Michael Morpurgo, the author and former children’s laureate, is 76 on Saturday 5 October 2019, and he’s beginning to feel his age. But he’s not downhearted, partly because he draws inspiration from others who’ve stayed active and positive to the end of their lives.
Strange thing, getting old – because I never thought it would happen to me. Well, it has, and quite suddenly too. Life these days is punctuated with little reminders. A certain reluctance, that I never had when I was young, when it comes to looking in the mirror. Full body or face. Neither merits a second glance. Mirrors are in fact a perfect nuisance. In lifts with mirrors all round, sometimes you catch a glimpse of the back of a head that always lacks more hair than last time you looked, less than you had supposed or hoped.
And a casual glance at a shop window as you pass by catches you walking more bent. Two choices. One, play the part. Beethoven, hands behind his back, bent into the wind, hair flying, as he composes the Pastoral Symphony? Or you straighten up and walk younger, more youthfully, a sprightly step, just in case anyone else had noticed the elderly slouch. No-one has of course because no-one is looking. But I noticed. I do the Beethoven walk into the wind, humming the Pastoral. Good choice.
From the BBC.