sub plot: The Ageing Word
Birthday lunch at The Petwood Hotel, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire, a wander round the gardens and fountains. Lilley's friend Barney came along with his owner Marie W friend of Lilley's 'mum'. A grand day.
What do I mean by ageing? (Please don't be obvious and say 'we're all ageing'. I know that). Ageing means getting older in years. For me I'd start it at around late 50s upwards with proper ageing from late 60s. For others it would mean a lot younger. I place it according to my social life and (in many cases)a ficticious sex life but let's leave the sex talk for later paragraphs.
In the meantime, ageing and childlessness can have a whole different (and dare I say 'silent') affect albeit effect on a person. Community effects may include status loss, lack of respect and appearing a social failure. This might materialise as ridicule, including insults and verbal abuse (I'm afraid 'tis true in many cases), stigmatization or marginalization and thus becoming an outcast.
I've said it before, as a society we continue to pat ourselves on the back for our imagined atruism - after all - we're subscribed to the nearest animal charity. But ask someone to reach out to an ageing and childless person, in particular one who is living alone and you might find that someone wriggling on the end of a hook with unexplained embarassment. Different, you see? This childless thing - still they don't get it. Assumptions and almost always the wrong ones.
If your community is a good and caring one please start telling the many communities that are not how you've achieved this goal. I suspect it's simply the people who live in them. The unluckier communities attract like for like. I'm putting that one out there - feel free to disagree. It's a beef of mine, I guess you've gathered by now.
This person is a good one, and her beautiful family. Marie W and Barney the little dog. We were dining at The Petwood Hotel, Woodhall Spa, Lincolnshire. A very famous hotel and restaurant. This day had been my birthday so Marie suggested my favourite place to celebrate another year older (at my age - I mean? ) We had a super day wandering round the historical grounds. Historical for its many links to World War 2.
As ageing and childless one must look at a possible lack, or a growing feeling, of economic insecurity, including no care in old age, no family. No safe landing, no security net. No family.
Not necessarily contraversial talk but factual. Many of us here can vouch for that. Concerning especially if you, like me, are part of the above ageing and childless. Alone could mean so many things so let's assume you have little or no support which is exasperated by your lack of familial persons around you or close by.
Not exactly sexy talk either, so far. Because often, living alone, ageing, childless is dare I say seen as unsexy. Sexless - that's what you are. You don't have kids so you've 'never had sex'. Honestly, occasionally it's been known to allocate a brain to some sections of society. Some folk are too generous.
Because you're only perceived to be sexy if you have a partner? Any partner? Just get one, have one - OK? Preferably one with kids then you can commandere them as 'something to do with you'. Phew - close. For a minute there you thought you were going to be seen as ageing and childless didn't you? Therefore sexless. Thank God Kevin turned up with his merry band of reprobate offspring.
Since my last blog piece, a sex life has become something of a talking point amongst my dwindling friendship groups. Those willing to discuss are the 'olders' like myself. The youngers - not so much.
Basically, the young'uns have one and the old'uns don't. The young'uns don't necessarily want one and the (apparently) over sexed oldies do. It never works out right does it?
I was shocked. Where the hell do we go from here with the conversation?
Let me give this as an example of something, I know not what: yesterday Lil and I, as we were on our walk, meandered and sat on our 'gather yeself and breathe-in' bench. The peace, the birdsong, the sheep munching in the green fields yonder. Set in place for considered meditation so we (I say 'we') did. Suddenly, from nowhere, a collie type dog appeared followed by its elderly, male owner. Owner stood for a while chatting about dogs which was fine, by the way. Except he wouldn't go. Long, silent pauses but still he stood there. His dog began to bother Lilley who was sitting on my lap. She remained polite until she didn't, objecting loudly to being sniffed at her unmentionables. Still stood. Twenty minutes of inane conversation staggered by until I gave in and signalled the direction of the car park. He walked with us.
It really wasn't that exciting Lilley. And you weren't that keen on the other dog, be honest. It's Bramble or nothing for you. He was a tad forward, mind. You're a lady and don't appreciate inappropriate sniffing. Mean to say...time and place 😉
Look, I wouldn't have minded if talk had been interesting, funny, anything but stilted and (what my gran use to call) 'country'.
A nice enough chap and probably just wanted a bit of company - I don't know. But just why stand there and offer nothing?
He told me his age which was younger than me. He must have looked at least twenty years older, dear chap.
Say an older person, like myself and others, would very much like to meet someone. Have a tentative go at a sex life again. I've joined walking groups, art groups, pottery classes and, for an older like myself, met some smashing folk but no one you'd want as any sort of partner. A pal - not a jot wrong with that. But we're talking the old romance type stuff here I believe. Also, most are taken. (Hey - don't you forget it. Taken alright? Move away from the broom cupboard Albert).
