Monday 29 March 2010

Britain says "Happy Birthday" to Eric Idle

Eric Idle, a founder member of the 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' team' is 67 today.

Things you probably didn't know about Eric :

* born County Durham in Harton Village, his father served in the Royal Air Force and survived World War II, only to be killed in a hitch-hiking accident in 1945.

* his mother had difficulty coping with a full-time job and raising him and when he was 7, enrolled him into the Royal Wolverhampton School as a boarder.

* he is quoted as saying : "It was a physically abusive, bullying, harsh environment for a kid to grow up in. I got used to dealing with groups of boys and getting on with life in unpleasant circumstances and being smart and funny and subversive at the expense of authority. Perfect training for Python."

* he became Head Boy, but was caught at the local cinema on sports afternoon and was stripped of his prefecture.

* he refused to be senior boy in the school 'Cadet Force', as he supported the 'Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament' and took part in the yearly 'Aldermaston March'.

* he said that there was little to do at the school and boredom drove him to study hard and consequently won a place at Cambridge University to study English.

* he was invited to join the 'Footlights Club' by its President, Tim Brooke-Taylor and Club member, Bill Oddie. Other members included Graham Chapman and John Cleese He became in 1965 and was the first to allow women to join.

* from 1967–69 he starred in a children's television comedy series along with future 'Python' members Terry Jones and Michael Palin and Terry Gilliam provided animations for the show.

* from 1969–83 he appeared in 'Monty Python' where his work is often characterised by an obsession with language and communication:

the man who spoke in anagrams,
the man who said words in the wrong order
the butcher who alternated between rude and polite every time he spoke

* One of the younger members of the Python team, he was closest in spirit to the students and teenagers who made up much of Python's fanbase and sketches dealing with contemporary obsessions like 'pop music', 'sexual permissiveness' and 'recreational drugs' were his work, They were often characterized by double entendre, sexual references, and other 'naughty' subject matter — most famously demonstrated in the 'Nudge Nudge' sketch.

* A competent guitarist, he composed many of the group's most famous musical numbers, most notably "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life", the closing number of the film 'Life of Brian'

* Since 1983 has had a varied career on radio, TV, in stage opera, film voice-overs and on tour in Canada and the USA. He has also written books of fiction and non fiction.

But it is 'Monty Python' sketches that he will be remembered :

Friday 26 March 2010

Britain's old men say "Happy Birthday" to an old American tv and movie actor called Leonard Nimoy.

Leonard Nimoy is 79 today. For millions who remember the t.v. series from the 1960's and 70's and the movie spin offs, he will always be frozen in time as 'Mr Spock'.
Here are some things you probably didn't know about him, that he :
* was born in Boston, Massachusetts, to Yiddish-speaking Orthodox, Jewish immigrants from the Russia. His father owned a barbershop.

* started acting at the age of eight and had his first big role at 17.

* studied photography at the University of California, got his degree and has an MA in Education and an honorary doctorate from Antioch University.

* served as a sergeant in the U.S. Army from 1953 to 1955.

* spent most of his early acting career playing small parts in B movies, TV shows such as 'Dragnet', and serials such as ' Zombies of the Stratosphere'and played an Army sergeant in the 1954 Sci Fi thriller, 'THEM!'

* appeared in a number of 1960's tv series including 'The Outer Limits' in 1964.

* was the half-Vulcan, half-human Spock in the 'Star Trek' series which ran from 1966 to 1969 and earned 3 Emmy acting nominations for his work.

* had a number of stage roles in the 1970's : 'Fiddler on the Roof', 'The Man in the Glass Booth', 'Oliver!', 'Camelot', 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest', 'The King And I', 'Caligula', 'Twelfth Night', 'Sherlock Holmes', 'Equus' and 'My Fair Lady'.

* started film directing in 1984 with the third 'Star Trek' movie. When later asked would he continue to direct he said : " No. No, I'm done with all that, thank you. I directed, I think, five or six films — I had a good time.”

* he had a love/hate relationship with the character of Spock and the Trek franchise.

P.S. In the early 1970's I attended an adult education evening class with my friend P.K. We were learning German. Unfortunately, the class clashed with 'Star Trek'. First, P.K. dropped out and then me, a few weeks later. Who knows, my spoken German might be better if it hadn't been for Captain Kirk and Mr Spock. It's O.K. Leonard, I don't hold it against you.

