Don’t dare call me a dotard!

Don't dare call me a dotard!
What do you want to be called? You, me and the rest of us Of A Certain Age. What term for “old” is preferable? Or rather, which word is least unacceptable? I am guided by the wise counsel of an American comedian who was cracking jokes 100 years ago. “It ain’t what they call you, ...

Proofreading – is it still a thing? 3

Proofreading - is it still a thing?
Is proofreading even a thing any more? My New Old Self feels strongly that proofreading should still be a thing. “Is it even a thing?” Look it up! Being a thing is totally a thing now, by the way. The phrase, “Is it even a thing?” recently made it into the Cambridge Dictionary. The definition: ...

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 ...

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 ...

Family Tech Support Guy to the rescue 1

Family Tech Support Guy to the rescue
“Do you have any games?” asked a boy of 5 who was visiting. Surrounded by grown-ups, lacking any kids his age to play with, he was understandably bored. I had to think a moment before responding, for it has been awhile since my home was geared for children’s activities. I was trying to remember where ...

RIP VCR

RIP VCR
The world’s last new Video Cassette Recorder (VCR) rolled off the assembly line at Funai Electric in Japan last week. This marked the end of the original home video format, 60 years after Ampex pioneered the technology and 40 years after JVC introduced it to the mass market. The Video Home System (VHS) was once ...

Studies show (sometimes): what we know 1

Studies show (sometimes): what we know
“Studies show” – you’ve read that here before. My New Old Self often cites research findings from studies on ageing. Studies can offer revelations and insights. Sometimes, however, they seem to simply confirm the intuitively obvious. Like a recent study revealing that pop music lyrics show “negative representations” of older people. Duh, our youth-loving, age-denying ...

I’m like: I don’t like it

I'm like: I don't like it
I’ve got a problem with the word “like”. I don’t like that “like” has replaced the word “said” in spoken English. People don’t say “I said” or “He says” much any more. Instead they say “She was like” and “I’m like”. As for me, I’m like: I don’t like it. But whether I like it or ...

Birding Lite 2

Birding Lite
I am tentatively considering taking up the hobby of birdwatching and I have Sonto Tembe to thank. This field ranger can spot any animal in the bush, but his specialty is identifying birds. I was lucky enough to be guided by Tembe on an early morning walk recently. Only later did I learn that to ...

Stop lying about your age and live longer

Stop lying about your age and live longer
Have you ever heard of a Play-White? It was a term for a light-eckinned black person who “passed for white” during South Africa’s apartheid era. My New Old Self has coined a term: Play-Young. Meaning old people who “pass for young”. I’m not talking Mutton Dressed As Lamb. I mean people who look and act younger than their ...