Thursday, 16 February 2017

Age-related stuff!

We used to have an aged neighbour who could barely totter around. Walking his little dog to the corner of the street was enough for him. And yet he still got behind the wheel of his car several times a week to drive his wife, even more doddery than he was, to the shops or to visit relatives. He would peer over the steering wheel, looking for all the world as though he could barely see where he was going, and edge his way, with some trepidation, out into the traffic.

Every time I saw him do this I wondered if he would make it safely back. Fortunately, there is not an awful lot of traffic on our road as a rule but still enough to make it a dangerous business to be a aged driver. Fortunately, he tended not to go out at rush hour when the road does get busy. Also fortunately, his car was as old and rickety as he was and so would not go too fast anyway. Or maybe that should be unfortunately; it was in no condition to make a quick getaway if a speedy driver came zooming down the road.

I thought of him when I read about Harrison Ford landing his private plane on the wrong runway at an airport in the USA. He misheard or misunderstood or just ignored the traffic control instructions about where to land and wondered why there was a big passenger jet on "his" runway. It's not the first time he has had plane-related mishaps. So I find myself asking whether Harrison Ford, at 76 (I think) should be allowed to continue flying around in real life. It's not the same as piloting a space ship in a film studio.

Don't get me wrong. I am all for older people doing stuff. I plan on being independent as long as possible but I hope I don't become a liability to others.

I have often wondered about the popularity of names. Names come and go. I went to school with a large number of Maureens, Brians, Sheilas ((sometimes Shelaghs) and Kevins. None of those names seem to be around nowadays. Sometimes you can almost guess a person's age by their name. Someone gave me this link to the most popular names in Galicia over the decades. I was struck by how consistently popular certain names have remained.

Maybe it says something about the basic conservatism of the region.

But, having taught classes where up to seven girls could be called Julie, I find myself having sympathy for the poor teachers. Imagine being a teacher and trying to remember which Manuel or MarĂ­a was which in your class!!!

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