A hundred years?

My grandmother died in her eighties. It always amazed me that when she was born, Queen Victoria was on the throne. While she was still small the motor-car was a rich man’s ridiculous indulgence, only able to travel at walking pace. Indoor toilets? Dieu, there’s unhygienic, isn’t it? She had her first indoor bathroom installed when I was a child, and finally threw out the old tin bath my grandfather used to sit in to wash off the coal dust. She never experienced life in a centrally heated house. Never wanted to. She wouldn’t even have a phone, there was one at the end of the street if she felt like talking to anyone other than the Old Lady Network.

It wasn’t unusual to pass a ringing phone box, answer it, and be asked to fetch Mrs Grimshaw from Number Seven. Why have a phone? The streets always had kids in them and if there was threepence to be had from the deal, any of us would be glad to help. Incidentally, we didn’t smash up phoneboxes, because we could profit from them. It wasn’t altruism, it was business. That changed when home phones became the norm.

My grandmother was too young to remember the New Year of 1900 but she was there. Survived two World Wars by living in a part of Wales where there really wasn’t much to bomb. Merthyr Tydfil, as it happened. Both grandfathers were in those wars. I still have the watch chain bearing coins of all the countries one of them visited, marvelled at the sights, and shot people. It is Sterling silver, hallmarked on every link, and at my deepest levels of skintitude it was never for sale and will never be. One grandfather died of war wounds, the other survived unscathed until the mines got him.

This was stuff I was supposed to learn in history class and I had grandparents who were actually there. No wonder I didn’t listen. The Labour party? I had family who remembered when it started. There was no need for those lessons. My history interests are now confined to books because all grandparents are dead, and because I go much further back these days. Well, that’s what happens. We get old, we die, and we make room for the new ones. What they do with the world is up to them. We won’t be around to see it. In the old days we trusted the next generation to deal with things.

My grandmother was around for the mass-production of pocket calculators but never saw a home computer. If she was alive now she would not be on the internet and would still regard calculators as ‘bloody things that will rot your mind’. I have to admit she had a point there. In school, I learned how to work out square roots on paper. The early calculators took away all memory of that because it was one of the first ‘real’ functions aside from basic arithmetic. I learned a great deal of pen-and-paper statistics at university but now I have the basic stuff on a calculator and programs on the main computer for the harder stuff. I don’t remember much of the pen-and-paper methods. Even so, it comes as a shock every time a younger person tells me they don’t understand how I can do long division in my head. That’s simple stuff.

She died in 1989. She didn’t have to suffer the Tiny Blur, the Brown Gorgon, the Coagulation, the wars on Lard, Smoking, Drinking, Salt, Burgers and anyone breathing. It’s just as well because if she was alive now she would certainly be in prison.

When my brother and I came in filthy (almost daily, sometimes even after Sunday school), she would snarl ‘mochyn ddu’ and point to the big tin tub – later, to the big green bath with taps that had actual hot water. Mochyn ddu. Black pigs. Two words that, uttered within earshot of any of the feeble and the weak of today would certainly cause offence-by-proxy. It covers, in its nine letters uttered in one second, every single Righteous pet group available with the exception of the gays.

She had that covered too.

I still vividly recall one Christmas where we watched Elton John perform. My grandmother’s face bore, as always, a suitably Welsh dour expression throughout until she broke the silence with her assessment of the man on the screen. “He’s a bumboy, he is.” This was some years before Elton officially ‘came out’  so we tried to reassure her that he was as straight as a die but she would have none of it. How she knew, it’s too late to ask, but she did.

In these enlightened times, that remark would have seen her in court before her best bloomers were dry. No matter that it turned out to be true. It wasn’t put in a politically correct manner and that is all that counts these days.

The world changes. Fast. I used to have no trouble at all getting a beer in a pub at the age of 14. As long as we didn’t get plastered and caused no trouble in there, nobody cared. The local shop had a cigarette machine outside it all night, selling packs of ten, and no nonsmoker or even antismoker objected. They just didn’t buy stuff they didn’t want to buy. In those days, it wasn’t difficult to resist the lure of the shiny-shiny.

In my just-over-fifty years I have seen cars fitted with all kinds of new safety gadgets and seen deaths from car crashes rocket. I have seen the attitudes to cigarettes change from shops happy to let little kids buy them for their parents to now, when grown adults are made to feel like shit for asking for the mystery pack from behind the doors.

