Tag Archives: old age

thoughts of going old

27 Oct

london 5.50pm 15.2C  dry thursday 2016 sunset is 5.41pm

i think there is something saddening about a sunset, whilst a sunrise seem to be more uplifting. maybe it is just me, but that is how it affects me now. or maybe it is something that we feel more strongly as we go old.

i think when i was young i dont feel anything at all about sunsets or sunrise. dont think i associate it with anything really when i am young. just noticing a sunset if it is spectacularly beautiful and enjoying it. now even if i am enjoying it, the thought is always there that it is not going to last, and that the days of such sunsets are coming closer to an end, because the sunset reminds me of my days ending too. the sense that my days are numbered is there. 

i wonder if that is something that is quite common amongst those of us who are growing old… we are more aware of our health getting less healthy with signs of bad health cropping up. i dont have any health problems, at least not yet, even so i still feel this. 

vaguely we are aware the body is not so healthy as before where we are so healthy we dont even think about it.

i do admire old people who remain optimistic even in advance old age. the grumbling old person is not a stereotype. it really is what we all become sooner or later. ah well, it is only in a blog that i can say it. one tries not to say it in our normal conversation with others, but inwardly we think it… grumble grumble, haha. the only thing i try to do is to laugh at myself when i catch myself thinking like that. it is so easy to fall into that habit of grumbling about everything. especially about other people’s behaviour. so i try to stop myself and just fall back on my constant refrain, their souls wants it. that way i can brush it off and forget it. otherwise u can get involved in long standing disputes with another old person who is just as stubborn as u. thankfully i dont have that. but now and then u can see it crop up in the news of long standing dispute between neighbours. two old people fighting over something trivial.

perhaps travelling can make someone less introspective about their life. whilst you are on the move, u get caught up in the logistics of it, and so less time to contemplate your inner life. and the new sights and sounds of new places and things to see and eat and people u meet can be a nice distraction. i am too aware of it as a means of taking myself out of myself, to be soothed by it. i know it for what a distraction it is. so i shall not bother to travel to escape myself and stay here and work it out by other means.

reading i find can be a nice distraction. esp if u pick up a novel that carries u to another world.  

and there is the soothing effect of habits, doing things that are established routine so that there is an order and narrative about it that u can live with, without having to trouble yourself to reinvent everytime. and then to inject into it now and then, something that is out of the ordinary just to give you some variety. its quite  a nice way to live actually. 

 

 

old farts are such a pain.

21 Mar

london 9.12pm. 9.4C monday 2016

my friends are all old. so our conversations are about health, how one of them has diabetes. and wanted to go back to a cafe they had lunch earlier in the day, for their dessert. i said, but you are diabetic, you shouldn’t be eating suger. he said, but it is alright, because i have my shot of insulin.

so there u have us old farts ill like anything but still not want to give up our bad habits and prefer to take loads of medicine and injections so that we can continue having our bad habits … sigh.

old people can be such a pain aren’t we? but i am an old fart myself so i guess i should not sneer. haha. i am sure i have mannerisms, and behaviour that are just as contradictory and just as irritating.

though i hope i dont descend to this old man i see in our library. he is there all the time, and always early, and grabs the daily mail and hogs it… he falls asleep whilst reading it. i know it is a boring paper, but god you dont have to make it so obvious. and only wakes up when the librarian sees him and wakes him. fortunately i sit next to him, and he knows i want to read that paper, so he lets me, with the understanding that i return the paper to him after i have read it.

god knows, others who want to read it wont be able to as he then keeps it by him, whilst he dozes off or reads something else. haha. but i have got what i wanted from that paper and so i let him. old people !! how they can just fall asleep with the paper in front of them, what is the matter with them…? they can just fall off to sleep just like that, at the drop of a hat. and then other times when you  want them to sleep they don’t…

 i am an old fart  myself and i can see what a pain we are. i am just afraid that i might be one of them myself one day. what a horrible thought.

that is why i dont really like to befriend old people. i cannot stand them. haha. the only old person i can stand is myself. haha. and that is because i have not yet got to their stage of senility yet. or maybe i have but dont know it. haha.

ah well, i know i grow old, and it is inevitable, but i hope i keep the deterioration to as slow a rate as possible and delay that senility for as long as possible. whilst irritating hell of a lot of people without realising it. 

we make our beds

1 Jan

london 6.42am new year day 2016, 6C, still dark outside but dry.

i read garfieldblog’s post just now and it really reminded me that i forgot to send new year greetings to my family. i know, you can well ask, how can anyone forget that? i am afraid i do.

it is partly because i have long since not bothered with new year… i mean i tend not to bother with birthdays and anniversaries, and new year is lumped in with those categories.

