How to grow old badly : a non-beginner’s guide (or The Tale of Dr. Fernoux).

How to grow old badly : a non-beginner’s guide (or The Tale of Dr. Fernoux).

Philosophy
Some decades ago, the UK Government issued a special 50p coin in celebration of the national membership of the European Community. On the tails-side the imprint was of hands joined in a circle, symbolising continental togetherness. You could buy a gift edition with the coin mounted, as I recall, on a velvet bed in a wee red box. The object might seem very superannuated if viewed now. Back in that day, I gave the gift version to a French friend of mine. As he was privately wealthy, I had been worried that he would take it as a trinket. However, a long time after I had, officially and forever, left that town in Burgundy, I called at his home one day, dangerously unannounced. His wife showed me into his study…
Read More

Re-Assigning the Kilo : or kneading the malleable science of life measurement

Philosophy
The Victor Is Mature In 2018, a Dutch man aged (?) 69 invites a court of law to affirm his right to re-assign himself as (?) 49. His application is made on the basis that his life-chances (in business and in love) are depleted by the official information that he is 69 when/since he actually feels in himself that - such are his health, wellbeing and confidence - he is much less than that. So, his wannabe writ would run, he should have the right to declare himself to be 20 years younger than his birth certificate would indicate - just as a man of whatever lifestage might wish to re-identify as a woman. If gender is a fluid scale then why not age? I am healthy, virile, competent and…
Read More
Aspirational Longevity : It Rocks

Aspirational Longevity : It Rocks

Philosophy
Ageing By Numbers Imagine that you are Prime Minister and that this question is put to you by a journalist: Within a decade, the population of over-75s may well have increased by 2 million in the UK and the number of 60-74s by 1.6 million. Do you think these figures should invite some distinct policy innovations from HMG and, if so, what could they be? Imagine that you are Marketing Director of a national supermarket chain and that this question is put to you by a member of your team : Should we now be addressing the needs of an ageing population in our advertising, digital communications, NPD, store design, recruitment programmes - with a focus and a purpose not applied previously - in confident and exclusive pursuit of higher sales and stronger customer…
Read More
Towards a “Feminism” of the Third Age

Towards a “Feminism” of the Third Age

Philosophy
“A Feminism”, Really? Once upon a forgotten time, the feminism (or feminisms) we now know and enjoy did not exist. But thanks to Betty and Gloria and Germaine and all the gang, the agitations of the 1970s created the foundation for a shared morality, a gendered etiquette that is (with major lapses still) socially well-policed, a presumptively universal demand for fairness / equity along with a natural celebration of we-can-do-anything female accomplishment. Hurrying to our point, we ask : for those Western world-ers aged over-60, is there to be an equivalent of Sheryl Sandberg’s Lean-In or Samantha Ettus’s The Pie Life? Or The Beauty Myth?  Or The Backlash? How could we transmute the phrase having-it-all into our modern cult of ageing? Is there a super-galactico-geriatrico coming along soon to proclaim…
Read More