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Friday, January 14, 2011

Update Downdate


Apologies for the lack of blogs recently. I do appreciate in an endeavour like this a prolonged silence may worry some of my more ardent supporters but fear not, I am still alive. In fact, I'm closer to the title of World's Oldest Man than ever before.

It has, however, been a rather testing few weeks. Personally, my health has been fine. I'm ticking along nicely - obviously, I check my pulse hourly and not once has it stopped. I don't even have a cold at the moment. So there's absolutely no reason to think I won't live to 150 years old at least.

But I do have to report some arrivals and departures to and from my family that have put my attempt into some sort of perspective (what perspective exactly, I don't yet know - but some sort certainly). First, on Christmas Day, my second son was born. He's now two weeks and two days old. He's almost last in the Oldest Man in the World League Table which is somewhat disappointing. Having said that, he's right up there on the Youngest Man in the World League Table so he's doing something right.

Looking at his tiny shrivelled face, wrinkly fingers and unknowing eyes, it's impossible to imagine him being anything other than a baby. But, like me, with a bit of luck, he'll grow to be a man and spend decades wandering round the earth, gradually becoming wrinkly and shrivelled all over again. I can't believe I was once like he is now. It's ridiculous. But then my eldest (eldest!) son, currently 19 months, seems MASSIVE by comparison. And he's barely two foot tall.

As I say, I don't have any perspective here yet, but I was blown away by how young my newborn baby was.

Then four days later my last grandfather died. He was 92 and it was time. If I'm honest, even though I'm determined to win this thing, I think I'd want to retire if I'd spent more than six months in bed too. He was ready. What's more he had a brilliant crack at the life thing. He was healthy till near the end, busy for nine decades and cheerful to the last - especially after hearing about his third great grandson.

Coincidentally, a few days after he died, the Daily Mail reprinted an article I wrote about longevity a few months ago. I had to check the facts were still accurate and make the necessary changes, including adjusting the number of my grandparents.

(By the way, I hope none of this seems too trite or heartless. I find it healthy to think about death rationally and this record attempt is quite a useful way of examining one's life. I'll miss Grandpa - but I won't miss seeing his deterioration over the last couple of years. He lived long enough.)

But whilst checking the rest of my article I found out that Ellen Watson, the supercentenarian I fell in love with back in August, is still going strong. She celebrated her 111th birthday on January 3rd. When I first met her she was the 9th oldest person in the country, she's now at number 5. She's the 59th oldest person in the world! Keep an eye on her! This really could be her year!

Again, I hope none of this seems too trite or heartless. I'm genuinely excited for Ellen, partly because I know she is too. She loves being her age. She hasn't lived long enough yet and I'm hoping to get to know her better this year.

Apologies for this rambling blog, but that's where I am in my life. I now know people who are almost 111 years apart in age and they're both incredible.  

If I do live for another 80 years, my sons will, obviously, be in their 80s when I go. Extraordinary. Unthinkable. Luckily, right now, I don't have time to wallow any further. There's a lot to be done, and even though I'm exhausted by seven o'clock every evening I can feel these two little ones keeping me young. I play with tiny cars and bouncy balls half the day. Life is good.


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Keep living!

I just read this great book about what would happen if death stopped. You might enjoy

Not long left to go eh? ;)

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