it is i think one of the things that i find i fall into when i get older. in a way it is a certain selfishness that u see in old people… they go their way and no amount of reasoning with them will make them change their ways. i can see that trait in me developing…

i see a tv program ‘catherine tates nan’ about a loud rude overbearing granny played by catherine tate, and i can see she got the old man/woman madness really well. fortunately i have not got to that rude stage telling off people without any restraint, at least not to their faces. haha. but u can see how there are such old people and u begin to realise is that what we will all come to if we live long enough? or we get into dementia… ? both of which seem to give a strong arguement for euthanasia.

you know, they all say there are many lonely old people or old people who are alone.  and when u have dealings with them, u might understand why. they dont make any effort to connect with others, and just let all communication die of neglect (that is me i am afraid), or they quarrel with family and break off contact at a whim, and then forget to connect; or just like being unbothered with the problems of their children or family… and the children, or family not bother with them, until one day they get unwell, and wish they had bothered. or their children have moved far from home, to another country even, so things just left unspoken and unheard because it is too much bother to keep up.

all this leaves old people on their own, unless they are lucky enough to make friends, near by… but then their friends are likely to be their age, and they might find the friends died or got ill before them, and they end up looking after them!!

is that what we can all look forward to in life? so saddening isn’t it? and what a thought for the new year, when things should be hopeful and uplifting. yuk, i wonder if i should post this. dont want to dampen people’s excitement about a new year. posts should be happy and uplifting and optimistic.

oh well, it is hopefully long into the future that any of us will get that old… i have a feeling that is the ultimate fate of everyone who live long enough.

but meanwhile all the more reason to appreciate our health and life now and be truly happy and appreciative of it.

life

12 Feb

London
I had reason to browse the wine shelves in the supermarket. I was going to a naked sex party and had to bring a bottle. I don’t drink and don’t know anything about wine so I only noticed the price of these things.
They are very expensive for what is only 5%proof. £5-£6 average price as a rough assessment.
Perhaps it is not expensive for the wine drinker, but it seems so to me.
I am glad I don’t drink. Just think of the amount of money I save. Haha. And don’t ruin my liver as well.
It is the same reason why I am glad I don’t smoke.
In fact, I am not sure it gives me an advantage, my not smoking  because I found out I got emphysema. I got a bit breathless and normally just breathe deeply and that solves it. But just the once, I got really breathless, felt like there is a lump in my throat and felt giddy and nauseous.
And I got a small cough too…
I thought at first I got TB, because my partner got it 2yrs ago.
Anyway after a chest xray and breathing tests, the diagnosis was emphysema.
We have no idea what caused it. That is one of the good things about not smoking, because if i did, the doctors will not look further and just dismiss it as just a natural consequence of smoking. It seems 80% of emphysema is due to smoking.

Ah well, at least I know why I am breathless. though calling it emphysema is just saying in latin that i am breathless. haha. it does not say what is causing it.  
It is quite minor now, and I hope taking swimming and walking briskly will give me the exercise and that will keep it at bay.

I used to breath deeply to overcome the breathlessness when i get it, but I have found out taking short quick breaths is better strategy. So when I am walking fast I take short breaths rapidly. That works.

One thing about going old, maybe shortness of breath is just a sign of old age. that is why i am not saying give up smoking or give up drinking. as you see, my not smoking still got me emphysema. if u enjoy smoking and drinking i suppose it is one more joy to add to your life. haha. but if u dont enjoy it and it has become a habit, then it might be a good idea to let it go. in other words if a habit makes u unhappy, that is a good reason to let it go. 

Now and then I feel I should be doing more things with my life, instead of the routine that I have established to my satisfaction… (can i call it a habit, has it become addictive?) … going swimming, going to the library and reading the daily papers there and borrowing books; grocery shopping,  going to Chinatown, making variations like going to a meetup gay group in soho, occasionally going to naked orgies, going to tate gallery;but as you know, human beings tend to want more and feel if they are not doing more they are wasting their life.

So I read other blogs and there I find people going round the world, travelling, eating out and talking about it, living frugal lives, and how they work themselves out of debt, but have u noticed that so many of the things they do may not be what u want from your life.

Ah well, the more I read of others lives, the more I feel glad I don’t live like them and the more I find my life is great. So that makes me more satisfied with it. Haha.

I bet many reading my pages will be glad they are not living my life as they think it is boring. Haha. Welcome to the club.haha.

