Why the pirate days are over for this particular old-timer

I am back in the office after a week strutting my stuff as a pirate and those of you who saw me will know I was also, briefly, one half of the popular teen duo Jedward.

I am reasonably confident there is no photographic record of this unfortunate event although I am a little edgy in case I get a copy of a picture with a blackmail note threatening publication unless I leave �10,000 in unmarked notes under a park bench – or the offer of a recording contract.

It was a happy return to my desk. No more buccaneering for me. My dear friend and chief naval consultant John, from Bacton, had sent me a lovely birthday card and another valued correspondent, Dorinda, had responded to my plea for more good things about getting older… I think I came up with about five although, obviously, I can’t now exactly remember what they were. She writes: “I can offer a couple more advantages to being older...

1. My hairdresser gives a discount to ‘seniors’.

2. B&Q do a 10% off day for over-60s – and I can tell you, if you go in on Wednesdays, the place is full of fit OAPs buying DIY stuff. I should explain I mean ‘fit’ in the old-fashioned sense of the word – strong and healthy – not the new ‘fit’ meaning, er ‘hot’ and I now need to add, not the sort of hot that applies to ladies of a certain age...

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3. You can spend your money on yourself.

4. You don’t have to give up large amounts of time to ferrying your children around – indeed, one of my friends now gets her son to ferry her around.”

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I don’t hold out much hope for the seniors discount at the hairdresser, but I might try to avail myself of hot pensioners’ day at B&Q…

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