Neil Hudson: Nuts and the weather... and being over 40

NUT JOB: Squirrels have stripped Bramley Fall Wood clean of nuts... so what does it all mean?
NUT JOB: Squirrels have stripped Bramley Fall Wood clean of nuts... so what does it all mean?
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Being over 40 has its advantages. Yes, you begin to notice bits of your body aren’t working as they should, yes your hairline recedes (if you’re a man) and of course you’re suddenly so out of touch with youth culture, it feels like you’ve been given a one-way ticket to the Antarctic.

Oh yeah, almost forgot: the advantages. Yes, there are some. (You see, right there, is another thing that happens as you get older, in that you kind of lose the thread a little, or perhaps to be more blunt about it, you care less.)

So, what I was going to say is that, it’s not really about being over 40, it’s not like a bus pass issued to you once you reach the invisible dividing line between youth and ‘old age’, it’s just a dawning realisation that the world is mostly full of idiots. Seriously, they’re everywhere, mostly though occupying positions of power and/or appearing on the tele or sitting in Parliament. Mostly the latter.

The other thing which dawns on you is that you are, after all you’ve been through during your inescapably servile life, all the rule-following and bending over backwards to please your teacher/boss and all the running round like a mad thing to make other people happy (notwithstanding the fact if you have children you are practically a slave to them for 20 years)... after all of that, you are, wait for it... an adult.

Yeah, so...?

Well, allow me to illuminate. This means you can do what the heck you like. Pretty much. If you want to stay up until 3am watching box sets, you can. If you want to have more than a few drinks on a Wednesday night, you can. Etc.

The problem with being under 40 is, for the most part, you are still labouring under the delusion that there are people out there who are better than you, who know more than you, simply because they’re older, richer or happen to be on TV, none of which is true... as recent events seem to have proved.

Anyway, when I began writing this column it was with the sole intention of talking about nuts and the weather. You see, that’s what being over 40 does to you. Honestly, I could go on much longer than this and still not talk about nuts and the weather but seeing as there’s only a paragraph or so left, let’s give it a shot.

So, I was walking through Bramley Fall Wood just the other day when a mister with a dog points out to me in passing there’s lots of squirrels about but no nuts on the floor. “It means it’s going to be a bad winter,” he says.

“Oh, right,” says I.

That’s it.

Castleton Mills in Armley, Leeds, which has undergone a transformation. 
Picture by Simon Hulme

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