Important Notice: WonderCafe has Closed

The United Church has sadly come to the decision that WonderCafe needed to close and all new discussion ended June 2014. Read More...

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

When did you first realise you were "old"?

I've a feeling this will be lengthy enough to warrant being in the Blog section, but..........

 

 

A cursory glance of the blogs screams serious -  a cerebral concentration on theology, politics and world affairs.

 

 

 

Now it's alright for you, possums - on here you're one of the mob.

 

But, as for me, I've got the added responsibility of being the sole representative of my country. A flag bearer, no less!

 

If I post in the blogs I'm inviting trouble. ("Geez, these Aussies are a lightweight mob").

 

 

 

So, settle back while I recount a sad tale............

 

 

Last week I went swimming with my best friend at the Coogee Mc Iver pool.

 

As far as I know, this is the only pool in Australia that is for the exclusive use of women - and kids under ten.

 

Every few years, when the lease is up for renewal, men and some women object on the grounds of discrimination - but so far to no avail.

 

 

It is mainly used by women with small kids, Muslim women, Orthodox Jewish women, nuns, lesbians, feminists and older women. (In case you're wondering, my friend and I fit into the latter category).

 

 

 

One minute I was swimming contentedly in this sea of oestrogen  - when I had the most dreadful realisation.

 

 

I was the oldest woman in the pool!

 

 

"Oh, no", I said aloud.

 

"What's up?" said my friend,  as she dog-paddled over towards me.

 

"Have you got a cramp?"

 

"Much worse. Do you realise I'm the oldest woman in this pool? This has never happened to me before this"...........

 

"I'd love to help you out", said my friend, "but, as you know, I'm a year younger than you."

 

(This has been a bone of contention between us since we were teen-agers. My birthday is in December, and hers follows in January. She says she's a year younger - I say she's a month younger!)

 

 

"I'm old - it's finally happened. Maybe I should stop treading water and just sink to the bottom.".............

 

"God, you go on at times - if you think I'm going to climb up all those stairs and get you some rocks to help you out, you've got another thing coming."

 

 

I looked around, vainly searching for someone older.........

 

 

"What are you looking at?  They'll think you're an old lesbian on the lookout..."

 

 

"See that woman over there? I think she could be older than me."

 

(It's an interesting fact that when you know someone over a period of many years you get to pick up on the nuances of the conversation.

I've noticed that when my friend disagrees with me she says, with a raised eyebrow, "You think?")

 

"What woman?"

"That woman", I say  pointing.

 

"You think?"

 

I scowl.

 

"C'mon", says my friend, let's go and eat. There's nothing  a yummy meal can't fix."

 

 

Somewhere deep inside me the rebellious child puts in an appearance.

"I'm not leaving the pool until someone older gets in", I say with a defiant glare.

 

 

'Oh, Lord, we could be here forever - I means hours" groans my friend.

 

 

I look up and see an elderly woman with a walking stick making her way slowly down the steps.

"There". I say triumphantly - "she must be close to a hundred."

 

"Good! Now can we eat?'"

 

 

 

Although my tale sounds amusing, for me it wasn't.

I have simply never felt old before - and the experience shocked me.

 

I know I'm fortunate, apart from a few arthritic problems my health is good.

I think here of my friend Crazyheart - who is undergoing chemo..............

 

 

So, what of others, has old age crept up on you?   A gradual awareness?

Or, like me, did you have a sudden realisation?   

 

Per -lease  reply, otherwise I'll think I'm the only oldie in Wondercafe.

 

 

 

Share this

Comments

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

graeme wrote:

At twenty, I was a supply teacher when I heard two kids talking in the hall.

"Who you got today?"

"Oh, it's old man Decarie."

 

Graeme,

I like a man with a sense of irony.......

 

From forthwith I will no longer refer to you as a cranky old man, but will upgrade you to "old man Decarie".wink

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

Whilst having my hair coloured, (that's what some of us salt and pepper oldies do!)  I mentioned to my 23 years old hairdresser my consternation at finding myself the oldest woman in the pool...........

 

"Is that all? I thought for a minute you were going to tell me that someone had drowned?"

 

 

Whilst I waited for the colour to er, "colour" -  I picked up a magazine to read while I sipped my tea.

 

 

Possums, what a shock!

 

I'm not normally a magazine reader, but let me tell you, this magazine wasn't like the magazines of yesteryear.

