The unstoppable octogenarians: 80-year-olds are nonetheless within the prime of life | Retirement | Finance
A lot of very well-known faces are celebrating their eightieth birthday this yr – and I do imply “celebrating” – and they’re redefining outdated age, giving hope to us all.
These receiving 80 birthday bumps embrace a trio of Joans – Rivers, Collins and Bakewell – together with Sir Michael Caine, cricket umpire Dickie Chicken and Michael Aspel.
Not a creaky geriatric amongst them, they’re with out exception sensible, curious, taken with everybody and all the pieces – and nonetheless working.
They’re in demand not as a result of they’re outdated however as a result of they’re nonetheless fascinating us and we wish to see and listen to what they need to say.
Age has definitely not withered them. Their faces carry the story of their lives. Besides within the case of the multi-nipped and tucked comic Joan Rivers – 79 till June – who prefers to joke about her life fairly than present it in her face.
In full distinction the elegant Dame Joan Bakewell wrote movingly final week about reaching 80 “the birthday that marks the transition into later outdated age. We all know our our bodies are starting to fail”. However with it comes a defiance.
Any longer, as a substitute of pretending to be youthful than their years she has observed individuals begin boasting about their age.
SHE’S definitely not in denial about her age. A intelligent, charming bluestocking, the star of Late Night time Line-Up and a lover of playwright Harold Pinter, Joan was famously described by comedy author Frank Muir as “the pondering man’s crumpet”. She has aged gracefully – and busily. Her enchantment nonetheless reaches throughout the generations and he or she’s about to make a programme for Sky Arts with comic Frank Skinner.
Exhausting to imagine the flawless Joan Collins will probably be blowing out 80 candles on Might 23. All the time in efficiency mode she combines movie- star glamour with a wise and sassy mind and is touring her one-woman stage present, inevitably entitled One Night time With Joan.
Additionally, like her or detest her, you possibly can’t ignore John Lennon’s widow, the artist Yoko Ono. I like her rather a lot higher now than I did when she barged into The Beatles and stole John’s coronary heart as a result of I like her resilience and energy of character.
As a substitute of retreating she has grasped life with each palms and continues to create and help new artwork tasks.
However it’s not all about fantastic ladies. Let’s not overlook the octogenarian chaps. Michael Aspel carries his years calmly, that goldstandard broadcasting voice nonetheless unmistakable. When he walks right into a room ladies nonetheless rush to his aspect.
a room ladies nonetheless rush to his aspect. Allure is ageless.
It is a magnetism he shares with one other Michael. Sir Michael Caine, nonetheless astute and urbane, at present he has a photographic exhibition of his extraordinary physique of labor on the Museum of London. Endlessly in demand as an actor, and speaker he’s at all times supported by the love of his life, spouse Shakira.
Recently I have been seeing quite a lot of former cricket umpire Dickie Chicken, twinkling on chat present sofas, as he recollects tales of his life on the pitch from his autobiography 80 Not Out. He is at all times laughing. He seems as if he is having a lot enjoyable.
So is that the key to having fun with life at 80? A way of humour? There isn’t any getting away from it, 80 is severely outdated age. Getting outdated, we are sometimes advised by those that are already there, is “not for cissies”.
It may be powerful, daunting and infuriating as previously easy duties grow to be troublesome and exhausting and we’d effectively really feel apprehensive about what life will probably be like at 80.
Information studies do not assist when each story in regards to the aged is illustrated by frail palms on Zimmer illustrated by frail palms on Zim- frames or pensioners propped up and spoonfed in hospital beds.
The message is that you just’re unlikely to take pleasure in your later years so grit your tooth and bear it and there is nothing humorous about that.
BUT a survey final week revealed that individuals who take into account themselves to be frail usually tend to abandon actions which might hold them wholesome in outdated age.
Those that keep lively, bodily and mentally, take pleasure in a greater high quality of life – even when they’re bodily not very sturdy.
One participant commented: “If individuals suppose that they’re outdated and frail, they may act as if they’re outdated and frail.” In different phrases, age is a mind-set – you actually are as younger as you are feeling. Are you able to think about Joan Collins utilizing the expression: “I can not do this at my age.”? And for many who have reached 80 and are wanting nervously additional down the street, take much more coronary heart from these nonetheless setting the tempo for residing effectively in outdated age.
Faucet dancing down the road is Sir Bruce Forsyth, 85, Sir David Attenborough, 86, Nicholas Parsons, 89 – and my pretty Welsh godmother Nira (age – “thoughts your personal enterprise”) who advised me lately “I am pondering of giving up sporting excessive heels”. However she will not.
There’s an unaccountably standard poem by Jenny Joseph referred to as Warning wherein she declares that: “When I’m outdated, I shall put on purple with a pink hat… sit down on the pavement… run my stick alongside railings… be taught to spit… and eat three kilos of sausages in a single go”.
Why? I’ve by no means understood this poem’s enchantment. Why would you wish to flip into some grasping, rackety outdated bag girl? I need my outdated age to be far more like our new octogenarians so I wrote a riposte to that poem. I referred to as it Announcement.
When I’m an outdated girl, I intend to be Sought out by the younger, eager to be seen with me.
Curious and conscious of life past my door A stranger to ennui, a lover of Dior.
Age shall not wither me, whereas moisturising lotions Maintain tiny traces at bay and lubricate my goals.
Continuously in Tuscany, fabulous with flowers Erudite and witty, closeted for hours As confidante and good friend to those that make the information;
One thing of an knowledgeable on each rhythm and the blues Marvellously humorous – with an enquiring thoughts Glamorous and stylish – and gorgeous from behind.
Busy with new tasks, on to the subsequent web page Will probably be mentioned about me “She’s nice – for any age.”
So when I’m an outdated girl, if I begin sporting purple and working sticks alongside railings, lock me up!
In different phrases, once I’m 80 I wish to be Joan Bakewell.