Saturday, 12 October 2013

Will you still need me...

Ringo was famously concerned abut reaching 64 years of age. I enjoyed my 60 birthday a couple of days ago and so far at least, I'm not getting especially worried. Indeed I'm pretty grateful for reaching the milestone in reasonable health and with a body still functioning fairly well. Daily I see many patients younger than me coping with chronic illness and it leaves me rather humbled.

I had a lovely day. Biddy and I went down to London the day before my birthday and then to the Royal Albert Hall to see Crosby Stills and Nash. They are a band I use to enjoy listening to in my medical school days, so it was somewhat nostalgic. And those guys are even older than me! They're mostly in their early seventies,  but still with great stage presence and indeed outlasting us on the night-we left at 11pm with the music in full flow, and before their encore! It was getting a bit stuffy and I felt they were becoming somewhat self-indulgent on stage (I recall seeing Eric Clapton do the same thing at the same venue).

We stayed at the Royal Society of Medicine which is centrally positioned just north of Oxford circus. It's a great location with excellent facilities. On the morning both our daughters met us there and we went off for some brunch together. It was a mild October day and so we walked though bustling London streets until we reached Conduit Street and the wonderfully eccentric and rather marvellous Sketch. Im not sure how you would describe it since its a cross between a quirky patisserie, restaurant and cocktail bar with Louis XV seating. I suggest you go there to find out for yourself!

Back at Sarah's we were joined by Owen and we all enjoyed a glass of Proeco whilst I opened my presents and a bumper collection of cards (well twenty or so which beats by some distance my usual six- ok it's nowhere near the number my dear mother used to get!!)

In the evening we went to the little 'Georgian gem' that is the Albion pub in Islangton. We had an excellent meal and enjoyed lively banter. I had had a truly fabulous  day and will in future days think back on it with real joy and contentment. Indeed it was one of those days that you just want to last forever. And that feeling is no accident, as the old scriptures put it, 'God has set eternity in our hearts' (Ecclesiastes 3.11). The instinct to 'want it to go on and on' comes from Him, for we weren't just made for finite time and transitory experience, but to enjoy an eternal new heaven and a new earth. Because Christ has conquered our past enemy of death, He has 'brought life and immortality to light hrough the gospel'. 2 Timothy 1.10.

So I feel much gratitude for reaching sixty. God has been good to me. His love has never faltered and His mercies have been immense. And indeed why me?  And I so appreciate the love and care shown to me by Biddy, Sarah and Hannah and look forward to formally welcoming Owen into our family when he and Sarah marry next Spring.

How good is the God we adore
our faithful unchangeable friend
Whose love is as great as His power
And knows neither measure nor end.
Joseph Hart 1756
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