One "article" was entitled "Mouth to South - how to Resuscitate your Marriage".

 

Whatever happened to "Dear Abby" focussing on questions of etiquette - "Do you let a boy kiss you on a first date?" etc???

 

(I quickly replaced it in the rack, and read a more neutral Hairstyles magazine.)

 

 

 

Makes me wonder that, as the years roll by, one simply finds modern life overwhelming - and thus gets to feel more agreeable with the idea of no longer being around?

 

(I already think it's weird the way folks talk in public transport at the top of their voices to someone who remains invisible - or listen to music that all sounds the same - "ching ching ching ".)

seeler's picture

seeler

image

Beloved wrote:

[smiley.  How does the saying go . . .

 

"Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift, that is why it is called the present"?

 

 

I love it!!!!!!!!

seeler's picture

seeler

image

Pilgrim - you had me out in the kitchen, tossing a small measuring spoon (it should have been a piece of glass but I didn't have a favourite piece tucked in my pocket).   I then thought about which foot to use, hopped up to the turning place, executed a perfect turn, bent down with my hinny in the air and picked it up, and continued back to the beginning.   No, I didn't chalk out the diagram so I don't know if I stepped on any lines; but, yes, I can still play hopscotch.  But I think I gave it up by middleschool - it was a kids game. 

 

On the other hand I skied until a couple of winters ago and still have my skis and boots in case snow conditions are just right and someone invites me to join them for a short and leisurely glide along a trail.  I also have my bicycle in the shed where I put it two summers ago (I think it has a flat tire).    I'm sure I could still use them.  But what if I fall!!!!    Not that long ago I would say "Get up and keep going."   But sometimes when old people fall they don't get up that easy.  A broken hip can change a life in a hurry.   Perhaps fear can too.   

 

Seeler reminds herself that she can still hike along the trails.  

 

seeler's picture

seeler

image

Graeme - yes, I remember the Sunday School rallies in St. James, but as a leader (I didn't grow up in Montreal).    I remember the groups from various churches filling the balcony and hanging their identifying banners over the rails.   St. James, because of its location and its nature, didn't have a large Sunday School, but it seemed that some churches from Mount Royal, or Beaconsfield, or Montreal West would bring a hundred or more.   I'm not sure of the seating capacity but the church would be full - over a thousand I would think.  

 

I made a point of visiting St. James when I was on my trip in September.  We were there on a week day.   It was the first time I've ever seen the front of the church, with the little commercial buildings torn down - but disappointed in the condition of the steps (some actually blocked off with yellow tape indicating that they were unsafe).  Of course the front doors were locked.   But we hurried around to the side entrance - the lawn covered with weeds, the steps crumbling.  Inside the halls worn and dull.  Many of the door locked - including the one to the sanctuary and the one to the office, and the minister's office.   No one around to speak to about being permitted in to look around, to find my usual pew, to pick up a bulletin from the previous service.   No one that we spoke to seemed to know where the minister, church secretary, or custodian might be (or if they existed).    I was disappointed.    (A block away an Anglican church had the front doors open, people coming and going, the sound of music.)

 

On the other hand, there was lots of evidence of a active mission.  If I remember right, someone was in the kitchen on the main floor cooking a large meal.  Someone else was sorting through bags of used clothing to be given to the needy.  Signs pointed to a 'native friendship centre', and adiction counselling service, something about an eglise francais. 

 

It's changed.  

 

I've digressed quite a bit from Pilgrim's thread.   But when you are old you sometimes do think of the past and want to revisit some of the best times - YPU, Young Adults, Bible study, evening worship services, hymn sings.   Students from McGill and Sir George Williams universities, foreign students,  mixing with young secretaries and office workers who had come to the big city to make our fortunes. 

 

 

 

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

seeler wrote:

Pilgrim - you had me out in the kitchen, tossing a small measuring spoon (it should have been a piece of glass but I didn't have a favourite piece tucked in my pocket).   I then thought about which foot to use, hopped up to the turning place, executed a perfect turn, bent down with my hinny in the air and picked it up, and continued back to the beginning.  

Seeler, may you continue to execute a perfect turn (literally and figuratively) for many years to come.smiley

seeler wrote:

  But what if I fall!!!!    Not that long ago I would say "Get up and keep going."   But sometimes when old people fall they don't get up that easy.  A broken hip can change a life in a hurry.   Perhaps fear can too.   

