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Age Concern at Christmas Barbicania


o, this is not a charity appeal but stems from thoughts arising as yet another Christmas is almost here again – it will only be around 10 days away by the time this magazine is delivered – and I’m finding it seems to come round quicker and quicker each year as I get older. Maybe I’m sleeping during the day and losing hours that way, but I don’t think so. Indeed many of us, as we age, actually seem to require less sleep than we did in our childhood when Christmas to Christmas, birthday to birthday and holiday to holiday always seemed to take forever.

But now I do find time passes inordinately quickly. I find it hard to believe that I actually

started Barbican Life 10 years ago – it seems to have been far more recent until I try to remember when we actually published a specific article – assuming I can remember we published it at all! But now at age 70 I’m beginning to realise I have a lot of life to look back upon, but perhaps not so much ahead, even though statistics show we are all living longer nowadays. 10, or 20 years ago I almost certainly wouldn’t have published my age for all to see. I have to admit I wanted no celebrations of my 50th or 60th birthdays as in my youth I would have thought attaining such age would make me positively geriatric – and I didn’t feel that way at the time. Now at 70 I still do not feel I have reached the age of Shakespeare’s ‘lean and slippered pantaloon’ but have at least at long last begun to come to terms with the passage of time. A glance in the mirror when shaving each morning reminds me of this undoubted fact of life – although mentally I don’t really feel much different from when I was say 30 or 40, although physiologically I have to admit things don’t work as well and I take so many pills for various seemingly incurable age-related ailments that I probably rattle. However, what I have not yet done is retire – pulled back a little maybe, but retire no, so it is interesting to read of a report by the International Longevity Centre (whatever that is) which has suggested that retirement should be seen as more of a process than as an actual event. The old idea that life declines and goes into a different phase at age 65 is completely outdated, says the ILC, and more responsibility for financing one’s retirement years should pass to the individual and away from governments.

Personally I am in strong agreement. I think continuing to work keeps one’s brain active and an active brain in itself helps keep one out of a box or a casket for a little longer – although winding down a little, and perhaps taking more holidays, certainly doesn’t hurt either. And on that note I’d like to wish all residents Compliments of the Season and a prosperous 2013 – and hope keeping my brain active will help keep me going for the next 365 days (or whatever smaller number my brain perceives that to be.) After all if my perceived years are getting shorter and shorter I must have even more chance of survival for another year, or perhaps decade, or two. Only time and the grim reaper can tell.

P.S. – It’s probably about time I changed my photo on this page. I can’t be like the reverse of Dorian Grey for ever.

Lawrence Williams 5

Lawrence Williams Editor

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