I’ve always hung on the words of the old because they’ve got more, not less, life than the rest of us, and that is even more so abroad.
Where the elderly retain more respect than we give our senior citizens in the Ooo K.
And so as the UK wrestles with what to do with its Seventysomethings – and locking them away at home is being proposed…
Here are some of the older people who this energetic 54-year-old struggles to keep up with.
The Tobago touche
Auntie Ali and Uncle Kenneth: Tobagonians have more uncles and aunties than the rest of us on account that everyone who is old is… it’s a form of respect.
Auntie Ali and Uncle Kenneth run the Blue Crab in Robinson, Scarborough where Ali wiggles her bum-bum and Uncle Kenneth (and me) make the chicken curry.
The Barbados walkers
Geraldine and Betsy; The American sitcom King of Queens has Carrie’s pal Holly walk Arthur… for us it at Club Barbados it was Angela around the Platinum Coast.
That’s me and Betsy from the Virginia Ski Club of America.
Brigitte the yodeller, Switzerland: It was a stroll in the park on our summer walking trip around Interlaken.
Where 72-year-young Brigitte put us through our paces, stopping only to let us skim our stones and for her to yodel (no, honestly!)
Czech your stride, Prague: I’m just getting feeling back in my legs after My guide had walked the bones off me and my colleague Elise in Prague.
She also had a typically Americanised and underplayed way of describing those who had left a trail of destruction through her city… Stalin, for example, was a ‘bad guy’.
Over the hill in Austria
Ehrwald Presley: And they’re off… the walking groups from Ireland I trekked with in Austria, bombing ahead up the hills as I was just limbering up.
Before settling down at night for some oompah music with Austria’s answer to Elvis Presley.
Liberace’s pal: Well, it wouldn’t be Vegas without the bling.
And Beverley didn’t disappoint, sporting the jewels given to her when she worked at Li’s gaffe while also telling her lots of tales of Neon City.
A walk through history, Dresden: Schoolchildren wanting to know about history, and Dresden, would do better to talk to Greta.
Than dig out a history book… because Ingrid and her family straddle the Nazis and the Communists.
Colorado: There’s a message on a blackboard at the white-water rafting centre near Boulder, Colorado which flags up a nonagenarian
Barbara was in already to go without that challenge… alas, in the churning rapids. And broke her ribs.
Even African dictators
South Africa: And in Africa too where no matter who you are you deserve respect when you are an elder statesman, or woman.
Even when that elder statesman is Robert Mugabe.
Which was our big game drive ranger in South Africa Hewurt’s reasoning for why Robert Mugabe still held power.
While it is always worth stopping people in the course of their work, to ask them about themselves.
Like the charming old hotel worker Amos in Cradock in the Eastern Cape who had fought with the resistance and Nelson Mandela.