Age isn’t a number it’s an attitude

Getting older is a bit like climbing a staircase.   We all start at the bottom and as we climb towards the top people gradually fall off.   Some people fall tragically early but others keep on climbing.   Once you get to 70 the ranks have thinned out a bit and some of your number will be puffing and panting and stopping to rest.   And there are others up ahead who are in their nineties and still forging on upwards.  
One of the ways to make it up the stairway of life has to be either accepting new things or deciding that they are so mad they have to be ignored.   New technology is great and I feel a huge sense of satisfaction when I manage to show a younger friend how to use a spreadsheet or use an app on their mobile but that smug feeling soon disintegrates when I open a newspaper.   Let’s start with the ‘minor’ things.   A teacher has written a book that has been withdrawn by the publishers because she described one pupil as having ‘almond’ shaped eyes and another child as having skin the colour of chocolate.  What am I missing?  Almond shaped eyes sound lovely – it’s a description – would it be all right to say she had ‘piggy’ little eyes – or would that be offensive to pigs.   As for chocolate coloured skin – so nice.   My black friends have lovely skin – different shades of brown but as they say ‘Black don’t crack’ and much to my annoyance they don’t have any lines.   So called ‘white’ skin is in fact usually pink and blotchy!   But this is as nothing compared to two things I have read today.   The first is people identifying as ‘catgender’ – yes, really!   Their preferred pronoun is nya/nyan.   Apparently, nyan is Japanese for ‘meow’.   However I suppose that this is fairly harmless, if very irritating and stupid always presuming it is not a joke – but as I think I have mentioned before it is a prerequisite of ‘wokedom’ to have absolutely no sense of humour.   The other thing that astonished, shocked and appalled me in equal measure was an article about ‘Nullification Surgery’.   Google it if you want the more gory details, but in essence it is the desire of some men (who, in my view, have serious mental issues) to have their genitalia removed so that they can look like Barbie’s friend Ken!   I kid you not – this is not just one unfortunate bonkers person but there is a movement behind it.   This is so wrong on so many levels – I’m not sure I know where to start but certainly social media must have a role to play in it.   Maybe I’ve been in a coma and it is actually 1st of April!
And just this morning I have read that stiles are going to be forbidden because they are not wheelchair accessible.   To hell with the farmers desperately trying to keep their livestock contained against ramblers who were not brought up to abide by the country code and will leave gates open.   Although presumably when vegans finally take over and the whole countryside is one giant rewilded theme park the remaining livestock who will die of old age will be too old and infirm to leave the safety of their fields.
Happily, while climbing the staircase there are some natural dropping off points.   For example, it is about a hundred years since I went to a nightclub and almost the same amount of time since I had any desire to do so.   At the risk of being condemned as sexist I like to think that women are not as shallow as men in their choice of a partner.   Many men, particularly it would appear, old, rich, men are looking for arm candy and not intellectual stimulation.   They do go to nightclubs and the whilst the staff may snigger behind their hands, they will be obsequious with the lure of a big tip in front of them.   And could it be that some of the staff are quite envious of a seventy year old man with a beautiful 25 year old woman hanging in his every word.   The reverse is far less likely – I can’t think of any seventy year old woman who would want to spend all her time with a twenty-five year old man.   Apart from anything else their choice of music and television would be incomprehensible and incredibly irritating in the long term.   I don’t want to spend all my time sitting with my feet up but the appeal of an all night party is becoming less as I approach 80 at alarming speed.   As a wise widowed friend of mine said when you are of advanced years any available man is only interested in ‘Nurse or Purse’.
There are quite a few elements to our journey up the staircase.   Genetics obviously play a huge part, luck plays its part too and an enthusiasm for life.   Keep looking forward, make plans and above all avoid the ‘I’m too old for that’ mindset.   Carry on moving at all costs.   And make sure you fill your days with more than watching television.   I remember my mother complaining about one of her friends who refused an invitation to lunch because she had to go to the post office that day.   And now it is happening to me – just the other day a friend cancelled a date because she was waiting for the postman!    

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  1. Love it. So true. Any chance I can see your eulogy you read at the service? I am sure it is wonderful. You really should do another book. Hugs. Rx

    Please note my new email address:

    Sent from my iPad Rose Kendall +44 (0) 7305 465781



  2. Another classic from S.
    Your dogs probably have had a big hand in keeping you young and moving as well as steadying you up the stairs.


    1. Dogs are vital – don’t know how anybody lives without them. Although quite a few people who do have them shouldn’t! The ones you meet on a walk that can’t be let off a lead because they don’t come back and then they pull the owner’s arms practically out of their sockets when they’re on a lead!!!


  3. Hahahaha – I’m a vegan, and I look forward to when “the whole countryside is one giant rewilded theme park the remaining livestock who will die of old age will be too old and infirm to leave the safety of their fields.” Love it – lol! I’m also over sixty, and can’t be bothered being mad about getting some stick poked at me 🙂 I get a laugh out of it instead – ageing is great like that. But, tbh, I reckon we vegans are beginning to look pretty harmless compared to the wokerati. Having said that, I’m loving that ‘catgender’ is actually a thing, but am also totally conflicted about it. I want to be catgender, but cats aren’t vegan – sigh.


  4. “Nullifying surgery” is a horrendous concept. But it did remind me of a letter some time ago in the paper, from a woman who wrote that as a girl she had had no desire to trans into a boy, but had yearned inconsolably to become a guinea pig! Thank you, Stella, for keeping us laughing. Laughter is what keeps us going up the staircase – It’s deadly serious!


  5. Quite.Only this morning, I was training in a local private field near me, to see a man walking towards me, panic..pick up his Standard Smooth Dachshund. I asked him why he picked up his dog. Reply… “cause eeh’s frightened of other dogs see”
    Well, I said that I was not surprised, if he didn’t give the poor dog any chance to interact with other dogs.
    I rather directly ‘told” him to put the dog down, when with seconds my two male black dogs, 10years and 8 months greeted him nicely and walked off, ignoring him completely.
    Dachshund and owner looked amazed. What was all the blind panic about?
    Dogs should be allowed to interact with other dogs for heaven sake. Lock down acquired dogs, owned by the inexperienced and mostly incapable are a frustration but their owners are a bigger worry. Cranky ideas, stupid harnesses and weird feeding ideas. Add that to thinking that they know everything there is to know about dogs and how to train their new found darings, no wonder some of these ‘lock down newbies’ are having problems.
    Rant over.


    1. I couldn’t agree with you more – owners whose dogs take them for a walk! And then if you get your dogs to sit quietly beside a path while a cyclist or rider goes path exclaim in astonishment that your dogs are obedient. They don’t seem to realise that dogs with boundaries know where they are and their place in the pack which makes them feel secure and happy! My rant over too!!!


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