Face It / Debbie Harry : the Rinkli Funstaz Book of the Year

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Watching TV that day in 1978 when Debbie Harry first appeared on TOTP singing Denis, I was so electrified that my drink abruptly put itself down. I tried immediately to memorise the French bit. How she drenched the tune in her insouciant beauty. And I knew, from that day forward and even though we were never going to meet, that Ms. Harry and I would be firm friends. Easily I can still bring to mind the individual moment I first heard the later tracks French Kissin’ In The USA and I Want That Man. When in a much later 21st century year she appeared one evening on the Chris Evans TV show to give us Maria, well, I slammed my drink hard down again and, as ambient friends can affirm,…
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The Skids Under The State (Pension) : why the CSJ Report needs to be binned (but not recycled).

The Skids Under The State (Pension) : why the CSJ Report needs to be binned (but not recycled).

Topicality
It was in August 2019 that the UK’s Centre for Social Justice produced its study Ageing Confidently : supporting an ageing workforce. The innocuous title gave no hint of the foolishness within. But the CSJ conclusions nevertheless attracted loud applause across media and one can be confident that, throughout the emphatically un-roaring Twenties with which we are all to be engaged, more reports of this colour and purpose will arrive. The effect will be to pin under continuous fire all those lobbying for generous benefits for the grey in our midst. The CSJ recommendation that the state pension threshold should rise to 75 within ca 15 years may sound outrageous to those lobbies now; very soon it will be banalised as it echoes round think tank town and policy wonkerville…
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Prospero’s Punchline : or the necessary rise of silver-speak in pursuit of perfectible ageing

Prospero’s Punchline : or the necessary rise of silver-speak in pursuit of perfectible ageing

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  Imagine this. If you are aged between 55 and 65 there is a reasonably strong chance that one of the major cancers is coming your way. Perhaps, after having done quite well in life, you have already retired away from that old daily grind which used to devour so much of your focus and energy. Gardening is your greatest pleasure these days along with mindless novels about the grizzled but brilliant Norwegian detective, the one with a drink problem and a teenage daughter who still blames him for her mother’s suicide. Suddenly one day, you get a letter summonsing you to the hospital. Soon you are sitting in a consulting room so functional that it would have been a disgrace even in Soviet Russia, as the tired and emotionless…
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Those Grey Track-Suit Bottoms : time to whip them off  –   and get the over-65s committed to sport.

Those Grey Track-Suit Bottoms : time to whip them off – and get the over-65s committed to sport.

Topicality
  Let’s get down on it. If the UK has a sport-and-exercise problem, then it is a problem not so much of youthful indolence but of ageing unsuccessfully in these, our not-modern-enough times. Sport England tells us that formal inactivity - we are talking here about those NOT doing 150 minutes of moderate intensity sport per week - defines much of the Third Age. Some 30% of those in the bracket 65-74 are inactive; some 48% in the 75-84 group; and 71% among the over-85. As Dr. Sharon Moalem says in his book The DNA Restart: “If you stop moving intensely (sic), what you’re telling your body is that it’s time to stop being a burden on others – it’s time to die”. Whatever this older generation needs, it is…
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The Binning of Granny’s Dressing Gown :  an evolution of feminism, sexism and catwalk-attire for all ages

The Binning of Granny’s Dressing Gown : an evolution of feminism, sexism and catwalk-attire for all ages

Topicality
When does an incident become a trend? At what point do a couple of pebbles rolling down the mountain start an avalanche? How do we know when the atmospherics of the day suddenly suit seismic shifts? When the two pebbles plop purposelessly into the pond below just so often  -   are we right to conclude that they signal nothing save a barely troubled equilibrium? Or, when and how do today’s news headlines really matter to the forecaster? This is a story here about the shifting dimensions of ageing. We toss out the following pebbly-titbits: In late 2018, the US lingerie chain Victoria’s Secret is subjected to a bruising assault by an alternative and self-consciously feminist underwear brand called ThirdLove. Other commentators join the virtual demo. The core complaint is that…
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Take the silver from the surf : why older citizens should travel less.

Topicality
OK. You and your delightful spouse are each 70 years of age. Of an evening, you love to pull out your respective bucket-lists (travel section) and discuss which foreign adventure should come next. Among many other outings over the recent years, you have already been once to Machu Picchu; twice to Iceland; five times to NYC; eighteen times (sic) to Paris. You have seen the Alhambra, the Mona Lisa, Petra, the Edinburgh Military Tattoo and the Monaco Grand Prix. You tried the Oktoberfest at the age of 65 but had to acknowledge that you could not keep pace with the younger drinkers. Today, you have a notion to give Kenya a try as your next destination and plan to buy the latest guidebook in Stanfords for a gander. In the…
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