If you want a reminder of the original series you can see it on this link after a 20 second advert :

Thursday 25 March 2010

Britain's Imperial War Museum is a place for school children and old men

I went with my friend R.P. to the 'Imperial War Museum' in South London yesterday.

The journey was tortuous, involving us driving from North Kent to Greenwich and then by train to 'Waterloo East' and another train to 'London Bridge' and then a walk to the back entrance of the Museum. It was all worth it.

I hadn't been to the Museum for many years and may well have been there as a school child on a school visit. There were lots of school parties there yesterday and also retired people like myself and R.P. and we mingled together well.

The purpose of the visit was to go to the 'Photographic Archive' Section. R.P. wanted to pick up his Uncle's photo album which he had loaned it to the Museum for them to copy any photos from the 'Battle of Tobruk' in North Africa in the Second World War.

The 'Photographic Section' was a wonderful mix of the old and new. You could check references to the battle in an alphabetical card index of hundreds of draws filled with postcard size entries recording the information in copper plate handwriting. At the same time in the viewing room you could access photos on a monitor.

The young man who returned the album told us that he had copied 22 photos from the album of scenes from Tobruk the Museum didn't have.

Apart from getting the album, R.P. was interested in looking at the ships involved in the Battle. He combed through the album and found a few morsels. R.P. is still a water colour artist who specialises in Britain's naval power.

Our next 'port of call' after lunch in the restaurant, was the main gallery. It now had a glass roof to light the exhibits and before we left Kent R.P. showed me the paintings he had done for the Museum by commission, to envisage what the gallery would look like when the roof was done and suffused the exhibits with natural light.

In the gallery R.P. explained the special features of each war plane and each tank. In fact, one or two visitors 'listened in' as we went round' probably thinking that he was a museum guide.

I was struck and impressed by the following :

* That we still employ people to care for our National Archives.

* That The First and Second World Wars are still part of the 'History National Curriculum' in State schools.

* That old and young can rub shoulders without friction in a museum whatever their motives for being there.

* That the old and young can still get excited about the details of long forgotten battles, witnessed by the fact that the young man was just as enthusiastic as R.P.

P.S. Like R.P., I too had an uncle who served in North Africa in the Second World War. He was in the 50Th Royal Tank Regiment. I'll have to do some research on him. I'm sure that, he too, was at the Battle of Tobruk.

P.P.S. Some interesting facts :

The Imperial War Museum has :

* 19,000 paintings, drawings and sculptures constituting the second largest collection of 20th century British art in the world
* 15,000 posters
* 120 million feet of cine film
* 10,000 hours of videotape
* 56,000 hours of historical sound recordings
* more than 10 million photographs, negatives and transparencies
* over 15,000 collections of unpublished diaries, letters, memoirs and other papers
* 270,000 library items, including books, maps and ephemera
* plus thousands of three dimensional objects including, uniforms, medals, firearms, as well as hundreds of larger objects including aircraft and vehicles

Saturday 20 March 2010

Japan is a country for old men

A robot pet stimulating old Japanese with dementia, is an example of how Japan is catering for the needs of its ageing population.

So, I have found it. I think my quest is over. I have found a place for old men, a country where you can grow old and be 'revered' and not be either looked down on, patronised or laughed at.
It is called 'Japan' and is turning its technology towards the problems of the 'new' old.

I found it in an article in the 'Guardian' today, which made some interesting observations : i.e. that Japan :

* Has a population ageing faster than any other nation : by 2020, there will be three pensioners for every child under 15, before long, one in six people will be over 80. That population will soon be falling by nearly a million people every year and some say that some time in the next century, the last Japanese person will die.

* Doesn't encourage immigration to solve its demographic woes, but is developing an array of hi-tech products and services.

* Gives a glimpse of what consumer society may look like in Britain when the baby boomers hit their 70s and 80s.

Japan has produced :

Intelligent toilets :

Which will talk to your GP, when it examines the healthiness of your stools. It has sensors which measure blood-sugar levels in urine and the blood pressure body fat of the user and the data is emailed to the GP.

Cars :

Which not just have dashboards that have large numbers and letters, but also hand controls for the brake and accelerator, and swivelling seats that make it easier to get in and out.