Money changed from that pounds-shillings-pence into the new ‘decimal’ system that is now clearly a proto-Euro system. I used to like getting half-crowns and ten-shilling notes at birthdays. Oh, okay, as a ten-year-old this new money was a damn sight easier to learn and calculate than the old twelve-pennies-to-a-shilling and twenty-shillings-to-a-pound but it atrophies the mind to always take the easy route. Perhaps that was the idea. It certainly seems to have been the result.

Houses with ice on the inside of the windows in winter. It wasn’t ‘hardship’, it was normal. We used to marvel at the patterns Jack Frost drew in the days when the house had to wait until the fire was laid and lit. Now we set the heating to come on half an hour before we wake and double glazing has banished Jack Frost to oblivion in the minds of youth. I’ll bet few people under thirty have heard of him.

Everything was cooked in lard. Nobody gave a damn about saturated and non-saturated fats, they had a big pan full of lard that they heated to boiling point, then plunged a metal basket of sliced potatoes in there and fried them until they were perfect.

Then we ladled salt over them. We’re still alive.

That same boiling fat cooked doughnuts, which were then dunked in sugar and best consumed while still warm. Fried bread just does not work in vegetable oil.

Fat, salt, sugar, drink, smoke, are all regulated and controlled now. Houses are built insulated and without chimneys, designed to provide hermetically sealed and regulated environments that pay no attention to the real world outside. I don’t know about the young, they grew up with it so maybe they are used to it, but I hate it. And I’m only fifty. I have to live through a lot more of this yet.

In the past I have stated that I will no longer consider being an organ donor because I get quite enough abuse as a live smoker and will not tolerate its continuation after death. My lungs are in fine shape. My liver is probably buggered but most other bits work and you can’t have them. I am not looking up from the afterlife and seeing some git whose life has been saved by my well-exercised kidneys moaning about how they came from a smoker. Sod you. I don’t want you people to live so I will not help.

That always elicits the response ‘I bet you wouldn’t refuse a donated organ if you were dying’. Yes. I would. In half a century, this world has changed from one worth fighting for to one not even worth fighting to stay alive in. I don’t want your donated organs. I don’t want to live beyond whatever time I have. My lifestyle is not likely to make me a centenarian and I don’t want to be one. Old, frail, unable to look after myself, a target for the increasingly feral youth and taxed into hypothermia by the government that pretends to care? Why would I fight for that?

I refer back to Elton John, and a song from the ‘Captain Fantastic’ album which I still think is his best. ‘Better off dead’, which, if you listen to it, is strangely prophetic. In this world, my grandmother is certainly better off dead.

In a few more years, I will be.

There is no way I will ever kill myself. As Arnie put it, I cannot self-terminate. However, put me in a home with modern don’t-carers and I will soon drive at least one of them to do it for me. I might be on a final journey but one of those bastards, at least, is going to have cause to remember me. The ‘home’ would be intolerable to me. The very concept of ‘being in care’ is intolerable. I, too, can be intolerable and when I put my mind to it I can make Voldemort look like something the kitten coughed up. I will not kill me, youngsters. You will, and my ghost will be laughing behind the judge in court.

Now, despite all these warnings that everything you eat, drink, inhale, touch, smell or look at will kill you, we are told that the Ferals who are born now will live to be a hundred. Hey, Ferals, you are going to be even older than the people you torment now. Looking forward to that? Imagine what future generations of you will be like and imagine yourself helpless. Then wonder why I’m delighted that I’ll be dead before you get there.

This is clear doublethink but the drones will accept it. They will not see the discrepancy in the reasoning.

1)  Children born now might (or might not) have a 33% chance of living to 100.

2) Therefore we have to raise the pension age now, for those born 59 or less years ago, who have little to no chance of reaching 100.

As the saying goes, follow the money, and the money is right there in the article.

Pensions Minister Steve Webb said: ‘These figures really bring home how important it is to plan for later life and how we can’t go on paying the state  pension at an age set early in the  last century.

‘That’s why we have increased the  state pension age, plan to bring in a  single tier state pension and Automatic Enrolment will help put an end to  the decline in pension saving and set millions on course for a more prosperous retirement.’

I have no further interest in the State pension. It is going to move away faster than I can age. I will never get it. Neither will anyone younger than me. This Madoff-style Ponzi scheme has failed and I can only take some relief in the knowledge that my parents have passed the threshold some time ago and all my grandparents are dead. None of you out there now who are younger than me will ever draw a State pension. It is gone.

