Saturday 15 October 2011

A Day of Significance - My Life in Pictures

Yes, today I become what used to be known as an 'Old Age Pensioner', now p.c.'d to a more acceptable 'Senior Citizen'.

So here is a golden opportunity to parade my life in visual stages:-

The only photo of me taken as a baby (1 year old). And the only time in my life I could fairly have been described as 'fat'.

At maybe 7 or 8.

About 10? Left - with my mum, sister & younger bro.
18 - my first ever holiday abroad - in Prague. (Note my relaxedly 'casual' holiday wear.)

21/22? The guy disappearing down in the background was a good school chum, one of only two I kept contact with after leaving. He was tragically killed in a car crash about 2 years later.

24 on holiday in Greece (Athen's port Pireaus in background)

36, in Amsterdam. The bearded era has started - and continues still.

                                   40-ish? Paris?  Practising that 'smouldering' look.

40-ish Munich (or was it Berlin?). All leathered-up for a night of disco-dancing and cruising.
(I must have sweated like a pig!)

50-ish? The grey starts to appear.

And finally, just one week ago - and still truckin'!

Well, in a few days time I should start receiving my state pension. In many cases this would be cause for rejoicing because of the extra income. In my case it means the reverse as I've only survived thus far by eating into my savings until it's practically all disappeared. If it had gone on much longer I wouldn't have had even enough left to give me a decent burial, let alone a funeral service (which I don't particularly want anyway), and it would have left my surviving brothers and sister to pick up the bill. But I think I can stop that from happening. I've got to tighten my belt still further to stop using up what's left - particularly difficult with soaring heating costs plus all the other increases around - not to mention having to provide for my own two pussies PLUS another three (at the moment) 'visitors' who come through the window with nary a thought as to how I can get the money to feed them. But feed them I must. For a long time I've been spending more on cat food than I do on food for myself.  It all still means that there's no possibility of my having a holiday, even though my last one was now almost 21 years ago. (Awwww. Poor me!)
   But today's a day for celebration and I shall mark it by having a main meal of fried-egg sandwiches, using  lashings of butter, with ladles of salt and pepper on it - plus a dishful of twice-fried chips (fries), likewise over-loaded with oodles of salt - and a bowl of baked beans with a tongue-scorching quantity of curry-powder mixed in. And all washed down with a half-bottle of cheap n' cheerful California Red. Can you imagine anything nicer? No, I thought not!


  1. Yay! Happy birthday Ray! I wish you all the best :)

  2. Thanks so much, Tai. I'll think of you when I do my solo 'celebration' this evening.

  3. Awesome, I like to be thought that way :)

  4. It was my pleasure, Tai. I was thinking of you when I tucked into my third fried egg.

  5. Meant to message yesterday but wasn't online long enough - so belated Happy Birthday!

  6. Many thanks indeed, Andrew. Your wishes are still much appreciated - even more so since the only b/day greetings I got were from the lovely Tai, above, and a very nice e-mail card from Cubby @ 'Patently Queer'. I can only assume that all those pics of my life which I loaded (which took a lot of time to do) turned any others off. Still, despite the slight disappointment, I'll keep the old chin up and carry on with life - while I've still got one.

  7. Wishing you a very happy birthday. Sorry I'm late! Thanks for the stroll down memory lane. I love all your photos. Have you given up on the smouldering look? I tried it in my 20s, but an acquaintance told me I just looked unhappy! Again, sorry I missed this until now. Would have preferred to offer birthday greetings when they were due!

  8. Many happy returns! I hope this next year is your best one yet!

  9. Thanks, Mitch. It's good to get your wishes, even belated rather than none at all.
    'Smouldering' usually worked for me but it's damn hard to keep it up. Even the suggestion of a smile rather breaks the spell. Now I'm way past that stage even to care. Just grateful for ANY attention I get - and I can't be bothered with 'posing'.

  10. Many thanks to you too, Dr Spo. Would indeed be nice if the coming year is positive - 'cos my time is running out alarmingly rapidly!

  11. Happy Birthday late (although I know you got my ecard on time) :-)

    Unlike many people, you are easily recognizable as a child.

    I really like your leather look from your German days. I wish I could wear leather. If I ever walked into a bar or club wearing leather they'd have to call in a fleet of ambulances to take away all the people who would die of laughter upon setting eyes on me. Leather looks really hot on you.

    I hope your birthday eggs were good, but what's with the ladles of salt? You're going to give yourself high blood pressure...

  12. Sorry it's a bit late, but happy birthday young man!

    It's all go from now on, state pension, free bus travel, free perscriptions and entry to the OAP bingo club where you get a free lunch every friday!

    I almost wish I was at that stage too.

  13. Mucho gracias (again), Cubby.
    Thanks for saying that leather looked 'hot' on me, but that's also the way it felt.
    Trouble with wearing leather as 'cruising' wear is that one has to keep up a hard-guy, macho pose all the time. I could never sustain it for long before the mask slipped and revealed that I'm actually quite thin-skinned with a very soft centre near the surface. But all that is over now. Old guys wearing leather just looks conspicuous and ridiculous except in very rare cases, of which I am NOT one.
    I already have high blood pressure and is the reason for my taking several different medication tablets daily. I usually take minimum salt - often none at all - but this birthday meal was an exceptional case of spoiling myself. True, it wouldn't have done my B.P. much good, but it's only once in a while.

  14. Jase, you've no idea how relieved I am at seeing you back. (I take it you got my e-mail of concern.) Must admit I hadn't thought of the cause of your silence being your computer difficulties, but I must remember that it's a possible explanation if it chances to happen again.

    Anyway, 'Danke vielmals' for your understandably belated wishes, which are very much appreciated.
    Actually I've had free bus travel and free prescriptions since I reached 60 - so remember that when it's your own turn. (I probably won't be around to remind you!)
    As for free meals, the way things are going I may well have to start visiting a hostel or wherever to claim them (hope they do a veggie option!), as I'm now going to be worse off financially than even before, which was tough enough as it was.
    But 'Bingo'? Well, maybe not quite yet. I have every confidence that Camelot is going to be my saviour - and I've had this confidence ever since the National Lottery started way back in 1994, so never say die! (Oops, maybe not the wisest choice of words.)

  15. Happy belated B-day Ray! Terrific photos all around. Just curious-do you remember what the building was behind you in the photo from Prague? Love the stonework.

    My mouth is watering just hearing about the fried egg sandwiches. One of my favorites. Maybe that is a vegetarian thing?

  16. Kyle, so pleased to have you visit here when I know you have so many other obligations and contacts. Your wishes are doubly accepted with loving thanks.

    Yes, that building in Prague was the old Loretto monastery, at that time (1965) not used as such. This was the era of President Novotny, even pre-dating Dubcek, that ill-fated, under-appreciated hero of mine, who did eventually have a brief moment of glory after the fall of Communism. I wouldn't be surprised if the monastery is now back in 'use', or at least been returned to Church authorities.

    Yes, fried-egg sandwiches are so simple yet so satisfying. I'm sure us veggies appreciate them particularly, but I've yet to meet anyone at all who says s/he doesn't like them.
    Now even though I only had them recently, just talking about them has got me salivating all over again. :-)

  17. I'm glad to hear you're enjoying your first year of being a senior citizen, and this is a great way to spend time and celebrate. The photos are cool! This made me realize that I should start collecting photos too, since I'm not getting any younger. I wish you all the best!