Yes, fear versus "having a go" has to be thought about more carefully as one ages - the consequences can be great.

 

I broke my leg badly trying to fulfill a long held ambition - riding a bike in my fifties.

My husband took care of me till I was literally back on my feet. Now widowed and living on my own, I realised it would be foolish for me to continue trying to balance on two wheels.

Sooo, I gave up this almost obsessive desire and gave away my bike.

 

One lesson life has taught me is that was is easy for others to accomplish is often difficult for me. crying

 

 

SG's picture

SG

image

I saw this post and went,  "Realize I was OLD? I am not OLD!"... give me a few days to think about it and here I am...

 

I think I am in denial. Don't ask me though, I will deny it.

 

I went to the doctor a year or so ago thinking my heart was bad or something to be told it was "hot flashes" and "menopause". I told myself, "I am young for that to be happening". Some women act shocked that someone as young as me is in menopause. So, it is not I am OLD, I am just aging faster? Then I say how old I am and they say, "yeah, that's about the age". You see, I don't look like a 45 year old woman, I look like a 20 or 30 something guy and with a ballcap or at a distance (cannot see the lighter hair in my black hair)... I look like a teenage boy.

 

Then, it started. The waking up in what was once "the coming home hour" or at least "the middle of the night"  (three or four or five a.m.) Now, I say I am an early riser. The old folks who lived with us got up early because they were farmers or rural folks not because they were OLD, right?

 

There is the inability of the bladder to last all night. That is likely because I drink more, later... right?

 

Then there is the... what is the word... you know... the....uh... you do it with your mind... kinda like thinking, but... thinking about the past... not relfection... but yeah memory....

 

What was I saying? I forget....

 

 

somegalfromcan's picture

somegalfromcan

image

SG wrote:

I went to the doctor a year or so ago thinking my heart was bad or something to be told it was "hot flashes" and "menopause". I told myself, "I am young for that to be happening". Some women act shocked that someone as young as me is in menopause. So, it is not I am OLD, I am just aging faster? Then I say how old I am and they say, "yeah, that's about the age". You see, I don't look like a 45 year old woman, I look like a 20 or 30 something guy and with a ballcap or at a distance (cannot see the lighter hair in my black hair)... I look like a teenage boy.

 

 

 

MAN -o-pause!   wink

jlin's picture

jlin

image

SG

 

I never looked like a teenage boy.  I did resemble a on the cusp of pubescent boy for many years but when the lines around my eyes started sticking out a bit  at about age 35, I turned into a drag queen - such misery.  

 

By the ageof 42, the lines settled in to stay and suddenly, I looked like a 35 year old woman.  Strange how we look like what the media tells us we are.  I was only ever just being myself, never a gender, never a socially accepted mean.

 

Dcn. Jae's picture

Dcn. Jae

image

In 1 week's time I'm getting my first pair of eyegoggles with progressive lenses. That must suggest something.

Tabitha's picture

Tabitha

image

I first felt old-but just momentarilyat 22. I was at Edmonton Folk Music Festival-in the kids's area-Learning to make gigantic bubble. My teacher was about 11"You take theses 2 sticks ma'm and open them like a purse"

Ma'am? Purse=What happened to Miss and I wasn't yet of the purse carrying age

However at 53 I do sometimes feel old-like when I can't understand technology right away and my kids help me, when I camp on the ground and my hip is sore the next day, last time I rode a horse(last month) it was harder to get on. I'm not as flexible as I was.

 

But I still feel young when I slide down Naramata's waterslide to the END, when I paddle my canoe, or ride my bike down 5 steps, or play cow racing on the Wii

Here's a song about not being as ggod as you once were.......

 

See video

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

MorningCalm wrote:

In 1 week's time I'm getting my first pair of eyegoggles with progressive lenses. That must suggest something.

Good luck with the progressive lenses.

 

I still can't get used to them.

(I spend most of my life in a haze - literally as well as metaphorically. I rarely wear my glasses - and just keep a pair of reading glasses.)

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

Tabby,

You can ride a bike down 5 steps???

 

You're my heroine, Pocahontas!

SG's picture

SG

image

How is this for old?

 

My wife can be heard at work on the phone saying "THAT's IT! You are not to go down stairs unless someone is home with you". Her coworker says, "OMG did one of your parents fall down the stairs?"

 

My wife's response? "No, my hus-butch just fell down the stairs while on the phone with me."

