« Previous | Main | Next »

Young at Heart

Post categories:

Graciela Graciela | 12:32 UK time, Friday, 1 March 2013


My father complains all the time. His back aches, the supermarket seems to be further and further away every day, computers... oh, don't get him started. He was very active when he was younger and all of a sudden his years are weighing heavily on him. "It is tough being old", he says. But some old people are tough. They are as tough as old boots.

Elderly man reading a newspaper

You're never be too old to enjoy an afternoon by Buckingham Palace.

Take three elderly men in the headlines recently. Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the great British explorer, has pulled out of an expedition across Antarctica because of severe frostbite. Some people were disappointed. I wasn't. He is 68 years old and had the stamina to ski in temperatures close to -30C. No matter that he had to give up now. For me he is even a greater hero than when he was younger.

Pope Benedict XVI took a lot of flak because he resigned. I praise his courage to stay in the post till the ripe old age of 85.

But the person I would give a gold medal to is Fauja Singh from India. He has finally given up his career as a marathon runner. Singh is 101 years old! That's resilience for you!

I think we should celebrate old people more. We should tell them every week how brave they are. It is tough being old, but we should be grateful for it. There is a quote attributed to French actor and singer Maurice Auguste Chevalier: "Old age isn't so bad when you consider the alternative."

Go and give a kiss to your old relatives!



don't get him started - don't encourage him to discuss the subject because he will never stop complaining about it.

his years are weighing heavily on him - he is very old and feels weak and vulnerable.

as tough as old boots - very strong and does not get injured easily.

frostbite - injury to the fingers, toes, ears or nose caused by very low temperatures.

stamina - the ability to do physical activity for a long time.

took a lot of flak - was heavily criticised.

ripe old age - very old.

resilience - ability to recover quickly from problems and difficulties.


  • Comment number 1.

    It is not heroic pretending to be hero, but living your life every day and there is so much we can learn from each other. Old people have the right to express when they are weak and sad. They won many battles but they are just humans like all of us. A little of help and support can encourage heroes in our old friends and relatives. In return, their experience can help us to improve resilience in our everyday lives.

  • Comment number 2.

    Hello Graciela,
    First of all let me congratulate you for this blog, I really enjoy it very much, it's excellent and helps me a lot with my English. It's the first time I'm writing here, I've been studying English since 2008 at an English institute in my city, before that I studied at college but it was a couple of years ago, this year I stopped because of time, the whole BBC web page is a tremendous help for me (and I'm sure for all English leraners) , thank you all for let us learn and have contact with this beautiful language...greetings from Paraguay (South America)
    Best wishes,

  • Comment number 3.

    Every Saturday, from 10:30 to 12:00 am, with some of my grand children, one or two of them, those who are the most courageous to get up early! (It is incredible how 10:00 am is early for a teenager) we choose a subject on BBC LE and we try and talk about it. The last one was " The history of the future in 10 images". You can deduct that I am an old grand dad, overwhelmed by decades of souvenirs, struggling against the liveliness of young brains. It was a wonderful experience to talk in English about some events I had really known in the past and some which were a discovery for my grand children. Comparing their curiosity and my old nostalgia about the pictures from a sci-fi drawing, a Clockwork Orange, a film I saw many times, etc... to Le Corbusier, About the English language, how they are fast to acquire a new word, and slower I am to get a new one. But I am not sad about that, I am really happy when watching TV, listening to the radio, watching an English film or TV series, I realise that I finally remember the words I heard weeks ago and that they are well placed in my "old" brain. Thank you for your subject which was really interesting for all of us. Jean Marie.

  • Comment number 4.

    From Mongolia
    I enjoy all things that you wrote here.Thank you very much for your interesting facts. I am greeting from Mongolia which is one of the biggest country but it is undeveloped. My dream is to study in Australia so I need to improve my language ability very quickly. Could you guys tell me what is the best way? I enjoy all things that you wrote here

  • Comment number 5.

    the way this blog is being maintained is very nice and commendable and is very useful for persons like who are beginners of English language. I hope it will be continue to do so and would be useful for many aspirants who want to acquire competent knowledge to speak English.


BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.