I don’t usually pay any attention to birthdays of mine. It’s just some more water under the bridge. Another year passed.

But this one’s different. It’s the biblical three score years and ten. I’m 70 today.

And I feel that I’ve finally made it. I’ve reached the end of the line. And anything that comes after this is extra.

When I read obituaries I always think that anyone who got past 70 lived a full life. They had a good innings.  But if they didn’t make it to 70, I think that they didn’t.

It’s like an examination pass mark. If you score 70 or more, you’ve passed. If you score less than 70, you’ve failed.

I always felt rather sorry for David Bowie, that he died a day or two after his 69th birthday. If he could have gone on for less than one more year, he’d have hit the pass mark. Sorry: 69.01% is a fail.

It says on my tobacco packets that Smokers Die Younger. Maybe they do. Maybe they don’t. Who cares? I don’t care. I’m not trying to live as long as I possibly can. I wanted to make it to 70, and today I made it. And that’s all I wanted.

I think my attitudes may change now. I feel that I’ve lived my life. It was a very interesting life. And it was also quite an easy life. I didn’t get called up and sent to fight in a war (which I thought I probably would when I was young). And I didn’t drop dead during a plague. And I didn’t get killed in a car crash or plane crash. And I didn’t get murdered by terrorists. I guess I was lucky.

I think everything will just be extra icing on the cake from now on. And I might start being much more daring and adventurous. Because there’s nothing left to lose. Maybe I’ll live to 75. Maybe even 79 like my father. Or maybe it’ll just be 70.

I turned 70 at 11 minutes to 3 this morning. That was the time that I was born in Woking Maternity Hospital. There was snow on the ground outside, my mother told me. So I’ve already had over 9 hours of extra.

At school, some 60 years ago, I had not just a name but also a number. And my number was 70. On all my clothes my mother had sewn little tags which said: Christopher Davis 70. She didn’t include my middle name, Francis. And I used to read that number and wonder if it was a prediction of how long I would live, or just a suggestion for how long I might aspire to live, or was just a speed limit. At age 10, 70 seemed a very long time in the future.

I’m hoping to meet up with a few people in the Smoky Drinky Bar tonight. Everyone is welcome to drop in, however briefly. I’m hoping to see my brother (aged 73) and his wife, currently on holiday in Oman or somewhere.  Emily said she’d show up at 11 pm my time. And RdM in New Zealand will be there too, probably around the same time, or earlier. I think Brigitte will be there too. I’m planning to spend the entire evening in the Smoky Drinky Bar, gradually downing a bottle of sparkling Chardonnay. If I’m nowhere in sight when you enter, it’ll probably be because my head is on the table, and I’ve fallen asleep.

About Frank Davis

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46 Responses to 70

  1. smokingscot says:

    Well done Frank. My hope is you’ll continue this here blog for many years and – in time – report on their retreat.

    Of course you did apply for and get that 3 year extention to your driving licence didn’t you?

    Couple of frivolous links I thought may raise a smile.


    A “study” concludes it’s better to remain single and gives reasons. In your case, your pals are virtual – though the virtual pub means you’ve got the best option with no need to dress up, get anxious, put up with bad breath or BO. Nor cough up for overpriced rounds.


    Another study of super aged people found that 71% had or were smokers and almost all still enjoyed a drink. Ghoulish in that those in the study agreed to allow them to investigate their brain once they’d kicked the bucket!

    • Frank Davis says:

      Of course you did apply for and get that 3 year extention to your driving licence didn’t you?

      No I didn’t. Another thing I’ve forgotten about. But I asked my 73-year-old brother whether he’d applied for one, and he said he hadn’t.

      Maybe I’ll spend the rest of my life in prison? Along with him?

      • smokingscot says:

        You now possess an expired licence. Get stopped by the police and you’ll face a fine. That could be for insignificant things like a blown light bulb.

        Have a minor shunt and you’ll find your insurance company will not pay because your insurer always asks if you have a valid driving licence.

        That’ll be expensive and you’ll get nailed by the fuzz as well.

        Kill or injure someone and they can claim under a contingent fund insurance companies operate for that purpose. You however will face a whole world of grief because cavalier old age pensioners are not well liked by the social media mob, nor the tabloids.

        In any event Frank, you’ll face huge difficulty getting anyone to insure you. Those who may will charge a fortune to do so.

        It costs zero to get an extension and a guaranteed fine up to £1000 if you don’t.


        Okay, lecture over with.

        • Frank Davis says:

          According to this:

          You can Renew your driving licence online with DVLA for free if you’re 70 or over – or will be 70 in the next 90 days.

          So you can renew it even if you’re over 70. No rush then.

  2. George Speller says:

    Happy birthday Frank. You ain’t going nowhere for a long long time!

  3. Emily says:

    Happy birthday!!! Congratulations on making 70!

  4. Gráinne says:

    Happy Birthday Frank. I hope you are having an excellent day.. and cake!

  5. Rose says:

    Happy Birthday, Frank!

