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Growing old disgracefully…

Some people say I’m nosy. I prefer to consider myself eternally curious. I also must look friendly and approachable and probably not an axe murderer waiting for their next opportunity to commit an atrocity because people tend to ask me to take pictures or for directions.


And the other day, a nice lady did exactly that, and I couldn’t help noticing that the group of kayakers who were posing with their life jackets on were not, shall we say, in the first flush of youth. What they were was happy and boundlessly enthusiastic, so after educating me on the difference between kayaking and canoeing, they explained that they were a group of people over seventy who were organising their own activities. Now, I don’t know about you, but coasteering, cliff climbing, kayaking and hill walking wouldn’t be the first thing that’d come to mind when I thought of activities for the over seventies, but gosh, what an inspiration!


They were fit, they were active, they were winding up each other, and me, and I felt humbled in their presence and left looking forward to the day when I’d be old enough to join in. When asked about my age, I usually say ‘old enough to know better, but young enough to do it anyway’, but these guys were taking that to a whole new level and taking a few more breaks than they once did, but otherwise going right ahead and having loads of fun in the process.


This was exactly the spirit I’m trying to capture in my new Harbourside series which follows on from Lavender House (and the last book in that series is out in September.) The sense that ageing involves finding things as well as losing them. The fact that that generation has so much to offer and so much lived experience that’s very quickly dismissed. The fact that living longer may well mean starting new relationships later in life and with so much more baggage.


Most of all, I want to capture the spirit of that group of people sitting in the sun as they prepared for their next adventure and their horrified relatives. And you know what? It wouldn’t surprise me at all if horrifying their relatives wasn’t a big part of the fun!


So, to today’s picture, which was another thing I didn’t expect to see. It’s a microlight aircraft which was taking off and landing on Harbourside Park and soaring over the sea. I’ve never done that, although I have been taken up on a tandem hang glider with a boyfriend long ago who was determined to cure my fear of heights. So I did that, and abseiled down a building and did a parachute jump for charity and at the end of it I could tell him with absolute confidence that I am NOT scared of heights. What I’m scared of is hitting the ground with a massive thud and breaking every bone in my body, so I intend to continue to watch and admire and imagine what it’d be like with my feet firmly on the ground and my head in the clouds while I dream of happy beginnings and finding new love and having adventures while I can hit save and go off for a cup of tea whenever I like.


Have a good week and as much adventure as you’re comfortable with…




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