to accompany her G & T. It did occur to me that maybe she had seen off quite a few of these in years past and that these may have contributed to her current condition. My thought is that both of these good people,

despite their challenging physical disadvantages, were determined to enjoy their lives to the full, or as close to full, as possible. So what of Ventoux? Well done if you knew that it

is a mountain in Southern France. It is a jolly big mountain and it is is often included in the famous Tour de France cycle race. Many years ago, long before Sir Bradley Wiggins

and Chris Froome started winning the “Tour”, there was a fellow from County Durham called Tommy Simpson who took part in it regularly and who had built a formidable reputation in the cycling world. The demands of the formidable Ventoux were such

that Tommy fell from his bike and died in blistering heat during his climb of it during the 1967 race. We spent an evening or two with a Dutch couple,

both in their 60s who, like most Dutch people, were keen cyclists. In conversation, they told of various bike rides that they had taken. Incredibly they told us they had cycled up Ventoux three times in the past 2 years. On the final occasion they had cycled 30 miles just to reach it, on the same day. All of these people we met on

our holiday have a common characteristic. They are positive in

in the UK. In recent years he held the post of Marketing Manager for Mobility which also involved supporting and working with the BHTA. He has now retired and is looking

forward to finding the time to perform useful tasks in the industry, playing drums in a blues band, travelling and most important, being silly with his grandchildren.

Ability Needs Magazine

their outlook and subsequently motivated. I have personal experience which allows me to recommend that we all owe it to ourselves to eat sensibly and keep as active as possible. I am not one of life`s “do –gooders” and I certainly do not have any advice to offer. I do recognize, however, that healthcare is an issue of national importance now and in the years to come. The challenges facing us all in the future suggest that we have a level of responsibility to do as much as possible to maintain our own health and fitness. Perhaps this should not include smoking cheroots! Our much loved NHS is, as we all know, faced with

huge challenges as it has to cope with an ever increasing ageing population. Maybe we need to think a little more about keeping ourselves in decent condition and away from the doctors. I am not suggesting that we all make for Ventoux

and follow the example of our Dutch friends, but they are a living example of keeping healthy through an active and enjoyable pastime. I can offer plenty of other examples of this constructive approach to life. You may not be a fan of the Rolling Stones but can I suggest that Mick Jagger is an unlikely example of someone, of pensionable age, who is displaying extraordinary fitness and athleticism. If you have access to the internet, have a look at

his antics on stage. On average their performances last for over two hours, so then stop and think that you are watching a man of 73! I have read that far from living the decadent rock star lifestyle he runs miles every morning. All I can say is that perhaps we should be trying our best, whenever we can, to stay as fit and healthy

as possible. To contact Eddie send an email to or write to him at Ability Needs, 7 Montgomerie Terrace, Ayr, KA7 1JL


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