How do you ex­plain get­ting old to a kid?

Bray People - - YOUR WEDDING - SHEA TOMKINS

Tues­day: All is quiet on New Year's Day. On the sofa the young lad and younger lad are ten Roses away from see­ing their re­flec­tions on the bot­tom of the tin, so we de­cide it is time to pluck them from their com­forts and ex­pose them to the el­e­ments. Some­times I feel it would be eas­ier to drag scep­ti­cal mules through a glue-farm gate.

On the pave­ment we meet a few red-faced jog­gers, ob­vi­ously ‘res­o­lu­tion­ers', bent over in two and gasp­ing for air. Ev­ery now and then a cy­clist whizzes past. Some of them are snugly fit­ted into, and oth­ers are unashamedly bulging out of their new sports gear. A real sense of re­birth is cir­cu­lat­ing, and I can safely say that New Year's Day is one of my favourite days of the year.

So­ci­ety be­comes in­vig­o­rated by a col­lec­tive selfim­prove­ment vibe, even if in most cases th­ese good in­ten­tions will have slith­ered to the bot­tom of a wine glass by the time the next full moon bares its chest. Then, out of the blue, the young lad asks the good woman a ques­tion. ‘Why do peo­ple go for af­ter­noon naps?' It's not quite up there with ‘what's a nip­ple?' which we got last week, but an in­ter­est­ing query all the same.

I lis­ten with in­trigue as she ex­plains that as peo­ple get older they some­times like to have an af­ter­noon nap, to recharge their bat­ter­ies so that they will be in good form for the rest of the day.

He takes this in­for­ma­tion on board and pro­cesses it for a moment or two. Then he asks her an­other ques­tion. ‘Does Frank Lam­pard take af­ter­noon naps? Daddy says that Chelsea want to get rid of him be­cause he's gone too old.' She leaves that one to me. When it comes to age, it ap­pears, kids class any­one that sprouts fa­cial hair or gets turned on at the thoughts of buy­ing a new hoover over the hill. They might be right. Thurs­day: I read to­day that run­ning up to 20 miles a week can help you to live longer and as has be­come tra­di­tion in our house come Jan­uary, we are dis­cussing marathons. The good woman crossed her first full-marathon line last year, and has had one up on me ever since. I see the Newry City Marathon takes place on May 26th this year, and that gives me plenty of time to creak open the hinges to my lungs, I would imag­ine. Oc­to­ber's Dublin equiv­a­lent is sim­ply too far in the dis­tance to in­cen­tivise.

My prob­lem is that I need to have a ball rolling along in front of me when I am run­ning to keep me in­ter­ested, like a don­key needs a car­rot, or a hound needs a hare. Run­ning, oh al­right, but sug­gest a healthy alternative and I could be eas­ily swayed. Satur­day: I have de­cided what my ul­ti­mate goal for 2013 will be. At the top of the town in which we go about our daily busi­ness is an old pub­lic tele­phone box. The other day I stood look­ing at it, sens­ing that it was try­ing to tell me some­thing. Then it came to me.

Years ago it was all the rage to try and break the world record for the num­ber of peo­ple that you could fit in­side a phone box, but it seems that no one has tried it for ages – at least not in Ire­land.

A few quick Google searches and I see the record is cur­rently held by a group of Lon­don con­tor­tion­ists, who fit­ted in an im­pres­sive seven bod­ies while ad­her­ing to the Guin­ness Book of Records of­fi­cial guide­lines (must be over 18 and over five feet high). Plus they must hold their po­si­tion for over five sec­onds.

This year, there­fore, my goal is to break the record for the num­ber of Ir­ish peo­ple fit­ted into a phone box. Hopefully, by 2014, we will have earned a place in the most fa­mous record book of all time. All I need now are eight vol­un­teers – though reg­u­lar Guin­ness drinkers need not ap­ply.

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