“Children are the future” “Catch them when they’re young”

How often do you hear statements like these? They’re common in the church, where clergy complain that “my church is full of old women”. Yes, yes, of course the elderly are valued members, they add, but what we REALLY want is young people.

Similarly, the chair of Table Tennis England recently wrote that “The future of our sport lies in young hands”. She acknowledged the valuable contribution of older people who make up the bulk of Table Tennis England membership, however … there was a “however”, it’s young people who are the future. Read More →

What better place to play table tennis than in a church? In the summer, I spent long hours invigilating exams in Temple Cowley United Reformed Church, and couldn’t help thinking what a good venue it would be for table-tennis – with the added advantage that it’s three minutes walk from home. So here we are four months later with Cowley Table Tennis offering weekly morning sessions for over-50s and evening ones for all-comers.

The building is a church on Sundays and hired to various organisations in the week. The table-tennis has nothing to do with the church other than it being a wonderful venue for our five tables. Nothing, except in my own mind. Because I have to admit feeling a teeny bit sacrilegious when I first placed our box of nets, bats and balls on the communion table. Read More →

Is the current age especially narcissistic? According to Twenge and Campbell, we’re in the middle of a narcissism epidemic. People today, they say, are particularly likely to think they’re smarter, better-looking, more important and more entitled than others. Read More →

So when are you going to retire? My husband’s just taken early retirement, and we’re the same age, so it’s natural for people to ask.

Never, I used to say. As a writer, I can carry on for as long as health and desire allow. I want to be like novelist Ursula Holden who wrote in The Author about how, at 91 and in a care home, she set aside an hour a day to write, despite exhaustion and arthritic hands.

But I have to admit it’s got me thinking. Read More →