The truth is staring us in the face

Sunday, July 30

They say there’s no fool like an old fool. A survey finds that three-quarters of older British men believe they become better looking with age. This contrasts with only 56 per cent of men aged 16 to 24 feeling confident about their looks. How come? Perhaps the explanation why 71 per cent of the over-65 group thought they looked younger than their years is found elsewhere in the same survey; younger men look in the mirror more often.

Driving back from Cheltenham, we find ourselves stuck in a traffic jam on the M4 at 6.30 on a Sunday evening. The cause is the apparently perpetual problem of congestion approaching the Brynglas tunnels outside Newport. The Welsh Government has been loud in its protests at the UK Government’s cancellation of rail electrification west of Cardiff, but it should be concentrating on making a decision about the route of the M4 relief road, and get on with removing a bottleneck that has a far more severe impact on business and leisure traffic into Wales.

Monday, July 31

It’s 8.30pm, and our kitchen is full of animals. Our neighbours moved house today. They did not take with them their cat (Next Door’s Cat, an occasional player in the never-ending drama that is this retired life journal). So he’s in the room. But so, temporarily, are next door’s two dogs, waiting to be collected and taken to their new home. All is surprisingly harmonious.

Tuesday, August 1

I have started reading Darktown, a police procedural novel set in Atlanta in 1948, as part of my World Crime Atlas retirement project. One-third into the story, and I am already immersed in the book’s deeply shocking portrayal of a city where even crime, and its victims, are strictly segregated. Very impressive story telling by the author, Thomas Mullen.

Friday, August 4

Why do so many people confuse going to the cinema with going for a picnic? The people sat on either side of me at this afternoon’s screening of War For The Planet Of The Apes were fully equipped with popcorn (two, large), drinks (ditto), bags of chocolates, tortilla chips, and a tray of assorted dips. When I want to eat, I go to a café; when I want to watch a film, I go to a cinema. I like it that way. I don’t much like having to watch and listen to a film over the sounds (and smells) of my neighbours’ marathon grazing sessions.

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