“I’m not dead yet!” – 76-year-old Tam MacDonald has taken the internet by storm with his daily vlogs and is complete proof that there is no reason to fear aging.
Tam in his natural habitat.
At the age of 100, Captain Tom Moore soared to the dizzy heights of fame on social media following his staggering £32 million fundraising achievement for the NHS. Now, our own local hero 76-year-old Tam MacDonald, is following in his footsteps. He has amassed hundreds of followers all enjoying daily vlogs of his rather remarkable life.
But are these two men anomalies in the system? Aren’t we supposed to hate ageing? My own mother practically shudders at the word. According to her the only thing she likes about getting old is that “your eyesight gets worse so it’s less of a shock when you look in the mirror!”
Yet, as I sit in the garden among 4 million plant pots and 2 gnomes that seem to have lost their fishing rods, with the bellowing Glaswegian tones of the 5ft 8 pocket rocket that is Tam MacDonald echoing from his ‘editing suite’ – also known as the spare bedroom – I’m struck by whether or not we should dislike aging. He had been posting his latest vlog on Facebook. A task that looks like it raises his blood pressure by, hmm, I’d say at least 50%. But, a few moments later he totters out from his house. A mixture of Billy Connolly and Mrs Overalls as he places a tray piled high with all the things dentists hate on the table in front of me. And with that, apart from the blood pressure concerns, the idea of ageing already improved.
This is a man who “doesn’t give a flying ferret” about what anyone else thinks. And, by having that attitude, Tam has become Hade Edge’s very own version of an internet sensation. Move over Kylie Jenner, TamCam is ruling the internet now.
To begin with, Tams life seems almost like the script of a new Carry On film. Chasing his dog across the moors in the pouring wind and rain after it catches sight of a hare 4 miles away. Getting trapped in his coat and having to ask some poor unsuspecting passerby to help him
unzip it. Falling down ditches as he tries to feed his favourite horse Edward whilst simultaneously tackling two greyhounds that like to hunt anything that moves.
Unfortunately, Carry On Tam will not be heading to a cinema near you anytime soon. But, thanks to Tam’s fearlessness, it is all available to watch on his Facebook and Instagram where he has already delighted hundreds with his daily videos.
What a blessing it is to just not care. Tam doesn’t care if he looks a bit daft whilst singing with his puppets. He doesn’t care if his new video only gets 3 likes. Tam vlogs because “it’s great fun.” Not because he wants to become the elderly version of Zoella. Although, he is doing a very good job of giving it a go.
Recently, Tam has decided to reduce his vlogs down to just once a week. After all, he’s a very busy man now that he’s gone viral. Whilst This Morning or The One Show aren’t quite ringing him up all hours of the day, desperately begging him to make an appearance, there’s gardening to do and a social life to fulfil.
Mind you, he might have to invest in getting some security if recent events are anything to go by. “I was chased down the vegetable aisle at Aldi on Wednesday.” Tam recalled between mouthfuls of ginger biscuits, “I had all the clobber on, you know, mask, coat, all that, and he still recognised me. Wanted an autograph!”
Why is it that we think the world stops as soon as you hit 70? That the moment a grey hair comes sprouting out, the earth spins off its axis and goes hurtling towards a black hole. It doesn’t.
In fact, I think we should take anyone who does think that to task. Your life’s over when you retire you say? What rubbish! This is where it starts to get even better. The responsibilities get less. There’s no job tying you down. Your kids have all grown up. That pension you spent all your life working for starts to kick in. Plus, you’ve got a free bus pass so the sky’s the limit if you want to travel.
You can’t deny that Tam is unquantifiable proof that age is quite literally a number. Yes that number may only be going one way, but so what? You are only as old as you believe you are. And, in the words of one remarkable man, “I’m not dead yet!’
By Bella MacDonald