When I was last in the United States of America I walked into a Barnes and Noble store looking for a simple book to teach me internet publishing. I was shocked to see several books specifically written for dummies and older citizens. At first I was embarrassed. As I move around I never think of my age. But here were these books specially written for dummies (dunces) and older citizens including me. So because I am seventy seven and cannot understand many things that happen in this fast changing world, I am now a dummy. But as a sort of consolation I realised that even in the United States many older people are not computer literate as I found out during my visits to Wake Forest Senior Citizens Centre! They had a class teaching basic computing to many members my age, some even younger.

To be honest, sometimes I feel like a dummy when I try to get one of my children to put me through things to do with the internet. They are busy trying to survive and have little time and sometimes are so brief with me that I feel bad. But I cannot blame them. This is their time. Perhaps my time is past. There are other signs of age that I have no control over. One day I was looking frantically for my glasses and asked one of my sons if he had seen them. He said, `Daddy, but you are wearing them!’ Sometimes you go to bed feeling good. But in the morning one of your legs refuses to obey you. You just have to have patience! Old age is not a disease. But you hope you are not going to be afflicted by one of these debilitating diseases that turn you into a liability for the state, if you are in one of the developed countries where they care for old people, or for your children if you are in places in Africa where there is hardly any care for the aged. And that is if your children have the time and the means to cater for you!

Anyway, I bought a book, `Internet publishing for dummies and seniors’. You see I had written five novels and a book on real estate. They did not sell much. Nigerians are not great readers. And my son remarked, `Daddy, but you have heard the saying that if you want to hide anything from the black man you should put it in a book!’ So I decided to publish the novels on Amazon Kindle. Unfortunately, having bought the book, I forgot it in Raleigh and fretted for several weeks on how I can get the book sent to me. But then, on the internet I found `Amazon Kindle Direct Publishing’. And I am happy to have been able to format and publish my novels, Devils Playground, Dance of The Vultures, Game of Life, Nine Days For The Thief, and a novelette of fifteen stories, Bitter Sweet, on Amazon. I feel on top of the world. Whether anyone downloads them or not I regard what I have done as an achievement.

Now they tell me one way of drawing attention to my books is by blogging. I must be one of the oldest bloggers around, more certainly in Nigeria. I love the new experience. One of my children did in fact suggest that since I, like a lot of other people, have had an interesting life and have always wanted to write my biography why not do it as a blogger? I like the idea. I can tell my story in bits and pieces since nobody would like to sit down and read my biography as a book. And not being famous I cannot invite all and sundry to the launching of my biography and raise tons of money from friends and admirers. And what I notice is that these launched books are not read but get dumped on bookshelves to gather dust. So my biography will come in the form of short pieces, as far as possible, in sequence, under the caption, `down memory lane.’ I have already done thirty posts which you may like to read. My posts contain comments on current Nigerian and world affairs and include short stories, information on my published books, my biography and life in general. I would welcome your comments and please share with your friends. 

Yes, old age is not a disease. But to some it can be a calamity. There was the story of two brilliant husband and wife professors in one of England’s top universities. They were seventy two and found that their mental capacity was diminishing. They could not stand it and took their lives. To them advancing age was a calamity! There is the story of a successful architect just over sixty years of age living not too far from me. And his condition was such that his children have to lock him in when they go out. He was suffering from dementia. One day they forgot to lock him up. He disappeared and was not found for days. He died not long after. May his soul rest in peace. Another very jovial acquaintance in his seventies had one leg amputated from unknown illness just below the knee. A year later the other leg was amputated. Luckily he has not lost his sense of humour. His favourite joke is how when you are over sixty you must have an extra course added to each of your meals – your favourite drugs that keep you alive! But he remains a burden to others. May The Almighty have mercy on all of us.

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