I had five or six (I lost track of the exact number) of periods last year, which was the first year I hadn't had one roughly once a month. The last for 2007 was at the beginning of October. Four months went by in a state of equilibrium until...
I got new passport photos the other day. I had them taken in a camera shop, rather than the usual chemist. The difference was interesting. She took my photo on a digital camera, showed me the photo to see if I liked it (I'd never been asked for my approval before), then put the disk (or whatever you call them) into a computer and zeroed in on the face to get the image to exactly the right size and frame. It was a much faster process than in the chemist.
Wade through the first few Britcentric paragraphs of this and you'll get to some interesting interviews with middle aged women about the ageing process. There's a barely veiled hysteria about it all which I both recognise within myself and at the same time feel quite removed from.
The pain as a result of my fall has finally just about disappeared - it took three weeks to fade. Now along comes a new problem. I went to the periodontist on Friday, to have the left side of my gums scraped and cleaned - the right side was done a few months ago.
My best friend just turned 66 and her father is dying - at 92. Her mother is still alive but in a nursing home and mentally absent - "demented" (an awful word).
Her father was diagnosed with cancer just a couple of weeks ago and my friend thought he might have a few months. In the past couple of days, it's become clear he only has days to go. He's a Quaker and is at peace with the idea of dying. My friend is flying tomorrow to be with him but is not sure if he'll still be alive by the time she gets there.
"Next time we speak", she told me, "I'll have joined you in the ranks of the adult fatherless."