Wake-Up And?

Wind turbine by the M4, Green Park, Reading

This is quite new. I am not.

A reasonable 30-miler, circumnavigating Reading, taking in Purley, Pangbourne, Theale, Three Mile Cross, Aborfield, Sandford, Sonning and Caversham. It’s a mark of how dismal the year so far has been for cycling, for me at least, that this is the longest ride I’ve done in 2013. With such a badly laid foundation over the winter, the summer’s riding will be harder than ideal.

For large parts of the route south of Reading, the wind turbine by the M4 looms large. Quite simply, that could not have existed just a few years ago. For most of my life, wind turbines like this just weren’t around. It feels very odd to be reminded of the passage of the time in such a blunt way.

Reality, of course, is that reminders are everywhere, from the bikes I ride and the shoes I wear to ride them upwards, and in every other aspect of life. Perhaps it’s the size of the wind turbine that makes it more striking – more forceful as a wake-up call.

Is being reminded that you’re getting old a wake-up call? It probably should be, if only to tell you to make the most of it. The hard part is knowing what constitutes ‘the most’ of any ‘it’ and, indeed, deciding which ‘its’ one should make the most of.


  1. One of the more annoying things about getting old is the constant harkening back to days gone by. When I was a teenager I did not think about how much better life was as a toddler. In young adulthood I could not imagine trading in my “thentimes” for any of those “beforetimes.”
    I can recall years of looking at those older than me and noticing how much of growing older seems to be about remembering youth. Discussions about the here-and-now for those old fogies seemed to revolve around ailments and discomforts. Little did I know that as a member of the human race I would find myself with the same dadblastit peculiarity.
    I vow as an old codger – that when I find myself in the company of the more youthful – I will not complain about my age, proclaim how it was in my day or do anything to prove my exuberance in any way that might result in a lengthy recuperation. Of course knowing your limits as the body withers is sort of like not knowing how brittle that yellow page is before turning it.
    Take it easy 😉

  2. Hi there. I can only agree with what you’re saying there – especially effort resulting in ‘lengthy recuperation’!

    I’ve always tried to live with ‘Don’t Look Back’ as my ruling maxim, but it gets harder and harder to stick with that. Something else that’s also been occupying my lately is the way we all tend to judge people by how the look in the here and now. We see all these ‘old codgers’ and think of them as such, but we’ve no idea what they’ve experienced. And, increasingly, I’m aware that that’s how people are looking at me …

Join In: