Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Frank Devine, the Australian journalist and commentator died this month aged 77. The news caught my eye because of the name.

Now here is something interesting about my name.

My Grandma married a man named William Stewart and within a year she was expecting my Dad. William however died long before their first anniversary. Grandma married again just before my Dad was born...this time to a Devine.

So the blood that flows in my veins belongs to the Stewarts, yet I feel quite attached to the Devine name. Not surprising I suppose, since I've had it for over half a century.

Someone who was twice my age...112 I believe, also died this month. No, he wasn't a Devine or a Stewart. His name was Harry Patch and he was the very last living British witness of the First World War. He was the last of all the millions who experienced the trenches first hand.

If I live as long as he did, I would be experiencing life in the year 2064.

When you consider the advances over the past fifty years, the thought of what they might be over the next fifty is quite a mind-blowing thought. 2064 looks more like an address than a date, doesn't it?

In 2064 there will still be grass, trees and sky, the wind, rain and snow. The sea too, as well as bricks, mortar, politicians, taxes, musicians, artists and poets.

I think this is why I like the sea so much. I look out and see exactly the same as someone hundreds of years ago, and in hundreds of years to come. Nothing dates it.

Anyway, I'm not fussed about being around then. I'm already blind as a bat and half deaf...the list will only get longer.

I'll be satisfied if I arrive at 2032 to celebrate my 80th. That'll do me fine, thank you.

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