Monday, April 2, 2012

When will I die?

Autumn tomatoes.

Bother. I've just taken two online tests that calculate how old I'll be when I die.

The Deathclock said I'll die at 99, but I didn't believe that, because the calculator is ghoulish and ridiculously simplistic.

Dr Thomas Perls, on the other hand, has credentials, and his Living to 100 Life Expectancy calculator is much more detailed. So what's his verdict? According to Dr Perls, I am doomed to live to the age of 98.

Now this dubious prophecy is not entirely welcome. I'm not particularly keen to live that long. In fact, I recently revised my desired date of death upwards to 92, for the very good reason that I became a grandmother again.

'Is it OK if I die at 92?' I asked my daughter. 'That means I can give your son 20 years of grannying. Will that suffice?'

Kind girl thought about it seriously and then nodded. And now it seems her poor lad may have to put up with my interfering grand-matriarchal ways until he is 26. We'll see about that.

See that scruffy old tomato plant aging on my deck? Last summer's weather was so vile that I never expected the tomatoes to ripen. Indeed, I had been studying recipes for green tomato chutney, because those tomatoes have been sitting on the vine, glowing green, for nearly three months.

And now look at them! The fruit grow redder and sweeter every day, even as the plant withers and fades and flops. Where is this metaphor leading me... Maybe it's reminding me that many writers produce their best work in, ahem, maturity. Bring it on.

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