The Secret Diary Of Hendrik Groen aged 83 and 1/4 - review

Maybe, like me, you think that life in Amsterdam is freer and more advanced than in Bojoland Britain. But for Hendrik Groen, Henk to his pals, even though he makes himself get out for walks, come rain or shine, it's drab. He lives in a care home where the residents only have the state pension and maybe a small work pension. A lot of the residents drivel on about the good old days, complain about their aches and pains, worship the Royals and huff and puff if someone sits in 'their seat' in the dining room or Conversation Lounge. World events go unnoticed but the suspicious death of the goldfish gets them all steamed up

Good  things  happen. Hendrik becomes part of a gang of six lively friends who look out for one another - the 'Old but not yet Dead Club.' They have lovely boozy meetings and take turns to hire a minibus for active days out which they research and plan themselves. They don't let to the others what the fun is going to be. There is also a lady who moves in who Henk really likes...

Don't expect a rollicking 'One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest' escape yarn. The Diary is always real in detail, and often funny but it tells us that age always travels one way.

The author of Hendrik Groen has never revealed their identity.


interesting elsie. Don't think I'd buy it, but  I woulld read a bit of it if I had a copy handy (in the library).