Columnist: Older, and grumpier - ‘It’s happened. I’m older and I’m grumpier.’

Older, and grumpier
Older, and grumpier

It’s arrived. I’ve been waiting my turn and here it is.

I’m unsure of the exact moment it happened; it sort of crept up on me without my noticing, like the greying of hair. One day you’ve a full head of lustrous locks and suddenly, shockingly, as if from nowhere, there are white highlights.

I am grumpy. I am woman. I am older than I was when young and by some considerable amount. If I played cricket, I’d be more than half way to a century - and my legs would ache.

Sometimes, I require the soothing, ethereal nuances of the shipping forecast on loop and a dunked ginger biscuit (preferably chocolate coated) just to get me through the day.

An empty nest. Our children have grown and flown. The ‘spare room’ does not know this. It is full of stuff that belongs neither to my husband nor myself. It is the free-of-charge storage facility of the offspring and occasional, “can I come home for a while?” haven.

Why have I become a grumpy? It’s a rite of passage isn’t it? Passed down from mother to daughter, father to son and so forth. Though my mother, oddly, is less grumpy than I but then has never, as far as I am aware, felt the need to write to her MP or sign an E-Petition.

The screed for my discourse is a long and winding road meandering its way through the messy business of a life after 50 and the change that it brings. The pomposity of institutions (taps fingers on desk top), technology (scream), political rhetoric (throws something at television), are but a few of the many things that try the patience of my alter ego.

It’s not me, you understand. It is simply what appears to happen as we progress from owlet to the supposedly, wise old one. A process through which we navigate the perilous white-water of our coming to terms with, ‘getting on a bit’. Camaraderie between those of us for whom grumpiness has begun to infiltrate our basic pleasant, unassuming natures, is binding. It needs nothing more than the upward movement of an eyebrow or slow shake of head for there to be total understanding between us.

A grump finds solace in the company of a fellow grump. It is satisfying to put the world to rights over a scalding cuppa and laugh at the little absurdities that fall like frogs from cloudless skies.


Grumpy, of Diss