However, the government obviously doesn’t seem to, because it does nothing about it. Before I tell you what it is, I want to explain how Maggie Thatcher and her broken arm triggered the thoughts. In another few weeks Sophie will be 89, and I’m not that far behind her, but it annoys me a little, when we, the Wrinklies, are told that we are a burden on society because we are living too long, costing too much in healthcare, and contributing nothing. I wonder where the credit crunch would be if it weren’t for all the the investments and savings of the Wrinklies. What Europe would be like if we hadn’t stopped Hitler. It wasn’t the Wrinklies who gambled their savings on the stock market, it was the rising, affluent, champagne drinking youngsters, with their fancy cars, their fancy flats, and their disregard for others. I make no apology for being a Wrinkly. My generation and I have had our fair share of austerity and most of us have led reasonably responsible lives, but we did mostly enjoy ourselves.
The reason we have lived so long is mainly because, as I have said before, we were born into austerity, perforce we exercised because there was only public transport and few of us owned a car until the 50s and 60s. We had no EU, so the French had not by then forced government to have Set Aside rather than growing our own produce. We were not terribly well educated in foreign food, I suspect in 1950 only the wealthy had ever heard of a lasagne, and we were only just beginning to learn about wine. There was no television to tell us what we ought to be eating, carry-outs were practically unheard of, and pleasure was simple, and generally involved exercise. So what I mean by being obvious, is that the government should not be advertising and preaching about obesity, dietary and exercise, they should be instituting fresh home-grown food, offering both the young and the not so young, many more opportunities to exercise in interesting environments, and increasing public transport so that people save money for their old age, and walk more. I can point to a number of three-car families, those who would never dream of cooking fresh ingredients for themselves – need I say more?
We the Wrinklies are a living example of the qualities needed in the early stages of life, for providing a healthy, possibly less sophisticated but more enjoyable life, which is a lot cheaper than advertising, and a lot more fun than going to Weight Watchers, and special diets. When did you last play cricket on the green, handball, fly a kite with your kids, or even ride on a bus?