Sixty years ago, they said life began at 40, implying people entered middle years of maturity that would last until old age began to slow them down.
Progress in healthcare and attitudes produced a reassessment and middle age shifted and was said to run from 45 to 65.
Now a survey by Benenden Health says it doesn’t start until we hit 53. Not only that, more than 50% didn’t feel there even was such a thing as middle age.
“Old appeared to be a state of mind,” they say.
Another poll, conducted for Invicta Telecare among more than 2,000 people aged over 65, discovered no one is sure when old age actually starts. Over two thirds of over 65s didn’t consider themselves old at all.
More than a third (39%) said they were happier than at any other time of their lives, 42% said they were more tolerant but 37% felt they had been treated disrespectfully because of their age.
And 30% objected to being described as an OAP.
Quite right. I do, too, unless it means I get a discount.
America looks after its senior citizens. They get discounts for everything from the age of 55. The first time it happened to me at a motel I was shocked and angry – but only for a moment.
“Senior rates, right?” said the chap behind reception.
Then I noticed the sign that said it was worth 15%.
“That’s right,” I agreed.
Who am I to argue with convention when it saves me money?
Cash benefits are fewer in the UK although the bus pass is a life saver for thousands of people who would otherwise be stranded at home unable to afford the fares.
I have never been bothered about my age. I have a chum who says it’s just a number and I’m inclined to agree. Especially as I was never very good at maths. Inside I’m a very immature 24-year-old.
The younger generation should bear this in mind when they consider citizens of a certain age: those old folk have lived through exciting times, including the birth of rock and roll and the Swinging 60s and helped forge a more open society.
They should not be dismissed out of hand as old fogies because most have seen it, done it and got the T-shirt. They invented cool.
And who is still playing the meanest foot stomping rock and roll on the planet? That’s right. That bunch of old age pensioner reprobates The Rolling Stones with Mick (70), Keith (69), Charlie (72) and Ronnie (66).
Can’t Get No Satisfaction? Try a pensioner.
How long does it take to poach an egg? As part of my new healthy regime, I have given up all things fried and bought a poaching pan. But how long does it take to poach an egg with the white firm and the yolk soft?
I have tried trial and error and the number of errors I have made is becoming a trial. The kitchen window is lined with poached eggs as hard as bullets.
The aim of all this is to get my cholesterol level down which brings up another question. I saw a advert for Flora Pro-Active. This is a spread that I have started using instead of butter. The advert said: “No other food lowers cholesterol more.”
Is this an incitement to eat it like ice cream with a spoon? Or should I continue to restrict myself to spreading it on brown bread?
Finally, all the exercise I have undertaken is hurting my feet. The problem isn’t the distance covered, it’s my training shoes.
Everybody has a pair of trainers. They are usually white and are worn with jeans for a casual look while at leisure. I am certain that most of them are not intended for training purposes of any kind. I wear them around the house and when leaning on bars.
But this week, I have been out walking and discovered this is an activity for which they are less than suited. The ones I have look the part but have soles as flimsy as a pair of 1950s plimsolls. Great on carpets but try gravel and you’ll started hopping as if barefoot on hot sand.
So it looks as if I’ll have to buy another pair more suited to purpose. More expense. Unless I can pad the feet of the old ones with hard poached eggs. Sliced, of course, for comfort.
Remember those great days of music in the 1970s and early 1980s? The West Riding – now the West Tavern – was one of the main live venues in Huddersfield.
Well the music is back on Saturday night with a 70s – 80s revival night for charity that features Billy Longden, who was lead singer with several local bands of that time, spinning the discs of the period.
Billy says: “Playing with Passion and The Vice were the best of times and I remember every show we did with great fondness.”
He moved to London 25 years ago but is back on Saturday because of a former music scene fan, John Rollin, who now lives in Cambridge.
John says: “In the late 70s and early 80s, Sunday night at the West Riding was the best night of the week for our group of friends. Music can be a diary of our lives and, whenever I hear songs that Billy used to play, it certainly takes me back. I’m sure there are many people who remember those days.”
John persuaded Billy to make the trip north to appear again and revive the memories with the music Culture Club, Spandau Ballet and the other greats of the era. It starts at 8pm, Saturday.