Perhaps loss of hearing is a self-preservation method

Perhaps it's just me, but there's one symptom of ageing that nobody seems to tell you about '“ noise production.

Saturday, 6th August 2016, 6:01 am
Paul Gascoigne

I have noticed that the older one gets, or the older one’s relatives become, the more noise we all make.

Be it groaning as you heave yourself from the armchair, or creaking if you should be so silly as to bend down to do something.

Alternatively, there is the audible clicking in your joints when you arise from the floor, should you be daft enough to sit on it, cross-legged, as you used to in your youth.

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Sitting cross-legged is, for me, no longer a viable option. At least not if I want to get back up again without walking as though I’ve deposited something unsavoury in my pants.

If I do attempt to pretend that I still have the well-oiled hips of my youth and I try a cross-legged sit, then I invariably have to hobble for several metres before any semblance of walking normality returns.

Perhaps this is just me? Or maybe it’s a side effect of childbirth and all the ligament-stretching that occurred during pregnancy.

Whatever the cause, I dread to think how much worse it may get during the years to come.

My husband has a cold at the moment. Admittedly it’s bad enough for him to be suffering from a very nasty cough and also feverish night sweats.

But given that I’ve grown human beings in my stomach and expelled them, I have little sympathy.

Part of the reason for my lack of pity is, again, the noise accompaniments.

It’s not even the cough that’s driving me bonkers, it’s the whimpering, the self-pitying sighs and the inevitable groan as he hoists himself from the bed in the mornings.

An ‘oof’ or ‘urgh’ accompanies each muscular fasciculation and, rather than blow his nose, as one would advise even a polite toddler to do, he snorts and snuffles and sniffs me to distraction.

Perhaps our loss of hearing as we age is actually a self-preservation method to counteract the sheer noisiness of our ageing selves.


I was sorry to read about Paul Gascoigne who, if reports are correct, has been drinking again.

As the daughter of an alcoholic, I have every sympathy with Gascoigne and his family.

Anyone who has lived with an alcoholic knows how wholly-consuming and devastating alcohol can be. Its push and pull are relentless and it will change the person you know into an entirely new incarnation, one with no control.

The frustrations and irritations that you feel, coupled with sickening worry and outright fear, never leave you.

Even after years of sobriety, The Fear will perch upon your shoulders. My father died suddenly when I was young, but I have never forgotten the hell that booze can bring.


The summer is a time for endings and beginnings and September heralds transition for many of us. Children leaving schools and moving onwards into new phases of their lives.

Because of the rhythms of our academic years, the summer and September even signal the beginning of careers, or the start of travelling gap years, and the closure of large periods of our lives.

This rolls out into adulthood once your own children are then involved in the education system, and September brings a clean sheet and a freshly-sharpened pencil to begin, even metaphorically, again with.

Though admittedly my kids would’ve preferred it if the shops hadn’t started putting their ‘Back to School’ section out before they’d broken up.