(That’s an Old Git, mostly.) I don’t want to jump on M C Ward’s bandwagon, or indeed to enter some inverted-snobbery, Four Yorkshiremen type of contest, again. But nothing is more inexorable than the march of time, and nothing also makes one so irredeemably a whinger. So here goes. As some of you may know I have a job in computing for an American company here in Romania’s Silicon Valley. I work with some top computer people, though this hasn’t become so apparent until now. At first they afforded me some respect: I’m a foreigner who's inexplicably come to live in their mud-encrusted country, I have Qualifications, and (for most of them) I Am Old Enough To Be Their Father. Not any more. The last of these supposed virtues is now showing through like a bony elbow in a granddad’s worn out cardigan. I can’t do the work even half as fast as these youngsters. I can’t remember things either. The time between them asking me a question and then looking silently yet meaningfully at each another (during which time I'm saying “errr... not sure... errr... that was 3 weeks ago now... could be anything”) has now dwindled from a just-possibly-respectful 10 seconds to less than 1.
Of course, an old person has experience and therefore some advantages, in theory. In my own pitiful case I might protest “Well, I can dance better than you – even your own national folk dancing!”. I might as well say “I can dribble down the front of my cardigan better than you” or “I can not quite make it to the toilet in time better than you”. My back-up position is to try to make 'em laugh, but that would be about as appropriate here as coming into work naked. I respect them. I might even like to adopt one or two of them. Or perhaps just pass round the office with a bag of Werther’s Originals from time to time. Dhuurgghhhh. Old Git.