Having been forcibly reminded recently that a certain balding young man who turns up in the news fairly often is not, in fact, about my age (he can’t be: I remember the hoopla that surrounded his own birth too clearly), I’ve also been reminded of something that was brought home to me whilst I was working on the first draft of Find the Lady (my Viennese Waltz follow up).
I am accustomed to the idea that I am now significantly older than Kathryn Blake, but it wasn’t always the case, and I do catch myself sometimes thinking of her as being ‘about my age’. Since she’s always supposed to have been mature for her age, and her childhood was sufficiently unusual to cover occasional lapses on my side, that doesn’t cause me too many problems – though if you do catch her referring to the wrong TV shows or remembering things that must have happened before she was born, I’d be grateful if you pointed it out.
No, It’s her Uncle Hal who made me blink. I think of him, logically but inaccurately, as being about Dad’s age, and in most respects that’s no real problem either, because I think of Dad as being about fifty, and that’s about right. It was Hal talking about his youth that nearly tripped me up. He mentions going out running as a young man with a bank note tucked under his watch strap for emergencies, and that was inspired by Dad tucking a note into his motorcycle gauntlet that would buy him a full tank of fuel and a shot of Redex.
Hal, after some fevered calculation, turned out to have a fiver under his watch strap.
Dad had a ten shilling note in his glove. Dad’s 76, you see. When the bloody hell did that happen?