Great galloping grannies

Cover of The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the RulesThe writing is on the wall for restful retirements and going gently into that good night. It’s just not enough now to hand out sweeties to the grandkiddies and have a monthly perm. And no one is expecting any words of wisdom from you either.

Instead pensioners are required to recreate themselves. Nowadays, you must become more interesting, eccentric even. And don’t start whimpering that you have no good role models,  because here’s two for starters:

The 100 Year Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared was first past the starter’s post in this new geriatric genre. Hot on its heels we have The Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules. And despite the light approach in this book, the message  is clear that we take bad care of our elders: the old ladies work out that they would be better treated in prison than in their old people’s homes, hence their crime spree.

And if you do have to reminisce (“when we” this and “when we” that), make sure you’re upbeat and that they get the message that growing old is So Much Fun. And that you really want them to know that you had The Time of Your LifeCover of The Time of Your Life, an adorable little book of quotes and witticisms compiled by John Burningham.

Everything goes full circle, so they say, and you might like to scrap actual reading and dip into a couple of adult picture books instead. Granny Alphabet by Tim Walker has gorgeous, quirky little sketches of game old birds.You’ll probably recognise someone you know – and it may well be yourself!

Live your life to the full, is what comes across so humorously in all these books. But I’d also like to read some factual accounts of pensioners camel packing across the Nullarbor Plain, or paddling up the Mekong. Do you have any suggestions for me?


5 thoughts on “Great galloping grannies

  1. knit1purl1 17 June 2014 / 9:52 am

    Another book suggestion, “The Mill for Grinding Old People Young”, it’s an historical novel. As for travel, you’ve only just arrived back!

  2. robertafsmith 17 June 2014 / 2:21 pm

    That’s a great title, will have to put that one on a list!

  3. Ansa Liebenberg 18 June 2014 / 9:15 pm

    I just got back into the migrant City of Joburg from sunny, warm Durban. So many of us are the flying grannies (as in discount flights to be with our babies…) and the little ones think these big birds are all owned by Ouma… On Monday I hurt my foot so badly in the garden (slipping in the mud) that I got into one of those big birds this morning with a red sock on the one foot and a neat Joburg little black shoe on the other… and I did not even try to imitate the Little Old Lady Who Broke All the Rules… but these ag-so-serious-men-in-suits on the 6am flight all tried NOT to look at my red sock… that’s when I want to break ALL the rules… just like the story I read to little 3-year old Kourtney last night about Ernest the Zoo Elephant who wanted to go for a ride on the big red double decker bus with the open top…and Ernest got into (onto)the bus… loved the story! So, all the dear grannies out there and those who are not grannies: let’s see how many rules we can break and let’s go riding in red buses like Ernest the Elephant….

    • robertafsmith 19 June 2014 / 2:21 pm

      Oh Yes, let’s do that! Must find that book as well……

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