Tuesday, April 1, 2008

"You make me feel so young"

Who would think that a publication called The Oldie could make a reader feel young? I suspect it has this astonishing effect on the writers as well. It is a magazine which glorifies life, in all its facets. I had read about it for a while online, been to the website, and thought, nah, not quite old enough yet. Well, I think sixty is definitely the proper age, so I bought myself a subscription for my birthday, and shall be a subscriber until I drift off into the never-never. There are articles about books and gardens and travel and daily life. There are cartoons. It isn't always politically correct, depending where you are politically, but that only makes me love it more. This magazine brings together some of the best writers in Britain, and they write as they are. Some are light-hearted, some acerbic, some nostalgic. But every single one of them is good. How often do you find that in any publication? Maybe in the golden days of The New Yorker, but I don't think since. If this is being old, I welcome it. And I feel welcomed into their company.

I think I've always been an 'oldie' at heart. I've always loved the dead. When people talk sarcastically about 'dead white guys' - well those are my guys (and gals). It's the old books I love. And I've always loved the past. I would sit and listen to the grownups talk about the old days for hours. In my grammy's and then my aunt's little house there was a register in the floor next to the bed where I slept when we visited. Lying there in the dark, among her doilies and old sewing machine, in my bed on the linoleum floor, I was lulled to sleep by the downstairs voices, rising and falling as they left the living room and went into the kitchen for an evening snack. While others my age went out to a party on New Year's Eve, I'd sit at home, eating Christmas cookies, watching Guy Lombardo with my parents. Yes, I was a homebody even then. When Tom came into my life, he joined my mother and me. I've always liked 'elderly' pursuits like gardening and bird-watching. I love anti-macassars, though I don't have any. I love brocade-like furniture which you see every time I post a photo of a book for a book report. I love this old house. But existing side-by-side with the old stuff is my love for the new: new music, technology, home improvements, some new books. So, old and young, all in one, much like my now-favorite magazine in the world, The Oldie.


  1. I really ought to look more closely at The Oldie magazine. I've heard of it of course but had no idea it was full of such good writing. I'll see if I can pick up a copy in the newsagents sometime. Sounds like it might be worth checking out.

    Such lovely memories, Nan. And rather similar to mine... being lulled to sleep by the sound of the grown-up's voices while staying with my Gran. When I was older and staying with her on my own we'd toast bread on the dying embers of the fire late into the evening. ('Toaster' toast is not the same at all.) She had no TV so we nattered and did jig-saw puzzles together. Simple pleasures.

    But, yes, that said, I like new things too, new books, computers and so on. Although a computer for me is nothing less than a tool to communicate with as many people as I can. Which is actually quite an old fashioned idea I suppose. :-) Wonderful post.

  2. I haven't heard of this magazine before - thanks for posting about it - it sounds like a winner. Do you suppose I need to wait 2 years to fully enjoy it? :)
    I enjoyed your memories - I share some of the same ones. My bedroom growing up was over the living room. When relatives and friends visited, I'd open the vent a little and fall asleep listening to stories and laughter from below.

  3. I've never heard of The Oldie and have just spent some time looking at it on-line. Thanks for the link - it looks fascinating.

    No surprises here - I like old things too and I used to love listening to the grown-ups talking whenever I could. And Cath, we used to toast bread on the fire too - sadly I don't have an open fire anymore.

    I'm a bit more cautious about new things, although I enjoy using the computer enormously.

    One question, Nan - what is a register?

  4. I'm so glad you found my blog Nan, as now I have found YOURS and we have a lot in common. I live in the past, but couldn't be without a computer, or certain things of the modern age. I look on the computer as a vast dictionary and people repository! A bit like those old telephone exchanges where you took a plug from the bottom and hauled it up to plug into a hole on the board, only with people! I have now bookmarked you, you have been warned . . .

  5. P.S. As I'm 56 next week, perhaps I should look at The Oldie too!

  6. I'm an Oldie fan as well, and am still in my early fifties! It's the perfect antidote for all those other hideous publications for older people that treat them/us like we're all ga-ga and interested only in stretching classes, arthritis bangles and comfy shoes. Read on!


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