Busily bragging

Busily bragging
There are many ways one can tell that times have changed, and notice how today’s world is different from the past.Sometimes it’s in a single word – as with responses to the common greeting, “How are you?” More and more I hear this answer to that question: “Busy!” In my time the most common response to “How ...

No Deathbed for author Karel Schoeman 1

No Deathbed for author Karel Schoeman
I would have thought that an author who wrote movingly of deathbed reflections would embrace such an eventual life review for himself. Yet acclaimed South African writer Karel Schoeman chose to end his own life at the age of 77, rather than carry on living, writing and reflecting. Afrikaans writer Karel Schoeman commits suicide President ...

“For You” = especially for me?

“For You” – that was the tag on a present I recently received. It wasn’t giftwrapped and tied with a ribbon, but delivered to me digitally. It was a collection of music put together especially for me. Kind of like those mixtapes we used to make back in the pre-digital era. Algo-Rhythm “For You” was ...

Insights from the TV Guide

Insights from the TV Guide
I recently gained some new insights into aging from a rather unexpected source: the TV Guide. I’m talking about the magazine. I wasn’t clicking or scrolling through an online version or navigating the one on my TV screen. I was paging through the printed guide published monthly for subscribers of DSTV, featuring schedules of all ...

Dad Interrupted = Comedy Therapy 2

Dad Interrupted = Comedy Therapy
How will future historians assess these dark days of early 2017, with the world still reeling from what US and UK voters did at the polls the year before? In years hence, scholars of the early 21st century may credit a certain tonic for keeping depression at bay for millions of people all over the ...

Invisible Older Women 2

Invisible Older Women
I was sad to hear of the recent passing of South Africa’s first black woman novelist, Miriam Tlali. A loss for the country, I also felt it personally. Because I once met this world-famous author and spent a few days in her company. Unfortunately, I now realise, I failed to make the most of this experience. ...

Who wants self-destructing messages? 1

Who wants self-destructing messages?
“This tape will self-destruct in 5 seconds.” Those words were immortalised by the Mission Impossible spy thriller TV series. This warning of the imminent self-destructing of the taped message to the Impossible Missions Force launched every episode and cued the theme music. Since Hollywood helps us share memories across the ages, younger people will also recognise ...

Telomere care – it’s up to you!

Telomere care - it's up to you!
Want to live longer? Here’s how: “Have fun, get exercise of any kind, say something warm to somebody every day and enjoy healthy food.” If you think that sounds like a touchy-feely tip from a credentials-free healer, you’re wrong. Those are the words of a molecular biologist who won the Nobel Prize in Medicine. Dr. ...

Snowflake Generation: Insult of the Year

Snowflake Generation: Insult of the Year
I am not happy about the Insult of the Year. Not because it was hurled at me – I’m too old for it. This insult is targeted at the young. Their elders call them the “Snowflake Generation”. “Young adults of the 2010s, viewed as less resilient and more prone to taking offence than previous generations” ...

Are you a Superager?

Are you a Superager?
As a known sucker for the introductory phrase, “Studies show…” I have been studying yet another new study. It’s about a very small group of old people who the gerontological world has dubbed Superagers. This elite crowd are not just “good for their age” in the memory department. Their brains are measurably as sharp as ...