Rose’s Reviews: Oh no it’s Old Age…RUN! (oh that’s right, you can’t. Ha ha!)

Maybe I shouldn’t have read this book.

The thing is, I’m already feeling a bit down.  I avoid my own eyes in the mirror (in fact, I’m thinking of having them – the mirrors that is, not the eyes – blacked over like some character in an Edgar Allen Poe story).  I’m tired.  My life at the moment is encapsulated by that Green Day song, Twenty One Guns.  And here it is.

But, in defiance of my mood, I DID read it.  The book – that is.  The Waiting Room, by Thomas Milner, aka Notes from the Waiting Room at wordpress.  If you’re reading this, Thomas, don’t think I didn’t like your book.  I loved it.  Your writing has depth, originality and considerable style.  The subject is one that we all think about, if we’re the kind of person who thinks about stuff – getting old.

Or perhaps, more broadly, about life.  I mean, there it is.  You grow up in an English boarding school (not something most of us have any experience of, but I happen to know a bit about it because an ex of mine also attended one, and they struck me as both odd and cruel in a privileged sort of way).  You find yourself a series of jobs consisting mostly of sitting under date palms in the Moroccan desert or sampling fine cuisine in the Portuguese sunshine.  You get married, you have magnificent children, the apple of your eye.  And then, as Chinua Achebe said, ‘things fall apart’ (ps you might want to try Chinua while you’re at it, he’s really good).  You find yourself sampling not so fine cuisine, in a Portuguese nursing home, with a series of brain tumours blossoming like death lilies inside your skull, and you think, hmmm.

So don’t read this if you’re already feeling like you’re heading downhill to the grave.  But if you aren’t, this book is insightful, thoughtful, a little bit melancholy, and it really makes you think – what am I taking for granted?  What if whoever granted it, takes it back? What does my life amount to? Am I really living? And if I’m not – I’d better start NOW!

Ps: if you’ve written a book and you’d like me to review it, I’m all ears (or eyes, as the case may be).


  1. I’m feeling a bit old after reading your last couple posts. And just today, my teenage son told me my hands needed plastic surgery because they “look old.” Isn’t that nice? Don’t we just love teenagers? Hey, come to think of it, maybe it’s them that’s making me old…

    I’m enjoying your book reviews. Nice of you to do. 🙂

  2. Thanks so much for reading & reviewing my book THE WAITING ROOM Rose, which you do in your own inimitable style. I’m very grateful. Can I reblog it?

    (By the way, I know this probably too much detail but I’m going in for my fourth brain surgery in January – I guess I’m being operated into the record books!)

    With kindest regards,


    1. Of course, no need to ask. Actually I’m sorry now that I said it made me feel did, but in a good way. Sort of like reading Grahame Greene or something else quite serious. Not everything you read has to make you feel cheerful, some things are worth reading just because they tell it how it is, even if that’s not all hollywood sunsets. I really hope your operation’s a success – let me know how it goes, and I’ll have my fingers crossed for you (except when i’m typing). Life’s a piece of shit sometimes, huh – Monty Python’s Always Look on the Bright Side says it perfectly, I always think.


  3. Wow, i’m not sure I want to read the book. I’m pretty aware of all the things i’ve missed and am currently missing. BUT there’s a lot i have, and HAVE GAINED (especially in my “twilight years” … (aka it’s NEVER too late).

    Do i make LISTS of all my goodies, no … am i supposed to?

    Maybe i’m an underachiever. I don’t want fame or constant pleasure and forever travels. To me these items are only special when you “get them” once in awhile. I try to focus on the day to day (since we only have one day at a time)… course that’s a wee bit depressing too. Hell, old age is NOT for sissies!

    As far as a series of jobs … i can’t say any of them had me CHARGED up, at least not for long. I do my best to make a contribution and not curse. My boss and i are friends and we both curse, but we get our work done … in fact we’re launching some new business we hope brings us some cash so we stay afloat. Maybe that will take my mind off of getting old and creaky and wrinkly.


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