“Excuse me love – are you on the coffin dodgers bus too? Says the pink haired lady with a rubber duck headress… I have arrived at Sloane Square London and it is buzzing with exuberant self-expression and colour. The Advantages of Age dynamic duo of Rose Rouse and Suzanne Noble
have got together this event funded by The Arts Council held atop a vintage London Routemaster Bus. Us folk are invited to celebrate what it is to be from the baby boomer generation. Oh what a joyous life-affirming ‘OutAgeous’ sight greeted my arrival; Flamboyant Ladies and a spattering of Chaps 40-80 years young, dressed to thrill, draw attention, be visible, connect, make new friends, greet old ones, grow empowered. Rose and Suzanne are the vanguards of a zeitgeist global movement of ordinary extraordinary older people who are showing that there is no time between now and infinity to waste with your feet up. Rose and Suzanne – you Ladies sure do lead by example!
I dug out this photo of my East London Grandma and her sisters in the 1950’s.
They would have been roughly the same age as this shit kicking group and it made me squeal out loud: Fanny-Eliza, Saphire-Matilda and Charlotte Louisa would be horrified by such behaviour… They would have seen us as a group of brazen hussies as we waved and screamed from the open top bus as it caroused around London, making stops to strut our stuff, have photo ops, drink fizz, dance and LAUGH – oh how much laughter there was. Good job I have a strong pelvic floor, or the summer rain wouldn’t have been the only thing running across the floor! Embracing 60 plus for me is about living a life far removed from Fanny, Min and Lil, whilst acknowledging that they were the pioneers of the freedom I never, ever take for granted. I love them, they are my roots, but……
Lets be honest, through financial necessity many of us will be working in some form or another till we attend our own funeral parties, (Flamboyant Funerals as one FB thread suggested) hopefully doing what we love, so why shouldn’t we be having as much fun in our own way as the young ‘uns? This world needs hashtags like: livefastdieold, advantagesofage, notdeadyet, ageingcanbefun, theinvisibilitymyth. With the challenges that we face as we grow older, we need this diverse, inclusive global community network of our own, with it’s shared ethos of supporting each other whilst endeavouring to live our individual lives to the fullest. My flame has not dimmed with age, it is roaring, occasionally with the need for medication, but still… I strive to empower the young people in my life by being a role model who is visible, opinionated, empathetic and hopefully a bit wise. They should be seeing that there is much to look forward to in their own dotage if they keep on keeping on.
This highly visible, glorious movement is not just colourful, entertaining fun, it’s also about connectivity, community and support, so I say it again: Fuck Invisibility!