician: Bob Dylan

7. Favourite single track: Imagine (John Lennon)

8. Favourite classical composer: Beethoven

9. Favourite classical music: Mahler’s 1st Symphony

10. Favourite play: The History Boys

cabaret

11. Favourite film: Cabaret

12. Sporting hero: Johnny Haynes

13. Fallen idol: Lance Armstrong

14. Favourite place: London

15. Favourite place in London: Hampstead Heath

Matterhorn and Alpine Valley

16. Most awesome view: The Matterhorn

17. Most memorable trip: South Africa (2001)

18. Proudest non-sporting achievement: Gaining a university degree

19. Biggest sporting achievement:  The London Marathon (1992 & 1997)

20. Most risky personal activity: cycling in London

lobster

21. Favourite delicacy: lobster

22. Favourite everyday food: well-made sandwiches

23. Biggest phobia: flying

24. Biggest regret: not taking a post-university teacher training course

25. Favourite quote: “Humanity is underrated”

[Nothing too extraordinary or surprising there, me thinks!? Well what did I expect – ‘a life less ordinary’?]

That’s quite enough self-indulgence for one day! Tomorrow is another day…

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6 Responses to Thoughts on becoming officially ‘Old’

  1. Victoria says:

    Never too late to be a teacher!

  2. joel says:

    Have very much appreciated, and shared with Robyn, and proud to be at least a small part of number 17!!

  3. Kurt Rayners says:

    I love and cherish my relationship with me London cousin. I miss you, I miss your family, I look forward to spending time with you. my fondest memories with you are my times London with your family and Uncle Kurtie in the flat watching futbol, sitting around the table eating, walking together in the snow, and of course watching Sam and Gabby grow up! Family. My prayer is that you know how much my family cares for you and all you have done for our family in cataloging our family tree, showing my wife your beautiful country, and always being an amazing friend to my sister. as my tears of joy come to my face writing on your blog, I am deeply thankful for you!

  4. Michael Heryet says:

    You’ve a long way to go before you are old Eric! Though guiding you round the Great Sam Half Marathon all those years ago, you seemed to age that day. But hey you recovered and did two London’s to match my tally – though I suspect I might have been a tad quicker. But my first was THE first one – so I was one of the privileged 7500 or so who did it and finished. You’ve also ridden 100 miles on a bicycle – a feet I haven’t managed since my teens when a Sunday morning, London to Brighton and back was considered to be a good Sunday well spent. So onwards and upwards to your 3 Score Years and Ten. But be careful out there on two wheels – whether self powered or petrol powered.

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