 

I am thinking my arse is gonna hurt later when my pride quits hurting.

 

Pinga's picture

Pinga

image

lol, ouch...hope youare ok SG.   (ps...i find i now hold the hand-rail..  think I am old!

somegalfromcan's picture

somegalfromcan

image

Pinga, I don't think that makes you old - I've always held the handrail!

 

SG - I hope you aren't feeling too banged up!

 

Okay - I've been debating about whether to post in this thread. As someone who is in her mid-30s, I am not old! That said, on occasion I have felt old. I am the oldest person in my department at work (although a new person was just hired who is older than me). I don't usually feel that old their - until pop culture references pop up. The other day, for example, we were talking about fashions that were popular when we were kids - and I had to explain what a stirrup was!

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

SG wrote:

 

My wife can be heard at work on the phone saying "THAT's IT! You are not to go down stairs unless someone is home with you". Her coworker says, "OMG did one of your parents fall down the stairs?"

 

My wife's response? "No, my hus-butch just fell down the stairs while on the phone with me."

 

Okay, SG, somebody's gotta ask - and it may as well be me......

 

What did your wife SAY, that  caused you to fall down the stairs???? wink

 

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

Pinga wrote:

  i find i now hold the hand-rail..  think I am old!

Pinga,

Be careful with those hand-rails, that's how you get viruses.

 

You know you're getting old when, instead of riding your bike "no hands" - you start riding escalators "no hands" - to avoid germs.

seeler's picture

seeler

image

Pilgrims - I'm far more afraid of falling than I am of germs.   

 

 

Beloved's picture

Beloved

image

I hear ya, seeler.  We have two handrails at my house going to the basement (we installed them when we moved in for my daughter), but I use them all the time . . . both of them.  And I count the steps going up and going down.  They say that most stair falls happened on the top two or bottom two steps, because people think they are "done".  I have 13 stairs.  I guess I will have to javex the handrails everynow and again!

 

SG, I hope you are okay!!!!!

 

I find more this year than before I am afraid of falling outside on slippery winter surfaces.  As I offer a supportive arm to my daughter when walking I always tell her . . . "if you go down, you go down alone . . . I can't risk falling and breaking a hip at my age."  She just laughs at me . . . she thinks I'm joking smiley!  As Sheldon on The Big Bang Theory says, I'll have to tell her . . . "Bazinga"!
 

SG's picture

SG

image

I cannot believe I am recounting this   LMAO

 

My wife and I have been laughing about this... "Almost" is now our insider joke.

 

My wife and I talk throughout the day once or twice. I asked if she heard any weather and if it was going to warm up any. Then, I decide I better check the heating oil. It can take days or even a week or so to get a delivery. Down the stairs I have to go.

 

Yes, stair accidents are most prone on the last few stairs or the first few. They can also start on the first few stairs and continue.

 

Our handrail starts a tiny bit past the top of the stairs. You can do a long reach for it, but usually you take the first step and it is there...

 

I had on knitted socks. You guessed it.... first step and a slide. I go down with a thud my wife heard. But I am not out. Missing one step I kinda sit there. And what do I do? I laugh. I say, or start to say, "I almost fell down the stairs". What I get out is "I almost..." and as I try to stand up, phone in one hand and USING the handrial to kinda pull myself up.... the sock slips again and I start the descent.

 

My wife hears "I almost..." followed by thump, thud, crash, bang like Batman. The phone smacking into the stairs.

 

I am at the bottom now. The pain in my arse means I am not really breathing. She says my name a couple times and I hear panic, so I crawl upward to get the phone and gasp out an answer. To which, since she is scared by the sounds she heard and now my voice...it comes out like anger. She says "That didn't sound like an ALMOST anything". To which I weakly laugh. She says "this is NOT funny, it sounded horrible." I say "you think it sounded bad, I cannot wait to see my arse" and she says loudly in an open work area "THAT's IT! You are NEVER going down those stairs unless someone is with you".

 

Then she apologizes and says, "do you think you broke your hip?" (no wonder they though it was one of her parents)

 

I even get email from her coworkers "take those darn socks off" and "make sure you ice it".... and one smart alec that says "time for the home".

 

Today I FEEL old.

 

 

 

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

Knitted socks?  Heating oil?

