Yesterday was my Aunt's 90th Birthday. She is the last survivor of my parent's generation of my forebears. She was my mother's younger sister.
A year ago, I wouldn't have put money on her lasting another week, never mind another year. But last it she has and in better form and shape that I thought possible. We had a lovely day, with the lunch menu dictated by herself ( shepherd's pie with peas, and icecream and meringues) My cousin , her daughter, did the needful and we travelled down to East Yorkshire for the occasion.
Two things struck me particularly. Travelling down the east side of the country is infinitely worse than the west.It is actually impossible to get a drinkable cup of coffee between Edinburgh and London, unless you nip off into the larger towns and find somewhere. Even the places that boast eg Cafe Nerro turn out to be aspirations rather than fact.We were, however, offered various evil cups of instant coffee, all of which we declined.When you need a heart-starter, you need a heart-starter.
The second was about longevity. Supposedly, only one in a thousand live to be 90. We know quite a few nonagenarians, and all of them have one thing in common.They are all somewhat eccentric to a greater or lesser degree,and unfailingly cheerful. I'm sure it has something to do with natural selection. Very few committees have ever made any progress, which appears to come mostly from outliers of the human race. I'm sure that there are a few in every generation who are programmed to question and probe, to ridicule and go off at a tangent, just so the human race can progress. There don't appear to be any animals who " progress" in the way that humans do, so there must be a gene somewhere that makes the difference.
At the very least, it makes life more enjoyable.