The Ponzi scheme has collapsed and there is no more money. Unlike the Madoff case, nobody will be blamed and nobody will go to prison and also unlike that case, you will pay your national insurance tax into the dead scheme for as long as you live. You will pay under threat of force and you will get nothing back and this is not applicable to smokers or fatties or drinkers. It applies to everyone and you drones voted for it.

It is now most undesirable to live for a hundred years and next year it will be even less appealing. In a hundred years from now, at this trend, children will be begging for euthanasia in kindergarten. Don’t worry, they won’t get it. Like school results, the average age of death will rise year on year no matter how much fiddling it takes. When they reach Panoptica, there will officially be no death except for the non-people. Not far now.

It’s doublethink. You will die of everything unless you follow orders but you will live for a century and that means we have to put up your retirement age. Can you believe that? Many are stupid enough to soak up every word. Some are dim enough to demand it is put into law. The dimmer they are, the more forceful they are and if it is called ‘progressive’ they are in, because they care nothing for the direction of this progression.

So who did this? Who put up the retirement age and who wants it pushed up to the age of 80?

Look in the mirror. Who did you vote for?

Those who voted for any of the main parties did this. The antismoker, antidrinker, ant-fatty, anti-salt, anti-allsorts did this. They perpetuated the nonsense that these controls and bans work and they allowed acceptance of this entirely fabricated research based on those lies that justifies pushing up retirement age for people whose great-grandchildren might (or might not) live for a century.

The drones will never see this. Don’t try to explain it to them. They cannot add two numbers without a calculator and they will never see the reality of what they have done.

I can’t blame them. They want an easy life and in this modern world, this world which came into existence during my short span, the easy life has arrived. No more scraping windows to see outside. No more getting up in the bitter cold to light a fire. They even have heated windscreens on cars now so you don’t have to chip away at those either. The house is warm when you wake and you can cook food in minutes in a little box and you don’t have to entertain the kids, another little box does that and there’s a further box you can put your X into to make sure it all stays the same and your life is never affected.

But there is that growing unease, isn’t there? That nagging thought that won’t go away. The tiny voice that says ‘It wasn’t like this before’. I’m not talking to the fully indoctrinated, forget them, they are of no further relevance. No, there are many out there who aren’t fully into doublethink but who have no time or inclination to rock the boat.

The indoctrinated believe, simultaneously, that we will all die young and all live forever. So we must be taxed for our naughty things and we must work longer to pay for our extreme old age. They believe it. They are unreachable. They have left reality far behind and cannot be redeemed. Forget them.

However, they are few. Many, many more are simply not that bothered. Something pings at their thoughts when they are not mesmerised by BBC propaganda. Something twitches a nerve when they are faced with obviously conflicting information but then there is a distraction. A rise in the price of stamps, another little liberty dented, a bit of handy racism or homophobia, something to get all exercised about so they can banish those twitchy, unformed thoughts that pull at their axons and punch their synapses. They are not as good at it as the Socialists who have completely embraced doublethink, nor as they as expert as the Coagulation who absolutely believe the lies they pay others to tell them. There is an imperfection in their world, they just can’t quite see it.

For many of them, when they see it they won’t believe it.

All we can do is show them. What they do with it is their choice.

It’s not for me. It’s for them. I’m already doomed. For them, it’ll be too late when they are being abused in an NHS bed somewhere…

For me, it’s about being as much of an irritant as possible until they find me in the woods one day.

33 thoughts on “A hundred years?

  1. Brilliant post Leggy! I would guess I am around 10 years younger than you but can relate to many of the things that you reminisce on.

    I am firmly of the opinion that life was way better back in the 70’s 80’s and 90’s. Just look at how fucked up things are lately, look at how much damage the coalition have done in less than 2 years, we are going to be on our knees 3 years from now when the next election comes round. I am not saying that Labour under Blair and Incapacity Brown were much better because they weren’t, it’s the speed of the doenward escalation that worries me.

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  2. nice one leg iron,i’m 58,adopted by a mom who was born in 1910 and a dad who was one of 10 brothers and 2 sisters who was born in a mill workers house in lancs in 1895;he served in the first great war and suffered after until his death in 1968,my mom in 1989;we werent well off,i too remember the old tin bath,jack frost and the outdoor toilet but would willingly wish for those days again against this so called utopia we live in

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    • We weren’t well off either – we couldn’t have everything we wanted, but we had no trouble getting everything we needed.

      Nowadays people seem to ‘need’ so many more things.

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  3. I’m only forty-mumble but I remember the outside toilet and scraping the windows on a cold day but being from a civilised part of the country we didn’t do the ‘tin bath’ thing, we had a sit in bath under a removable worktop in the kitchen, Ah, luxury.

