Well, any old fool can refer to time’s wingèd chariot: it takes a modicum of effort to find another line from To His Coy Mistress referring to the transitory nature of our existence upon this plane (cabin crew doors to manual). Yesterday, I am sad to report, did provide a distressing reminder that I should get on with the tearing of my pleasures with rough strife. In passing, I should note that even before my current poetry jag, I was a major fan of Andrew Marvell – which I blame on an episode of In Our Time I listened to on the bus back from Christchurch to my clifftop lodgings in Sumner many years ago. He has, however, set almost impossibly high standards for any modern day chap looking to swive with a reluctant lass.
For me, this post is already worthwhile as it brought to mind, and provided an excuse to use, the word ‘swive’. This has made me very happy! Wordpress – I’m afraid – does not approve, it is almost as though very few of its users were acquiring their vocabulary in the 17th century (more fool them!).
Yesterday evening, I set out on my twin-wheeled steed to enjoy some young people making music. For the first time in several months, I was forced to use lights on the outward leg of this journey. Truly, winter is almost upon us and the year is winding down to its inevitable conclusion before 2016 is ushered in, mewling and puking (but that’s what you get for over-indulging on New Year’s Eve). For me, 2016 brings an anniversary which many think significant but I view merely as unwelcome and dreadfully premature.
However, greater trauma had come in the afternoon when I had my biennial eye test. This confirmed what I had long suspected: my eyes are becoming much less accommodating, as they look toward their eternal reward, and so I will need to use reading glasses in future. The galloping presbyopia has not been helped by one of my eyes (it knows which one) switching from mild myopia to mild hyperopia over the last two years: very much heading in the wrong direction. Until recently the balance of power between myopia and presbyopia had left me with near perfect vision for reading, but now presbyopia has decisively gained the upper hand.
I have ordered some reading glasses – and so small print and mathematical texts should once again by legible without resort to the magnifying glass – but I feel I have passed an age-related rubicon. Surely, it can only be a matter of time before I am stabbed to death in the Senate. On the plus side, my eyes are otherwise in excellent health and I have (for now) avoided the horror of bi- or varifocals (but I can already feel their clammy breath against the back of my neck).
In a vain (in at least two senses of the word) attempt to stave off the ravages of time, in the morning I had acquired some fresh moisturiser. This example of its species promises to be anti-ageing (much like myself, when applied to me) – though seems to be the usual, greasy gunk rather than offering any obvious source of rejuvenation or advanced temporal engineering. Nevertheless, it promises that within four weeks I will have visibly younger skin – though it doesn’t commit either to how much younger or how visible this transformation may be. Hopefully, it will be enough to compensate for the more accurate view of my skin that possession of reading glasses will provide: otherwise, vampire-like, I shall have to banish reflective surfaces from my life before they arrive.