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Paper Monitor

09:41 UK time, Tuesday, 18 September 2012

A service highlighting the riches of the daily press.

Paper Monitor realises that we are all expected to work later and later in life than previous generations. Perhaps that's why this morning's papers seem preoccupied with those who have broken records in their twilight years.

The Times carries the story of 81-year-old Joyce Pugh, who has been named the world's oldest papergirl after 41 years in the job.

Mrs Pugh is apparently paid the princely sum of £3.60 a week to deliver 20 copies of the Shropshire Star in her village, although it would appear she is not motivated by remuneration. "It's good exercise," she says.

A somewhat less wholesome story is in the Guardian, which sends feminist Julie Bindel to meet the oldest prostitutes in Amsterdam - a pair of 70-year-old identical twins.

Louise and Martine Fokkens have 100 years of professional experience between them. Theirs is a depressing tale - the pair, from a middle-class background, were drawn into the sex industry because of Louise's abusive husband. Neither have been left with much money.

However, it's notable that they talk about their line of work as though there were a golden age of prostitution. "There are few Dutch women and no sense of community these days," says Louise. "There is no point working just for tax."

Another sad, though not tragic, story, concerns Tarbu who, at 55, died the world's oldest parrot.

According to Oliver Pritchett of the Daily Telegraph, his owner Nina Morgan "put his longevity down to a digestive biscuit for breakfast and a regular supply of Kit Kats".

Mr Pritchett continues:

The charming thing about Tarbu is that his last word to Mrs Morgan, on the night before his death, was "Cheerio." That is such a nice old-fashioned word and so suitable to his age. It suggests some debonair chap climbing into his sports car and driving away. It's the sort of slightly out-dated vocabulary you would expect of a parrot.

Paper Monitor silently raises a custard cream by way of tribute.

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