Being 60: 7
Finding a book in my collection that tells me which year I first read it and how long it has been with me. Case in point: Before she met me by Julian Barnes. I first read it in 1987 when I was living in New Jersey, in a period of my life that I don’t often think about, even though it was an interesting time and left me with a wealth of experiences, I have happy memories of that time. I have this habit of writing the date to indicate when I read the book, and in this case I had put the place too. It’s useful and reminds me if I have read it recently or not.
Being friends with people in their 30s. I enjoy their company, I am moved by their hopes and fears, I am excited for their pregnancies and arrival of children, I feel kindred spirits with them. It’s weird to think that they have parents the same age as me. It’s wonderful, actually, that they put up with me and confide in me and don’t feel limited in their comments. At least I don’t think they do!
Being invited to the wedding of an ex student and asking one of my colleagues to accompany me, and he said yes! We had fun, we ate, we drank, we danced and he drove me home and then went off to party the night away with friends his age. But he enjoyed himself, he was great company and that is just wonderful for me.
Being content to spend a day on my own, listening to music, eating and drinking what I want, reading, watching films, swimming, sunbathing, walking, feeling happy to have such a beautiful garden.
Feeling angry about the constant price rises for a litre of petrol. For 6 years now the price of petrol has gone up every singe month, so that’s over 70 times. Today our petrol costs more per litre than the equivalent in the USA. I drive about 50 km every day and each time I go to fill up with petrol I feel angry. And then I see a sign which the government obliges every petrol station – all known as Pemex – to put up in support of the energy reform. This particular one is an out-and-out lie claiming that electricity will cost less. Of course it won’t but the awful thing is that people believe it will. And then today in the paper a big report about petrol stations filling up our tanks with litres that are not actually full litres. This is a constant worry for all of us, the cheating at the Pemex perol stations, run as franchises of course, but it happens all over the country. So we are being robbed on all accounts. Driving a car is a positive luxury these days.
But what never leaves me, is never far from my mind, is the concern I feel for this planet of ours, for the strange climatic events that await us, for the heat we are feeling today when we shouldn’t be, when vast swathes of Mexico are as dry as can be, as California faces up to forest fires, as our countries all over the world are to be fracked to death. That’s just an expression, “to death”, but in the case of fracking it rings true, too true for comfort. The fracking is coming our way, thanks to the energy reform that has just been signed and approved by the senators and deputies, and there is not a lot we can do. I find that very depressing, but people are fighting back and I support their efforts. So, I can be selfish and say well, in my lifetime I’ll be fine, sod everyone else, but I can’t do that, I worry about everyone, especially the children being born to my 30 year old friends, to my stepdaughters, to my goddaughters, to my nieces and nephews, I worry about them all.