June Blog



June blog


That pesky thing called a birth certificate and ageism.


This month is about ageism and how it is being directed at me! 


We are told not to judge a book by its cover which of course when it comes to books is a paradox. We make our choices online almost instantaneously by that very thing but when it comes to people we try these days, not to judge. 



I’m not judging you’  is a popular refrain these days and if I’m being honest, one I struggle with. 

I absolutely don’t jump to conclusions as I used to. I’m much more mindful and sensitive to the world of possibilities that may have occurred for the person in front of me to look and act the way they do. 

A far cry from the days when walking along the street with my mother in the 1970s would say, just a little bit too loudly…Ooh, the sights you see when you haven’t got your gun. 

Now that I reflect on those days,I realise she was always happiest finding fault. A default setting you could say.  However, a habit that didn’t really register with her as a bad thing. 


One of my very early faux pas comes to mind on this subject.

Picture this: I arrive via the back entrance to the large property as instructed. 

Sitting at the kitchen table, hunched over a newspaper is an elderly grey haired lady. 

I enthusiastically introduce myself, shake her hand and say. Lovely to meet you.  No need to get up. I’ll just get my bag out of the car and then you can tell me about lunch. 

At this point the inner kitchen door opens and in strides another elderly grey haired lady. 

The lady seated, waves her arm in her direction. 

This is the lady you will be looking after…!


How to make friends and influence people…not. 

I don’t remember now if any of us laughed ( I probably did) in between mortified apologies. 

I don’t think that particular carer and myself stayed in touch. 


So, apart from the obvious mistaken identity issues that can occur with live in care work I have recently discovered another real issue with age-ism. 


Since having to leave my wonderful home in the south of France (thanks Brexit) I have been struggling to settle in the country I was born in. That’s England by the way.

Yes, I’m English but it’s not my fault! I always tell my French friends, my mother was there at the time. 

This joke, I find,  is always a good test of reciprocated humour. They roar with laughter…my new BFF. 

Also, since Covid restrictions have lifted I never want to feel trapped again. Although to be fair as a Key Worker I could still travel for care work purposes, often having a train to myself and some lovely hotels ( for nights between clients) were offering rooms at a fraction of their normal price. There weren’t many silver linings but I grabbed the ones that were available. 

Now, here is my current dilemma.

Since October 2018 I have been doing various house shares, Airbnbs and staying with friends in France and Australia and of course the UK. 

Earlier this year I decided I wanted to continue travelling whilst I still could but juggling, a storage unit, Airbnbs and live-in care work has turned out to be quite the challenge so I began looking for another house or flat share, this time in Lewes. 

Cute, friendly town in East Sussex and just 30 minutes by train from Gatwick.

There are various websites that cater to such lodgings. 

A huge choice if you incorporate your search to include nearby Hove and Brighton.

Now comes the kicker. Each advert has an upper age limit. 

And yes, I have exceeded the preferred shelf life for just about every advert. 

To be fair, when I started to think about being a thirty something home owner, the thought of a 71 year old moving in would have been just…no way. 


What has been even more enlightening is the list of requirements these days. The number one being, vegans or vegetarians only along with, no working from home. 

So, cooking some delicious liver in a frying pan whilst writing my next best seller is a no, no. 

I did go and see one studio that was above what I could afford but no amount of Cif was ever going to make that place habitable! 

It seems, unfortunately, common practice to take photos when a place is brand spanking new and post those. Reality can be so disappointing. 

Apart from a list of requirements I also noticed a pattern with these house share adverts. 

Whatever the age of the person (sometimes the property owner) posting the advert, they use this as the upper age limit. 

Now, surely, that really is ageism! 


Am I your average 71 year old? I hardly think so but in a good way. 


Maybe I should post a picture of myself in my forties and list all my current interests. 

The latter have hardly changed but short of collagen implants I can’t fool anyone with my exterior appearance. 




The guy at the storage unit suggested I go and live with my children. 

I replied that I don’t have any. 

He went quiet for a moment before saying…What, none at all?!

So, I comically checked my bag, my pockets, my head…and replied. 


Still confused, he continued. But surely you want to settle down at your age?

He clearly hadn’t met me. Red rag to a bull. Although I am Aries and not Taurus.


Challenge accepted, I immediately thought. 

Embrace the freedom, I thought. 

Live out of a suitcase, I thought. 


Meanwhile, if any one wants a house trained, carnivorous, house mate, somewhere within 30 minutes of Gatwick, I’m your gal.