Juggling with old age

It is an argument which has been around since the first day of motoring and it is unlikely to ever go away.

IT is an argument which has been around since the first day of motoring and it is unlikely to ever go away.

In this age of technology, just over a third of people now use sat navs to find their way around but over three quarters of us still own a UK road atlas.

And it is when it comes out from the glove box or under the seat that stress levels rise and arguments start.

Over half of adults who take journeys in cars that require map reading claim to have had a row with a fellow traveller over the subject, a new survey has revealed.


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The 45 to 54-year-olds are the most argumentative, it seems.

The age-old question of who is best at map reading is no nearer being answered. Three quarters of men who responded to an online survey claimed it was them, while just over 40 per cent of women believed they were the best in their family at reading maps.

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Almost a third of women were honest enough to admit that it was their male partner who was the better navigator using a map but only seven per cent of men acknowledged their other halves were more skilled in that department.

Off road and on the household front, another piece of research came up with the unsurprising conclusion that men preferred to cook than darn.

Two-fifths of men said they would have trouble sewing up a hole in a jumper while a fifth admitted they would have trouble cooking a roast dinner.

What did surprise me was that a fifth of women said they would struggle to darn and 17 per cent – not much less than the figure for men – would have problems doing a roast. I blame that on schools dropping domestic science classes.

Tasks identified as being those which females were most likely to struggle with were reverse parking and downloading files to their mobile phones. I would not argue with that.

As a silver surfer, I was heartened to learn that new, exciting horizons may lay ahead for me.

The elderly may not be as good at playing football as they were or remembering where they put their car keys, but they make up for diminishing powers by developing greater wisdom.

That’s what a leading researcher on elderly cognition told the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ International Congress in Edinburgh recently and I believe it.

New research also shows that the ability of the elderly to learn new skills, such as juggling, remains undiminished. So I might treat myself to a new set of Indian clubs in the not too distant future.

One thing I don’t think I’ll be taking up is cherry stone spitting. The competition is much too strong.

At the international Cherry Pit Stone Championship held the other day in Michigan, Rick”Pellet Gun” Krause won – for the 16th time – by propelling a stone 51ft 3in. His wife, Marlene, took the women’s title with her effort reaching 34ft 6in.

I don’t think I would like to be in their house when they start eating fruit.

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