Susan Morrison: They can still have a blast

BBC Scotland presenter Jackie Bird
BBC Scotland presenter Jackie Bird
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HAVE you seen my coffee? I put it down when the doorbell rang and there was a man on the front step telling me he was selling beds he happened to have in a van and asking if I wanted to buy one.

We’ve been sleeping successfully in beds for some time now, since we moved in, as a matter of fact. It was one of the things I remembered to pack.

It seemed somewhat audacious to be offering beds as a doorstep purchase. Beds have never really stuck me as an impulse buy. I’ve never strolled past the windows of CrazyPriceWorldOfInternationalBeds and thought, gee whizz, let’s convert to bunks, baby, bags I the top one.

Anyway, I can’t remember where I put my coffee. This is usually referred to as a senior moment. We’re supposed to get dotty as we age. I was quite looking forward to it. Indeed, I’ve been practising by shouting at strangers. This is Leith, no-one’s noticed.

Sadly, it looks like ageing disgracefully is another shattered dream. A young friend of mine researches this sort of thing. Just to take one example, your memory doesn’t actually get worse as you get older. Your brain gets busier. There’s a lot more to juggle, what with wandering coffee cups and travelling bed salesmen popping up on the doorstep whilst the cats want fed, loudly.

You don’t lose concentration during conversations, apparently. The older brain, being more experienced and having heard most of it all before, just can’t be bothered listening. Instead of apologising for tuning out, which is what older people do, she suggests we just own up, roll our eyes and holler “Bored!” whenever some young gun is babbling on about how they, like, know everything.

Annoying young people is an activity my friend highly recommends. As an experiment, she taught a bunch of old soldiers – some of whom had taken part in D-Day – how to play a Second World War computer game, and then brought in some teens to experiment on.

Not only did the old guys totally thrash the lads, they walloped them with tales of marching from Normandy to Paris, when they themselves were little older than the boys.

The experiment had exactly the result she was looking for. Old brains became re-energised, young people gained respect, as well as being annoyed about losing, which she regards as a good thing.

How did Jackie Bird cope?

What a week it’s been for news. Nat Fraser going down for the second time and Andy Coulson being bundled in a motor and whizzed north of the Border by Strathclyde’s finest.

The man must be terrified. One can only image that journey from Dulwich to Govan, or as we can now refer to it, Govantanamo, in a Hyundai people carrier with seven (errr . . . lads, seven? It took seven big burly boys to take down a guy who probably breaks a sweat opening his Evian?) huge coppers looking forward to stopping at Tebay services to eat a lot of beans.

Why, not one of us would have blamed Jackie Bird for ditching both script and professional detachment to exclaim “You’ll never believe what’s been going on today!”

Just as well we don’t grow old cos we don’t retire either

What’s an old person now, anyway? When I was a whippersnapper, my granny was incredibly old. My mum reminded me the other day that when she died she was only 55.

In a few weeks, I’ll be 53. But I wear denim, dance around the house to Lady Gaga when there’s no-one in, imbibe unhealthy amounts of gin and have never in my life had a blue rinse. None of my friends have, but my friend Christine has purple streaks in her hair. She’s older than me.

Madonna’s announced she’ll tour again, The Stones are forever rumbling about the globe and Engelbert Humperdinck represented the entire country on Eurovision. Oh alright, that didn’t work out too well, but it clearly wasn’t his age that went against him, since the Russian grannies (average age 76) blasted their way to second place.

Mind you, just as well we all feel like teenagers. This government clearly wants us to work like 20-year-olds until we hit the century, especially if you’re a public sector worker. Why, look at that poor Queen wumman. She’s basically a state employee who clearly can’t afford to retire. Grim warning, there, people.

I could use a mattress after all

So I put the coffee down just over there, I’m sure. Oh hang on, wait up, I remember, I wandered into the living room to check the weather, I was thinking of putting the laundry out. The man on the telly started talking about some bank in Spain going bust and I thought, hmm . . . putting the money under a mattress isn’t such a bad idea after all. Perhaps I should have bought one of those beds after all and used it as a deposit account.