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Age by Kate Simpson

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Thank you to Open Age member Kate Simpson for sharing her wonderful, lively piece of writing about ageing…

How do you count age? Is it by years, memories or months. I personally measure it by moments.

These can be happy, sad, angry, vengeful, laughable or just plain mad. If I were to choose I would measure my life in mad moments.

Mad conjures up so many things that have happened in my life. From being in an asylum to laughing myself almost to death. It also encompasses my youth when craziness was almost a necessity, clubbing wearing unsuitable clothes, listening to unsuitable music and reading unsuitable literature ‘Lady Chatterley’s Lover’ for example.

Moments cannot be measured by time. We have brief moments, long moments, and wishful moments.

As I grow older my wishful moments become a bucket list of what I can and want to do in the here and now. I fully intend to grow old disgracefully. In the meantime of course I feel I’m still 21

To hell with my aches and pains. My wheelchair and the host of medical equipment in my home. I’ve had moments when my electric hoist has been fun to swing on (the carers horror adding to my glee!)

My wheelchair used as a racer (with the help of my friends). I’ve been to Ibiza, USA and fully intend to travel more.

I shall listen to unsuitable music, wear unsuitable clothes, and read what I want to. I can act like a child, a teenager or adult. I don’t care and will be deaf to the frowns and murmurings of others.

My own deafness is incredibly useful. Without my hearing aids I sleep peacefully at night. If I get bored of conversation out they come.

I have already crossed two things off my Bucket List. Swimming with Dolphins and meeting Mickey Mouse. I also met Pooh Bear and Tigger and thoroughly enjoyed it with childish glee. Some friends could not understand this second item on my list.

No 3? I have several ideas but at my age I have plenty of time. Don’t I?

Age is therefore to each and own. Never judge a book by its cover. Underneath we may be surprised. The child may have the wisdom of an adult. The teenager may be ‘right not wrong’ and behind the wrinkles a lifetime of laughter. I find it sad when people resort to the surgeons knife to restore or maintain their beauty. They live behind a literal mask imprisoned a slave to vanity.

I have had the privilege of being at the bedside of many in their dying moments. I have watched as their pain becomes peace. And how then their face loses its lines and natural beauty is restored.

They say ‘Age is a Many Splendid Thing’ and in my measured moments I smile and agree.

© Kate Simpson

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I Prescribe TV

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I Prescribe TV

If you want to see a doctor – simply turn on the TV

For every other programme’s medical, I guarantee.

We’ve Doctors, Medics, House, ER and also Holby City,

Embarassing Bodies, A & E, and also Casualty.

There’s Doctor Hilary, Doctor Chris, and Doctor Pixie too,

Steer clear of Gillian McKeith – obsessed with number two!

There’s Doctor Phibes, who loved his spouse, and Docs Evil, and No,

The soaps have medicine in them too, though not in every show.

Sherlock had Doctor Watson, who was always at his side,

And Doctor Henry Jekyll, who turned into Edward Hyde.

A TV diagnosis is the fastest you can get,

Even on a Zoo Visit, you are sure to see a Vet.

Of course my favourite medic has a surgery that’s blue.

I wish he was my GP – well – who else but Doctor Who!

© Pandora Varrakalion

The Long-Term Health Benefits of Participating in the Arts

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Here is a very interesting blog with links to academic research that looks at the long-term health benefits of participating in the arts – right click on the top right hand box to access the various researches:

An international evidence base.

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