Now that I am 70

Now that I am 70 I shall not wear purple, partly because I am not a bishop. Not yet, anyway.

However, I feel that as a first step I am now permitted to move diagonally and am hoping that this will make a significant difference to my life.

There are certain restrictions in moving diagonally, of course, in that you have to stay on the same colour squares. This does not worry me. I know my squares, and they know me.  But I shall be able to sweep backwards and forwards from one corner of the board to another, and I am excited about that, while slightly concerned about speed cameras.

While staying on squares of one colour, I shall of course pass very close to squares (not to mention horses) of a different colour, and I am hoping this will be an exhilarating experience. Blue days, black knights, for instance.

I would however like to take the opportunity to confess that I have been using drugs, and this has made quite a difference to my performance in the last few years. At one point (in hospital) I was using morphine, but I came off this after I had a nightmare in which I found myself in King’s Lynn. Now I stick to occasional paracetamol, with a dash of perindopril and amlodipine when I need them. Which, my doctor tells me, is every morning.

Obviously I cannot tell you everything, but I do take something else as well. If I reach 80, I may have to confess what it is. Some people feel that I should have random drug tests, but I am resisting this, as I believe it may affect my poetry, and this would not necessarily be a good thing.

My diagonal travels will take me from left to right and vice versa, and I am hoping this will not confuse people too much, as I have already spent time on both sides of the board, often simultaneously, though this is difficult. Some people find it impossible. Some people find me impossible, but that is a different matter.

Anyway, I shall continue to play the game and try hard to concentrate. Please tap me on the shoulder if I drift off.