Yesterday I applied for my OAP ( yes I am that old now) yes you have to apply for it that was news to me. It was pretty easy in the end and the results soon should be a bit more cash and we will see what happens.
There have been huge changes in pensions and I am lucky that I spent so long in the RAF and left with a reasonable pension. Many are not so lucky and as the age for pensions keeps rising I fear for future generations, pensions may be a thing for the rich in the future? Many are having to work for a lot longer despite the effects of what their job may have done to them, not all are fit enough to work on.
My body is fairly battered after 50 years on the hills, averaging 150 hill days a year for over 30 years. I learned so many lessons, many later on in life. The constant battering of the weather, getting cold, soaked and the many falls, trips and carrying big loads stretchers etc have taken their toll. Epic days huge carry – offs many at night in winter they are hard going, the wet/ cold bivoack on a call – out. The big avalanches days of digging , the dealing with tragedies they all take a toll on the body and the mind.
Yes I did it as I wanted that life but I had no option with some I was in the military. My job was unloading rations, unloading ships in the Persian Gulf in the early days 70,s back breaking work with no manual handling training and equipment. Nowadays we are far more aware and I ask the young especially to take care with their bodies you only have the one.
The mountaineering rescue expeditions and the many years of lifting at work in the Catering industry unloading wagons and stores it all catches up with you does age. Yet I never regret a minute and despite the bad backs and battered body I hope I have plenty of years left to wander the hills, coast and golf courses and stay in reasonable health.
I looked at some photos and had a laugh as the body gets fatter the hair thinner and the glasses thicker but what a wild time I have had and there is more to come, all being well. The days will not be long but just to be out enjoying the wild places and the company of old pals is invigorating and helps keep you young.
When young you rarely think of old age but it is worth looking after yourself as best you can and ensure that engine your body keeps running for the next 30 – 40 years any tips to do that?
I felt old when out in Italy camping for a week whilst on the via Ferrara camping with a few amenities is hard work now. I miss a bed and some comfort yet I will be bothying this winter but taking two mats to sleep on !
A few of mine.
Think young, act young, dress young not like a OAP.
Keep exercising as much as possible as you get older and at work at times more time spent in management you end up not being so active a lot of sitting, going to meetings and so it starts. The weight can be easily put on, you eat more and 14 hour night shifts at the ARCC did not help.
I put on lots of weight and lack of exercise added to it at that key age 50 – 55 you get so unfit if you do not look after yourself. Do a little every day I find step counter are good to intensify your exercise. My job before that was at RAF Innsworth near Gloucester travelling every second day to different camps to carry out audits, it was an awful unhealthy life, so busy and hard to exercise. It involved long drives in the car and a busy lifestyle but that was the job. I managed to get out most weekends with the RAF MR teamS if only for a day worth even more travelling but great for the health and my brain.
Watch what you eat and drink it all adds up. I keep a food diary!!!! I hardly drink alcohol now after my illness,
Carry as little as you can on the hill, buy as light gear as possible.
Ski poles are an essential I have used mine since 1980’s
Think of new objectives , new hills, climbs, walks keep active.
Get out no matter what a wander along the beach or forest in bad weather is still magic.
I visit the Chropodist every 3 months a great tip! It works for me and my foot problems have virtually stopped! Your feet get battered over the years and deserve some TLC ?
After a hill day of damp I change my top socks etc before driving home . In summer I wear sandels to give the feet a break on the way back home. It all helps.
On long journeys I stop on the way home and stretch the legs if driving more than one hour and a half.
I also rehydrate on the way home plenty of water carried in the car that helps with my recovery,
Take lots of photos and plan future adventures.
Get out with young folk they keep you young and teach them your skills learned the hard way.
If injured give your body time to recover. If you get ill the chances are you will get sorted by the NHS but as I no after 3 years of operations recently its your mental strength and fight that will help you recover. I found that a few of my pals cannot cope with old age, the loss of fitness slowly and the slow recovery from injury are part of life. Mental health is a huge fact of getting old and yet we rarely speak about it, keep your eyes on your mates we all have our Achilles heals no matter how hard we think we and they are.
I look round and I am surrounded by so many role models who are climbing, walking, cycling into their 80’s and onwards, thanks for that,
Live life to the full and live it every day, so many would love to be like us and fit enough to enjoy what we have. Maybe a bit slower than we were but it gives you time to take it all in.
A bit more on pensions –
The civil servant responsible for increasing the state pension age to 67 is retiring at 61 with a £1.8 million pension pot. He will receive £85,000 a year and a lump sum of £245,000 He’s the secretary for the Department for Works and Pensions
His name :Sir Robert Devereux – We are in it together?