* Intelligent cars :

Toyota is working to make cars which monitor brain activity. The car will learn the driving patterns of the user, then curb any unusual and dangerous activity. This is good : it would automatically slow the car if it senses the driver is hitting the accelerator for no reason.

* Bikes for the arthritic :

Cycle equipment maker, 'Shimano' is developing bikes with handles and gearing designed for arthritic hands.

Pens, pencils and paint brushes in abundance :

With 30 million people expected to enjoy a 30-year retirement, Japan has seen a boom in the purchase of artists' drawing kits and pen and pencil sets, as millions take up hobbies.

* Internet kettles :

* As more care will fall on the dwindling number of younger adults, devices intended to allow them to remotely monitor the old without being too intrusive are now becoming popular. A good example is the 'Internet-connected kettle'. Each morning, when Granny boils the kettle this automatically triggers a signal to the carer that everything is normal.

Wide aisled supermarkets :

Supermarkets are making aisles wider, for the old to move around more easily, especially in motorised wheelchairs. There is also a boom in health foods and and in particular, 'royal jelly' , which is believed helps to reverse the skin-ageing process.

Robot pets :

Japan has twice as many pets as it has children and real animals are difficult to look after as their owners age. Paro, a furry white baby seal robot, responds to petting by moving its tail and opening and closing its eyes. It shows emotions such as surprise, happiness and anger, and has sold well in nursing homes where it is reported to stimulate responses among those with dementia.

* Robot lifters :

Japan's Institute of Physical and Chemical Research has developed Riba, a nursing care robot that can lift the elderly out of bed.

Burial space :

One company maintains underground vaults for the storage of cremated remains. When family members want to pay their respects, they use a radio-frequency identification key to locate their loved one's remains which are dispatched to a private viewing area. Families can also view the memorial stone from anywhere in the world by logging in.

Beds that turn into wheelchairs :

'Panasonic' last year launched a robotic bed that can transform into a wheelchair, so the old can get up without assistance. One half of the mattress rises, the other lowers and a unit slides out from the bed and the person is slipped into a motorised wheelchair. It can be driven around the home or even on to the street and when the person is sleeping, it helps turn them over to prevent bedsores.

And here is the way the Director Alexander Korda saw the H.G.Wells book ' The Shape of Things To Come' in 1936.

That was 74 years ago. It's a funny old world.

Thursday 18 March 2010

Britain is a country where old men can enjoy spring sun

It is warm. My ancient cat and the crocus, crocuses or croci, whatever you want to call them, are, like me, enjoying the warmth of the sun.

I am reminded of the poem :

Spring is sprung,
Da grass is riz,
I wonder where dem boidies iz ?

Da little boids is on da wing,
Ain't dat absoid,
Da little wings is on da boid.

A poem not by e e cummings, or by Ogden Nash, but that other well known poet called : 'Anonymous'.

Isn't that interesting ?

Monday 15 March 2010

Britain is a country for cats with old cat owners

We have had 6 cats over the years :

One is still alive at 17 years. She has the feline version of 'Alzheimer's' but is still relatively fit.

I like this link :

We said "Goodbye" to O and R and C and T and M along the way.

Sunday 14 March 2010

Britian is no country for old baby boomers and the 'Daily Mail' and Dominic Sandbrook

Dominic Sandbrook wrote the ' SATURDAY ESSAY' in the 'Daily Mail' this weekend.
He began with a 'profound' statement :

How the baby boomers bust Britain: Self-indulgence has left the country financially, socially and even morally crippled

Right, I'm one of them and my 'self-indulgence' has left the country I love :

* Financially
* Socially
* Morally ...'CRIPPLED'

Oh dear, what have we done ?

Apparently we :

* Are the luckiest people in history: 'the richest, most secure and most powerful generation the world has ever seen'.

* Are people who, while our parents 'scrimped and sacrificed through the Depression and World War II', 'basked in the long boom of an affluent society'.

* Were children in the prosperous Fifties and teenagers in the Swinging Sixties'.

* Bought our first homes in the Seventies and saw our mortgages 'wiped out by inflation'.

* Made our money in the Eighties and Nineties, and are now looking forward to a long, healthy and well-remunerated retirement.

This is the good bit :

'Welcome to the world of the generation born in the two decades following World War II: the baby boomers.'