 

Over here in God's country it's a pleasant 25+.smiley

(Although there is a downside - we Oz oldies have skin that looks like rough sandpaper.)frown

 

It is important to watch those hips - a fall can be a death sentence for elderly folk. At my exercise class -as well as keeping our pelvic floor intact, we spend a lot of time on balance work........

 

Pleased to hear you weren't badly hurt SG.

Dcn. Jae's picture

Dcn. Jae

image

Pilgrims Progress wrote:

MorningCalm wrote:

In 1 week's time I'm getting my first pair of eyegoggles with progressive lenses. That must suggest something.

Good luck with the progressive lenses.

 

I still can't get used to them.

(I spend most of my life in a haze - literally as well as metaphorically. I rarely wear my glasses - and just keep a pair of reading glasses.)

 

What seems to be the problem with progressives?

chemgal's picture

chemgal

image

Pilgrims Progress wrote:

Knitted socks?  Heating oil?

 

Over here in God's country it's a pleasant 25+.smiley

(Although there is a downside - we Oz oldies have skin that looks like rough sandpaper.)frown

 

 

Stop rubbing it in!  I'm pretty sure today is the coldest for the winter, like Northwind, with the windchill it was hitting in the -40s this morning.

 

SG I hope falling down the stairs has nothing to do with getting old!  There's something about carpetted stairs and socks that I seem to have issues with, and it existed well before I came an adult and unfortunately aging hasn't cured.

 

 

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

image

MorningCalm wrote:

Pilgrims Progress wrote:

MorningCalm wrote:

In 1 week's time I'm getting my first pair of eyegoggles with progressive lenses. That must suggest something.

Good luck with the progressive lenses.

 

I still can't get used to them.

(I spend most of my life in a haze - literally as well as metaphorically. I rarely wear my glasses - and just keep a pair of reading glasses.)

 

What seems to be the problem with progressives?

Mendalla's picture

Mendalla

image

MorningCalm wrote:

Pilgrims Progress wrote:

MorningCalm wrote:

In 1 week's time I'm getting my first pair of eyegoggles with progressive lenses. That must suggest something.

Good luck with the progressive lenses.

 

I still can't get used to them.

(I spend most of my life in a haze - literally as well as metaphorically. I rarely wear my glasses - and just keep a pair of reading glasses.)

 

What seems to be the problem with progressives?

 

Just got progressives at my optometrist's recommendation. Only seems to make a difference when I'm reading fine or small print. Helps with my Blackberry, not so much with my eReader (though maybe I can try using a smaller font size now, haven't tried yet) or paper books. No problems, though, that I've noticed.

 

Mendalla

 

seeler's picture

seeler

image

Problems with progressives?    I wore glasses almost all my life because I was extremely myopic  (-925 or so).    When I reached middle-age and started having a bit of problem with the fine print I got progressives - top to correct my myopia when looking at something at a distance, middle for anything between two and four or five feet, mid-range, and tiny circle at the bottom for reading the fine print.   No problem whatsoever.

 

Then less than a year ago I had cateract surgery, removing my cloudy lens and replacing it with a good, clear, artificial lens.   And like a miracle, I could see.  It seems that when replacing the lens they shaped it to correct my myopia.  Something like a built in contact lens, I think.    I could function without glasses!!!!!   I could see across the room - the calendar, the clock, the TV.  I could look out the window and see the leaves on the trees, the flowers, the birds.  I could recognize the people on the sidewalk on the opposite side of the street.  

 

But I couldn't see to read.   And anything at an arms length or closer was blurred.   Reading glasses corrected the problem - but then anything beyond a few feet was blurred.   So my eyedoctor wrote out a persciption - bi-focals or progressives.   I choose progressives.  I think I made a mistake.  The problem I find with the progressives is that the tiny crescent at the bottom that is focused for reading is simply too small.  I can only see a word or two at a time.  So I find that I am using mainly the middle distance part of my glasses to read, and the print is somewhat blurred.   I think now that I would have been better off with bifocals - look up for distance, down for up close, and use whichever works best for mid-distance.  

 

Maybe you will have no problems with progressives.   Just make sure the part intended for reading is big enough to read more than one word at a time. 

 

 

squirrellover's picture

squirrellover

image

The thing I hated about the 8 track tapes is if you wanted to hear a certain song you had to take the tape out, look for the track the song was in, pop it back into the player and then...ka chunk, ka chunk, ka chunk your way over to the correct track!  Who's with me?!! cheeky

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

The problem I have with progressives is that I'm aware of the lens changes. It's disconcerting - I'm not just "seeing" I'm observing the changes in focus.

