blog death Holiday life old age Tenerife travel

How to dodge a coffin….

It’s strange….I’m now in my late fifties. I know, I know, it’s amazing isn’t it, don’t look a day over twenty. But one thing I noticed in Tenerife were the amount of elderly people tottering about. Hundreds of old British, German and Spanish spring chickens bumping into each other, shuffling along. It’s a kind of elephant’s graveyard in the sun. Mind you they all did very well as it’s pretty steep there. We went to a bar up the road and two Sherpa’s were have a drink making basecamp it’s that hilly. In fact now I’ve got legs like a mountain goat, with a face to match. Nothing seems to stop these golden brown oldies until the clock strikes ten then they all seem to disappear en masse into nearby hotels and taxis like it’s a military curfew, leaving us young pups to party on till the early hours, raving and giving it large till the sun rises….ok, about half eleven. I was tired..

And you can really tell the different nationalities apart, the locals stand out like sore thumbs, thick coats buttoned up as if it’s winter…but then again it is winter for them. Spanish tourists seem to be quite rotund, a cigarette permanently in hand, a bit scruffy round the edges with a ‘I don’t care’ attitude. The German O.A.Ps seem to be the opposite, smartly dressed with a waterproof jacket just in case, very upright and friendly in a stand offish kind of way. And the Brits? well, let’s just say chequered socks and flip flops were on fashion. Pale, wrinkly skin everywhere. Hair a tad unkempt, a bit like walking scrotums.

We sat next to a very elderly, rather posh English couple one evening and he ordered a pizza. Now I don’t think for one second he knew what a pizza was, because when it arrived he looked down quizzically at this kind of round, colourful delight.

“It’s….. Gigantic……”

He then picked up his knife and fork and scrapped part of the top off, a bit of cheese, a mushroom here and there, as if the base was the plate. I was going to reach over and snatch it, break a piece of and show him how it’s done but my wife would have chinned me. His wife wouldn’t as she was as slow as him. He ate a tiny bit of the middle then gave up, looking a bit confused with life and creaked off into the night, back bent, smelling of Werther’s originals and lingering stale farts.

Whatever these oldies are doing it’s working. Good diet? Plenty of exercise or maybe a Dorian Gray kind of thing going on in the attic? Some of them do the Nordic walking thing. The way I speak with my accent that’s pronounced no dick. In fact I had the mad urge to shout it out at every opportunity, “No Dick!” Two large poles in either fist, scrawny chest pumping, old fogies rattling along at two miles per hour. It’s the world’s slowest death race. You can hear them coming before you see them. Click …Clack… Click. One afternoon we saw a group of them going up a slight incline. We went back to the hotel, had a cuppa, then a shower, got changed and headed out for a meal and they were all still there, puffing and panting, frantically trying to get to their destination before the clock struck ten. I’m hoping though that in twenty odd years from now I’ll be there, knees creaking, legs wobbling, wiry pale arms grasping two poles and shouting, “No Dick! No Dick!!!…. NO DICK!!!!!!”


By Vinny

Middle aged geriatric from Hull, England.Slighty mad but aren't we all?

37 replies on “How to dodge a coffin….”

Hi Vinny,

I had to laugh when I read your latest blog. I know what you mean about one’s actual age vs. one’s percieved age. In my mind, I am still the energetic 30 something I used to be. And, let’s just say, in reality, I am very, very far from 30. 😉

I am sort of glad you didn’t come across any Americans this time, since I have a feeling you would have a lot to write about them (and not all of it complimentary.)

When my husband and I visited London in 2019, I tried very, very hard to keep a low profile. Hah, somehow, you Brits can pick out an American from far away. I think the Boston accent may have given it away. That and the fact that when I went to cross a busy London street, I kept looking in the wrong direction for traffic. Luckily, several kind Londoners came to my rescue and pulled me back from the street just in time.


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