Sunday, January 18, 2009

Aukje de Vries' Diary Day 1

Came back from London yesterday. Today I try to catch up with e-mail, newspapers laundry, shopping and such things. Sunday is a day with many interesting TV broadcasts. That means my time for other things is limited. In the morning I always watch the Andrew Marr show, bringing me up to date about what goes on in the UK. Will they talk about the third runway for the Heathrow Airport? The newspapers in London were full of it. Yes, they do, but what is much more interesting is an interview with a 91 year old author, Diana Athil, who has just published a new book about ageing, entitled: Somewhere towards the end. The interviewer asks her about her career and she says that she has had a lot of good luck in her life. She did not mind ageing: she has enjoyed later life. One of the positive aspects of getting old is that one does not mind what others say, one can be oneself. Asked how she came to write this book she told she had been asked to do it and she considered this as an opportunity not to be missed. Her philosophy had always been to grasp opportunities when they present themselves and she considered this as such an opportunity. She had enjoyed writing it tremendously, because she likes writing and hopes to be able to continue. Is there a parallel in it for me? I consider being asked to write a diary which tells about ageing in The Netherlands and how active seniors cope with the many changes in social and other conditions as a challenge and an opportunity, which will make me even more aware and eager to find out of the many processes which influence the lives of older people. I’ll have to do some investigating here and there and probably will have to explain how social and other policies work in this country. They can be quite complicated but I will have to find ways to make them understandable for people from other countries. I’ll give it a try and see how it works!

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