Thursday, 12 February 2009

Old Git


Lot of talk this morning about what we should call elderly people. Apparently the pinko liberals are going around tut-tutting about the old folk in our midst being called 'old codgers', 'coffin-dodgers' etc. All Round Good Egg Sir Clement Freud (84) was interviewed on the Today programme and basically said he didn't give a toss what anybody called him, so long as wasn't 'young man' by patronising shop assistants who think they're being funny. As I am often called 'The Old Git' by my children, I don't give a monkey's either. After all I'm now officially infirm and probably incontinent as well since a Senior Rail Card was bestowed upon me. How to illustrate these thoughts. Well, in the seventies Penguin produced a beautifully designed trilogy of photographic books edited by Gordon Winter. On the front cover of A Country Camera 1844-1914 is a photograph taken of eighty-two years old Robert Morvinson in 1857. I've always been staggered by this image, as we are looking at a photograph of someone who was born in 1775. As it says underneath the picture, (but obviously if you're over forty you won't be able to read it) Mr.Morvinson came into the world 'when the United States was still a British colony, and Bonnie Prince Charlie was still alive'. Imagine that. I wonder what they called him? As he was a shoemaker probably 'Olde Cobbler'.

9 comments:

Ten Inch Wheeler said...

My grandma is a sprightly 94 years old. On my last visit she told me that when her own mother was being mischievous as a child, she'd be chased into the garden by her mother, wielding a 'dishclaart' (dishcloth in West Riding dialect) . Here, she'd scurry up a tree out of the way, and pull faces at her mam until teatime. I suddenly realised that grandma was describing a tiny vignette of life at least 150 years ago. Happily, the cottage and the tree are still there.

Toby Savage said...

Pah. I'm about to do a job photographing apartments (flats to you and I) designed for the over 55's. That's me! Whatever was supposed to happen to me at 55 clearly passed me by. Think I'll go on the Ducatti.

Philip Wilkinson said...

Call me a codger - I"m going on my codging course soon.

Sue said...

I'm not sure whether it's you old chaps or us old girls that get the best names. So you may be codgers, fogies and gits but we get to be bats, trouts and bags!

Diplomat said...

talk about elephant in the room !!!! why is nobody mentioning the likeness to Ron Combo's portrait at Grappa Hellc

Ron Combo said...

Hmm, there's something in what you say Diplo.

Peter Ashley said...

Sue, at the grave risk of being thought a sychophant, I have to be the one who puts my hand up and says you look nothing like any bat, trout, or bag I've ever seen.

Sue said...

Sychophantic or not, you've cheered me up after being asked on Friday if I was my son's Mum or Granny (admittedly by a small boy who normally wears glasses and didn't have them on!). An odd quirk of the English language, though, that the female descriptions are known items or creatures whereas who's to say what a git or even a codger should look like?

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