I don’t enjoy growing old but it beats the alternative

How did that (left) become that (centre) and end up as that (right)?

I have been alive for a little short of 25,000 days.

There have been many, many great days and a few bad ones. I always describe myself as lucky and my life, in the main, as charmed.

It’s great to have survived for so long bearing in mind a lymphoma diagnosis 21 years ago and a bone marrow transplant eleven years ago.

You will not be one bit surprised to hear that I like and admire doctors.

But do you know what?

Ageing is very hard.

It’s hard not to be able to do the things I want to. It’s harder still not to be able to do the things I used to do.

My lungs are pretty much bunched. So long walks are out of the question.

I climbed Croagh Patrick once and the Sugar Loaf often, occasionally at the end of a good night in summer, so we could watch the sun rise.

No chance of ever doing that again.

I love New York. But I’ll never get there again. Flying is out of the question.

My hair is gone. My skin is wrinkled. 

I cough a lot. I sniffle. 

I don’t yet have cocoa going to bed and I don’t yet need help going to the toilet.

And I still get to gigs even if it is, occasionally, a struggle.

In fact, I hope to see Inhaler, Divine Comedy, Mik Pyro, Two Door Cinema Club and Scouting for Girls before Christmas.

But it’s all very bloody hard. 

The body is giving up slowly (that’s because it can’t do anything quickly anymore) but the mind keeps pushing on.

For the moment.


I hate it. It’s depressing.

And long may it continue.

6 thoughts on “I don’t enjoy growing old but it beats the alternative

  1. Joe Walsh

    Paddy I would love to buy you a pint soft coffee whatever someday soon. Have enjoyed your writing for a very long time and can remember when you first became ill. Hard to believe that would be 21 years ago. If it was a pint of Guinness even better. I would say you are a very interesting guy, I’m not but I love listening to interesting people but don’t worry I have an opinion or two


  2. Alan O'Neill

    Forty Years of Fun is my motto for getting me to 105! Fair play to you for battling through and long may you continue!


  3. PvRussell

    Old age ain’t no place for sissies.


  4. Charlie collins

    You are great faiter paddy keep it going baddy


  5. Joan Byrne

    You’re still the same Paddy and nothing will change that!! Embrace it.


  6. Colin Kerr

    Great words as always Paddy. One thing that you haven’t lost during the ageing process is your superb use of the language and great sense of humour. Long may you run (or maybe walk)….


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