reflections / Thoughts of the week.

Baby boomers.WHEN DO YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A LITTLE OLD LADY

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.

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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!

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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.

Our balcony overlooking the sea

Our balcony overlooking the sea

the excellent indoor swimming pool

the excellent indoor swimming pool

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Excellent entertainement

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Inside the beach hut

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Ubiquitous beach hut

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Miles of sandy beach

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Excellent food.

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.

Love Denise

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21 thoughts on “Baby boomers.WHEN DO YOU DECIDE TO BECOME A LITTLE OLD LADY

  1. My mom had that revelation recently that she was “old” because she is pushing 60. And then she said well if 30 is the new 20, then 60 is the new 40! And she’s right! Plus you get benefits for being so fabulous! Me? I can’t wait… ; )

    Was the Golden Girls popular in the UK? Well did you know that their characters are supposed to be between 50 and 65??? Isn’t that weird? They made them look so old with those gray perms!

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    • Yes the Golden girls were popular here. I never know that their ages was supposed to be 55-65! I thought the mother was around 80! Your mum sounds like fun and I am sure she, like me will go into her 60’s kicking and screaming!

      Love Denise

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  2. Looks like a lovely albeit gray and drizzly time at the beach! Wonderful it is so close to you! But alas…you bring up an interesting question…that is when does one don the slacks of which you speak and permed gray hair….why would one don them when they had not before? (although my mother never did do the gray perm thing and such). Changes in the body and/or hair? I know one wants to dress age appropriate but one also wants to dress attractively (or best one can) in styles one enjoys ….while aging can be discouraging, still one can dress with a certain sense of style. I don’t know why so many don the “uniform of old age” apparel …hmm…interesting ponderment indeed (and ah! As to the “Golden Girls” comment above…50 to 65!? OH, my! 65 being the eldest?) Anyway, Denise, glad you (and Michael) had a time away before Michael starts chemo.

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    • Oh Sue, I love your comments. Having met you I realise you write like you speak…….Well I am determined not to get the grey perm thing. JUst remind me if I ever contemplate it!
      Love Denise

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  3. A beach hut with tea making facilities – how English! 🙂

    As for little old lady syndrome, while you continue to be out there cycling with all the hip people and wanna-be pros, I don’t think you need to worry.

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    • The beach huts are available to rent at around £50 per day. They are also for sale but I couldn’t find out the price. I would imagine it would be in the range of £15000.

      Love Denise

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  4. the little old lady grey perm..let’s hope it goes the way of the doo doo bird…us baby boomers just grab the hair dye and carry on…a quote from Nora Ephron..”there’s a reason nobody looks 50 or 60 anymore and it’s nothing to do with exercise or better living…it’s hair dye. In the 50’s only 7% of woman died their hair, now it’s 75%”

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    • Welcome to my blog, Debbie. What you say is too true. I have been dying my since I was 17. Don’t actually know what colour it really is, although the roots look very grey!…… not sure who the doo doo bird is. LOL! Just googled Nora Ephron as I didn’t know who she was either., although of course I knew her work. Wow what an inspirational woman!…. obviously no grey perms or crimpalene slacks for her!

      Love Denise

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  5. I think that we all know the feeling. I recently met a boy who was in high school with me, he was potbellied and getting seriously bald and other disturbing details, so I was shocked, am I really the same age as this old man ??? We cannot control or age or our wrinkles (whatever some may say …), but at least we can control our style, by which I mean both lifestyle and look. And believe me you aren’t a little old lady on these criteria !

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    • Well you don’t do so bad yourself. You always have that French chic when I see you….and yes, meeting people I go to school with is sometimes a shock too. In my head I am 25! but THEY have aged so much, especially the men. Yesterday the man who mows my lawn told me he was 61! younger than me ! I had assumed he was well over over 65, making a bit of extra money to supplement his pension!