    I’m afraid I took the red pill many years ago and I think I’ve gone too far down the rabbit hole. So I think I’ll join you. I have the added incentive and knowledge after looking after some cantankerous old bodies over the years, so I know what’s most annoying and feel it’s payback time. To borrow a quote – ‘I aim to misbehave’.

    I’ll be surprised if I last a week before I’m found with a trail of urine soaked footprints leading away from my rapidly cooling corpse (peeing on the shoes of someone helping you to the toilet is a guaranteed way to raise their blood pressure, believe me, Why else do you think we nurses have really shiny shoes, drink and smoke and flinch when we hear bells or someone shouting ‘Nurse’?)

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  4. Super post.

    I was with my German girlfriend, sitting down to eat at her sister’s house in Essen. She, an anti smoker, was lecturing on the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. She didn’t see the irony of what she was saying as she built a small mountain of pills/potions/tablets and capsules on a side plate. This got me to wondering. How much of increased longevity is due to “better” lifestyle and how much to pills which keep us tottering from one day to the next?

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    • The ‘better’ lifestyle is subjective, which is something that eludes the control freaks of the BMA and the government. Okay, maybe I’d live longer if I didn’t smoke or drink but that is not, to me, ‘better’. Smoking and drinking and salt and fat are all part of the enjoyment of being alive. Other people like climbing mountains or jumping out of planes with a bedsheet on strings. I have no interest in such things. Some like lifting heavy weights that aren’t in anyone’s way or running when nobody is chasing them. Fine with me, let them get on with it.

      If they could only have the same attitude, the world would be a far better place.

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  5. I’m 49 and remember well the world you describe, as it was before our autonomy was annihilated and our lives turned to the service of a model where the many are sqandered for the amusement and comfort of the few. People in their late and mid 40s get this. But talking to anyone younger than 43 (I’ve been keeping score) is like conversing with a pre-programmed replicant.

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    • It’s possible to break their programming by talking around the subject. It’s not possible to tell them directly, they’ve been programmed to ignore that. Just drop hints – if second hand smoke kills, and in the 1950s something like 80% of people smoked, how did the other 20% manage to stay alive? Don’t explain, just start the thoughts moving. Some will ‘get it’ eventually.

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  6. Thank you, LI, for a super bout of nostalgia. I’m almost 57 and grew-up in the rural west country. Jack Frost was a regular visitor during winter. Year round visitors in their vans included the grocer, butcher and fishmonger. Very little fresh veg was on offer – it pretty much all wilted or turned mouldy before it reached us. But, hey, I’ve managed to get this far on a diet that really would not be approved of these days. And I don’t remember any of my contemporaries at school being lardy, despite us all eating all the wrong things. I think the difference was the amount of fresh air and exercise we all got. I’d go off with mates just after breakfast, spend hours and hours mucking about in the woods or in the streams, and return home muddy when I got hungry enough.

    Although, thank God, they are all healthy and cheerful, I do worry about the lack of exercise my own kids get. When they were younger, both us parents were, I guess, a bit oversensitive to the “stranger danger” panics, so tended to play-safe and discourage roaming with mates as a recreational activity.

    And now, after years of paying into NI, it looks like there’s not going to be a payback. I’d already reckoned on working till I’m 70+ – that’s beginning to look optimistic. I wonder how the 16 year old buyers I deal with will react when they realise their supplier is managed by an octogenarian?

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    • Everyone used to have long narrow gardens where they grew a lot of their own food. I notice that now, new houses come with piddling little gardens that can barely support a dozen tobacco plants, and many of those old large gardens have new houses in them.

      I think those who sold their gardens for housing are going to regret it.

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      • Our garden was large, but parents’ time to cultivate it was lacking. And the marshy clay “topsoil” we had in that part of the world, heavy and bright yellow, would grow a few reeds but not much else. And the prevailing westerly winds off the Atlantic brought high rainfall and had even the trees stunted and bent over.

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  7. Engaging post.

    I’ve got a decade or so on yourself and one thing I recall of Grandma’s tenament were the gas lights. Gran used to howk up on a chair with her taper, lit from the grate, and fire up both lights either side of chimney stack, then leg it to the passageway and light up that one, set at very gloomy. It was a real palaver having to do this stuff in the bedroom, but the curtains were always open a smidgen at the top so we could see our way to the can (and the passageway light stayed on all night). And heating in the bedroom consisted of an Aladdin paraffin heater until I went to bed, then it moved to Mum & Dad’s bedroom. The bed was warmed in winter with a whacking great stoneware hot water bottle, plus one of those rubber jobbies (water boiled on the grate) that they took out before I hit the pit.

