This is the T-shirt my younger son Duncan sent me the other week. I wore it at last week’s Newcastle launch, and it seemed to go down well.
The thing is, it’s always been one of my favourite poems, at least the first verse is. (I’m not fond of villanelles as a rule, but I make an exception for this one.)
And my son saw the design listed and ordered it for me because he realised, before I did, that this is exactly what I’ve been doing the last few years. I was 71 when I bought my first tenor sax and started playing it. I was 72 when when I bought the soprano sax. I love playing these instruments, and I get a huge kick out of it. I was 74 when I got my first three tattoos. They feel right and natural, they’re part of me now, and I don’t regret for a minute that I have them. (I may get a fourth this year, if I can decide on a design.)
So I am Getting On, as they say, but I’m not going quietly or gently; I burn, I rave, I rage against the negative aspects of ageing. And I’m having a hell of a good time about it.