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Just come back from a week with the Ramblers. You don’t meet any teenagers when you’re rambling. It’s extremely uncool, you see. You’re out in the country. There are no shops to loot. The mud does nothing for your Nikes. The rain flattens out all the spikes in your hair.
My Teenage Self, in fact, is disgusted with me spending all that time with boring sexagenarians (that’s a misnomer – there’s not much sex). But I’d like to reassure MTS that the holiday conversations of sixty five year olds are no more mind-rotting than those of younger generations.
In my 30s, people on walking breaks obsessed about gear. Gore-Tex was the thing. At first I thought they were discussing the next phase of Massacre Movies.
People in their 40s went on about their kids. Damien had just got an A in History so was clearly destined to be PM in twenty years. Rambling, of course, only took second place to their main holiday in Mustique – just because they didn’t buy you a drink they didn’t want you to think they were cheap.
Ramblers in their 50s waffled on about equity release and endowment payments. “Stop!” yells MTS, “This is just so boring and irritating”. Well, MTS, wait till they got on to their garage extension. And then their Audis...
Now I’m in my 60s ramblers have finally got real. They talk about styles (the country walk type, not the catwalk). Specifically, how they’ve suddenly got higher. “I have no problem myself, of course – it’s the others I’m worried about.”
And they talk about cats. I spent half an evening hearing about Sue from Chorley’s killer tom who’d dragged a seagull through the catflap. That was more fun than mortgages. Especially after a large Glenmorangie.
Now, whatever happened to Damien?…