    It wasn’t a very big deal at the time because the street lights were still on gas. Same thing, man came round at dusk and fired them up.

    The glass surrounds were extremely fragile, but Gran had a bunch in stock, however the diffusers became a huge issue (I think they called them mantles). Mind myself and Mum in the late ’50’s legging it round Edinburgh until she found them at Grays of George Street. Cost a fortune and even then the guy behind the counter was astonished anyone would still be on gas lighting. Loved the light, loved the noise, but what a fuss.

    Anyway I’ve done a little research on the subject of pensions and looked at Cancer Research UK. They have a final salary pension scheme that’s index linked. Employee pays 6% and CRUK pays 18.9%. They also offer a stakeholder scheme fro their 3,500 staff and punter pays 4% and CRUK pays the same.

    http://www.employeebenefits.co.uk/item/3692/pg_dtl_art_news/353/pg_ftr_art

    The importance of this is that Sheila Duffy of ASH is actually employed as a “researcher” by CRUK (as is Ms Arnott). So too are three of the staff employed at The Centre for Tobacco Control at Stirling University (the rest are employed by them but not as researchers).

    http://science.cancerresearchuk.org/research/who-and-what-we-fund/browse-by-location/stirling/university-of-stirling/

    Checked the NHS and it’s the same very generous final salary scheme, with a lump sum option plus early retirement options.

    http://www.nhsbsa.nhs.uk/RulesandBenefits.aspx

    Excuse me stating the blindingly obvious but, if you take these perks for granted, it is so very easy to assume they’re the norm. They come from a very different place LI and have absolutely no idea whatsoever about the real issues that face the financially challenged. We’re just a great big amorphous mass of “them”.

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    • I have only vague memories of gas lights. I think they might have been in use in some of my grandmother’s friends’ houses. I do remember out-of-use ones still in the walls but disconnected. Now we have to buy dimmer switches to get the gaslight effect, and they don’t work with the new mercury-filled ecodim bulbs.

      You’re right, the public sector has completely dismissed those who pay for them through taxes. The ones at the top don’t even realise that the only reason there is any money at all is because the private sector generates it.

      That banking crash is nothing compared to what’s coming.

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  8. Forgive the pedantry but the “retirement age” you referred to several times is whatever you want it to be. The State Pension Age is what’s being moved about. The one thing that that pillock Webb has said about pensions that’s true is that if people DON’T want to work until 75, or 80, or whatever, they need to make some other provision.

    Thing is, not many people will be fit to work at that age – or want to. Neither will their employers want them. So they’ll be on jobless benefits long term; which means their income will be less than the State Pension + Pension Credit. Which means the Government saves money anyway, which is the purpose of the exercise.

    Automatic Enrolment “setting millions on course for a more prosperous retirement” is complete hogwash. Employers won’t make large enough contributions to matter much and will over time reduce wages by the amount of the contribution they DO make. Employees won’t make large enough contributions because they also want a house and would rather spend the money now because it’s still ingrained that Nanny will pick you up when you fall. No one mentions that the “employer” (read “taxpayer”) contribution to public sector scheme funds runs at around 24% of salary, typically. Under AE it’ll be employer, 3% of salary, employee, 4%, and the balance to 8% of salary will be tax relief.

    Basically, it kicks the ball about 20 years down the road so this lot will be safely retired on the generous pensions, and another generation has to borrow to solve the problem. Ponzi was an idiot and an amateur compared with contemporary government.

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    • Pedantry is welcome 🙂

      However, remember that I, for one, have been paying NI on the promise of free health care, free dental treatment and a pension at 65.

      Now there is no such thing as free dental care. the NHS wants to ban smokers (but keep taking our money). All that was left was the pension and now they won’t give me that either.

      So all those spam messages about reclaiming wrongly-sold PPI, about injury claims, about mis-sold endowment policies, they are fiddling with trivia.

      The no-win no-fee lawyers should have a go at reclaiming all those NI payments for everyone who will never see a single benefit from any of it.

      Now that would get me to read their spam.

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      • I think I’d have to quibble about the promises of free everything; ever since Aneurin Bevan (a socialist – *sigh* – but it would be, wouldn’t it?) rose creaking onto his hind legs and admitted that “the secret of the National Insurance Fund is that there ain’t no fund”, people should have been grasping the idea that health care, care in old age and state pensions are all at risk. Certainly for the last 15 years there’s been no excuse for believing these payments are securing anything. Anything at all.