We had :
* Free school milk and handsome benefits.
* Cheap holidays.
* Women's liberation and the shopping revolution.

We have :
* For more than half a century, been living it up, borrowing and spending in the conviction the money our wouldn't run out.

Now as we are :

* retiring and looking forward to their hefty pensions, the cost of our 60-year spree is becoming unpleasantly apparent.

And here it comes : good old right wing 'Daily Mail' :

'As everyone who has ever thrown a party knows, there comes a point when somebody has to clear up. And, according to The Pinch, a new book by David Willetts - one of the more thoughtful Tories in the Shadow Cabinet - that moment is upon us.'

So there we have it : The Daily Mail backing the Conservative Party with David Willetts, who I mentioned in a previous posting :

He goes on to state that we :

* Were brought up in an age of surging living standards and we were not prepared to wait for jam tomorrow. WE wanted it today, tomorrow and forever and we raised our children in our own image.

* With our 'me generation' values, we spearheaded the sweeping social changes of the late Sixties and Seventies, when the illegitimacy rate almost doubled from seven to 13 per cent, the annual abortion tally leapt from 24,000 to 170,000, and the divorce rate almost quadrupled.

Oh dear, more illegitimacy, abortions and divorces - we were responsible for all that and 'Britain has the highest rates for divorce and illegitimacy in the EU. And government figures show the proportion of single mothers has surged from ten to 25 per cent in the past 20 years'.

Apperently we are :

* Bequeathing a more individualistic, selfish, atomised society. * Handing over a Britain addicted to spending and crippled by debt - public and private.

* Going, in ten years, to suck up an extra £20 billion in public spending.

* Due to our the sheer size we have maintained an unprecedented monopoly on jobs, houses and income, effectively shutting out our juniors.
* Since New Labour came to power, our wealth of people in their late 50s has almost trebled.

* Through our 'enthusiasm for immigration' been reponsible for keeping wages for 'British youngsters at an unprecedented low'.
* And the future? : With the last of us still 'drawing pensions and benefits, paid for by the taxes of millions of immigrants, Britain could be a distressingly hectic, threadbare and overcrowded place'.

Just to recap, we :

* Had a party which went on too long.

* Ignored the warnings of our parents and were enjoying ourselves so much, we could 'barely hear the cries of their children'.

* Thought we were as rich as Croesus, the ancient king reckoned by the Greeks to be the wealthiest man in the world. Then forgot what the philosopher Solon said when Croesus asked what he thought of his riches and good luck. "Call no man happy," said Solon drily, "until he is dead".
He was right. Croesus eventually lost his money, his family broke up and he died in squalor.

Wednesday 10 March 2010

Britain is a country where young industrial workers who are now old, were caught in aspic by a photographer called Maurice Broomfield

While Bert Hardy was the British photographer of street life in the 1940's and 50's, Maurice Broomfield was the photographer of the factories in the 1950's and 60's. He was interveiwed on the 'Today' radio programme earlier this week. He is 94.

What is interesting about Maurice is that he :

* Was son of a lace-maker and started as a lathe operator at the local Rolls-Royce plant. This didn’t please his mother : “She wanted me to be a nicely clothed worker, not a chap who had to take off dirty overalls before I was allowed in the house. They were covered with this terrible mixture of whale oil and disinfectant that got everywhere.”

* Later said that : " There was a human relationship between the man and his product. They’d clean up the machinery and make things look nice with the same pride they took at home. And they’d dress nicely, too. It wasn’t unusual to see a chap in a suit and trilby hat or a girl with red shoes and scarf."

* Would wander the factory, drawing: “I loved the noise, the movement. I remember sitting on the loo seat, making sketches on a piece of lavatory paper.”

* During the War, drove a Quaker ambulance.

* After the War,began taking photos, and became an industrial photographer who had been inspired by painters : Joseph Wright and Johannes Vermeer.

* Worked for ICI before travelling the world photographing for Hawker Siddeley a company making a spectrum from transformers to aircraft.

* Was in the 1950s, a newspaper photographer and said : "I was fortunate: Lord Drogheda had a great interest in the arts. He said he liked the way I regarded industry as a stage set. And he was right, I did see it as magical; that’s why my lighting became quite theatrical."

