Spare a thought for 84-year olds. My dear father-in-law, a lovely, lovely man, is now 84.
We celebrated his birthday last night at a marvellous, trendy eaterie.
I did feel sorry for the poor fellow.
At 84, things start to feel very alien, I'm sure. Certain reliable things in life start to crumble in front of you. What you used to rely on is now a thing of the past.
Take beer mugs. Yes, mugs. Nowadays it's all in "sleeves" or smooth glasses without a handle.
Never mind. My father-in-law always charms the bar staff by saying:
"Would it be possible to have it with a handle?"
Until that is, he got to his 84th birthday and the terribly nice eaterie we went to. They don't have mugs. Only "sleeves".
Never mind. It's Brakspears. Super. Only the waiter comes back to say that someone seems to have knocked the barrel so it will take half-an-hour before it's ready to drink.
Oh dear. The pub with no beer.
Let's have some wine instead. Great.
The wine arrives and the waiter leaves it in a wine cooler on the table.
"Excuse me", pipes up father-in-law with some distain in his voice,"Wouldn't it be a good idea to put some ice in the ice bucket?"
"No dear father-in-law, it's not an ice-bucket, it is a wine-cooler which works on the insulation principle, based on the gap between its two layers of plastic".