Monday, September 18, 2023


I've been to the Botanics twice over the last three days - more than usually - and it's lovely as ever, but getting rather autumnal.

I used to love autumn - crisp mornings, the colours of the trees, the challenge of a new term.

But as I get older, it has its sad side too. The fading of the year; the fading of my friends and me. 

Various of my friends' husbands have quite serious illnesses and it's impossible not to think occasionally of one's own death - not in a particularly gloomy way, but more in a - really? - does this death thing genuinely apply to me? - way. 

It can be quite minor things, such as feeling that it's not worth buying new floor covering for the kitchen, because - how long are we going to be in this house (never mind on this earth)? 

I have a tendency, if I find a comfortable pair of shoes, to buy two pairs so that I have another when the first wears out. But now I wonder how sad it would make my children to find an unworn pair of shoes at the bottom of my wardrobe as they cleared the house. 

All very morbid - and I'm not really. I just think I'm realistic. At 73, I'm glad to be alive and I hope to be alive another few years; but one can never tell (for whom the bell tolls). It's lovely to see new babies born and the oldies have to make room. Meanwhile, retirement is very pleasant. 

Mostly I feel very much the same inside as I ever did. However, there's now a long perspective, looking back, anyway. Forward - possibly not... .  Is it wisdom? Maybe not, but it's experience. You know that everything will pass, the good and the bad, because most things have already done so. You remember what all the stages of life are like. When I was young, I thought that old people were almost a different species, who would have forgotten what it was like to be young. Not at all. 

When you're young yourself, old people tell you how short life is, but you don't really understand this till later, just as you didn't really understand what hard work it would be to look after small children. You feel that no one's told you. But they have. You just haven't taken it in. And you feel you'll be the parent of small children for ever, and then they're grown up and gone. People told you that too. 

Meanwhile I shall go to the Botanics and meet friends and tend my garden and make quilts - so many nice things to do, so little time. 



  1. Such a beautiful and introspective post, Pam. I still think of 73 as quite young in the elderly category. You do so much with the time you have--hope you have lots more!

  2. I find myself thinking along the same lines as you and it's depressing and gloomy. It's hard to be upbeat, sometimes.

  3. Well. I've said all of this many times and in the same words you use. We are the same age and our friends, too, are falling apart slowly. I refuse to go down without a fight and because we are all in the same boat with our friends it doesn't do any good to spend our times together listing our latest medications. I keep telling my husband, "as long as we CAN do it we WILL do it." And, I am cleaning out those closets now, myself and hope to leave not a mess, but a pile of quilts.
    Keep on keeping on, Pam. In my book we have lots of time left, just be mindful of where you step.

  4. How well you have put that. I did smile when you wondered aloud if death really applied to you! As a child I used to tell myself that even the Queen had to die, and now she has, so I was right about that.

  5. You've expressed it so well. I'm 71, and feeling that life must be held reverently, and those wonderful, small, insignificant experiences appreciated all the more as "they may not come again". And I'm also aware of the need to constantly clear things out so the mess isn't left for the family 'when I'm gone'. I had to clear my darling aunt's home - a million unopened pair of stockings, brassieres and corsets (remember them!!) And then there were the fur coats!! I Will Not Leave A Task Like That!!