In the latest in our Friday features in which we invite readers "of a certain age" to have their say on a topic of the day that really gets their backs up, ROBERT WOOD of Oakes writes on the trials and tribulations of reaching 59 ...

DOESN'T time fly? I mean I seem to remember celebrating my 21st birthday quite recently.

So why now, I wonder, are people starting to regard me as an old giffer?

It's surely the same me as I've always been, though I know my thinning thatch is not quite the same light brown. A touch, well, grey I suppose. Only in certain lights, mind.

What's that, you say, I'm HOW OLD next? Surely not.

Come on, speak up. You know my hearing is fading a little. A bus pass soon? A winter fuel allowance and free prescriptions? You know I won't swallow any bloody pills and I don't use buses.

I should what? Write to the Examiner's senior rant. I don't rant and I AM NOT a senior.

Now you're saying I do and I AM. Just pass me the pen and paper.

Hmm, well tattooed young females have me peppery with their salty language that should be reserved for joiners who miss the target and give their thumb a good hammering.

Especially off-putting are the maidens who seem to delight in showing what is - or often isn't - covering their derrières under ill-fitting jeans. Were I St George they'd be dragon-fodder.

Other pet hates:

Anyone with a better golf swing than me. (For anyone, read just about everyone who's also been seduced by a can't leave alone mistress flaunting her fairways to suck us poor saps off the straight and narrow).

And please don't mention pilots. They may well be a nice bunch, but they fly aeroplanes and I'm reduced to a sweating, gibbering wreck by even thinking of taking to the clouds again. No, never. Leave the skies to the birds - they've got wings, I don't.

Damn too, fellow motorists who don't indicate at roundabouts.

Then there's Kirklees councillors, whose yah-boo tit-for-tatting has finally put me off voting. They're as wearisome as the PC pudding-heads hell bent on stifling the spirit out of us all. Life is an adventure, risks and all.

What about the fuss over podgy kids? Time was when I wolfed a plateful of step-sized slices of bread plastered with beef dripping and salt before shooting off to play football for hours on end.

Get the little blighters running, jumping and skipping again and then you can happily stuff 'em with chips and beans.

My diet would, hopefully, render Jamie Oliver speechless but I don't threaten the well-being of the scales after a lifetime of varied sporting activity.

Sad, too, to have seen the decline of manufacturing industry in this area, which once boasted, on a per capita basis, the highest number of Rolls Royce owners in the country. And roads in better condition to glide along in style.

Jobs aplenty then, but now the youngsters are force-fed education, education and yet more education.We'll end up with the highest qualified dole queue in the world.

It's no wonder so many turn to mugging or nicking sat-navs to turn a quid.

So there - rant over. Now I'll let you into a secret: life's just grand if you make the best of it whether you're 10 or 59. Do so and rock on.

PS. Dear Giants, can we please go to the Cup Final again this season - and win it. You would have a very happy old dog then.

IS there something annoying you? Is there something about today's world that you need to get off your chest? Or is there something you feel is great? If so, why not share it with us? Each Friday we're giving "seniors" the chance to write on a subject of their choice. Interested? Then tell us in no more than 100 words why it should be you. Send it to: Get It Off Your Chest, Features department, Huddersfield Daily Examiner, PO Box A26, Queen Street South, Huddersfield HD1 2TD or email

You won't get paid, but you will get read ...