      Love Denise

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  6. Hmmm, interesting thought. I can’t see you with a grey perm and crimplene slacks even at 90 Denise, you’re far too stylish for that! I am just about the youngest, at 62, of the group I go walking with. I think the oldest is 82. Although quite a few of the ladies do have grey hair, they all have stylish cuts, have very active social lives, and I don’t think I’ve come across any crimplene yet. I hope I look as good in 10 years time!

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    • Janet, when we browse in M&S on our Manchester forays, we must stop each other graduating to the “classic” range. No matter how good the grey haired model looks in those clothes , we will NEVER look good in that stuff…. PS you always look very smart too.

      Love Denise

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      • I’ve been sorting through some photos to put in an album for my aunt and came across some of my mother when she was about my age and boy, does she look old! She had her grey hair “shampoo and set” at the hairdressers every two weeks and she wore crimplene dresses and slacks. So maybe it is also a generational thing. I identify far more with my cousin who at 42 is my aunt’s youngest and 20 years younger than me than I do with my aunt, who is 20 years older than me. Perhaps the people you saw were of our mothers generation although considerably younger than her! Love Janet

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  7. Hi Denise. This post made me laugh! I feel just like you! I have found myself looking around gatherings lately and thinking, “God, what a baby-boomers convention this is!” (For example, when I went to the ‘Coronation Street’ stage show which came to Auckland at Easter.) It is so easy to not think you are getting on yourself when you are 25 in your brain – until you look in the mirror, ha ha! Yes, when DO you suddenly have a perm – what a weird thought. I have to say that when I retired from my ‘real’ job I gave up my carpark, so when I took a short-term contract I used the train and this did occasion a change of clothing style which is dangerously close to capitulation: parka-like coat with hood for vagaries in the weather, shopping-type bag instead of handbag because now I need flat shoes for walking to and from the station, with heels in the bag, not to mention my laptop, book, umbrella, etc etc. Actually, come to think of it, I’m not sure there are so many women with grey perms here in Auckland, compared to when I go back to the north of England. I wonder if it has anything to do with the retirement age for women here being 65, which makes 60 relatively young. Anyway, I’m with Ella’s mom – 65 is definitely the new 45 in my book! xx

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    • You have Coronation street stage shows in Aukland???? the mind boggles!

      Yes I do think it is a Lancashire look thing, although there seems to be a similar look in every country, judging form the comments here.

      I am with Ellas mum too… 60 is the new 45!

      Love Denise

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      • Coronation Street is very popular in NZ (when the TV company got a new boss from Australia he tried to can it and there were near-riots, so he was forced to leave it on the schedule, ha ha). We are two years behind, though. The stage show was brought out here after it had been on in London – it had William Roache as the narrator (just before he returned to the UK to face criminal charges).

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        • …I remember hearing an interview with Bill Roache from New Zealand, talking about the Jimmy Saville affair, apparently that is what prompted people to come forward and make complaints which he strenuously denied. He has not appeared in Coronation street since.

          The whole thing has gone quiet and he is awaiting trial on January 13 2014.

          BTW…. Stuart Hall got a 15 month jail sentence. So is presumably now in prison. There were protests about the leniency of the sentence and legal campaigns to have it increased. Again , mixed feelings about this as he is 83 and unlikely to survive well, but Bill Roache at 81 must be quaking.

          Recently a 29 year old teacher was jailed for seven years for falling in love with and running away with his 15 year old student and the sentences do seem disproportionate.

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  8. Yes, well, don’t they all deny it initially! I agree, that seven year sentence does seem harsh compared to 15 months for multiple offences and having a privileged life for many years while his victims no doubt felt ill every time they saw him….

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  9. These predators get away with it because victims keep quiet about it. If someone does come forward it is so easy for the predator to accuse them of being a liar or ‘mad’ (as Hall did), but when others come forward it is no longer so easy. The others are not automatically coming forward so late in the piece for monetary gain, but possibly because they realise at last it wasn’t just them who it happened to, or possibly because they feel if the first person has been brave then they should be, too. I’m not saying you should have also added your story, Denise – not at all. No one is at fault here except Hall.

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