(I find myself looking out of the top half to see into the distance - and out of the bottom half to read.)

 

 

 

This rather sudden realization of being old reminded me of something from my childhood..........

 

When my mother read me the story of Peter Pan I didn't like it - it scared me.

 

It wasn't Captain Hook, or even the tick-tock crocodile.

 

Years later I realized that there was something frightening to me about a child who never grew up.

 

 

Seems I've come full circle - now I'm frightened about being old.frown

Tabitha's picture

Tabitha

image

I have adapted to progressives-I have 3 settings-distance, middle for computer-and reading at the bottom.

With them I have to be more careful going down stairs.

I can now drive in them, but often use  my prescription distance only sunglasses for that.

As for reading in bed-I keep a pair of reading glasses-prescription but cheap frames on my night-table.

The progressives are for everyday activities-reading a small label, the newspaper, a magazine or working for a long time on the computer.

I'm learning to put them up on my head when I open the oven!

graeme's picture

graeme

image

I find that getting old is frustrating. I want to spend all day lying in bed, being warm, having no responsibilities, maybe reading.

But I can't bear sleeping in and having no responsibilities. I need to be constantly busy while complaining I have no time to sleep in or read. This summer, I'll probably feel guilty whenever I take my kayak out.

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

image

Hey there Somegal, looks like you and me are rowing in that thirtysomething boat.

 

Beloved, and they don't get any cool sleeve art with their downloaded single! Nor a cool keepsake for decades to come.

Beloved's picture

Beloved

image

That's right Elanorgold.  I was also thinking about how today you can just google lyrics for a song and get them in an instant.  I remember playing my 45's over and over again with a piece of paper handy and pencil in hand trying to write down the lyrics LOL!
 

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

I just want to report that I went back to the pool today and this time the pool was "chockas'  (Oz slang for "a  lot of") with older women.

 

 

Last time I went on a Tuesday - and today is Thursday.

 

 

You don't suppose on Thursdays they bus them in  - from what Dame Edna refers to as the "maximum security twilight homes" - do you?

 

I felt like skipping all the way home. smiley

 

 

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

I thought you might like to see a pic of the pool....................

 

 

I didn't take it - I got it off the internet. (It might take me longer  - but I can still learn "new" things!)

seeler's picture

seeler

image

that's your swimming pool!!!!!!!

 

A far cry from the concrete rectangular ones inside buildings that I am used to here. 

 

gecko46's picture

gecko46

image

If you can navigate the steps and the rocks to swim in this pool, you are definately not "old" Pilgrims.

graeme's picture

graeme

image

Wow! I didn't know Australia looked like that.

Beloved's picture

Beloved

image

Super cool - I swam in an indoor, chlorine filled pool this morning!

 

Lots of chockas, or no chokas, you are YOUNG, Pilgrims Progress!

 

kaythecurler's picture

kaythecurler

image

'chocka' as in chockablock?

 

Interesting pool PP - I'd enjoy spending time there - but the stairs would be a barrier for many of the people I know (some of them young!)  Exercise in water is valuable for those with MS, arthritis etc - is there a method of getting them down to the water?  I'm really curious about this pool ;-)    do waves come across the divider wall and ruffle the feathers of any old birds who are brave enough to take a dip?  How deep is the water?  In Canada the pools always have lifeguards - is it like that in Australia?

 

I find myself glad that you have a resource like this to enjoy.

jlin's picture

jlin

image

Pilgrim,

 

When I lived in Vancouver, the pool at Third Beach (Stanley Park - just off the seawall) was somewhat reminiscent of that lovely pool.  What time of day does the sun shine on it.  Can't tell from the photo.

 

SOOOOOOOOO beautiful.  I am a swimmer also, big time and dream in swimming also.  My flying dreams always start and end in water - whatever metaphorical, allegorical stuff you wanna get from that, the medium of water seems my most comfortable.

Dcn. Jae's picture

Dcn. Jae

image

Thanks all for the personal stories. Progressive lenses sound awful. Still, my eye doctor says I need them so I will try to get used to them. I would really hate to mess up my beautiful blue eyes.

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

Wow!

So many questions - I'll do what I can to answer them.

 

 

The pool is run by  an amateur women's swimming club - and owned by the local council.

 

It's been a women only pool since the 1830's. (which is a long time when you realise Sydney was first colonised in 1788).

