THREE years into grandad-hood and there’s little doubt that I’m slowing down considerably.

There was a time when I was proud to be the school 100-metre champion, and I could run around a tennis court for hours on end without breaking into a sweat.

These days, my knees creak like an old mansion door in an episode of Scooby Doo. I struggled to get back up the other day when I knelt down to shove some logs on the fire. I wheeze like an out-of-tune accordion. And balls I once reached with ease are suddenly beyond me.

My wife, on the other hand, appears to be getting faster, and I’m increasingly concerned that she’s going to be leaving me behind before too long.

Suddenly, without warning, she’s turned into some kind of Supergran. She’s developed an obsession with running – pounding the streets like a woman possessed at the crack of dawn every other morning.

When it was her birthday recently, she asked for a pair of running shoes that made Jimmy Choo’s look cheap. Not only that, but she had to have special running socks too.

To cap it all, she’s downloaded an “app” that not only keeps a record of her times and distances covered but allows her to listen to a zombie story through her phone.

My wife has always been scared of zombie films, ever since she was a little girl and went with her dad to see a horror double bill of Night of the Living Dead and The Living Dead At The Manchester Morgue. Now, she’s using her lifelong fear of lumbering corpses to drive her on to new heights of athletic achievement.

She becomes absolutely convinced that they’re chasing her through the darkness or hiding behind trees.

“They nearly got me this morning,” she gasped as she made it back to the house by the skin of her teeth one day last week.

Heaven knows what the neighbours must think when she runs – dead fast – past their house at 6.30am, screaming “Get off me! Leave me alone!” It’s a wonder the police haven’t been called by now.

Nevertheless, her punishing training schedule seems to be producing the kind of results Mo Farah and Paula Radcliffe could only dream of.

One morning last week, she was running past the school in our village – speeding up as the zombies got closer – and a warning sign suddenly started flashing with the message: “30mph – SLOW DOWN!

There’s no telling where this could lead. The Tokyo Olympics next summer has to be a live possibility.



Granddaughter Chloe, aged three, was asking her Daddy about death and he was doing his best to be gentle.

“What’s dying?” she asked.

“Everything dies eventually,” he explained.

“What – even owls?”

CHLOE’s mum was full of cold and feeling a bit sorry for herself.

“Will Doctor Chloe come and make Mummy feel better?” she asked.

“Sorry, Mummy – I’m afraid Doctor Chloe’s on holiday at the moment,” came the reply.

THANKS to Matt Westcott, of Middlesbrough, for passing on a conversation he overheard in a garden centre. A little girl put on a hat with antlers and declared: "Look, Mam, I'm a radiator."