I think that is the secret of life. Your life is unique to you and the best life for you is one that you are happy and satisfied with. No matter that it does not conform to what they say a good life should be like. You can have a lazy day doing nothing, eating anything u like, sleeping whenever u like, reading a book or not, seeing tv or not, have nothing to worry about, and it is a damn fine way to live. Haha.

expat in thailand

18 Mar

London
My friend who lives in Thailand now has gone. He was here for 2nights.

He is here on holiday. Staying with another friend outside London and had been here for 2months , and next week will be going on to Toronto, to meet his relatives.

He has been living in Thailand for 6yrs now.

And now he is rather worried about whether he can come back here to uk if he were to get a serious illness.

It is the perennial worry of all expats. They love to live abroad and are perfectly happy to dish the uk, but when they fall ill, they hasten back here for the nhs.

The older they get the more the health problems loom large.

Anyway, he is here for a holiday, and so not yet forced to come back for his health.

When u consider so many in the world would love to come here to the uk but cannot, it is ironic that we have people here who want to leave and go live elsewhere in the world where they are not going to have free health care and be forever living in strange cultures.

With strange foods, very hot or very cold nights, either way they need heaters and air conditioners. You would think they must love being in the hot climate. And the hotter the better, but not so. They use up a lot of electricity, because they will heat up the place and cool down the place on the same day. Worst than when they are in uk, because at least in uk they need only use the heaters in winter.

(though if u use my experience, they wont even need to do that (heat in winter).

My friend had to tolerate my not having the heaters on, and I have told him about it that was the condition if he wants to stay here.

It has been mild this weekend , but I can see he feels cold. (i have blankets and hot water bottle for him so he is warm enough.

Later he told me he was recently diagnosed with hypothroidism , that would explain why he feels the cold. Though I think it is also because his body has never got to acclimatise itself and get used to cold weather. At the drop of a hat he will turn up the heaters. Instead of putting on more warm clothing.

He does not dress properly for the weather that is for sure. He only got on a denim jacket and a t shirt and sweater. I lent him a wool muffler.

You know old people do this silly thing, not dress properly; but u don’t feel u can tell them off for doing so. They are supposed to be adults , but they have the mind and tantrums of a child.

So many times I have heard old people say, ‘don’t tell me what to do.’

The thing about being old is that you will sooner or later get some illness, it is inevitable. U are lucky if u can delay that day when u are diagnosed with an illness… a failing heart, kidney, liver , and whatever other organs that can go wrong will.

That is the buggery thing about going old.

I know, it is rather a bleak view of ageing. But the more I see old people, the more I come to this conclusion. It is not really very nice to go really old. don’t believe anyone who wants to live long and whose idea of a happy life is to live to a ripe old age. U suffer a lot when u grow old, all the aches and pains of creaky joints and failing organs.

Granted not everyone will experience that. I mean if u look at those old Japanese people living in the mountains, u can see they generally have good health and are active and independent in their society. That is the kind of old age I would like.

It seems most of these old people who live to a ripe old age live in the highlands. I think the thin air makes them breathe more, and more vigorously, and that is something I find old people in other areas don’t do much. Breathe deep and often. And of course, there are all those hills to climb up and down.

I think if u can do that throughout the day. Consciously breathe deep u will have a healthier life.

reunion

12 Feb

London
Sunday 10.2.13
I had thought to post some pics of the Chinese new year celebrations in London round Trafalgar square and Chinatown. But it rained practically throughout the time allotted for it, a small drizzling rain.

I don’t mind the rain, as I was able to use my rain coat, but it cannot be very nice for those who want to celebrate it outdoors. And it cannot be much fun for those providing the entertainment or food stalls or souvenir stalls. And the day was too dull to make happy pictures. Haha.

But London is such a large city and have so many people I am sure even if a small number of those people who came there are young enough to enjoy the day and bring their boisterous nature to it, it will be enough to lighten the spirit for everyone else.

So if my friend and I don’t stay long, (my friend suggested we move on to the south bank); it does not mean the day was a washout.

We are too old to hang around. One of the things about being old, or older is that u really come to realise that new year celebrations are really for the young. They get to receive ang pows, and new clothes, and lots of food to eat… and they will be indulged in, with parents who are normally very strict the rest of the year, relaxing and giving tacit permission to play the fool a bit.
Not that my parents were strict, but I know my parents are unusual in this respect. A lot of my Chinese friends have very controlling parents.

 

I met up with a German friend of long ago who moved to panama to live with his Mexican boyfriend, and works for a hotel chain, and travels half the year abroad a lot for his work. He seldom come to uk, but this time he did and so we met after many years.

It is actually rather a sad and nostalgic meet. Because both of us have grown old… and all our friends have gone. Not gone away from London, but we lost touch with them even though they are living in London. So that there was only two of us to meet. We remember the younger us and those days of frolic in London, unlike now when we all have our separate lives and cannot even muster a big reunion of all our old friends.