It's a natural ocean rock pool, but was excavated to make it deep enough for safe swimming. (like all pools - in parts you can stand up, and in parts it's over your head.)

 

Because it's run by women on an amateur basis it's facilities are basic - but, with such a great location - who cares?

 

To enter, you just chuck 20 cents into a plastic bucket (on an honorary basis). Other mixed sex rock pools in the area cost $5.

 

It's a very agreeable way for we women to  hit back at patriarchy, IMO.cool

 

 

The stairs can be a problem. I hang on to the railings tightly.

They're also narrow - with a series of landings for we oldies to get our breath back.

 

Also, there is an unwritten code of conduct - if you see someone who is more frail than you - you wait for them to get safely down/up.

 

There is no other way to access the pool.

 

 

The picture was probably taken at dawn or dusk. If the sun is shining it shines all day in summer - and even in winter it doesn't get dark till after 5pm.

There are those that swim all year round - but, for me, the water is too cold from May to December. (beautiful 23 degrees now!)

 

 

At high tide the waves hit the rock wall hard and send a plume of spray over the pool.

My friend and I love to go over near the edge and get drenched. We giggle away like a couple of schoolgirls and say things like "ooh, that was a good one". (There was a time when I used to say that about ... - but, let's not go there). devil

 

 

Finally, some interesting trivia for history buffs like "old man Decarie"  .

As young girls, both Fanny Durack and Mina Wylie learnt to swim in this very pool.

 

They went on to win gold and silver at the 1912 Stockholm Olympic Games in the 100m freestyle event.

The first Olympic Games to include women's swimming.

 

Now ain't that something!

gecko46's picture

gecko46

image

"Other mixed sex rock pools in the area cost $5."

 

Now that makes for a very interesting image.....wink

Elanorgold's picture

Elanorgold

image

Beloved, There have been songs I still had the lyrics wrong for til I looked them up online! Then there are other songs, people have typed up online that are wrong! I once wrote to a person on Youtube who had written the lyrics wrong, and I knew because I had it from the horse's mouth! How cool is that! Of cource, sometimes the lyrics were even wrong in the sleeve!

 

Very neat pool Pilgrim! Totaly not what I pictured. Love the spray thought! I can only barely imagine a sea pool like that being warm enough to swim in (by canadian standards that is). The sea is cold here. I have been to Hawaii, but the water there even wasn't warm yet in the spring. However... the sea at Parksville on Vasncouver Island gets lovely and warm in the summer. It's a total oddity to me.

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

More on my lovely pool.................

 

Here is a blog about it on the internet - not only does it describe it so well - but it's beautifully written.

 

 
 

Love letter: McIver's Baths, Coogee

Helen Pitt
January 4, 2012

 

cap

"I took refuge in your barnacled depths." Photo: Kate Geraghty

We first met a few years back, when I returned to live in Sydney after a decade abroad. The city was a stranger, as was I to my mother, disappearing as she did into the heartbreak called Alzheimer's. I was all at sea until I found the safety of your chained enclosure. I took refuge in your barnacled depths, reacquainting myself, lap by 20-metre lap, with what it meant to be Australian. You became a friend as familiar as my favourite pair of faded cossies.

It was your honesty that first attracted me. No turnstiles or attendants - just a bucket to throw the 20¢ entry fee into. Even your admission price hasn't changed much since you came into this world in 1886.

That first warm winter we spent together, I'd race to your change rooms to undress. As I did, I'd stare out the rollered window and be gobsmacked by one of Sydney's most spectacular ocean views. I'd quickly peruse readers' corner, where swimmers swap books (mostly chick lit). If something caught my eye I'd pick it up to read while lounging like a blue tongue on your sunny buffalo-grassed banks. I'd admire your blooming hydrangeas and descend the stairs that cascade down your rock face, which is as curvy as the female form.

 

Then I would dive into your waters and be transformed. Whatever time of day - sunrise to sunset - I'd find remnants of the Sydney of your namesake, Rose McIver, whose family ran this sea pool until 1922. A sorority of swimmers, some in rubber swim caps and floral suits, would breaststroke past, look me in the eye and say hello. Sometimes I'd be greeted by Muslim women frolicking in burkinis or topless women taking refuge from the ''perverts and peek-a-boos'' who once plagued you and caused you to put up your boundaries - a fence - in 1972.

