Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Other People's Lives

I 10/1/11

I now visit a small health food shop in Turnham Green Terrace. It’s staffed by two lively youths who are very friendly and helpful.

Part with £20 for one small bottle of walnut oil and some Montmorency cherry juice. It’s like a new levy I have to pay; a hope of staying alive tax.

As I come out here the melodious fluting voice of a Chiswick lady saying, “I have heard that if you drink this green tea, it halves your chance of getting cancer.”

Remembered how scared I used to be of getting cancer. At the same time I was afraid of growing old. News of deaths of elderly people and old actors filled me with gloom. There is a saying that before the age of 40 you never think about death, after it, you think of nothing else. I used to identify with that.

Now I listen to reports of people’s deaths to ask anxiously what they died of? The actress Susannah York perished from cancer today, depressing, ominous, but she did reach 72. I now have no fear of growing old – it’s a cherished hope.


  1. Hi again
    Your final paragraph nailed another couple of gems - the scouring of obits looking for "cancer" (particularly in young people - when someone has got to a "ripe old age" I think well you did alright). I am more than usually preoccupied with people dying - that 13 year old boy who drowned in Australia for example. It's not that it makes me feel any better (it doesn't), it just points up the sheer randomness of it all. Your other point about not fearing growing old, embracing it even, is spot on.

  2. It is all very random you are right and surviving cancer is all about luck - something that statistics and doctors don't allow for.
    And I suppose there are miracles too!