A new life at 67.Can a woman start all over again?

Posts tagged ‘Age.Retirement’

I Would Like a Choice

Over the years I have been asked more times than I can count by elderly persons unable to care for themselves if I could give them something so they could die. They didn’t want to live anymore with the everyday suffering of being bedridden and in pain. They didn’t want food pushed into their mouthes before they had finished swallowing any more.Or the pain that comes from large open bedsores that could take fifteen minutes or more to dress.

They didn’t want to lie for hours in wet,stinking nappies. They just wanted to leave this world with dignity.

I couldn’t help them.

It seems that in Switzerland where I live,the cost of caring for the elderly whether in their living accommodation or in a

nursing home will double between now and the year 2030. In that year an estimated 2 million people over the age of 65 will be living here. In 2005 there were only 1,2 million.

The growth of the over 80 year olds has risen enormously. This has had a massive influence on the cost of health care.

A study by the Swiss Health Observatory says the price for care will rise from 7,3 billion francs in 2005 to around 18 billion in 2030.

The rise is of course affected by the prescription of multiple medication for the aged, on average fifteen tablets a day,and performance of complicated operations, excluding emergency orthopaedic procedures on over seventy five year olds. Higher nursing and so called hotel costs add to it.

Ethics play a great part in how we approach the situation at the moment.

Mankind has the right to live ,but when are we going to have the right to die?


The end of a bad name

I am still struggling with my watercolour painting. After almost a year of weekly classes I don’t see a lot of improvement in my work,and I still seem to make the same silly mistakes. With watercolour it is difficult to amend them once the paint is on the paper and I don’t want to cheat and use white goache. So I thought I would go on a painting holiday where I could paint without interruption ,and have tuition too, once the weather improved.

So I contacted a very helpful lady at creArtive,Rhodes explaining what I wanted and that when considering different groups I fitted into what I think is known as a senior citizen, but my eyesight still enables me to paint and my hand doesn’t shake. I felt almost ashamed to admit that I wasn’t young any more, even though my generation of war babies had done more than many to alter the course of the world. But then I thought of the Rolling Stones and said what the hell.

Somehow the names given to people having reached the age of 55 seem to me discriminating, and does nothing to make us feel better on having reached retirement age in the first place. OLDIES, PENSIONERS even WRINKLIES. !!

Why can’t we introduce a more acceptable name for the old hippies, 68ers and war veterans.

I would suggest,


“Now this is not the end. It is not even the beginning of the end.

But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning”

Winston Churchill 1874-1965

Brush your teeth and save a face lift


Even at my age,I don’t have many wrinkles (nasty word). I have always put that down primarily to good genes, the fact that I have never smoked,and my attitude towards life.

I am rather vain,although I know vanity is a sin.I wouldn’t dream of going out the door except to the post box without lipstick to say nothing of lip liner.

I have nice looking teeth,and I brush them at least fout times a day.

I believe that women who feel down in the dumps (a minor state of depression) should go to the hairdressers rather than wasting money on clothes they don’t want.

Good Hairdressers are wonderful people. They can listen, give advice,and take ten years off your life if you are over fifty.

It was during one of my regular overhauls by Claudia that I read an interesting article in one of the womens magazines there.

The article was on Facial Yoga,and it stated that by doing certain excercises regularly,like blowing air into your cheeks and areas between teeth and gums the effect could be better than a face lift.

Naturally I hid my head behind the magazine and hoped nobody would be look while I tried the ideas out.

Would you believe it,the feeling was like cleaning your teeth without a toothbrush.

So now I know over the years applying lipstick and brushing my teeth really paid off .


We were nearly always in England around the 14th of August,his Birthday corresponded with the girls’ Summer Holidays so there was no great problem in those days. As the years went on and he was alone and older. We still made the effort. He didn’t say a lot but I know he appreciated it.

His 90th was one of the most enjoyable,he loved being the center of attraction,not only was he the cats whiskers in Pridoux Brune, the senior residence where he had a little flat,but family members came to visit that he hadn’t seen for years.

