That really wasn’t a n-ice surprise

Barry Peters

Barry Peters

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‘With age comes wisdom, but sometimes age comes alone.’

Oscar Wilde wisdom aside though, it is quite scary how many of his quips and quotes direct themselves squarely at me.

My better half bemoans my penchant for checking things are closed, done, emailed, sorted, in the diary. It’s a consequence of more than three decades of newspaper deadlines but life, for me, has to run like clockwork. I’m a control freak.

There are little plus-points in life. I always get to places on time. I always remember birthdays and anniversaries – I really can’t comprehend how ‘men’ can forget an important date. Don’t they transfer everything with military precision from one diary to another every year? That’s normal in my world.

When other people forget their PIN, I chuckle. When others mislay a password, I cast an eye over my stash of passwords for everything from Instagram to BT with a little warm glow.

Sitting with Sky TV and downloading a film, there’s a PIN reminder flash up. Off I trot, back in a second or two with a four-figure number and voila!

It also helps to have a mind which retains rather random information to the fascination of others. German songs from school, song lyrics by the bucketload (and I mean every single word including Sally by The Police, which is no mean feat if you know it), a song our class made up in primary school, TV themes, but nothing useful or anything which is going to get me a slot on Britain’s Got Talent.

So it was with ease I remembered I had to buy a flexible tumble drier extractor hose from Homebase to replace a worn one in the garage. Of course it was easy - it was on one of the many lists I write for myself.

Having written it in my diary as well, I replaced said hose on Saturday, to deadline. It worked a treat. Job done.

Of course, I neglected to make a note of the fact I needed to plug back in the freezer which shares the socket with the tumble drier.

Fast forward a couple of days and I wasn’t best pleased to come across a soggy garage floor where the freezer had magically defrosted itself. Along with a good £100-plus of food.

On the plus side, it’s another job I can tick off my ‘to do’ list.

I think that’s what Mr Wilde means by age coming minus the wisdom...