31 August 2007

Elderly woman killed

I read this in an AFP (Agence France Press) article in English a few days ago:

LA ROCHELLE, France, Aug 17, 2007 (AFP) - An elderly British woman was killed Friday when a tree crashed onto a pavement cafe in the historic French port of Brouage, a tourist hotspot on the Atlantic coast, local officials said.

The 61-year-old woman's daughter, in her thirties, was also injured in the accident, which occurred at around 11:00 am.
The italics are mine. Since when did 61 become "elderly"? That's what I want to know. In another article I read, somebody said that "60 is the new 40," as in "Life begins at 60." Welcome to the 21st century.

If you look at Claude's blog you'll see the coincidence
with this picture I took day before yesterday.

Claude, whose blog in French is Vieux c'est mieux, rejects terms like elderly, senior citizen, or golden years in favor of just plain old "old" — and I think I agree with her. Some days I feel old at 58, but then some days I probably felt old at 38. As one of our neighbors who's about 60 said to me the other day, you don't feel any older in your head as your body ages. It's all in the way other people see you. Sartre said « L'enfer c'est les autres. » So you all just ought to cut it out!

Walt begging Callie not to chase and bark at the lawnmower
when he starts it up and tries to mow the grass.

Claude has also tagged me for a meme (if you know what that is). I'm supposed to tell you seven things you might not know about me. And they are supposed to be interesting, I think. I'm working on it, but I think I've already told everything I'm willing to tell the world about me on this blog. I'll come up with something. And I have to do it in French, which means I have to do it in both languages...


  1. Sorry, you must hate me! Hadn't thought it would make you write the post twice! :(
    But then, think of it as good practice ;)
    NOW you must really hate me!

  2. 60 is sounding younger and younger to me -- but I guess that's just because I'm getting older! Elderly at 61? Never!

  3. Wow, Ken, seven things we don't already know. This could be very interesting!

  4. In press terms, 61 was elderly until relatively recently. Much more interesting is why these sorts of reports feel the need to quote people's ages at all - and it seems to be women more often than men.

  5. My mother always says the same thing about aging. You feel the same inside, but you look in the mirror, and it can be a shock. Who is that old lady?

    I don't know whether 60 is the new 40, but I do know when my grandparents were 60, they seemed (and looked) much older than 60-year-olds do today.

  6. Except for some aging body parts, I don't feel old. I think people keep in better shape now and some hair dye doesn't hurt either.


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