It is not easy growing old.  It’s certainly not for the faint-hearted.  Not only must we contend with stiff joints, achy muscles and diminishing senses, we are constantly being put in our place by the youth.

Not so long ago grey hair was considered to be a crown of glory.  Wrinkles signified wisdom.  Respecting elders was taken for granted.

I was born too late for that era. I therefore have the dubious honour of maturing in a time when OLD is to be avoided at all costs.  Grey must be washed away.  Anti-aging, wrinkle cream applied daily.  And that middle-aged spread must be kept at bay by gyming.

I find it fairly easy to ignore the pressure of modern society to dye my hair, get botox/lypo treatments, and hire a personal trainer.  I am slowly growing my crown of grey, I am content with my body shape and I get enough exercise walking, gardening and cleaning.

What I do find frustrating is modern technology.  Well, not the technology itself.  I actually love the internet and apps and social networks and computers and gadgets, etc.  My annoyance lies with younger people who assume I know nothing about the above mentioned items.

I once moaned that my phone was responding slowly.  It was taken out of my hand and the young person next to me began poking buttons and closing apps in an attempt to speed things up.  When I was trolling through current movie trailers in my browser, another whippersnapper nearly knocked me out of my seat in an attempt to show me a better way to search.

Since I was born before the advent of the PC, it is taken for granted that I know nothing whatsoever about computers.  Or smartphones.  Or tablets.  And I am surrounded by young people who need NO help or advice, because they know everything.  And if they don’t know something, they start typing on their Wi-Fi enabled devices, and they have the answer in minutes.

I suppose that is why I got such a charge the other day when my daughter asked me to help her.  She purchased a “vintage” manual Royal typewriter  (circa 1960).  Being a journalism student and a design boffin, she was thrilled to sit down in front of this exciting “new” piece of equipment.  She asked me how to make the curser go to the beginning of the next line.  I showed her the carriage return lever.  She pointed to the ‘shift’ key and asked what it was for.  I suddenly realised that she had no idea how to operate this (simple) piece of equipment.  (I mean, how could she?)  I delightfully spent the next half-hour explaining all the parts of the machine to her, from the carriage and ribbon to the type guide and the type bars.  I demonstrated how to feed a new sheet of paper into the platen and the magic of making words appear on the paper by striking the keys (firmly).  And when the carriage neared the end of a line, a little “ting” sounded.  “My typewriter has a bell!” she squealed with delight.  I smiled.

For the first time in a long time, the old woman had valuable knowledge.

typewriter

 

 

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