Reunions are not always a happy affair, and can be more of a chore. I know we Chinese always rapsodise the family get together reunion at Chinese new year, but I know it can be rather a bore . Like taking a holiday to the same place every year. And with added horribleness in having to socialise with those in the family if you cannot get along with them in the first place.

I get along well with my brothers and sister, but I am glad I don’t have to go back to Malaysia for a reunion.

That is the reality of life. We grow old. Friends come and go. And we change too, and as we go older, our outlook does tend to concentrate too much on musings on health a lot more than when we were young.

I don’t recall we talked of our health that much when we were young.

And the interesting thing I noticed with our conversation, is that instead of curiosity to hear what the other’s sexual adventures are , we tend to talk of our own adventures and for me anyway, comparing theirs with mine and realising that I don’t really fancy their adventures.

So different from when we were younger, when we have not done things and are not experienced in sex. And when we hear of some unusual sexual practices we are just agog to hear more, even though secretly thinking how awful, I don’t like that.

Not realising that many years later , we will be doing it, liking it and doing it a lot now.

My friend says he goes to saunas a lot during his trips abroad on business . He works for a hotel chain which have many branches worldwide.

And I remember thinking when he said it that I don’t like to go to saunas anymore. Haha. At least not in London. I daresay if I were to be on holiday in Europe, or s.e.asia. I will go because most of the gay action is in those places. And it is a way to meet other gay guys for sex without a lot of complications or danger.

Everyone who likes saunas always say they like how clean they can be and how everyone else is clean too. My friend is no exception. He too praised the cleanliness.

So much emphasis on cleanliness… I guess they have not yet experienced the joy and sexual excitement of guys’ natural scent.

Some guys give off really exciting natural body scents.

It was too rainy to hang around outdoors or to watch the Chinese new year shows… and he was not that interested in them anyway, seeing most of the time u are looking over people’s heads, which is bad enough but this time there are the umbrellas to contend with as well.

So we walked across the river and after going into the festival hall and a number of others places to find a place to sit so we could chat, and finding them so crowded with people there was no room to sit, we finally settled on benches outside the film institute. I think not many sit there because the coffee is very expensive. Or maybe it was a cold day for them. The staff very kindly turned up the open flame heaters without us asking.

It was nice to catch up with him. And to have a glimpse of another life lived differently from mine. He told of his dreams to retire. Though interestingly enough his idea of retirement is to find another job , and set up a B&B in panama!!

I think he was just musing and testing out the possiblities, as he said he wants to buy a place elsewhere, in florida he said for the weather, and move between panama and that place. And of course that is not compatible with running a bed and breakfast in panama. Haha.

There are hurricanes in florida, and the summers are very hot. But I did not remind him of it. After all, we all like to dream and why not!

In fact, even now in panama, he tells me they have bought a place in the mountains near the panama city where they live, just so they can go there over the weekend, to escape the heat. So even though he likes the hot weather, I can see it can be too much sometimes, if not all the time.haha.

I know how it is like. I am from Malaysia, and the weather he said is rather similar in panama. Hot all the time, and either wet during the winter, or dry during the summer months. In Malaysia it is the other way round.

Makes u wonder why they live there when they cannot stand the tropical heat. It seems temperatures in panama is like Singapore. my friend’s reason may be to be with his boyfriend, so that might explain why he lives in panama now. And also explains why he likes going to the highlands. it is very similar to the british when they governed in malaysia, going up to cameron highlands or fraser’s hill , near kuala lumpur to escape the lowland heat. They do it in india too. 

People I find are very contradictory. And they say these contradictory things in the same breath and don’t seem to be aware of it. Haha. I don’t mind, I am very indulgent when I hear guys talking to me about their visions of their future and what they would like their life to be .

I made the observation that in terms of ideal climate, London is the best. Neither too extreme in heat or cold and so pleasant to live in all year round. I know not many will agree with me. Haha. But to those of us who have travelled the world and seen it all, I can assure u London weather is the ideal.

I like the rain. Because it is a nice contrast to dry days. I would be bored if the weather is sunny and dry all year round. It is too much the same. And today’s rain is rather pleasant, a small drizzle with not much wind.

But ‘say that to the marines‘, I hear your collective shout from you all who are currently living under these rain darkened clouds. Haha.

 

 

 

 

 

christmas day and boxing day

26 Dec

London

25.12.12 Christmas day
I thought there will be something to write about for this day, but really there wasn’t.

A friend called me to say he is nearby and wants to know if I am free so he can visit me.

