First of all, let me apologise and thank all those eagle eyed readers who spotted the error in last month’s leader article on page 4.
You are quite right that bus passes are not free to all over 60s in UK. If you live in Scotland, Northern Ireland or Wales you are entitled to claim for one from your local council aged 60 or over. In England you can get a bus pass for free travel when you reach the female State Pension age, whether you’re a man or a woman. And there are restrictions on the time of day that you can use it.
Perhaps if you have got one you can let us know if and how you use it.
St Valentine’s Day
So we hit February, the month for lovers, and this year we have the added bonus of it being a leap year.
Ladies, if you are thinking of taking the “leap of faith” and proposing to your partner let us know. We love a good romance here in the office and if I were not already happily married Daniel Craig would need to be very worried.
My husband proposed to me on St Valentine’s day in a crowded restaurant, taking the microphone from the cabaret singer and clutching a large bouquet of red roses. All the ladies shouted “say yes”, but many men in the room made a dash for the door or dived under the table. He got severely reprimanded by a few of the happily unwed men afterwards. But it just shows that romance it still important whatever your age.
Back to books
In the two weeks after Christmas I was laid low by a particularly nasty virus and had to spend time in bed, most unlike me. But it did give me the opportunity to catch-up on my reading. With the introduction of the e readers, the first Kindles being sold in 2007, the paper book has been under threat. Now you can download reading material on many devices, even on a smart phone, but it seems the book is fighting back. Sales of the e readers have virtually stopped and books are leaving the doors of Waterstones, Foyles and supermarkets in increasing numbers. The increase in Literature Festivals and interest in authors has revived the book trade. To me there is nothing to equal the feel and smell of a real book and to be able to dip in and out of its pages looking for clues and quotes. And you don’t have to buy them if you have a library card.
The 6th of this month is National Libraries Day and I know that our readers have expressed their support for this vital service. Yet again the local library is under threat, many are facing closure and most others reduced opening hours. The library is not just a place to borrow books but to meet and join hobby groups, learn local or family history, use the internet and get help and advice. It is a very important cog in the wheel of the community and of course, where you can collect your copy of MT.
When I grow up
What do you want to be when you grow up? A recent report sent to us indicates that whatever our age we still have the dream of what we wanted to be when we grew up. Do you have that dream or is it long forgotten? Or have you followed the career you always wanted? With opportunities to carry on learning some ambitions are still attainable. Okay, so in my later years and with a suspect hip I am never going to win a gold medal for gymnastics or play hockey for England, but I can still have a go at writing a book or learning another language.