It’s no accident (except perhaps an accident of birth) that when Pete Townshend wrote My Generation in 1965, aged 20, he was referring to the postwar baby-boom generation.
Despite the words of the song, I doubt he expected to die before he got old because, to quote a crusty member of the Old Generation, we had never had it so good. My generation was raised on cod liver oil, unsweetened orange juice and free school milk. At school, to be together in a class of 35, housed in prefab huts seemed far from a disadvantage.
Then came O levels… A levels even. Some of us were lucky enough to form pop-art inspired rock bands and/or go to university together. We were the first generation to have that kind of opportunity freely laid at our feet. We rebelled and marched together, married together and our own children formed part of another bulge, an outer ripple of our own post-war baby-boom.
Sometime later, in the eighties or nineties, we found ourselves running things together, dealing with divorce and mid-life crisis together. Now, post-all that, we are able to contemplate the options of the golf course or holing up in a retirement commune in deepest Dorset together. Some of us, including Pete Townshend, are still working — that’s My Generation.
Thanks to the cod liver oil, most of us have enjoyed better health than our fathers. It won’t be long, so they tell us, before the average UK male can expect to live to age 80. And so it comes full circle. For our generation, the prospect of living to 80 or more is rather like the opposite of being a teenager. Like the teenager this age group can be rebellious, irascible, restless, given to not cleaning our rooms and, sometimes, ourselves. Unlike the teenager, we are beyond blaming our parents. We’ve acquired experience along the way and, some might say, a fair amount of wisdom.
This blog, originally called “Not Dead Yet!” is the blog for the generation who are old enough to remember cod liver oil and free school milk and young enough to care! We chose greyhares because we like to think ourselves not only older and wiser and, with luck and appropriate medication, we can still give the kids a run for their money.
Our aim is to offer a quirky, rebellious, restless, sometimes provocative, sometimes humorous take On Being Older. Read on!