Rinkli Funstaz

Exposing and exploring the commercial and cultural vitality of this generation of over-65s (and the one following hard behind).

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Take Your Fair Hour

Take Your Fair Hour

Uncategorized
You do not have to be called Einstein to know that time is very much relative. Imaging sitting in an evening class, after a convulsive day at work, believing that 60 minutes must have passed; discreetly you look at your watch, only to discover that all of 12 minutes have elapsed.  Ages before you get home for a drink… Or maybe you have fallen into a passion and your lover is calling round at 7 o’clock that evening, unaware of the revelation that awaits; the day seems like an aeon to you. Or maybe, you are having an encounter with an old friend and you wish, without success, that the outing would never end. Maybe you are pounding through a fantastically funny story and, just before the punchline, the waiter…
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Ageing and Bereavement : thoughts for a Beginner’s Guide.

Ageing and Bereavement : thoughts for a Beginner’s Guide.

Topicality, Uncategorized
In 1983, a friend of mine died. It was sudden and unexpected. I rang others to tell them. In that moment of conversation I knew which of them had loved him and by exactly how much. That, at least, was my conviction at the time. And indeed still. It is just about the saddest of all truths that if you sit by the riverbank long enough the bodies of your chums will float past. You have to work at your hating for you will never get as bitter as you would like. An old enemy dies and notionally floats past - you feel nothing very much; but if a friend dies you feel stabbed. I have long since parted company with those who insist that ageing brings insight, maturity, contentment…
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In Memoriam : Stanley Clinton Davis, European Commissioner 1984-1988

In Memoriam : Stanley Clinton Davis, European Commissioner 1984-1988

Topicality
Stanley was endlessly jovial, stopping to talk to everyone. A fusspot staffer, one would try to hurry him through any such casual encounters but rarely made progress. He had almost an excess of the common touch, loved to chat and loved to laugh. For him, all were welcome, political friends and obvious opponents alike. This was a sense of emotional hospitality that never wavered, even in the presence of those whom his staff thought were blethering twits. Labour to the core and thus hardly a friend of Mrs T., Stanley kept a miner’s lamp prominently on his desk; he was also fiercely anti-racist and the merest mention of the apartheid state brought out the tiger in him  -  any chance that came his way he would kick it as hard…
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JFK

JFK

Topicality, Uncategorized
  Though I was a small boy back then, the day of Jack Kennedy’s death remains so vivid, raw like an arthritic pain. The news bulletin interrupted regular viewing and the original flash was that the President had been shot in Texas but not killed. Only later were we told of his death and a silence fell over the family, the street, life itself. People put their hands over their mouths as the BBC newscasters  -  whose names I can still recall  -  dealt the final blow. Many years later, like millions I finally saw the full Zapruder footage and winced at that pornography of violence when the bullet explodes in the skull. I then realised just how sanitised had been the original broadcast version of those events. Probably just…
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Ageing shall not weary us –  Really? Time for age-realism in the interests of the many.

Ageing shall not weary us – Really? Time for age-realism in the interests of the many.

Topicality
It is your job, say, to name trends across the cultural, political and commercial sectors. Your clients have a boundless appetite for insights about the future, a future they very much want to reach before their competitors or their regulators or their voters. The task  -  distributed across reports, presentations, emails  -  is to bring the paying punter onto that inside track. Does it make any difference if you, inadvertently or otherwise, identify yourself as a forecaster with the age of 25? Or 45? Or 65? Do ageing and cumulated experience make you any better at the job? Well, let’s think. If you are well past the first blush, does anyone ever ask you how many recessions you have correctly predicted over your career? Mangling Leonard Cohen, does such a…
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Pelé and I.

Pelé and I.

Topicality
When I was a very young schoolboy, I was once taken to Hampden Park in Glasgow. The football pretext was an evening Friendly between Brazil and Scotland. At the time, victory for England in the World Cup was still but a twinkle in Bobby Moore’s left bootlace. My attending adult was if memory serves  -  and it may not  -  my hometown doctor; I went to the same school and had the same teachers as his two youngest sons. We sat in the packed Stand. We had a terrific view. The match itself was uneventful. I have deliberately not checked the details, not wanting to fudge my memory. However, I do believe that the outcome was a 1-1 draw, with someone called Servilho scoring for Brazil and (I think) Steve…
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Brief Encounters : how should ageing reflect on human exceptionalism (2)

Brief Encounters : how should ageing reflect on human exceptionalism (2)

Philosophy
Chad Varah It was after an interview. I had, so I mused, been brilliant. Of course, I did not get the job. With an hour free, I walked to St. Stephens in Walbrook, a Wren masterpiece, usually empty but free to enter and, let me say without fear of contraception, just about the most beautiful place on earth. An old man in a black cloak was shuffling around the entrance; obviously once tall, he was now stooped and ungainly. I recognised him, remembering his once eagle eyes as well as that clipped imperious speech, now muted to little more than a mumble. As I approached, I noticed that he was inspecting what looked like a log-book, signatures of and messages from visitors. “All the great befrienders from over the world…
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Brief Encounters : how should ageing reflect on human exceptionalism (1)?

Brief Encounters : how should ageing reflect on human exceptionalism (1)?

Philosophy
Does the ageing eye bring perspective or distortion, disappointment or contentment  -  as past encounters are revisited? Christopher Hitchens I met the guy on the fringes of a think-tankish meeting somewhere in central London, sometime in the 1980s. Having something to do with the publication of a pamphlet on the political situation in Cyprus, I had a vague but half-justified reason for being thus introduced by a friend of mine. What I remember was how polite he was as he insisted, through my mumbles, in making sure he had got my name right. We talked rather aimlessly for a few minutes when, empty of new conversation, I took my leave. I regret it now, not living even a wee bit longer under that fabulous fluency of speech and charm. Following…
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The ballad of John Braniff, the passing of the working class, the marginalisation of poverty.

Philosophy
When I was about 13 years of age, four men came to the house. I am confident still that I had never seen any of them before. They were hearty but grey, sitting at the table until John joined them. Then he suddenly shuffled into the room, sat down and put his head in his hands. No, he did not want to go out for a walk or join them downtown for a drink. This was my grandfather, frail, monosyllabic and dying. The men tried to tease and cajole him. But the encounter was brought to an abrupt, wordless end and the men left. I believe that I never saw them again. On 25th August 1951, the company had given John a silver platter to mark his 50 years continuous…
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