        It seems to have been forgotten that during the final rotting-down of the Brown administration (if “administration” isn’t over-egging the custard) the government admitted to having sought advice on whether it was legal for them to default on public sector and State pensions. It is. The political game now is to make damn sure that some other bastard is holding the parcel when the music stops.

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        • Well, none of it was ever free. It was always funded by an extra income tax called National Insurance with no startup money and the hope that the economy would always grow, so there would always be more tax coming in to pay for it all.

          The promises were free. Promises are always free.

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    • Ah, but threepence, in the mid-sixties, was a fortune to a little kid. There were sweets so cheap you could never buy just one because a ha’penny was the smallest coin and that bought two!

      I think, now, it would cost Mrs. Grimshaw a tenner to get the kids to tell her she’s wanted on the phone.

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  9. The ” houses with ice on the inside of the windows” brought a smile to my face as my wife and I at the beginning of our married life back in the middle to late eighties, had that very experience. Character building, I tell you!

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  10. Best post I’ve read.

    I am moving to Andorra, where they grow tobacco, make their own cigars, where fags can be had from about £1.50 a pack (and booze is similarly cheap). Smoking is still allowed in bars & restaurants and almost everyone does (it seems like the national sport).

    Guess which country has the worlds longest life expectancy?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/worldservice/learningenglish/newsenglish/witn/2008/10/081015_andorra.shtml

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  11. Brilliant post Leggy. I will be 60 in May and remember all of those things you mentioned. Ice on the inside of the windows? Heh! my Welsh speaking Gramp had to break the ice on his tooth-mug to get his false teeth out of a morning 😉

    He lived to be 90+ as all my relatives seem to. Doing all the nasty things that are supposed to kill them young. He was born in 1882 and told me stories from the American Civil War, that returnee Welshmen who had fought in it told him as a boy. Born into a world of horse and steampower, where he helped the household coffers in West Wales by tending customers horses outside the Lamb in Hermon, to watching man land on the moon, and relishing every minute of his hard but eventful life.

    I’m doing my best to emulate my esteemed relatives, drinky-smokey, fatty foods if I feel like them, learning day by day to appreciate and savour the moment, and not just count the days. I fully expect to get to my ninties too, and have made my own provision for my doteage, for the Ponsi scheme that is the State Pension is already beginning to collapse.

    Yup, lovely bit of writing there good sir!

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    • Ah, my longest-surviving grandfather succumbed to pneumoconiosis. He smoked (Franklin’s Strong) so they tried to avoid liability but the blackness in his lungs was coal dust. He might even now have an afterlife modelling for cigarette packet warning signs!

      The oldest was an ‘uncle’ who was really my grandmother’s brother. In his late eighties they put him in a ‘home’ because he kept getting pissed and starting fights in the pub. He was a big man and even at that age, terrifying. The ‘home’ killed him through alcohol deprivation. In those days he could still smoke in there.

      I’d really like to see what would have happened if he had been told he couldn’t smoke indoors. Although, I’d like to watch from a safe distance.

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  12. A superb piece of writing, legIron: evocative and recalling many of my memories of a wartime childhood. It would be good to see restored some of the simple freedoms we took for granted when I was a young adult. Looking back I can think of some moments which helped steer us towards our present regimentation: for instance the undermining of traditions, socially and in religious observance (I’m thinking of the Church of England’s liturgical re-forms), the IRA campaign, decimalisation. Of course it is right to challenge what is hidebound but what has developed is a new form of authoritarianism under which, unlike in the 1960s the mainstream media are docile.

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  13. Awesome post, Leggy! I don’t post much here these days, but that one definitely raised the hackles!
    Do what I do to escape – drift into an alcoholic haze listening to ‘The Kick Inside’ and dream of leotards. Female pop-stars were hotter in the 70’s, too.
    Grr!

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  14. Spot on work there. Being 50 and 1 generation removed from the pits, a lot of that rings true.
    If I end up with either a state pension or my “final salary” one I’ll see it as a bonus, I’m certainly not expecting to ever see either, much like a carrot being continually shunted away from you, just beyond reach.

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    • It does feel like that – like being on a treadmill with that carrot always out of reach. Move faster and the treadmill just speeds up so you never, ever get any closer to the carrot.

      Eventually more and more people will realise that the only real option is to get off the treadmill and grow their own carrots.

      Like

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