Eating Cream cakes with Oprah…

Eating Cream cakes with Oprah…

I’m thinking of getting a full body replacement.  There are too many bits of me that require attention these days. If it’s not my back it’s my knees or my shoulder, my dodgy ankle or some random pain that just appears and then goes away without rhyme nor reason. Leaving aside my altogether far too dodgy ticker, the occasional digestive problem and  deteriorating eyesight and hearing, if I was a dog, you’d put me down. I’m not even all that old (relatively).

I blame it on good living. When I was younger, I played all sorts of sports, rode my bike everywhere and ran far too many miles including a marathon. The result? Every bone, joint, ligament and piece of shagging cartilage in my possession, is now complaining to me that I should have stayed in my bed, eating crisps and watching sport instead of playing it.   To be fair, given my cardiac genetics that would have seen me in the grave long before now, so perhaps the aches and pains are good value for a life well lived after all.

In fairness, I am still a magnificent rugby player- well from the comfort of my armchair at least. My darling Joanna threatens to film me watching Ireland play, as apparently I kick every ball and take every tackle as if I was there. Not true, I think she’s making it up.  In fairness I do get a little excited.  Tomorrow I will watch Ireland play Scotland on the edge of my seat and to steal a quote, “It’s not the despair – I can stand the despair. It’s the hope I can’t take.”

Now the problem with me is that I have the attention span of an ADHD gnat. I’ll forget completely that I’m knackered in more ways than I care to really admit, and then go do some ridiculously vigorous physical activity as though I am still twenty years old and in full possession of my faculties. Cue, disc prolapse or anterior cruciate ligament damage.   But I can’t help myself.


My back is in a terrible state – far too wrecked in that department to go into detail. It is so bad that I realised people were noticing and making allowances for me. In response, I cover it up completely now.  There is nothing more boring than listening to me bang on about how much pain I’m in, and when the person being bored is yourself…you’re in trouble. Now if anyone cares to ask, I say that I’m fine. 

I can’t ever allow myself to become someone who is stopped by the niggles that creep in as you get older.  What should I do? Should I say no I won’t do that because I’ll be in bits tomorrow?  No Damn it.  I’ll do it and BE in bits tomorrow, at least that way I am living my life and not giving in to decrepitude. God knows how much more I’ll be afflicted in twenty years’ time if I survive that long. But what do I do? Should I give in to the big things? No way buddy!  Maybe allow the small things to take me out for a while? Afraid not.

I’m not saying I don’t have the odd mumbly grumble, of course I do.  If I’m sitting with my leg up, sporting an ice pack, it’s hard not to see I have a problem.  When I’m fubarred after I’ve dug three feet of snow from the driveway because they haven’t fixed all the  blockages in my ticker, well fair enough, but I’ll be fecked if I don’t go clear it anyway. I know I drive my darling Jo nuts sometimes.  She watches me like a hawk and tells me to stop as I try to assuage her with, “Yeah just this bit and I’ll come in” but she is never fooled. I guess some of it is inspired because a little part of me, always wants to be her Superman, no matter how creaky I get.


I know that I’m not alone.  We all have some physical issue from time to time or in some cases, all the time to a lesser or greater degree than I.  One of my pet hates is however, the whinge that is exaggerated for sympathy.   Honestly, I work with a permanent and reasonably high level of pain every day.  I get up early, do a full day’s work and anything else that needs to be done.  I write, I walk the dogs every day and so on. It’s called getting on with life and I neither want nor need anyone’s sympathy. 

When I hear someone with a cold, whine on about having ‘the flu’ or a person with a minor ache turn it into a living nightmare, it rankles me.  I see people I love carry on, get on with life, overcoming great physical distress in some cases, but never stopping until the job is done.   My nearest and dearest is one such person and on top of my undying love, she had my respect and admiration for her ability to overcome whatever is thrown at her.

I am not sure where such resilience comes from. Grumpy auld feckers like me, will cite how we were brought up the hard way. We had to walk to school in seventeen foot drifts of snow in our bare feet, each of us carrying a lump of coal to light the school fire so the teacher could stay warm, while he beat us repeatedly with sticks the size of tree branches and forced us to rote learn the entire one hundred and eleventy times tables…and that was just the teachers pets…Lucky Bas**rds!

It’s no wonder we get on with it (save the odd whinge like this in a blog). Every generation since has had it easy…that’s what we would say if it wasn’t for the crippling arthritis in our jaws, brought on my them being punched repeatedly by our friends as entertainment as we had nothing else to play with when we were kids and no feckin’ telly.  Aah telly when I was a lad… now there was a reason to go outside and hurt yourself…

I suppose when I’m nostalgic I look back with fondness at  The Clangers and Captain Pugwash.  I romanticise about ‘quality’ programmes like Mannix, Longstreet or The Rockford Files… ah yes dem were de days!  Me arse! 

I remember watching the test card waiting for the telly to start broadcasting at 4 or 5 pm and then watching the National Anthem after the Late Late Show at 11.30 on a Saturday as it came to a close. Nostalgia has a way of forgetting all the sh*te that was on the box back then.  So it’s no wonder I spent so much time outside injuring myself and then found my way into sports where I could hurt myself even more.


I’m sometimes surprised that I can get up of the couch… (Sometimes it can be a struggle to be fair)… but where was I?  Oh no I forget!  I’ve lost my train of thought.  That’s it…It’s probably early onset dementia!   I wouldn’t be at all surprised.  That’s either from watching all those rubbish TV programmes or from falling on my head once too often as I jumped off the garden shed when I was seven… So remember- play it safe.  Nothing too physical when you’re young, feet up watchin’ the telly ,eating cream cakes with Oprah and…and .. oh hang on.. is Oprah even on the telly these days…  Damn this feckin’ creeping dementia!

Of course I have to add a caveat here.  My mother always warned me about not saying you had something that you didn’t actually have.  It fell under the general description of “Mocking is catching” so just to be safe … I’m grand, I’m fine…. nothing to see here…

Haven’t read a Max Power book yet?  I think it’s time to pick one up.
Max Power’s books include, Darkly Wood, Darkly Wood II The woman who never wore shoes, Larry Flynn, Bad Blood and Little Big Boy
You can find more details about Max Power’s books here : –
twitter @maxpowerbooks1

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19 thoughts on “Eating Cream cakes with Oprah…

  1. “As it’s International Women’s Day”!!!!
    You, SIr, are infuriating. If you weren’t you, I’d hate you. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Well, I don’t have any magic words to erase the wear (and tear) of time, BUT I do have a little episode I witnessed that cheered me greatly. Back some 7 or 8 years go, I caught the Super Bowl halftime show–usually a thing so hyperbolic, I visit the loo for its duration. However, the year I’m recalling Madonna was the star, and there she was in her flashy, brief costume, stomping about the stage and wailing into her microphone about some damn thing. THEN she jumped high and landed in a squat. I’m sure she intended to spring right back up, but it turned out to be something of a struggle, and like the rest of us gently aging folk, Madonna took about 5-6 moves to regain her feet. It was THE BEST most of sports television I’ve ever witnessed.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A full body replacement? Inspired idea. I’m not ready to sign up yet (I had a sports allergy, and that’s turned out to be a good thing) but I would like to be ready for when it all catches up with me.

    Liked by 1 person

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