Much ado about manuals 1

Much ado about manuals
What is it like to get old in South Africa? It’s okay when the lights are on – but since late last year the country has been experiencing rolling blackouts known locally as “loadshedding”. Every block in the national grid has a 2-hour daily slot without power. So you listen to the radio or check your phone app to find out if loadshedding is on. If ...

Cover Girl at 65 1

Cover Girl at 65
How does a 65-year-old get on the cover of a top fashion magazine? It was Caitlyn Jenner’s Welcome to Womanhood. Do you applaud Caitlyn Jenner because she is brave or because she’s pretty? – transgender writer Meredith Talusan in the UK Guardian. The question could be rephrased: Do you applaud Caitlyn because she is brave or ...

Older women at Cannes 2

Older women at Cannes
Nowhere is the media’s double standard in aging between male and female more glaringly obvious than at that annual glamathon on the French Riviera, the Cannes Film Festival. This year the main Cannes jury was headed by writer-director-producers the Coen Brothers, the first time two people have shared this role. The most lauded film of ...

Unfollowers? Lucky I’m Too Old to have any!

Unfollowers? Lucky I'm Too Old to have any!
When I see the word “Unfollow” I immediately think: LITO! Perhaps you’ll recall the internet slang-style acronym My New Old Self coined for those situations where it’s actually better not to be young: LITO, meaning Lucky I’m Too Old. I enjoy finding opportunities to use LITO, if only to mutter it under my breath with ...

Happy 21st Birthday, South Africa! 1

Happy 21st Birthday, South Africa!
South Africa’s non-racial democracy celebrates its 21st today so My New Old Self is republishing this personal exhibit of  anti-apartheid badges (or political buttons or whatever you call them) worn by My Old Young Self 30-40 years ago. Those were the days when many of us around the world protested against apartheid in South Africa and campaigned ...

Baby Boomers vs their grown-up babies

Baby Boomers vs their grown-up babies
We are all foreigners somewhere. Here you are part of us, but over there you would be one of them. Somewhere, some day you may be a foreigner. Then you could be a victim of xenophobia. Ageism is unlike any other ism or phobia. You could avoid xenophobia by never leaving your homeland (although poverty ...

Still in the CD past – like a stuck record 1

Still in the CD past – like a stuck record
I remember a day in the 80s when a friend proudly unveiled his new music system. We were still listening to cassettes but he had switched to the latest format. You had to buy new equipment to play those shiny disks, but prices came down and soon we were all listening to CDs. I don’t ...

It’s Hard Out Here for a Gogo! 3

It’s Hard Out Here for a Gogo!
My New Old Self decided to find out what it’s like to get old in the countryside. I visited the bucolic Ofafa Valley in South Africa’s province of KwaZulu Natal, described by author Alan Paton in his famous novel. “There is a lovely road that runs from Ixopo into the hills. These hills are grass-covered and rolling, ...

Device overload? LITO! 1

Device overload? LITO!
Here’s an opportunity to use my new acronym for those aging in the digital age: LITO, for Lucky I’m Too Old. There is growing evidence linking overuse of digital devices to memory loss and depression in later life. My response? LITO! Lucky I’m Too Old to worry about things that may happen decades hence. Lucky ...

Old lecture young – a fail even when sung 1

This intergenerational thing can be tricky – as evidenced by the negative reaction from French youth to a polemical new song aimed at fund-raising for charity food banks. “You had everything — peace, freedom, full employment, We have joblessness, violence and AIDS.” – young singers’ lyrics of Toute la Vie (All Life Long) ”Everything we have, we had ...