Posts Tagged ‘Smoking’

The Mobility Scooter looms for millions.

October 9, 2016

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You know that when the birth rate drops below replacements, we oldies are all going to suffer. Even Catholic Italy, which used to pride itself on breeding like rabbits are now not replacing its citizens fast enough to replace the dying. In Australia we still have a healthy intake of migrants, but even here the ageing population is putting a strain on almost all services. I wonder who will visit me when placed in a care-home? In Holland they have already introduced a form of visiting the elderly by harnessing school kids in volunteering to visit the lonely oldies staring wishfully behind their ‘updated’ aged-care windows. I am not sure I would welcome a know-all eleven year old to visit me. It could be boring.

In Holland too, they now try and ‘update’ elderly care which in many cases means less staff and heightening the bar for entry into an ‘aged care facility.’ One has almost has to have one foot in the grave or half-way into the crematorium-oven before a place might be found into an old age home. By that stage, most elderly have exhausted their savings and the kids inheritance. Fat chance now of cranky kids visiting Grandpa sipping his weak tea! This is why more and more old people are encouraged to keep going without needing ‘updated care’ in the horrors of an Anglican ‘Eventide’ facility.

I suppose, my own ‘Government initiated Health Assessment’ is one effort to keep me on my toes as long as possible. Strange, that Helvi has not received that request! Perhaps women stay healthy longer? This explains that old age homes feature mainly women. It must be very challenging for an old man to be surrounded by mainly elderly women and their never ending talk of ailments, the weather or food. 😉 Smiley!

One of the advances made in keeping us mobile is not just to keep on walking but also the availability of the mobility scooter. More and more seem to prop up. I believe one has to be in need of one of those before one can get one. Are they licensed or does one need to get a test done? With many an elderly person slowing down and reacting more slowly, I wonder if accidents occur? With two of those coming from opposing directions will the footpaths need widening. What about in super-markets? Do they fit in between the turnstiles. What about inside the shops? Will the lane between Toilet Paper and Asian Food facilitate the mobility scooter. I have witnessed a local woman parking her mobility scooter at the local hospital, and seemingly quite sprightly, walk up some stairs to enter and possibly visit a sick friend.

In the local Australia NRMA ( Road and Motorist) organisation’s magazine a bewildering assortment of the Mobility Scooters are now advertised. Some come with shopping bags, either in front or stowage opportunity below the seat. It shows turning circles and tip-over ratings. I noticed a local man happily scooting along while puffing away on his cigarette. I wonder if his smoking has caused the need for his mobility scooter. Did he develop diabetes and did he get his toes amputated as a result? Apart from smoking I noticed him taking photos around the place. It is an admirable way of ageing while keeping on his toes!

We still are walking each day. No need to think of a scooter. It will come about that walking will get less. I do believe that road rules will have been introduced for those mobility scooters by then. What about parking those scooters. Imagine the queues at shopping centres? Will there be incidents of Mobility Scooter rage? I can hardly imagine special ‘invalid parking’ spaces for those scooters. There will be millions of them!

It makes one wonder.

A Room of one’s own with basic Furniture

January 6, 2013


A room of one’s own with basic furniture.

This is what most of us yearn for. A kind of space that welcomes us without criticism or mouldy remarks.  Better not to have anything in it as yet, but a chair might be considered as the basic and most essential piece of furniture to start off with.  Old furniture talks and have stories to tell especially if one is used to spending days in solitude on own thoughts and remembrances.

A mistake that many make is buying new furniture. Of course new furniture is without stories and is best left to buy for those that are either, as yet, without stories or are unable to tell worthwhile stories. Much of new furniture have such unyieldingly hard materials, nothing ever can be taken in. Or never even, harsh as this might seem, leave a story worth telling. So, the dilemma is profound here; either risk stories from others on pre-loved aged furniture or no stories at all on new furniture.

Some years ago we inherited a comfy reclining chair which we used in our first room at King’s Cross. The seating part was quite low with soft kapok filled buttoned down dark brown cushions, both the seat and the backrest. It had a movable back that with the use of a brass rod could be moved forward or backwards by fitting this supporting rod in the groves of the arm rests at the back of the chair. The further back the rod the more the recline. It would not surprise me that those that recline the furthest down have the better stories to tell. Sitting up straight doesn’t encourage story telling. The lumbar and vertebrae are compressed and this blocks vital story telling nerves, just ask Sigmund. He knew a thing about the libido of women and free association without any hindrance, but…. always on a reclining couch. We all know that no stories are more riveting than those told from women who relax horizontally, especially if accompanied by a suitable noble-man smoking a Henry Winterman.

Freud was a great cigar smoker and indeed, understood its addiction but also thought it was a great surrogate for and from masturbation. “The one great habit,” he conceded to Carl Jung, never specifying which one it was.

The type of reclining chair that we bought was the same my father had throughout the years I lived at home. He would recline in it and smoke his Douwe Egberts, while his wife cooked the evening meal. He was a pensive man inclined to stare ahead of himself as if lost in his musings. He might just have been relishing his cigarette without wanting to spoil those moments with chatter or idle doodle-talk. The chair facilitated this pastime with perfection and curling rings of smoke was the very proof of it.. The angle of recline just right and I doubt there could have been a chair that would have better fulfilled the role of a man and his cigarette. On the right hand arm rest he would have an ashtray that invariably, but not always, would tip over on the floor when we ran amok past the chair. There were so many children then, and the house was small. This would upset my mother but did nothing to unbalance the equilibrium of dad and his cigarette ensconced in the chair. He would barely notice and just continue with yet another glorious puff.

Now-a-days, any story alluding to smoking could well be frowned upon, but… it used to be normal, let me tell you. I smoked myself, but not anymore. I am so much the better for it, or am I?