Around the table…

You know that you are getting old when sitting at a table where only one person is less than 65.

There were just over a dozen of us, meeting up for my older brother’s 70th birthday.

I have to say, from the outset, that I never expected him to live that long, but, when you take into consideration the longevity of our parents, my father is 97 and my mother 93, it’s no longer a surprise.

As for me, I’m 67 this year, and there are three years between us.

Something else I hadn’t realized, but what possibly seems coincidental is the age difference between our granddaughters, which is also three years. One is 16, another is 13 and the youngest 10.


It was interesting to finally meet a number of the guests as, for many, many years, I’d only heard of them in passing conversation. This is because we very rarely manage to get down from Brisbane to Melbourne to catch up, and almost never when my brother has had one of these rare get-togethers.

Of course, these people had known him for years, and there was a thread to bound them together.


They were all stamp collectors.

I remember a long, long time ago I used to collect stamps, but I did not have the same passion for collecting as my brother did, and if truth be told, I was a little jealous.

And he had a Stanley Gibbons catalog that could put a value to every stamp. That, to me, showed dedication.

I just bought stamps that were big and colorful from obscure countries no one had ever heard of. But, in another sense, it was where I learned a lot about the British Commonwealth. Some of those African member countries were those same obscure places I had stamps for.

Then when I could be no longer be bothered, I just handed the lot to him and said he could do with them what he will.

Naturally, at this gathering, we didn’t talk about stamps.

If fact, after describing myself as the black sheep, well, grey sheep on account of the hair, it seemed we became the center of attention.

To be honest, I expected the lunch to last an hour, but who knew there was so much to talk about, even though I really can’t remember much of it other than it lasted almost three hours. That’s a lot of time talking about nothing.

But I guess when you reach that golden age, time ceases to have any real meaning.

We now have a standing invitation to return, and since time is running out for all of us, it’s probably wise to not take so long to return.

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