28 January 2023

What a drag it is getting old

The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81

The Extra Ordinary Life of Frank Derrick, Age 81 by J.B. Morrison
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
What a drag it is getting old.

Actually that is one of the few songs that I don't recall being mentioned in the book, but it sums up the theme pretty well. Frank Derrick is an 81-year-old pensioner who is harassed by people trying to sell him stair lifts, and ends up in hospital after being run over by a milk float. When he is released from hospital with an arm and a foot in plaster his daughter in America thinks he needs home care, and so he has a nurse visit him once a week to see that he is OK and help with the housework.

He looks forward to the visits and so enjoys the company that he doesn't want the visits to end, and spends most of his time planning how to raise money to continue the care.

When I found the book on the library shelf I nearly put it back. I'd read other similar books, like The 100-year-old Man who Climbed out of the Window and Disappeared and I Didn't Know You Cared. But then I thought, the bloke in the story is 81, I'm 81. What better time to read it than now, before I turn 82? I'm not lonely and living on my own like the bloke in the book: I have a wife and two sons and a daughter-in-law (who happens to be a caregiver, like the other main character in the book). But yes, I have known people like that. And it seemed appropriate to finish reading it on the 70th anniversary of the day I started high school, at a brand new school -- new not just to me, but to everyone there. So the school has been going for 70 years now, a good pensionable age.

So I've read it, and quite enjoyed it, but I don't think I'd want to read it again, as I have re-read I didn't know you cared. But it's worth one read at least.

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