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The serene seventies


The important thing, of course, is to keep reasonably healthy. Being sick or in pain is no fun at all

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I was interested to read an article in the British Express newspaper that claimed the two happiest ages in most people’s lives are at 16 and 60 years old.

I suppose I can understand 16 being a happy time. You’re about to leave school and all kinds of possibilities are opening up for you. It’s also probably around the first time that you fall seriously in love. Exciting times!

People interviewed said they found the age of 60 to be filled with quiet joy. By that time they’d probably reached their goals – if they had goals – and no longer felt the stress of competing against younger colleagues or struggling with rapidly changing technology.

It’s a comfortable time when you discover the joy of not having to rush against time or meet targets or goals. You can play a round of golf on a Tuesday morning if it’s a warm sunny day, or meet an old friend for a drink in your local pub on a chilly afternoon.

Frankly, I’m finding the 70s even more fun than the 60s. I am still independent, I’m offered pensioner’s discounts without having to produce proof of my age and nobody expects me to carry heavy stuff. I accept it as my due when somebody says: “Here, Oom, let me carry that for you.”

The important thing, of course, is to keep reasonably healthy. Being sick or in pain is no fun at all.

I have to climb up a rather steep flight of steps to get to my front door and I’m sure the daily up-and-down is what keeps me in working order.

I am, by nature, a lazy old fart and if I didn’t have to totter all the way downstairs to pick up my daily copy of the Argus, I’d probably be in a wheelchair by now.

I’m pleased to have survived the stressful 20s, 40s and 50s. They were interesting times, but not relaxed. There always seemed to be an element of impending doom in the air; would I have enough money to pay for ballet classes or hockey equipment? Would the rusty family car last another year?

Did the roof need replacing?

There were joyful times, too, with a growing family, but they were always underlined by a touch of anxiety. Now the stress is gone.

If the roof leaks, I’ll place a bucket under the drip. If my shirt is frayed at the collar, I’ll cut off the fuzzy bits. I don’t care whether it looks tatty as long as it’s comfortable. They think the 60s are the best years of your life, but they’re only partly right. The 70s win by a mile. And I don’t care if you don’t know what a mile is.

Last Laugh

A couple were dining in a smart restaurant when the man suddenly slid off his chair and disappeared under the table.

The woman didn’t seem to notice what had happened, so the waiter went over and said: “Madam, your husband has just slid under the table.”

“No, you’re wrong,” said the woman coldly. “My husband has just walked in through the front door.”