Piddinghoe

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PUBLIC AREAS: Are Hazardous to One’s Health. Living in the country, with a restricted bus service means that, most of the time, I must rely on my car to get me around. Going to Brighton, with its excessive parking charges, dictates travelling by the regular coastal bus rather than by car. This is fine until one boards a bus full of adults and children coughing in all directions. Alas, last week I made such a journey and my ‘reward’ for this was a very severe chest infection which has laid me low for over a week, hence no Parish Pump last week.

WHAT SHALL WE DO: With the Inebriated Fox? Periodically, we obtain spent hops from brewers to use as partial feed for our pigs. (They love it). It arrives in small sacks which are stacked in our open tractor shed. Mysteriously, some of these sacks were found with holes made and, on two occasions, sacks had been pulled out of the shed and on to the farm track. How could this be? The answer was found the other morning when a fox was seen actually trying to extricate a sack from the pile. I jest about the possible inebriation as all alcohol has, as the word ‘spent’ implies, been removed but the very strong, obviously attractive aroma remains.

AGEISM: Every day I become more and more incensed by occurrences of ageism. Although we are all human, we are also all very different. One person may be old at 60 whereas another may stay young at 80. It depends on many things, health, genes, interests, hobbies, active brain and state of mind, to name but a few examples. To think oneself as old at a certain age could readily contribute to one becoming so, but the most irritating form is that enforced by officials who cannot see beyond the age written on the page. Everyone does not become senile with age. Think about the number of authors eg P D James, writing vigorously in her eighties or actors eg John Guielgud still going strong in his nineties. If only the powers that be would allow senior citizens to carry on doing what they want to do and not impose restrictions. Take driving for instance. More accidents are caused by newly qualified young drivers than by those who are old. Obviously, if one’s reactions have become slower or one’s eyesight is not as good, then these matters must be considered. However, this latest idea that all older citizens should cease driving at 70 is appalling. How are they supposed to get about, especially if they live in the country where bus services are inadequate or cease in the afternoon? Are we going to render these persons prisoners in their own homes? I believe if all of the ageing population, which is growing all the time, formed a Senior Citizens Political Party, the tide could soon be turned. The BBC should also run an Annual Aged in Need appeal programme alongside that of Children in Need thereby lifting the needy, lonely and forgotten of our Nation to the position that they deserve.

SMILE FOR THE DAY: Avid reader Adam was badly injured by a pile of books. It was said he only had his shelf to blame.

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