THE FREE TOWN GUIDE ABOUT HONITON FOR HONITON
PRODUCED QUARTERLY: SPRING • SUMMER • AUTUMN • WINTER
I’m thinking of setting up what sounds like it could be “Honiton’s first sex club”.
Don’t worry, it won’t be like that one down Totnes way which reportedly used to be very popular before social distancing made the actual mechanics of wife-swapping a bit of a stretch.
No, my club would be a sect’s club; a club for the marginalised sect of the over-65s.
“What a drag it is getting old,” The Rolling Stones sang in 1966 when we oldies were young, and Mick ‘n Keef were right, it’s an utter drag, society of 2021 seems to have forgotten us – or rather, it seems to have forgotten that our lives matter too.
Everything around me appears to be predicated on appealing to the young and thereby prejudiced against the old. You only have
to turn on Radio 4 to discover that; once it was the preserve of programmes for the mature but now the BBC has turned it into
a “yoof” club, crammed with programmes aimed at a younger audience who don’t listen to Radio 4 anyway.
And don’t start me on the maze that it is to negotiate to find anything new on the telly which was purposely made to intelligently interest the over-65s; once you take the excellent Repair Shop out of the mix there’s such a paucity of variety that your only option is to give up, open the gin and watch for the 119th time the episodes of Midsomer Murders and Poirot which is all that TV commissioning editors believe the old deserve.
It’s odd that society is so patronising and inconsiderate of the over-65s. Apart from the fact that there are so many of us (around 22% of the population of England and Wales and around 33% of the population of Honiton) that you’d think we could command greater attention, there’s also the matter of it doesn’t make good business sense – according to a study by the International Longevity Centre the UK’s over-65’s spending on goods and services is roughly £120 Billion a year.
Hello, you at the back there, are you awake? I said £120 BILLION! With that sort of spend available you’d expect more businesses would be falling over themselves to have some of it, to come
up with more imaginative and interesting goods and services specifically tailored to the old – for instance making comfortable, stylish brown leather loafers that don’t cost an unaffordable 180 quid a pair and thereby condemn us to all go around wearing cheap trainers like some sort of uniform to signify that we are old and have no other choice than to look like we got dressed in the dark.
From making shopping online impossible for the old who don’t use computers to the new trend of App-ordering in pubs, which is useless for us who don’t regard a smartphone as having the importance of a divinity, business needs to readdress its attitude to the old sect. There’s money in it, it’s not just moaning.
We are hoping Geoff Baker will be a regular for us and continue supplying us with his unique editorials
THE ANGRY OLDIE
BY GEOFF BAKER