I asked the way at reception. “Past the band and turn right.” I stopped a while at the band (above), students of the Richmond Jazz School, who were playing a jazz arrangement of Pharrell Williams’ Happy. Most of the musicians had grey hair. Many of the London Potters had grey hair too – they’re a mixture of professional ceramists, keen amateurs and people who just like pottery. They all seemed happy. They’re my generation.
I thought about the old people I knew when I was a child. They grew old earlier than people do today and many of them seemed to be miserable and to dislike children. They grumbled about authority but were powerless and compliant.
We are really the most fortunate generation. Anyone born in Britain after 1943 didn’t experience war, didn’t have to do national service, experienced rising living standards (with the standard of living roughly doubling every thirty years), extensive state provision of public services until they were in early middle age and had a good company pension when they retired. They generally have good health, an optimistic disposition and an active retirement playing the saxophone or making pottery. When they are in retirement homes they won’t be entertained with renditions of My Old Man Says Follow the Van, they will be doing Zumba classes.