Time for a quick exit


CLIENTS that day included a couple who browsed separately. As I fell into conversation I asked if his mother was looking for anything in particular. He replied, “The lady isn´t my mother, she is my wife.”

On another occasion I explained to a lady, who didn´t appear to be in the best of health, that as a pensioner she would be better off in Spain.  Then with an oafish grin on my face I exclaimed, “As a pensioner you can access free healthcare in Spain.”

Again the gimlet eyes as she told me she was in her early fifties. Why do folk in the UK age so young whilst here we are as high in energy as we are young in spirit.

Taking a short break in rural Costa Blanca I decided on a stroll before breakfast. The dawn that day was balmy. Limiting myself to local lanes I had it in mind to max out at maybe one kilometre. Not bad for a deskbound sexagenarian.

Approaching me is a body of hikers. Then, as the group draws closer I can see they take their pastime seriously. Hardly dressed for an amble around the local park the party is kitted out for hitting the trail. By contrast, I am wearing a light shirt and shorts with the footwear I pad around my apartment with.

Such a lovely bunch I think as we pause to pass the time of day. It was obvious from their cut glass accents that they are what backstreet kids knew as toffs. Well-bred, well fed and white collar it was also noticeable that my new acquaintances were no chickens. I guessed that at 67-years old I was the baby of them all.

How jolly and motivated they were. As we chatted I was invited to join them on their day´s perambulation. “This is where we are going,” smiled on of the party.

Following the direction of the gentleman´s outstretched arm I could make out rugged mountains in the far distance. To me it was the end of the world. At a guess the kindly gentleman was likely in his seventies.

His companions were as enthusiastic. “Yes, come on, you´re more than welcome.”

“How long will you be walking for,” I asked timidly.

I then learned that the group intended to be back by lunchtime, which was then several hours ahead. Citing my not being dressed for the occasion I thanked the party and declined their kind offer. Quite frankly, the only way I could have accompanied the small party was on a stretcher. Then again, they seemed enthusiastic and energetic enough to gladly carry me.