* His photos to be shown a in two exhibitions this Spring and Summer reveal not just, that defunct world of looms, laboratories, car factories and cooling towers, but also,something of the excitement of being part of Post Second World War British industry.

His website shows his beautiful photos :

Here he is interviewed on the 'Today' programme :

Tuesday 9 March 2010

Britain was once a country for young boys who are now old men who were caught in aspic by Bert Hardy

I came across this photo in the 'Sunday Times' magazine in an article by Richard Woods in a feature called 'Photography under threat'. It was taken by the photographer, Bert Hardy in Glasgow in 1948. Two street urchins. I think it is wonderful.

George Davis on the right and his dirty-faced pal Leslie Mason were snapped on the way to the shops as they walked up Clelland Street. George died at the age of 61 and Leslie is now 69. 'The Gorbals Boys' picture, was syndicated around the world and highlighted the appalling poverty in the city.

Leslie has said : "It's amazing how much impact that picture has had. My wife has relatives in Canada and they saw the picture for sale as a fridge magnet and sent me a few as a present."

George Davis died in 2002 at the age of 61.

His was a sad story from that harsh, bygone age of Britain in the 1950's.

In 1955 when he was 16 he was sent to prison for fathering a child by a 15 year old girl. She was sent away to live with nuns and have the baby and when she was away on a home visit, the baby boy was given to an adoptive family.

George subsequently married the girl and they had two daughters. With their mother and father both dead, the daughters, now in their 40's, are still trying to find their long lost elder brother.

Bert Hardy, the photographer died in 1995 at the age of 82.
I find his pictures strike a chord with me and take me back to my boyhood in Deptford in South London in the 1950's. I remember milk and bread being delivered by horse and cart and streets completely free of parked cars, since there were none.

Kids wearing air raid warden helmets left over from the recently ended Second World War and hitching a lift on a horse drawn cart.

Saturday 6 March 2010

Britain says "Happy Birthday" Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes

Sir Ranulph Twisleton-Wykeham-Fiennes, 3rd Baronet, OBE, was born on this day, March 7 1944, 66 years ago. Here is the weather chart for that day :

Born on 7 March 1944, better known as Ranulph (Ran) Fiennes, he is an 'adventurer' and holder of several endurance records.

Things you probably didn't know about him :

* Was born in Glasgow, shortly after his father, a Lieutenant-Colonel, was killed in the Second World War at Monte Cassino in 1944.

* Inherited his father's title and became, the 3rd Baronet of Banbury, at his birth.

* Is the third cousin of actors Joseph and Ralph Fiennes, and is a distant cousin of Britain's royal family.

* After the War his mother moved the family to South Africa where he remained until he was 12.

* Ranulph then returned to be educated at Eton and then joined the British Army where he served for eight years including a period on counter-insurgency service while attached to the army of the Sultanate of Oman.

* Then undertook numerous expeditions including being the first man to visit both the north and south poles by surface means and the first man to completely cross Antarctica on foot.

* Was appointed OBE in 1993 'for human endeavour and for charitable services' — his expeditions have raised £5 million for good causes.

* In 2009, aged 65, he climbed to the summit of Mount Everest.

* According to the Guinness Book of World Records he is 'the world's greatest living adventurer.'

Here is my favourite :

* As a young soldier he was offended by the construction of an ugly concrete dam built for the film 'Doctor Dolittle' in the Wiltshire village of Castle Combe — reputedly the prettiest village in England.
He planned to demolish the dam and used explosives which he later claimed to have accumulated from leftovers on training exercises with the S.A.S.
He evaded search dogs by night, he escaped capture, but he and a guilty colleague were both subsequently traced.
After a court case, Fiennes had to pay a hefty fine and he and his co-conspirator were discharged from the SAS.

Thursday 4 March 2010

The Sea Wall at Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey, is a place for old men to stroll in the spring sun

I went for a stroll yesterday afternoon with my Old friend D.B. We were on the shore of the North Kent coast at Sheerness on the Isle of Sheppey. It was a sunny afternoon which was the perfect antidote to what has been, a long, cold and grey winter.The sea was a calm as a duck pond and full of relected blue light. Even the Isle of Grain Power Station reflected in the River Medway at Funton Creek looked beautiful.

Here D.B. points to the 'Celestine', a ferry en route from London and bound for for Zeebrugge in Belgium.

