Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Fact: people get middle aged more quickly in the US

One’s increasing age is something that becomes progressively less exciting as one grows up. From being delighted to find that one has survived yet another year without being murdered by one’s parents to the point where people don’t even ask how old you are because they know you’d rather not say lies a wealth of experience

This said, whoever coined the term ‘middle-aged’, ought to be shot. It’s so... middley. So middle-of-the-road, so neither one nor the other – and as for the stereotype that goes with it - it doesn’t bear thinking of.

I’ve been a bit worried about it, though. What if I start acting my age? It would be an awful shame. So I did a spot of easy reading:

According to the Collins Dictionary, this is "... usually considered to occur approximately between the ages of 40 and 60".

The Oxford English Dictionary "... the period between early adulthood and old age, usually considered as the years from about 45 to 65".

The US Census lists middle age as including both the age categories 35 to 44 and 45 to 50

This begs the question: do people get middle-aged ten years earlier in the US than in England?

I gloat. For me, the prognosis is good for a few years more – as long as I don’t change dictionaries. After that? Ah! Fogesysville like the rest of you poor 35+ saps in the US.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Pudding for lunch

As you may know, I’m halfway through a six week stretch of supposed-to do nothing while I recover from my hysterectomy. One’d think that all this idle ease would provide me with the time to reach great heights.

I’ve always blamed lack of time for not doing so. It’s a useful excuse, and I’ve always half-believed it. ‘Master astrophysics?’ I might for instance say ‘Oh, I never had the time, really.’

Now, suddenly, the humdrum world is on hold and my mind is free to soar. It ought to soar if it was a soaring kind of mind, oughtn’t it? I should be dashing off delightful ditties and doggrel, writing reams and reams laden with gems of wit and wisdom and the occasional chicken bone (just for variety). I should be pondering and postulating – things like that.

It’s not happening, though, and that takes me back to one of my pet theories – the one about my head being completely empty. Well, it stands to reason. When I close my eyes and sort of roll them around to take a look, I see absolutely nothing. It’s pitch black in there, I tell you, and it’s a wonder my head doesn’t implode.

I think (though how I did that with an empty skull is a miracle of science) that my head just automatically fills itself up with whatever is about: a sort of circumstantial osmosis. At present, my main concerns are dominated by my bowel movements and what I’ll eat next, confirming my suspicion that I could be defined as a complicated tube with delusions of grandeur.

I think I’ll have the left over pudding for lunch.

Today's pic: a very small picture of nothing much.