I've a feeling this will be lengthy enough to warrant being in the Blog section, but..........
A cursory glance of the blogs screams serious - a cerebral concentration on theology, politics and world affairs.
Now it's alright for you, possums - on here you're one of the mob.
But, as for me, I've got the added responsibility of being the sole representative of my country. A flag bearer, no less!
If I post in the blogs I'm inviting trouble. ("Geez, these Aussies are a lightweight mob").
So, settle back while I recount a sad tale............
Last week I went swimming with my best friend at the Coogee Mc Iver pool.
As far as I know, this is the only pool in Australia that is for the exclusive use of women - and kids under ten.
Every few years, when the lease is up for renewal, men and some women object on the grounds of discrimination - but so far to no avail.
It is mainly used by women with small kids, Muslim women, Orthodox Jewish women, nuns, lesbians, feminists and older women. (In case you're wondering, my friend and I fit into the latter category).
One minute I was swimming contentedly in this sea of oestrogen - when I had the most dreadful realisation.
I was the oldest woman in the pool!
"Oh, no", I said aloud.
"What's up?" said my friend, as she dog-paddled over towards me.
"Have you got a cramp?"
"Much worse. Do you realise I'm the oldest woman in this pool? This has never happened to me before this"...........
"I'd love to help you out", said my friend, "but, as you know, I'm a year younger than you."
(This has been a bone of contention between us since we were teen-agers. My birthday is in December, and hers follows in January. She says she's a year younger - I say she's a month younger!)
"I'm old - it's finally happened. Maybe I should stop treading water and just sink to the bottom.".............
"God, you go on at times - if you think I'm going to climb up all those stairs and get you some rocks to help you out, you've got another thing coming."
I looked around, vainly searching for someone older.........
"What are you looking at? They'll think you're an old lesbian on the lookout..."
"See that woman over there? I think she could be older than me."
(It's an interesting fact that when you know someone over a period of many years you get to pick up on the nuances of the conversation.
I've noticed that when my friend disagrees with me she says, with a raised eyebrow, "You think?")
"That woman", I say pointing.
"C'mon", says my friend, let's go and eat. There's nothing a yummy meal can't fix."
Somewhere deep inside me the rebellious child puts in an appearance.
"I'm not leaving the pool until someone older gets in", I say with a defiant glare.
'Oh, Lord, we could be here forever - I means hours" groans my friend.
I look up and see an elderly woman with a walking stick making her way slowly down the steps.
"There". I say triumphantly - "she must be close to a hundred."
"Good! Now can we eat?'"
Although my tale sounds amusing, for me it wasn't.
I have simply never felt old before - and the experience shocked me.
I know I'm fortunate, apart from a few arthritic problems my health is good.
I think here of my friend Crazyheart - who is undergoing chemo..............
So, what of others, has old age crept up on you? A gradual awareness?
Or, like me, did you have a sudden realisation?