I have always lost, or more often, mislaid spectacles, car keys, and – since mobiles were invented – phones..

When my daughters were young they gave me a present of a gadget to attach to keys which, if you whistled, would make them ring out.  (It had to be abandoned because the keys started to respond to laughter.)
More recently my Apple Watch (and iPad) allows me to identify where my phone is. But nothing helps me track down my specs or car keys. (There are various tiles on the market but they are all too large to be useful, in my view.)

How often I have gone through the house, starting with my desk, my bedside table, with ledges at eye level, and then scouring all rooms, drawers, under the car seats… getting more and more annoyed with myself as I keep checking in the same places again and again.

I have had a recent worrying bout of losing or misplaying spectacles.  It started in Lisbon, where I must have left my sun specs on a cafe table. In Barcelona I bought a replacement pair. Then on Saturday I thought I had left these in the Ecole de Musique, which was closed for the Pentecote holiday, and bought a second, cheaper pair as a backup. Only to discover later that I had put my sun specs into the case for my cello/computer specs!

It continued. On Tuesday we had our small end of year cellists concert, in which I was playing several times.  I opened my cello/computer specs case – only to find it was empty.  Panic! I struggled through the performances, as always already hit by performance nerves, peering at the music, sometimes playing a wrong note (hoping that the audience – mainly parents of the other cellists – did not notice). Worse still, at the end of the concert, when Anne out teacher was tidying up, she found my specs on a table.  I had in fact taken them out of the case and, presumably while doing something like fishing out my music, absentmindedly put them to one side.

That’s the key problem: being absent minded or lacking concentration.  As I said, these are not new character traits, but I do get worried that – along with forgetting people’s names – they are occurring more often. If you are 76 you cannot but ask yourself if these are the first signs of dementia!

I keep telling myself that playing the cello, playing with my computer, learning new photographic skills, not to mention meeting the challenge of talking in two languages, must all help the poor old brain keep on working.

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