Three Score And Ten

When I was young, Religious Education was compulsory in school. I had a Bible at home, and read it more like a history book, than religious instruction. Parts of it were very dull, but others had action, adventure, even wars. I grew up not believing in any God or religion, but I did remember some of the quotes and catchphrases that I read. Two of them in particular stayed with me.

‘Mene, mene, Tekel Upharsin’.

Do you know what that is? It is the actual ‘Writing on the wall’ that gave us the phrase so often used today.

Then there was this one.

‘The days of our years are threescore years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labour and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.’

So I was around eight years old, and could work out that they were talking about living until the age of seventy. Eighty at a push, if you had that ‘strength’ mentioned.

I spent the next twenty years expecting to die at seventy. Then I became an EMT in the London Ambulance Service. It wasn’t long before I realised that so many people die long before they are seventy. Especially people like me at the time who smoked cigarettes, worked shifts in stressful jobs, didn’t eat properly, and liked a drink on their days off.

Very soon, I started to think that fifty might be a good age for me to live to. When you do that job, you do become something of a fatalist.

Surprise surprise! I made it to 2022, and I am 70 years old today.

Maybe the Bible got it right?

89 thoughts on “Three Score And Ten

  1. My dad who died at 89 never thought he would live past his father’s age at death–39. I think he was surprised every year thereafter. I know that as a child I believed him and was greatly relieved when he turned 40. And a very happy birthday to you.

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  2. As long as we’re looking at biblical references (of which I’ll admit I’m no expert πŸ™‚ ), why not go with Abraham: didn’t he die around 175 (no typo)? πŸ™‚

    A wonderful 70th, and here’s to another 105 more? πŸ˜€

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    1. I might have been happy to stay at 69, Fandango. But I will get used to it soon, I hope. πŸ™‚
      It does feel that I am now on the last lap of a very long race, and they have rung the bell.
      Best wishes, Pete.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. (1) “Mene, mene, Tekel Upharsin.” I think that meas that Putin has doomed the country of Ukraine. Or something like that,
    (2) “The days of our years are threescore years and ten…” The Book of the Holy Beetley also states: “And in his seventieth year, Pete shall continue his sacred blog which he hath earnestly begat, and he shall not seek rest in his eightieth year from the creation of beloved serials that hath become the time-honored salvation of the ubiquitous internet.”
    (3) Repeat after me, “When it comes to blogs, no one can compete with Pete.”
    (4) Note attached to a tree at the Fountain of Youth: “Drink you shall, but no longer shall you live. Be strong and of kind heart. And you shall live forever.”
    (5) And on the final day of life, when consequences no longer apply, one should engage in high-nicotine chain smoking, take on impossibly stressful chores in the home, super size one’s order of greasy French fries, and drink at least three bottles of Everclear grain alcohol.


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  4. One’s perspective certainly changes as we age. I seem to have gone from 50 to 70+ while I wasn’t paying attention. I have no religion either though the Universe is full of mysteries. I am in awe of Mother Nature. Best wishes.

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  5. Happy Birthday, Pete! You’re right about the Bible having some pretty good action stories (and some boring bits as well). My Dad (who is no longer with us, although he lived past his 70. He died at 76) used to say, “I won’t make it to 40”, “I won’t reach 50”, “I will not see my 60th birthday”… He wasn’t the most optimistic of individuals, but, to give him his due, he was the first of his siblings to go, and he wasn’t the oldest (in fact, so far, fingers crossed, he is the only one of his six siblings who has passed away).
    I am sure you’ll see many more birthdays yet. All that walking with Ollie, and the blogging, will keep you going. Have fun today! β™₯

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  6. Seventy is the new Fifty so you’re still only middle-aged. The key to a long life is to keep enjoying it. (and not get ill) so carry on living your life my friend πŸŽ‚πŸ·πŸŽˆπŸŽ‰

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  7. Welcome to the seventies!
    Talking about our Sunday school days… remember fire, flood and famine… wars and rumours of wars?
    (sorry for the down. It’s not an optimistic sort of day… raining again, just when you thought it was safe to take the dogs out 😦 )

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      1. Getting there, latest CT said no recurrance or anything of concern. starting to cool down here now and a little more rain but thats what keeps the grass green and the fish in the rivers happy

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  8. Carpe diem, Pete. I’m not religious either, but I do believe every new day is a blessing, whatever age we might be, so I try to enjoy every new day in its own way. Age is only a number! Happy Birthday! Cheers, Jon.

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  9. Happy Birthday, dear Pete! I hope you had a good sleep and you are now prepared for the great entertaining party with Ollie. πŸ™‚ Now i hope my wishes will be transfered, as i had also used your tweet. Lol Great to have you here, also with always great serials. Enjoy your day! xx Michael

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    1. Nobody knows what the writing on the wall really means, that’s why it is so mysterious.
      It says ‘Numbered, Numbered, Weighed, Divided.’ Daniel translated that as meaning the end of Belshezzar’s kingdom.
      Thanks, Sarada.
      Best wishes, Pete.

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