I said yes, and he said he will call me later when he is ready to come to my place.

Well, I thought I shall take a nap, and still be able to hear my phone ring.

But I must have slept, and so soundly that I did not hear him ring me. i thought he was not coming when I next pick up my phone to hear if there was any messages, I found he had left me a message. He rang at about 1.40pm, and since I did not pick it up, he thought I have gone out, and so he decided to go home.

Later, the next day, boxing day, he explained that after his call to me,  he went to see his 90yr old woman friend who lives near me. He said this time of year he visits his old friends, to keep in touch. And this one is really old, and has senile dementia.

He mentioned that he was late calling me back as that friend told him the carer did not come that day to make sure she took her medicine. After calling the carer services, where there was no answer, he stayed with her till another carer who had come for another person in that old folks home was able to open the log book and told him the carer did come at 8am, and woke her to give her the medicine.

All the while the old lady was protesting to him that she is not mad. I think all this diagnosis of dementia is making the patient realise she is losing her mind and making her even more anxious. In the normal course of events, the old lady never get to realise she is losing her mind. She just loses it, and it is so gradual that all she knows is that everyone around her is losing their minds, are going deaf, are forgetful, steal her things, and generally make a nuisance of themselves whilst she is the only sane one . Haha.

And normally there is no harm in letting them think this. They can just gradually go senile and remain quite happy and ignorant of it.

But nowadays, the doctors leap on the diagnosis, tells the old person they are gradually losing their mind, and make the old person really anxious and scared and worried.

It does not help them to know the diagnosis, because there is no cure and so they then get prescribed anti anxiety, anti depressants, and god knows what else to counteract the side effects, for eg, prescribed sleeping pills as the antidepressants may give them imsomnia.

So these old folks are just filled with pills.

That is my view anyway, if ever I get dementia, I prefer not to know about it. Just get someone to look after me, not interfering, but keep an eye on me. That would be the ideal help, but I am not likely to get that. They will put me in an old folks home and pump me full of medicine.

Hope my soul make me die before that happens. Haha.

Anyway, today boxing day, he called and ask me to visit him, or he can come to meet me in town.

I decided I shall take the bus to his place. The tubes are on strike , but his place is easier to get to by bus anyway. It takes two changes of bus.

It took me 1.5hrs to get to his place. And he prepared a lunch of chicken and pasta, very nice.

We chatted about mutual friends, and how we have lost touch with them. He said none of our friends visit him anymore, he said he thinks it is because they look down on his flat…

They want him to visit them instead . I said surely that is all right then, it means they are not wanting to cut off the friendship but he was not consoled.

I myself don’t get any visits from friends, but then I can understand why they might not want to visit me. I don’t want to visit them either. Haha.

Our interests have diverged a lot.

They must all be in their 50s now. It does make u realise u are getting old, when u see your friends all getting old.

U want to meet new younger people. At least I do. Haha.

Old people are rather depressing because they will have lots of health issues and it reminds u of yours when u hear them talking of their ills.

Anyway, he wanted to carry on our conversation in a coffee shop, and took the car and drove to Kensal rise where he says there is an ethnic coffee shop which might be open on boxing day.

It was about 3.50pm now and getting dark, and really not many places were open. So I said I wanted to go back, and ask him to put me at the bus route back and when he says we are near Paddington, I suggested he put me there.

I managed to catch the number 16 at edgeware road. It was very crowded, with half the bus getting off at marble arch which is one end of oxford st.  They cant all be going shopping surely? I was glad when they cleared the bus.

Getting off at victoria, I went to the sainsburys, and saw they were reducing the vegetables, so I bought some. Brocolli ,lettuce, carrots, potatoes, mushrooms, spring onions for 20p each pack. I bought 11 of these packs for total of £2.28.

There were loads of bread, and quite good bread too, hovis multiseeded/ wholemeal too. But they were 20p each and I usually get them for 10p and I got enough so I did not buy them. Strange they did not just reduce them to 10p. I would have bought some more if they did.

The shop closes at 5pm, and it was already making announcements to shoppers to pay up and go. So maybe those breads are not expiring today for their sell -by date.

Ah well, so that was how I spent my day, and soon boxing daywill be over, and tomorrow things will get back to normal, and my gym will be opened and I can go there again. And the library will be opened too.

And thank goodness all these holidays will be over.

I was seeing the alice in wonderland film on tv, starring Helena bonham carter as the red queen. It had raving reviews, when it came out in 2010, but it is really not very interesting. It disappointed me actually. Lots of computer generated images of monsters, and it looked like lord of the rings. I am so glad I did not pay good money to see it when it came out in the cinemas.

Films are very overated these days.