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It's kind of like looking into a genetic crystal ball: Examining my father, trying to map my own body onto the lattice of his. Chances are that the forces beneath his skin are pretty similar to the forces beneath my skin. I look at his 56 year old frame, wondering how my skin will react when Mother Nature conspires to stretch and shrink, rubberise and desiccate and break my body over the anvil of Time.

I see my hairline similarly retreating from the battle ground of my face. I see some strange and misbehaving facial hair doing the weirdest things in an effort to add some comedy to my sometimes sullen facade. I see all the preparations being made for my body to undertake a pretty similar journey which his has obviously taken.

And then I think: He spent his young life in The Scouts. He went to the Army and did 2 years of serious physical training. He potters around the house every Saturday with a hammer and a screwdriver, fixing and breaking things. He spends Sundays on the golf course in the African heat. He is a fit old geezer.

I spend my weekdays sitting behind a computer. Or in a cab, hurriedly getting to a computer to sit behind. Or on The Tube, thinking about sitting behind a computer. I spend my weekends in the pub, throwing beer into my body, talking to people about sitting behind computers.

I look at my possible physical future in the form of my father and wonder how my present lifestyle will alter the outcome...

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