Peter Rhodes on the passing of Still Game, an early holiday and why sex is going out of fashion
Read today's column from Peter Rhodes.
WE'RE off for a few days next week and possibly visiting Maldon where my grandfather lived, built houses and sailed all those years ago. I mentioned we would be away to a neighbour, well into his 60s. He got quite wistful. "Do you know," he said. "I've been all round the world but I've never been to Essex."
BUT then that's the English Syndrome. We are a maritime, outward-bound sort of people, always heading for the distant horizon instead of the one just down the road. How many English folk are aware, for example, that a Scottish TV legend has just come to its end after 17 glorious years?
THE last episode of Still Game (BBC1) ended its sparky odyssey of growing old with the main characters, Jack, Victor, Tam, Isa and Navid, simply fading from the screen. They lived, they died and we fans shed a tear. But I bet not one English household in 50 was watching. The English simply don't do Scotland. We do Majorca, Ibiza, the Greek islands and Turkey and even Essex. But we don't do Scotland.
SEX appears to have had its day, or night. Surveys in both the US and Britain reveal that the proportion of people aged 18 to 29 who admit not having sex in the past year has rocketed from seven per cent to about 25 per cent in the past ten years or so. Some researchers blame an epidemic of body-embarrassment coupled with unlimited online porn and AI (artificial-intelligence) goggles for instant gratification. It all sounds a bit sad and lonely. On the other hand, it might be worth investing a few bob in the hearing-aid industry.
I WAS reminded by all your family memories (for which many thanks) of my first holiday. I was about five and we went to rural Wales and a farm doing B&B. I have no idea where it was but it was run by a Miss Morgan Lewis. The name is forever stamped in my memory because, for weeks beforehand, my mother was warning us unruly Rhodes Lads that we'd have to be on our best behaviour because Miss Morgan Lewis wouldn't allow this, and Miss Morgan Lewis certainly wouldn't stand for that. As mums do. When we got there Miss Morgan Lewis was lovely. I remember her pointing out the horse-drawn reaping machine bringing in the wheat.
MORE memories. A reader tells me his father, who died in 1995 aged 92, was proud to have been born in 1903, the year of the Wright Brothers' first flight, and that he picked up his first pension in 1969, the year of the moon landing.He claimed - and who can argue? - that no other 70 year period in history had seen such technological advances.
THERE was another great benefit to being born in 1903. You were too young to fight in the First World War and too old to fight in the Second. Life? It's all about timing.