We have just had a couple of days in a place 35 miles away, called St-Annes-on-Sea. which (surprise!) is at the seaside.
In true English summer mode, it drizzled for two days leaving us with limited options for entertainment. We sat in the comfortable hotel and read our books. We swam in the excellent hotel pool, had saunas and steam baths. I rode my bike for miles on the flat promenade. We went off to the former fishing village of Fleetwood to visit the famous market, 12 miles up the coast and traipsed through the rain to said market, where we sat and dripped in a cafe to have tea and cakes.
As I looked around me, I noticed we were surrounded by “old” people ie ladies with grey hair and perms wearing sensible shoes, “slacks” raincoats some even with those concertina plastic rain caps on their heads! These ladies looked like my mother, but my mum would have been 93 and these ladies did not seem as old as that. So how old are these people, and when did they adopt this look?
Officially I am “old”…. a “pensioner” …ie I get a state pension. but I look at myself and think. Are these people the same age as me, am I fooling myself? I am mutton dressed as lamb?, …or in an ten years, which doesn’t seem very long, will I be on a coach trip to Fleetwood market in slacks and a raincoat with grey hair and a curly perm?
I am what’s known as a baby boomer. A person born in the post ww2 baby boom, when the British men returned from serving abroad and resumed normal life and I don’t know if it is a case of the new car syndrome ( where you buy a particular type of car and then suddenly see lots of that model about) but suddenly I am noticing that there are lots of older people about.
In the local supermarket cafe 75% of the people appear to be over 60, maybe this is because this generation of people are now at retirement age so have more leisure time to sit in cafes and sip tea. .
There is often a lot of criticism in the UK about pensioner “benefits”and “rich pensioners” who do not need the winter fuel allowance of £200 or the free bus pass. There are those who say it is unfair that younger sections of the population have been hit with “austerity measures” but pensioners have so far been left alone.
My argument would be that the present government have raised the pension age by six or seven years, so actually, there will be less people entitled to pensioner benefits and this generation of pensioners have paid a lot of their income into the system to support others.
In addition, I am not sure who these “rich ” pensioners are By definition retired people live on a reduced income and the odd person who gets over £40,0000 a year must be rare……… and most wealthy people would not use public transport anyway, they use their cars.
The other point is that all these baby boomer “pensioners” actually bring a lot of trade to places with their increased leisure time. Especially going by Morrisons cafe, where they obviously spend all their time, squandering their ill gotten gains and using their bus passes to travel to the seaside and markets to spend it there!
Anyway, back to the Dalmeny hotel in Lythham-St-Annes-on -Sea.
We stayed in this hotel for two nights. Thursday and Friday. It was excellent. Spacious room, generous buffet breakfast, large swimming pool. For the first 36 hours it was very peaceful but then on Friday, the hotel was invaded by families. I wasn’t surprised because the location of the hotel was great. A beach across the road, a pier, a cinema, the promenade for riding bikes or strolling and of course the hotel was geared up with children’s activities. It made me want to go back with my grandchildren as this place is only 35 miles away.
Of course this break was a distraction from hospital appointments, blood cancer, bowel cancer and chemotherapy, which are dominating our lives at present.
We both relaxed and were able to forget making the most of things before the chemotherapy for Michael starts this Thursday.