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U3A Writing: Bonkers

Marjory Kershawís delightful article proves that the best way to cope with senior moments is to keep hold of oneís sense of humour.

Drat! Iíve just been upstairs to put my watch on and came down without it.

What else did I go upstairs for? I canít remember. I must get ready; I have an appointment at 10.30 a.m. Thank goodness I havenít forgotten that.

I must change my shoes. One thing ĺ I always know where they are because I have a shoe rack. Iíve put the black one on, but whereís the other? Oh hang! I canít find it. My rack doesnít hold all my shoes, so I must have mislaid one. Oh dear, where is the wretched thing? Whatís it doing under the sideboard? Iíll never be ready at this rate.

While Iím out Iíll take my library books back. I did those up last night, so I know where they are.

Now, have I got everything: house keys, scooter keys, necessary documents and, yes, means of identification? These days one wonders if this is still England.

So I am on my way. I reach the bank and keep my appointment, only to find I need my great grandsonís birth certificate, which I donít have. Oh, well, we can make another appointment, and I can go ahead to the library.

Almost dreamily I cruise along Lidget Street, and when I reach the Infirmary, I am passing a long queue. At the same time it dawns on my addled wits that it is Wednesday and the library is closed all day.

So I say out loud, ďYou chump, you canít take four books back today,Ē at the risk of being thought an idiot for talking to myself.

I hear a raucous voice shout, ďMind her on the scooter; some of them are bonkers.Ē

I feel indignant but say nothing, the better part of valour and all that, but I think of all the times I make a point of thanking by signal motorists who show me great kindness, and pedestrians too, and how profuse are my thanks when I am helped in any way. But bonkers! I turn this over in my mind all the way home.

Whether I am bonkers continues to occupy my thoughts. Yes, I talk to myself. Yes, I mislay things. Yes, I have to write things down, but bonkers? Well, if I am, Iím enjoying it.

So I reach home and put the books back. I need to make some essential phone calls. Now I know I put the cards with their numbers on in this drawer. Oh hang! They arenít there. What the heck have I done with them? I know I put them in here.

Iíll look in the cupboard. Oh yes, they are here. I wonder why I put them in there? Why do things turn up in such unlikely places?

One great consolation is that it isnít just older people who mislay things. The young do it too, and I know that because Iíve heard younger people say so.

Luckily I can find my keys easily. I learned a long time ago the necessity of always being able to locate oneís keys. Keys and purse always at the ready.

Oh no. Staring at me are the letters I forgot to post. They should go today. Muttering, ďMy head will never save my legs,Ē I get my scooter out again to go and post them.

I meet a friend, and we sympathise with each other. She doesnít always remember things either. We agree we are both work-shy and donít do a great deal (of work, I mean). We can both of us socialise, and we can both talk. Itís strange how those two skills never leave you.

Iím sure there was something else Iíd forgotten. Oh yes, I need some fresh bread. Iíd better go for some while I am out.

Oh goodness! Thereís a lady coming towards me. I canít remember her name. Oh, what is it? Iím going through all the letters in the alphabet. I canít think. Oh dear! Fortunately, she speaks first, and we become involved in conversation. As we talk I begin to realise how I know her.

Finally I go for my bread and then make for home again. By that time I am fully convinced I am bonkers. Itís a good word, isnít it? Really descriptive, but on reflection Iím not so sure. Isnít it perhaps just that faculties slow down somewhat, energy levels drop and will power is not in great supply. Isnít it comforting that nearly everyone you speak to says itís like that for them too?

So letís accept our senior moments and thank the Good Lord we are still here.

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