Getting old is no laughing matter

It’s a funny thing, getting older! One thing is for sure, it happens so quickly that we cannot afford to waste a year of our life like we have done.
The Antiques Roadshow on tour in 1983The Antiques Roadshow on tour in 1983
The Antiques Roadshow on tour in 1983

I read an article advising on ways to tell if you are getting old. It’s bad enough knowing you are without having it confirmed!

So, I walk past a mirror and suddenly see my mother. I realise that as she died quite some time ago, it must be me I’m looking at. Also, I don’t think she’d be wearing jeggings or quite as much lipstick.

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As far as clothes are concerned, we all get excited when clothes still fit us, especially after a lockdown of cake and chocolate! The trouble is, in my case it can simply be a scarf!

It’s a good job we can laugh at ourselves.

You know you are getting old when –

Pensioners are looking younger! (Not just doctors, policemen and teachers)

When you bend your knees, people duck, thinking it’s a sniper!

You say improbable things like ‘Don’t bother to write it down, I’ll remember it!’

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Do you frequently talk to yourself? My excuse is that it’s often the only way to get sensible or expert advice!

Information given on knowing when you are getting old is really a waste of time because there is not much you can do about it. As baby boomers we don’t really like to be seen to act our age, but somehow it creeps up on us.

A recent survey found that eight out of 10 oldies believe you’re as young as you feel and should enjoy life as long as you can. However, some things do tend to let us down.

Embarrassing hair growth. There is no doubt that you do seem to get the odd unwelcome tuft or whisker but in the case of most men their hair seems to vanish from their heads and come out of their nose.

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Sleeping through television programmes. Yes, that can be quite relevant at our age. I suppose the answer is to tape the programmes in advance, go to bed at 8pm and watch them the next morning.

Finding bending tricky. Well, that’s not rocket science is it? Especially when you’ve had a few joint replacements!

It seems that the best thing to do is see if there’s anything else you can be doing while you’re down there.

Your idea of a perfect day out changes.

Instead of all day raves you’ll have a day out at a National Trust property, when they open up again! Taking a flask and sandwiches of course. I mean we are pensioners – have you seen what they charge for a cuppa?

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For a day of absolutely torrid excitement, you could see when and if an Antiques Roadshow is coming to a venue near you.

Chatting to anyone who will listen about your ailments.

That can take up quite a long time these days with telephone conversations being all we’ve got now.

Talking about ‘the good old days’. That in itself can be debateable. Can you remember living without central heating?

Not getting modern music or modern comedians. Given the dross that passed for humour in the 1950s (can you remember Arthur Askey and the Busy Bee song?} it’s perhaps best not to dwell too long on what did make us laugh then!

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Finding modern technology difficult unless you have an eight-year-old grandson to help you.

Remembering a time when DFS didn’t have sale on.

Before long we’ll be trying to remember most of the high street shops which were part of our lives when we were young, or even more recently, like last month, and certainly if there was life before deliveries at home.

Opening packets of biscuits, tins, in fact almost anything, and especially those small plastic packets containing sauce or mustard that you get in some restaurants. Restaurants? I remember those, vaguely.

Where fashion is concerned, choosing comfort over fashion especially when it comes to shoes. Were we really the ladies who danced all night in stiletto heels?

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We don’t know any songs in today’s top ten, but we can sing all the words to Beatles numbers.

Although I read recently that Age UK together with the Alzheimer’s Society have put forward a plan as the ‘Ready for Ageing Alliance’ where they recommend that elderly people should acquaint themselves with the music of today’s groups to help stave off the ageing process. Do we really have to?

In fact, a song in the 1980s was called ‘The Oldest Swinger in Town’ which certainly took a poke at the elderly trying to hang on to their youth, while the song ‘Enjoy Yourself, its Later than you think!’ which dates back to 1949, can be very much prophetic.

Other points in the plan include the usual advice on a healthy diet, exercise, savings, walking more, not smoking and being able to laugh at yourself.

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As the politician Denis Healey said ‘Three things happen when you get old. First your memory goes, and I’ve forgotten the other two!’

Or George Burns ‘At my age, flowers scare me!’

And Joan Rivers, who admittedly could often offend people, but could also be very funny said ‘Looking 50 is great if you are 60!’

And ‘You know why I feel old. When I buy sexy lingerie, it’s automatically gift wrapped!’

And ‘My breasts are so low now that I can have a mammogram and a pedicure at the same time!’

She could certainly laugh at herself! But it’s not always easy. Growing old is really no laughing matter, is it?