  6. buckothemoose says:

    Happy birthday Frank

  7. Carol42 says:

    Happy Birthday, everyday is a bonus now x

  8. garyk30 says:

    Happy Birthday

  9. Tony says:

    Congratulations Frank.

  10. roobeedoo2 says:

    Congratulations and happy birthday, Frank <3

  11. Inspector Alleyne says:

    A belated Happy Birthday Frank.

  12. Grandad says:

    Congratulations Frank. I beat you to it with the birthdate [mine was two days ago] but I’m still two years behind you. I consider you a trailblazer [in more than one way].

  13. Happy birthday! And many more…

  14. beobrigitte says:

    It says on my tobacco packets that Smokers Die Younger.
    Younger than what? How does tobacco control know the age I’d die if I was not a smoker?

    Happy Birthday, Frank!
    I think everything will just be extra icing on the cake from now on. And I might start being much more daring and adventurous. Because there’s nothing left to lose.
    Go for it!!! For all you know you might join Stephen “climbing into the death zone”, or take up skiing….

    Maybe I’ll live to 75. Maybe even 79 like my father. Or maybe it’ll just be 70.
    You’d like that! Lazing around in a coffin all day and not annoying the holy anti-smokers???? Out of the question!!!!

    See you later in the SD bar!!

    • Frank Davis says:

      For all you know you might join Stephen “climbing into the death zone”

      That would be one way to finish myself off, I suppose: Join George Mallory on the upper slopes of Everest, and remain frozen for the next 100 years..

  15. junican says:

    Happy birthday! Keep physically and mentally active and don’t let the bastards grind you down.

  16. wobbler2012 says:

    Happy birthday Frank!!!

    • wobbler2012 says:

      To me there are 4 celebrated birthdays and 70 is one of them. The others being 18, 40 and 60.

      • Frank Davis says:

        Mine were 21 and 70. I seem to remember 40 being another one I took note of.

        • wobbler2012 says:

          Forget 21 Frank it’s bullshit. You can’t do anything extra at 21 that you can do at 18. The 21 was probably coined by card companies because it’s not a celebratory year, the others all celebrate something (18 being free to do what you like and 40, 60 and 70 are life milestones.)

  17. Barry Homan says:

    Hi-Fives and Happy Birthday, Frank! Thanks for all you’ve done this past decade.

  18. Congrats Frank, may you have many many more! :)

  19. Chromatistes says:

    Felicitations on your natal day! Be grateful that you were not born eight days later, in which case you would (in common with Frederick in ‘The Pirates of Penzance’) be a tad short of birthdays.

  20. nisakiman says:

    Happy Birthday, Frank. Like you, I figure if I make it to three score years and ten, then anything else is a bonus. I’ve got a bit more than a year to get through, yet. As for being more daring and adventurous, I don’t think I’d be able to surpass some of the things I’ve already done. In fact it’s a miracle that I’ve made it this far, given some of the more ‘adventurous’ things I’ve been involved in. I’m looking more to a relaxed and stress-free post-seventy period. If indeed I make it that far.

    I’ll probably look in tonight to give you my best wishes personally. Meanwhile, keep on keeping on!

  21. Vlad says:

    Wishing you a happy and relaxing birthday!

  22. Frank Davis says:

    keith richards on brian jones 52 seconds in

    “Everybody knows people, you just have that feeling about them, that they’re not going to be 70 years old, ever.”

  23. Timothy Goodacre says:

    Happy Birthday Frank !

  24. Joe L. says:

    Happy birthday, Frank!!

  25. Irregular Habitué says:

    Many Happy Returns, Frank!

  26. RdM says:

    Happy Birthday, and

    oh look, there’s a comment awaiting moderation!

  27. Philip Neal says:

    Many happy returns Frank!

  28. HBD Frank!

    Just saw this, and it got me to thinking about your model(s). They’ve included some really interesting microscopic photos of ice, but there’s also a lot of neato dynamics talked about in the video that got me to thinking about your bubbles.

    ^COLD HARD SCIENCE. The Controversial Physics of Curling – Smarter Every Day 111^

    Anyway, hope you’ve had a great day. :-)

  29. Reinhold says:

    Congratulations and best wishes also from me, Frank!
    And from my wife, too.

  30. Smoking Lamp says:

    Happy Birthday Frank! I’m Lighting a Cohiba Churchill from Havana. Hopefully one day soon we can celebrate indoors in a pub or bar of our choice!

  31. Lisboeta says:

    Happy Birthday! (And many more of ’em.)

  32. Audrey Silk says:

    Happy Birthday Frank :-)

  33. jaxthefirst says:

    Happy birthday, Frank, and congratulations on reaching this milestone. You must be a medical miracle – if the health zealots were right you should have shuffled off this mortal coil about 30 years ago, as should all the rest of us stubborn old buggers who just won’t play ball and make all their fabricated statistics come true. Which is, in and of itself, one hell of an achievement!

  34. Lepercolonist says:

    Happy birthday, Frank. You are getting better with age. My favorite Blogger !

  35. Frank Davis says:

    Thanks to everyone for all their good wishes. You’re all very kind.

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