When we talk about a sex life - and mostly we don't as we age - we are thinking firstly of sex within a loving relationship. Older women today are usually well preserved, fit, good looking people. Parking that one right there. Move on…
Our South Ormsby walk and talking a rest at the fences. Contemplating the greenery, scenery. Sometimes I do think 'alone again, naturally'. Who sang that song? Was it a sweet chap called Gilbert O Sullivan?)
Because I realised something as I've been writing about the subject of sex and ageing. Assumptions, expectations are not just low for we elders. They're non existent. I wondered if a sub conscious negative kicks in and tells us 'no sex you're over 60. Forget it'.
The menopause has impact, I realise that. But some years after it's gone and waved goodbye (and it does, by the way) we really shouldn't just assume a sex life is completely off the agenda - should we?
I think many of us do. So often, our man has given up, probably with relief as they hate making efforts don't they? I'll get letters about that one. Or we women can't be bothered. It's more a question of what's the bloody point? Life becomes comfy. I believe this needs further discussion - read on.
OK, here comes a spot of contraversial. If we were in France we might be looking for a Macron and possibly finding a watered down similar. That'd do fer me. Mme Brigitte M did and look how well it turned out for her. I'm saying please let's not assume we must give up. On effort, on a sex life because we're ageing - whatever ageing means to you.
Listen, I'm talking to we older girls and boys here. Because we're ageing we mustn't be 'ageing'. Don't be the definition of the youngers' perceptions.
Imagine having a sex life once more? Can you imagine? If anyone is awaiting my answer I don't have one. But I began to think of how sex is there - supposedly to be enjoyed and not just by the young. Supposedly for one's health sake and I can see how that would work.
But we can't simply go out and grab the nearest fanciable partner and drag off to the Disney like forest. Don't do that.
But I do think we ought to give thought to a reignition of this conversation of ageing and sex. I do think we should give voice to our expectations of partner material - established partner or living in hope. For if some of us were to go 'shopping' once more we'd be expecting a bit of alright. We might also be expecting a bit of how's yer father and we might get lucky. Ageing and sex shouldn't be a yucky subject. Not to we olders nor to the youngers. It's simply a subject like any other. It's a natural function like any other. Why can't it be spoken of amongst the aged without it being oohed and ahhed over like we've committed the umpteenth sin? How some of us wish for the umpteenth chance eh?
We talk constantly of ageing, medical, financial, alone.
At The Petwood Hotel grounds near the World War 2 carvings and memorials. Or the fountain, in this case. Marie has a lovely husband and family. She knows she's quite lucky but generously shares that luck sometimes with ageing and childless me. Isn't that fabulous? I believe I'm the lucky one in this scenario. Both Lilley and Barney were staring at each other out of sight of the camera, by the way. No idea why.
Wouldn't it perk our lives up to include 'sex life' amongst the questionaire?
And, is there the possibility sex could be seen as a medical attribute particularly for we olders? Remember how it used to make you feel in your younger days? I am being serious.
Sex on the NHS. Work that one out, social care.
I just wonder how much it might spark up potential partners' lives if they knew how many of us felt? Because, at present, it's assumed no one is interested in that 'sort of thing'. Are you? Could you be?
Where or how on earth do we men, women and anything in- between go to find a likely partner when we're ageing? And all joking apart, not simply for sex (although you might be doing - good on yer if so. Some of us like to shop around a bit, chew the cud before embarking on the fireworks). But how? Dating sites? I'm talking here of those of us without a partner by the way. Let's not get into the various kinks and unusual preferences of the subject.
So, anyway - to sum up- should we 'move to France' to Find your Macron? Or, indeed, your Brigitte? A BB or a BM. An EM would do for me. Too late. We're out the EU remember (sorry - political). They won't let us in anymore. Keeping their gorgeousness for themselves.
Let's keep the narrative going on this subject. I don't want to think of us all suffering like dried up old prunes because media hype portrays us that way. Ageing is normal.
Childlessness is a fact and has to become normal as childless is what many of us are. Still wanting to be sexy is a good 'un.
We may be older, childless, alone, and much more but we are damned sexy beasts. Don't you forget it…
PS: Finding Your Macron is the title of my next (next?!) book by the way. Did I not say?
Lilley and decided to finish with our new camera's efforts at a little video. Not great, I'll give you that but bear with. Lilley does look like this - all of the time, in case you're wondering. Not just for the camera. If I hadn't plucked her off the seat and placed her on the ground she'd have just gone on sitting there. She's decided she can't jump down so must be lifted. A face made for The Magic Roundabout.
Bye for now 💕💕
We'll end with our South Ormsby walk at Tetford, Lincs. It's Lilley's favourite xx