when I’m 64

Up at 05.20 and now sat in the dark in the tv room avoiding most media sources. It’s all filled with terrible stuff about the Ukraine. It’s even moved to the sports pages.

My eyes did momentarily alight on an article on how the Queen, at the creditable age of 95, is getting frailer and taking on fewer duties. A bit of light relief. 

If modern science gets me to that age I have no idea what I’d want to get up to during the day. Obvs I’d have a glass of Guinness every day so that  I could boast that it was that wot kept me going. I certainly hope that my day would not be filled by daytime TV. What kind of sick brain comes up with that stuff.

It would almost certainly depend on my home sitch. If my life partner was still with me then I would have a jobs list to get on with. Without her it would be a very lonely existence. I know this from the experience of our own parents. We lived a long way from both sets so it was never just a chase of popping round for a chat and to see if everything was ok. 

Will be the same with us. Our kids are unlikely to be local to Lincoln although who knows? London is not a good place to bring up a family. Assuming they get to that stage of the game.

In four years time I will be sixty four. Will I be losing my hair? Will we rent a cottage in the Isle of Wight every summer? It’s more likely to be the Isle of Man. Doesn’t feel as if it is many years from now. 

I’ve lived in Lincoln since January 7th 1984 with one year away in London early on in that time. I remember turning up on the Sunday to stay at the YMCA where Marconi had put me up whilst I found somewhere to live. I remember heading into town that evening to check it out. There wasn’t much to check out in those days.

After a couple of pints in the Jolly Brewer and the Wheatsheaf I was excited to discover a place called the Vegas Burger Bar. Boy was this the big city. Remember I had previously lived in Bangor in North Wales where I’d hung around for a while after university.

The Vegas Burger Bar turned out to be a massive disappointment. I only ever went there the once and it did not survive for very long after that. Not a surprise.

I stayed at the YMCA around a month. It was full of characters. There was one guy, I can’t remember his name though I might have it written down in a diary somewhere, who was up in Lincoln on a building site management course and who managed to juggle relationships with five or six women at the same time. It was amazing to see him in action chatting them up. He eventually had to cut back on the numbers as he couldn’t cope. 

I remember one weekend where he rocked up for Sunday lunch having spent a couple of nights with the manageress of Binns department store. Having eaten he retired to his room with a bottle of champagne and the assistant librarian from the college library. 38 years ago!!

My other memory of the YMCA is popping out to buy a newspaper on a Sunday morning. There was an old guy who used to stand at the bottom of Lindum Hill by the traffic lights selling papers. On this occasion I trudged there through the January snow and stood in a short queue behind a bloke with a dog. Whilst the man with the dog chatted to the newspaper vendor the dog cocked its leg and peed on the latter’s leg. Instead of kicking the dog away the old guy just looked down and pointed saying “oy your dog is peeing on my leg!”. Left the customer to chase the dog off his leg. Couldn’t make it up.

I was almost certainly the only person staying at the YMCA who read the Sunday Times. I don’t read it anymore although I would consider buying the occasional copy as it would come in handy to light the fire of a morning. I don’t know if it is as substantial as it used to be. Hard times for hard copy.

Anyway time to make the tea. Ciao amigos.

By Trefor Davies

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