It wasn’t a yellow polka dot bikini, it was a blue one and the woman wearing it must have been at least 75.
She was lying by the banks of the Trent in the middle of Nottingham on her own, soaking in the rays.
My first thought was ‘eww’, I didn’t really want to see her wrinkly belly as I was strolling by the river.
But actually, why the hell shouldn’t she? She’s obviously much more comfortable with her body than I am with mine. And I am quite envious of that.
So you go grandma. Aren’t I always saying people should live their lives the way they want to? I am not very impressed that my first thought was yuk.
So it got me thinking about age.
We went into the city centre yesterday for a wander. There was a food festival on but it wasn’t very interesting – just restaurants touting for business. I prefer the Farmer’s Market where there is all sorts of interesting produce to sample.
We came across this rather lovely gentleman, strolling through the city centre taking his dog and his barn owl for a walk.
I don’t know his name but the barn owl is called Kim.
They were attracting quite a lot of interest.
Man said that if he was old and lonely, wandering into town with your barn owl must be a great way of getting some social interaction.
He was right. I watched this guy get stopped every couple of steps by people wanting to say hello and ask him about his pets.
Do old people need a gimmick to get others to talk to them?
Daughters one and two love old people, especially old men.
They want to pick them up and take them home. If they had their way I would be running a sanctuary for lonely, little old men. That would be quite fun.
My mum, who used to run a mobile shop that she took to retirement homes, always used to say that on the door of every resident’s room there ought to be a photo of them in their youth. Sometimes people forget old people were young once.
A few years ago I was the editor of a local newspaper and I inherited among the staff a former Sergeant Major and foreman of an engineering firm who was our handyman.
He was widowed and worked for us part time. Sadly a few years later the company was restructured and he was made redundant. Before he left, he asked me for a reference (which I was more than happy to give him) so he could find another job. He was 89!
He went on to work in a charity shop in the town that he lived and as far as I know, he still works there now.
Age is definitely a state of mind. I know some 30-year-olds who are already part of the pipe and slipper brigade. I know people in their 70s (my parents for example) who go galavanting off around the world enjoying every new experience.
I’m not saying I want to sunbathe in a polka dot bikini by the banks of the Trent when I’m 75, but should I wish to I hope I have the guts to say ‘sod what you think, I’m going to catch some rays’ :).
On the way home (we walked for miles by the way and ticked that exercise box off several times over) this couple got on the bus.
He wandered down the bus and found them seats then stood to one side while his wife negotiated her way with her walking stick and sat down first.
Then they sat smiling in conversation with each other as the world went by the window.
Man turned round and whispered ‘that’s us in 30 years time’.
I certainly hope so.