You nursed me through my mother's death, your swell embracing me in a way she no longer could. You're the best natural antidepressant I know; cheaper than therapy, more powerful than Prozac. Whenever I peeked down one of your crab-filled crevices, my heart lifted when I made eye contact with one of those tiny crustaceans. I'd spend the next few laps in an underwater recitation of the poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, in which T.S. Eliot wishes he were a ''pair of ragged claws scuttling across the floors of silent seas''. Your salt water acted like a tonic for my sadness.

It's true, we haven't seen too much of each other lately - but that's about me, not you (I'm a wimp when it comes to swimming in bad weather). I'm in awe of the fact you remain defiant; Australia's last remaining coastal bath for ladies and children only. From you, I have learnt what Aboriginal women have known for centuries: you are a swimming sanctuary, where the secret women's business called healing happens

**************************************************************************************

 

seeler's picture

seeler

image

Pilgrim - you should be keeping this a secret.  Just imagine how the pool will look full of tourists.  

Swimming in your pool has been added to my dream bucket list.  

Pilgrims Progress's picture

Pilgrims Progress

image

Seeler,

Next time I go swimming - I'll take you with me in my mind.......smiley

 

It's strange - that depressing "old" feeling seems to have left me - yet I'm even older that when I wrote this thread........

 

 

Or, is it so strange?

 

I feel a sermon coming on.............

 

Process theology for Dummies ( a level I feel competent to teach).

 

 

God works in relationship with the world and also with us as individuals.

 

God's aim for the world and each one of us is ultimate goodness - the best we can be in terms of love, justice and social equality.

 

He seeks to bring this about by persuasion - rather than coercion. Thus, he can lure us, but not force us.

 

He has a very nifty way of doing this. He is aware of our struggles - and provides us with an opportunity in our lives to work towards this goal.

If we choose not to avail ourselves of His opportunity through eg. fear -  not to worry, God doesn't give up on us ever - and will provide further opportunities.

 

 

Okay, enough theory - here's how it "works" in practice.

 

I experience feeling old. It is not a good feeling. My self-love slips away into a state of fear for what lies ahead.........

Now one lesson God has taught me is to share a problem - as life is about relationship, sharing a problem has a mysterious way of lessening the anxiety.

 

Sooo, I get onto Wondercafe and write this thread.

I soon discover that I'm not alone in my fear, and that's a good start.

 

I "impulsively" decide to post a picture of the pool.

 

  Folks freezing away in Canada remind me how fortunate I am to have such a beautiful facility.........

 

Gratitude warms the soul - and takes me further from fear and despair.

 

I just "happen" to come across the blog that I posted above. This sends my heart soaring........

Anything beautifully written can do that for me - it's art at it's finest.

 

But the blog is more than that. It tells of another woman's struggle with aging - in her case her mother's dementia.....

 

It ends with the reminder that the very pool where I experienced my dilemma was used for healing, not only by that woman, but was known as a place of healing for many, many, years by our aboriginal women..........

 

Perhaps now you can see why process theology, as a framework for my faith, appeals to me?

 

 May the lure of God be with you. 

Judd's picture

Judd

image

I work in a factory 300 other Steelworkers, many are in their 60's. Women in the shop are somewhat uncommon.

Years ago. I noticed that they would look up for only a second when the very comely daughter of a friend of mine walked up the shop. They werent really interested like the younger men.

Then a well put together lady who was pushing 60 walked up the shop. Grey heads popped up all over. Some stepped in the walkway to watch her rear end move away. The interest was obviousand universal in the older set.

I concluded that narcissists chase younger women, but real men prefer women their own age.

John Wilson's picture

John Wilson

image

This thread was abandoned some time ago,,,just caught my eye,,,

I;m 85 and never  considered this old age business a lot...

A little suprised when 65 came and I found myself retired at exactly the same time the

organization for which I worked   --uh-- disolved...

 

Ah ha! Now time to become chess master of the world, a great artist, world fameous

musician -- renounded writer...politican!

Hmmm...

Amazing how little time it took to realize:

My chess hasn't imporved, I paint badly, play piano worse, and have no real writing skills. and hate politics.

Old age is enjoying every day more than the last...

With devices and toys undreamed of...A family to admire...

Sprry of I sound smug...but I( feel so....

 

...uh...smug.

smiley

Hope y'all enjoy yer old age as I have/am/do !

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

Back to Health and Aging topics
cafe