We had arranged a little party and had been up at the crack of dawn trying to find a micro wave oven small enough to fit well into his very small kitchen.(He hadn’t really cooked anything for himself since she had gone so at least he could try fast food) We had forgotten of course that he had pacemaker,although it doesn’t really affect them.

He did use it. Just the same as he bought himself a new car to celebrate ! And used that as well.

The following year I went over, and bought the obligatory box of Liquorice All Sorts it was the last box I bought him.

He is still very much in my mind. Somehow he never really got old.He was and remained for me a person who I always respected, one of those people who didn’t have to say anything to radiate authority.

He gave me a lot of things to take on life’s journey.

Once when I was about ten he went up to London for a meeting,and came back with a beautiful tan pigs skin school satchel for me. I used it throughout my school years, weighed down by books the strap never broke,and it always reminded me of how much he did love me although I don’t think he ever said it.

After he died we found the satchel in the boot of the nearly new car,he had used it for his tools.

There was so much left unsaid,but then both of us were better writers than talkers.

Happy Birthday

The Bad Boys

If I see films of them while I’m in the company of Swiss friends I’m not too sure whether I want to cringe in shame or be intensely proud of the skinny wrinkly,old men jumping up and down on the stage.

A couple of them have been doing it for the last forty five years and they still haven’t had enough.

Yesterday they filled a stadium in Lausanne which holds 41,000 people. Rock Bands came and Rock Bands went,but the bad boys stayed.

I saw them once at the Marquee in Soho but at that time nobody really new who they were. Later I preferred their music to that of their rivals, but didn’t admit it to my friends.

I give you, the Rolling Stones.

and as an afterthought their girlfriend Marianne Faithfull,who after a turbulent life could very well be nominated for an Academy Award next year.

Ernest Hemingway and his little Kraut Marlene

Apparently the John F. Kennedy Museum in Boston are showing 30 letters that Ernest Hemingway wrote to Marlene Dietrich between 1949 and 1959.

The correspondence shows us how yet another”Great”man of the war and post war years succumbed to her charms.

I just wish I knew how she did it.

I am old enough to remember as a young girl her song “Sag mir wo die Blumen sind” being a world hit.Not that you could say she sang it,Marlene couldn’t sing anything,but her vocal chords brought forth something that once heard wasnever forgotten.
I was bowled over. That wasn’t just a filmstar that was a women that defied Hitler openly,and he was just as fascinated by her as all the others.

When I was working in New York in 1969 she gave one of her very few concerts at one of the biggest theaters on Broadway, and I was invited to go by one of her countrymen,-thankgoodness,for I could never have afforded it otherwise.

She must have been well over sixty at the time. It was dark in the theater,then one beamer lit up a small circle of the stage and Marlene tripled out wearing the famous skintight rhinestoned robe and white fox fur.

In the theater you could have heard a needle drop.

Then this fragile figure looked over her shoulder and almost shouted “See what the boys in the backroom will have” The audience were at her feet,and she kept them there until almost two hours later she gave us “Where have all the flowers gone” A song that at that time that was more than appropriate.

We waited at the stage door to long for Marlene,-I really wanted to see her.

But then she rushed by so quickly that I had to chose between looking at her face or her legs-I chose her face.

Firearms, Whiskey and the Swiss

That the Swiss can live peacefully with weapons has been obvious since William Tell hit the proverbial apple.

That Swiss males in military service age keep their rifles and pistols at home and the female population grows continually is almost a world wonder.

That our medical Doctors have little to no experience with dealing with gunshot wounds is explainable.

The Swiss don’t shoot each other,they shoot at targets.

Probably each village here has a shooting range. It is obligatory that every male from 18 to 40 has shooting practice.

For under and above that age there are countless rifle and pistol shooting clubs-also open to women, and contests in marksmanship are continually being held.

An elderly gentleman who doesn’t live far away from me took part in the last “Eidgenossisch” National Contest.

He is 101 years old.

He can still score better than any other in his category-veterans, he hopes to be at the next,and doesn’t see why not.

For his 100th Birthday he bought himself a second hand computer and loves using it.

When asked how he manages to keep  himself so well,he says he drinks a glass of whiskey a day.

Just one.

Tag Cloud