On Being Fifty
I have had nine days to get used to being fifty years old and it hasn’t had the devastating effect you might imagine if you have not reached this milestone yourself. It might hit me later on: “I’m how old???”
When I turned thirty, I was deeply depressed about it and got seriously plastered at my then local, The Bull, in Salisbury. I was drinking heavily in those days anyway, but I was on the Malibu and just about everything else that caught my eye on the shelf behind the bar that summer evening. I fell down a deep ditch on my mile-and-a-half-long stagger home along a path (I went the long way round, for some reason). I was very fortunate, because the river takes a sharp detour under the path just yards before, so I could easily have ended up in the soup. (I’m sure that ditch was the river’s original course.)
Being 50 is like being 49, but just a year older. I haven’t experienced any sudden feeling of oldness or frailty. No aches and pains have materialised. Although I quite fancy retiring! Well, not really, but it would be nice to relax and take things easier. Or change direction altogether, which I am planning to do, because this society is not going to be a place where Christians can live in relative comfort for much longer.
Ideally, I would like to find like-minded people (are there any?) to start a commune based on self-sufficient, independent, completely off-grid living, because the way things are shaping up, the vast majority of commercially available food will be genetically modified in a few years’ time – if it isn’t already, especially if soya and tomatoes are ingredients.
The carbon reduction “commitments” Labour signed up the country to in 2008 are expected to reduce electricity generating capacity to such an extent that there will be power shortages, and inevitably, even more expensive bills. The old and poor are going to die in even greater numbers in future cold snaps, and as I’m becoming older and poorer myself, I had better have a Plan B and be prepared to carry it out.
Subrosa, untypically taking time off from her daily blogging schedule, wrote last week,
In the past few weeks I’ve had a few trips around Scotland and one to deepest England. Once again I was horrified to see how many wind turbines blot our lovely landscape.
And these are expected to power the future? I can see the future, and it’s dark and not just from power cuts.
Christians – real ones – will effectively be barred from many jobs unless we comply fully with whatever the Government (EU/UN) decrees. This could affect self-employed people like myself and has already devastated the lives of a few B&B owners who have refused to let out double rooms to two men. Wait until Christians working in the wedding industry (for want of a better word!) decline business from those planning same-sex “marriages”.
And even churches who refuse to “bless” these unholy unions, could find themselves in trouble. Oh, you believe the Government’s reassurances? Were they “cast-iron”?
So, I do fancy being part of something new and exciting. I know it will involve hard work and a lower standard of living in some respects, but which will be more than compensated for in terms of freedom and quality of food and life in general.
It might help me finally overcome my half century of depression. I have been living with depression for as long as I can remember and did not even know what it was until I became unemployed in the 1990s and started watching daytime television. Richard and Judy used to talk about it with that doctor they had on continually and it was the subject of other discussion programmes.
Of course, being a depressed child growing up in the 60s and 70s, it remained undiagnosed. At least I wasn’t drugged up. I waited until my mid 20s to medicate myself by engaging in a decade-long drinking binge, which ended over fifteen years ago, with God’s grace.
It was the untreated depression combined with having just spent thirty months in a tiny bedsit, just the door’s width longer than the bed which, I suppose with hindsight, helped introduce me to my new friends, like Messrs McEwan, Smirnoff and Whyte & Mackay. These pals offered comfort and solace to begin with, but they turned on me after about three-and-a-half-years. They became such good friends, I found that I couldn’t live without them for a single day. Then a single waking hour. They were very demanding friends too; they demanded that I spent nearly all my money on them.
By the age of 34, I was convinced it was going to kill me. I even wrote a letter expressing my sorrow that I couldn’t help what I was doing to myself. Just a few months later, and after years of seeking help, I finally found a GP, Dr Morrice, who took real concern for me and I was detoxed in the early Spring of 1998 and have not touched a drop ever since. So really, turning fifty feels like I have gained almost an extra half a life more than I was expecting.
My depression, I think, stems from the fact that I instinctively knew from being a very young boy, that this country was destined to become worse and worse the older I became and I didn’t know how to cope with that. Then I got online in the year 2000 and realised that not only had I been right, but that it was being made to happen and that millions could also see it.
But at the moment, life feels like this: