Slippers or iPod? It's my age-old choice

BEING of a certain age, there is a significant event awaiting me in the not too distant future. One thing which I am certain will come my way is a paltry state pension. As for the rest of my future, it may not be as mapped out as time-honoured tradition e

BEING of a certain age, there is a significant event awaiting me in the not too distant future.

One thing which I am certain will come my way is a paltry state pension. As for the rest of my future, it may not be as mapped out as time-honoured tradition expects.

According to the results of a new survey, a pipe and slippers are out for an increasing number of people reaching retirement age.

Instead, they are embracing their golden years, breaking with stereotypes and experimenting with new technology and action-packed activities.


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The thought of what I could be doing in the coming years takes my breath away - and could literally do that if I am as busy as some of the anti-retirees these days.

Almost one in five are jetting off on extended breaks overseas, a third are taking more weekend breaks and many are contemplating moving, perhaps to the hustle and bustle of a city, getting away from it all in a idyllic rural retreat or relocating abroad.

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Then there could be the challenge of keeping up with the kids by getting to grips with such mysterious technology as iPods and Wii-fits. That should be no problem - I'm just about mastering the basics of computers now.

The headline of another press release this week intrigued me. This stated that one in five in the South East blame beer pressure for drinking more. How on earth could that be, I wondered. What if someone only downed wine or spirits? So I had to carry on reading to find out.

I quickly learned that the release was in fact about peer pressure to drink to excess. But it could all be in the mind, according to a survey paid for with taxpayers' money by the Department of Health.

This suggested that 23 per cent of people in the region have ended up drinking more than planned put it down to peer pressure, while 39 per cent of drinkers felt the need to make up an excuse or lie to justify refusing a drink. Just think of a lads' night out and you get the picture.

But the true picture is far different, it seems. The poll found that just three per cent of people expect their friends to keep up with them when drinking with just one per cent admitting to piling on the pressure for their pals to drink more than they want.

So there you have it: peer pressure hardly exists. And beer pressure has nothing to do with it.

Something highly likely to get me gagging over a pint is hearing an unusual name. A new survey just out reveals such crackers as Justin Case, Barb Dwyer, Terry Bull, Paige Turner, Mary Christmas, Tim Burr, Anna Sasin, Doug Hole, Hazell Nutt and Rose Bush.

One chap who felt he had a millstone round his neck recalled: "When I was in the RAF my commanding officer used to shout, 'Stan Still, get a move on' and roll about laughing."

I would have joined him on the ground.

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