I’m reading Catherine Mayer’s “Amortality” at the moment… Subtitled “The Pleasures and Perils of Living Agelessly” it’s basically about the idea that people these days don’t have to – or choose not to – meet accepted rules on how you behave at any given age, and, basically choose to carry on having fun instead (like her scuba-diving 80-something father). Such people she dubs the ‘amortals’. It’s a great read.

Something of a contrast then with the building site I drove past in Filton yesterday, with its big billboard proclaiming “Celebrity Lionel Blair is a supporter of Churchill Homes”. (Rule number one, if you have to say ‘celebrity Lionel Blair’ he’s probably not famous enough; except in Lionel’s case, he is.) They’re building new accommodation for the over-50s. Scary thought – in four years time I will be eligible!

I know from my housing casework there’s quite a demand for such housing. I’m dealing also with a few complaints where people have moved into bungalows for a quiet life and then had their lives disrupted when the housing association has decided to place families with young kids there too.  The Council is now saying it’s doing a better job of matching supply with demand, so that the empty properties are being filled with people who’ll fit in better.

Each to his own; if people would rather move into semi-retirement in a quiet kid-free neighbourhood then good luck to them. But it’s fascinating how some 50 year olds can be so different and desire such a different lifestyle to others who are, on paper, the same age. Can you imagine Madonna or Richard Branson deciding it’s time to move into semi-sheltered housing?


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  • Rida  On June 3, 2011 at 6:02 pm

    My first thought was a bit of disbelief at your age! You look so much younger in Parliament, I always thought you were in your thirties! And Madonna in semi-sheltered housing seems unbelievable. I guess age is actually more about your body itself and how worn out it is rather than how many years you’ve lived in it.

    • kerrymccarthy  On June 4, 2011 at 12:13 am

      I think it’s as much about mindset and attitude (or are they the same thing) as it is about the physical. I know some people who were acting like their parents when they were still at school – and I know some 50 year olds who still haven’t grown up!

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