Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Old neighbours

I returned from a trip to the Post Office this morning to find my father talking to the daughter of our late neighbours. Vera was 98 when she died, Cliff was 97.
When Cliff was 90 he told me that the doctor had told him he must give up certain items in his diet, among them tinned pineapple and icecream. That combination, perhaps not everyone's choice, was Cliff's favourite dessert. Cliff told me this over the fence and I can remember waiting to hear what his reaction had been, "Doctor, if I cannot have a little of what is bad for me now, when can I have it?"
It is an interesting question. Some doctors appear to believe that it is their job to keep you alive as long as possible, well beyond what Cliff called his 'use-by date'. It matters not in the least that they also expect you to follow a strict regime of denial. Ideas about the treatment of diabetes have changed and perhaps others about things like cholesterol will follow.
Cliff lived a long life anyway. Perhaps part of it is the genes you have inherited. I do not know.
What I do know is that Cliff went on eating his favourite dessert.

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