Good news: The government has finally cleared up the confusion over whether or not to lock up those over 50 (or not, depending on your position) in the event of a second wave. It turns out we won’t be.
This is not only a relief for people like me, 53 years old, with a family to take care of, dogs for walking, doing work, older relatives to visit; but also, I suspect, as a relief to the government.
Because if they had decided to try to enforce such a strategy, I have a strong feeling they would have had a full mutiny.
Because while the over-50s are generally law-abiding, community-minded types, we won’t bite our tongue if something happens to us as idiots. Whatever that frankly did.
That’s my key, my friends. Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Knowing your own mind and not being afraid to pronounce it (file photo)
But the main reason, I think, that so many people my age offended the proposal was this: we see ourselves in the prime of life, at the top of our game.
Maybe not in physical terms, but in intellectual and emotional terms.
As if it were good, a poll earlier this week underscored the point. Of the 3,000 people aged 50 to 59, 40 percent said life is now more exciting and fulfilling than it was in their 30s.
Sixty-two percent said they felt more at peace with themselves – and 58 percent thought their fifties were the happiest years of their lives.
In other words, being 50 is fun. And the reason? Four-fifths of respondents agreed: they “didn’t care” what others thought of them – so just went on doing exactly what they wanted.
And that’s my key, my friends. Doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks. Knowing your own mind and not being afraid to speak it out.
Especially for women, this comes as a kind of revelation.
From childhood we have been conditioned to please – our fathers, our teachers, our partners, our bosses, our husbands, our children.
Our hormones naturally play a major role in this. But most women in their 50s are menopausal or postmenopausal.
All those chemicals that make us susceptible to endure the nonsense of others disappear. And one glorious day, the hormonal fug disappears completely and we realize we don’t need human approval.
Suddenly we notice that we say exactly what we think and (shock, horror) do exactly what we want.
Just like recently, when I came home from work to find ten teenagers in my kitchen, courtesy of my son, who had found it appropriate to invite them during my absence. It was like a Kevin and Perry convention at a Lynx factory.
An earlier incarnation of mine would have all been frightened, apologetic, middle-class mom about it. But the 53-year-old I didn’t care.
Within five minutes, they walked down the road with some great words in their ears – and my son really regretted it.
The good news is that it just keeps getting better. Or worse, depending on where you stand.
I leave you with the words of Jenny Joseph, from her beautiful poem, Warning:
“When I’m an old woman, I wear purple,
“With a red hat that doesn’t fit and doesn’t suit me.
And I’m going to spend my pension on brandy and summer gloves
And satin sandals, saying we don’t have money for butter.
I sit on the sidewalk when I’m tired
And take samples in stores and hit the alarm bells
And run my stick along the public railings
And make up for the sobriety of my childhood. ‘
No wonder they want to lock us all up!
St Meghan of Tiara
Forget Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa: Has Anyone Suffered More For Charity Than Meghan Markle’s Image of Altruism
I was vacationing in North Devon last week, so I missed the excerpts from Finding Freedom, the misery ‘memoir’ about the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.
Particularly poignant, I thought, was the story of how poor Meghan was cruelly denied immediate access to the Queen Mary tiara (which she wore on her big day), despite the fact that she had come to get her hairdresser from Paris for a fitting .
Forget Nelson Mandela and Mother Teresa: Has anyone suffered more for charity than the paragon of altruism that Meghan Markle is?
Can my medicine control two modern pests?
I am not ashamed to admit that I have always struggled to control my weight.
This was brought to my home quite bluntly a few years ago when my doctor told me that if I didn’t do anything about the extra three stones I lugged around, I was at risk of becoming pre-diabetic.
So I took myself to one of those joyless Austrian fat farms and started to fast intermittently. In a few months, I lost a few stones. Then, as always, my weight started to creep up again.
This time I did not give up. I went to a bariatric surgeon about the possibility of a gastric band.
Instead, he prescribed something called liraglutide, a daily shot used by the NHS in patients with diabetes to help stabilize blood sugar, but also has the happy side effect of reducing appetite and thereby causing weight loss.
It is slow but steady. In the past two years, I’ve gone from size 18 to stable 14, and while I could throw a little more around the middle, I’m now in the right range for my age.
Liraglutide is a daily shot used by the NHS in patients with diabetes to help stabilize blood sugar levels – but it also has the happy side effect of reducing appetite, causing weight loss
Why am I telling you all this? Well, because this week from a large study at Exeter University, liraglutide not only helps patients manage diabetes and lose weight, but also reduces the risk of developing dementia by half.
Yes, that’s right: half. This is partly due to the way it stabilizes blood sugars, but also by reducing the number of toxic amyloid proteins that contribute to the disease.
Before I started using liraglutide, I was either hungry and miserable or fat and miserable. Now I am neither.
The fact that this little jab can even help me save my marbles is just the icing on the skinny cake.
Free TV licensing for those over 75 came to an end this weekend – meaning three million people must deposit £ 157.50 a year or she will be prosecuted.
Now that our older people are more housebound by Covid than ever, TV is a lifeline for many.
Wouldn’t covering this account be a better use of tax money than a discounted Nando’s?
How can Britain consider repatriating ISIS bride Shamima Begum if we have failed to provide a safe haven for Afghan translators who were the ‘eyes and ears’ of our military?
These people have risked their lives to help us, but have been treated worse by the British system than a woman who ran away to join a terrorist organization.
Enjoy your stay, ma’am
It’s that time of year again when the beautiful people go on vacation and we can all see what they look like in a bikini.
Caprice, Coleen, Kate and the rest: all different levels of fantasticness in different enviable sun-drenched seaside destinations.
But my favorite photo this year is that of Her Majesty, who left yesterday for her annual summer stay in Balmoral.
If anyone deserves a vacation, it’s the queen who, at age 94, had the kind of year a woman her age would have wiped out thanks to the coronavirus and several family crises
Swarms of mosquitoes and rain-soaked heather may not be everyone’s idea of the ideal summer getaway – but she seems to like it, so who am I to judge?
By the way, if anyone deserves a vacation, it’s the Queen, who, at the age of 94, had the kind of year that a woman her age would have wiped out, thanks to the coronavirus and several family crises.
Enjoy your break, ma’am. You deserve it.
Last week, US news website CNN informed readers that “people with a cervix are now recommended to screen for cervical cancer at age 25.”
“People with a cervix”? As JK Rowling might say, there is a name for such people, isn’t there?
I don’t understand why reopening schools means that pubs may have to close.
I appreciate that drinking under age can be a problem, but isn’t it so bad?
I need to talk to chew
Say the word “sausage” and you’ve never seen anything so fat and fluffy move so fast
Researchers in Hungary have found that dogs process language in the same way as humans: they understand not only the meaning of certain words, but also cadence and intonation.
When my dogs have something to offer, they also have something else in common with people: selective hearing.
Say the word “sausage” and you’ve never seen anything so fat and fluffy move so fast.
Tell them to get off the couch and they look at you in astonishment. Just like husbands and teenagers.