This is a question I take a slight personal interest in, at what age is an individual really old? Of course there is the legal age, for a woman that age was 60 years, for a man it was 65 years. That in itself is peculiar, every-one knows that men age quicker than women, that’s just a plain fact. The government in an extremely rare move towards fairness is gradually extending the age at which a woman can claim her Old Age Pension to equal the age at which men can do the same. Then the age is to be extended further in the hope that more people will die before they ever touch their pension. The ideology of the ruling elite is that far too many people (ordinary working people) are living far too long on the taxes paid by the very, very rich. Of course as we all know the 1% don’t pay their taxes, by devious means accountants pass the money around until it simply disappears, to be retrieved at a later time. I’ve meandered away from my main point, like a well brought up woman I rarely talk about money.
Woke up this morning feeling great, caught a glimpse in the mirror, astonished to see an old woman looking back at me. A wrinkled face, a shrunken body, can this really be me? I feel like one of Dr. Who’s young assistants who one day stepped into the Tardis and time travelled in a flash forward seventy years. I stepped out and suddenly this is what I see. It all happened so quickly; one moment I was a young woman wondering what my life would be and then like a bird flying through a hall, all I can see is a great emptiness. Did it really all happen?
The word pensioner has in some circles fallen into disrepute; a person living off the hard work of some-one who hates the job they’re doing, taking up space in a house with a spare bedroom, using a free bus pass, collecting help with the gas bill from the government and religiously voting for the wrong Party. I have a very different view, the pension I get every month I paid into by way of National Insurance during my years of employment, ( I do know that the actual money is contributed by today’s working men and women). My free ride into town takes me to the shops where I buy food, then to a cafe where I have lunch, so I’m playing my part in providing employment for the younger generation.
These days I spend a lot of time on petitions, not drafting them, no reading and signing them. The issue which means the most to me is the position of women, it seems almost incredible to me that in so many countries of the world, and even more shockingly in this country too young girls are treated with barbarous cruelty. The UK is by no means immune from seeing girls as objects; for example the recent case in Rochdale where many girls were trafficked for sex. In addition in some communities young girls are mutilated to take away any pleasure in sex and threaten their lives when they give birth to a child. The parents are often culpable and they are not punished . The crime is Female Genital Mutilation and it happens in the UK.
I have been very fortunate to live in a time when women can be; doctors, lawyers, lecturers, teachers and wives and mothers. It surprised me to learn that over half of the young people training to be doctors are women. I’m very lucky to have lived a long time and recently I’ve been given a very special gift, I have a piece of metal inside my body to replace my hip which simply crumbled away. So I am now a bionic woman and my superior strength will one day be revealed, at present I’m happy to walk. There are days when I feel thirty again, oh alright thirty-five.