Spring was in the air. The sun was warm. A young couple sat without coats on the sea wall, while a man to their right was painting the railings.

Wednesday 3 March 2010

One old Briton remembers Dave Berry

I was 17 when Dave Berry released 'The Crying Game' in 1964 and it was probably 'apposite' for me then.

I know all there is to know about the crying game,
I've had my share of the crying game.
First there are kisses (kisses), then there are sighs,
And then before you know where you are,
You're sayin' goodbye.

One day soon I'm gonna tell the moon,
About the crying game.,
And if he knows, maybe he'll explain
Why there are heartaches (heartaches), why there are tears,
And what to do to stop feeling blue when love disappears.

First there are kisses (kisses), then there are sighs,
And then before you know where you are,
You're sayin' goodbye.

Don't want no more of the crying game,
Don't want no more of the crying game.

Dave Berry, who was born David Holgate Grundy in Sheffield is now 69.

As a performer, I shall remember him wrapping himself around and behind, the microphone lead.

Tuesday 2 March 2010

One old Briton says "thanks" to Darrell Banks

When I was 17 I thought I could dance. At parties I would flay my arms around in, what I thought was, a creative way.

I went to university and met and became a friend of K.M. who knew a thing or two about 'dancing to music'. He had honed his skills on the 1960's 'Leeds' dance circuit and took me in hand and showed me how to dance 'on the off beat'.

I remember the dancing classes took place in my flat in Hove, with me wearing moccasin sandals on a green carpet. These gave me the extra bit of 'shuffle' I needed to twist my legs and do the 360 degree turn which added that extra bit of 'flounce'.

I practised hard, while taking time off from essays on 'Machiavelli' in History and 'Kierkegaard' in Philosophy, but I knew it was going to pay off when I went to a party and a girl called Lucy said that of K.M. and I, that we : " danced like snakes."

The one 45 record I had, which K.M.loaned me was Darrell Banks singing 'Open the Door to Your Heart'. I played it over and over again.

Thanks K.M. and thanks Darrell.

Sadly, Darrell died 5 years later in 1970 at the age of 33.

Walk right on in,
Stretch out your arms.
Let the lovelight shine on my soul, baby,
And let love come running in.

You know that I needed you,
I've needed you a long, long time.
My pride is too much for me, baby, and I'm about to lose my mind.

Walk right on in.
Let your love come running in.

Open the door to your heart, baby,
Open the door to your heart,open the door to your heart,
And let love come running in, let your love come running in.

Let it flow like the river,
Let it shine like the light.
Take all my mind and soul, baby,
Why don't you give it sight ?

I'm trying to keep from loving you,
And I've been loving you a little too long.

Darling, darling,
You've been so sweet to me,
That's what keeps my love so strong.

I need you to stand by me,
Let your love come running in.
Let it flow like the river..

Monday 1 March 2010

Britain is a country where one old man has sharp auditory memories of Eden Kane and Billy Fury

Eden Kane was born, Richard Graham Sarstedt in Delhi, India in 1941 and is 69. Billy Fury was born Ronald William Wycherley in Liverpool in 1940 and died at the age of 43 in 1983. Had he lived he would now be 70.

The auditory memory is a wonderful thing. I can have trouble remembering what I did yesterday afternoon, but my recall of the songs and singers of my youth is almost perfect.

Eden Kane recorded 'Forget Me Not' in 1962 when he was 21 and I was 15.

Billy recorded ' Once Upon a Dream' in the same year.

My memory of both songs is alost word perfect, possibly because at the age of 15, I probably fell in love for the first time and so their songs were my songs.

Eden today :

Comments on Alexander Chancellor's article asking : Why is it so fashionable to celebrate ageing ?'

The Alexander Chancellor article entitled : ' Why is it fashionabble to celebrate ageing ?' provoked 65 people to send their comments to the Guardian Newspaper.

These are my 3 favourites :

1. 'Can't imagine why an ageing society is something to celebrate.'
Oh I can.
More pensions to tax and more people to mug!

2. 'The prime minister has invited me to a reception in Downing Street next week for "celebrating our ageing society".'

Twat him with your walking stick.

3 ......and what's more I voted Labour in the last Election and I'm still five years older now. It's all their fault!!!