Young at heart don’t like OAP’

REGARDING your recent headline OAP in top gear... For 50 years, I have been chortling happily at these time-honoured newspaper headlines, so beloved of sub-editors, OAP does this or OAP does that and murmuring Poor old thing .

REGARDING your recent headline OAP in top gear... For 50 years, I have been chortling happily at these time-honoured newspaper headlines, so beloved of sub-editors, "OAP does this" or "OAP does that" and murmuring "Poor old thing".

I suddenly find myself extremely irritated by them.

The problem is that I turned 65 recently. As a young thing, and in my prime, it never crossed my mind that this OAP stuff would happen to me.

It certainly never occurred to me that, when I hit a certain age, anything that I did which happened to be newsworthy would happen no longer to me but to an "OAP"; conjuring up the patronising mental image of a doddery, bent old soul with a stick.

Since I can still bend down and cut my own toenails without any heavy breathing, not to mention a little belly dancing on the side, and hope to be able to so for many years yet, I am making a New Year's resolution to be very careful not to do anything from now on which could possibly provoke such a headline.

If by some accident I should do so, I shall adopt Seriously Grumpy Old Woman mode and attack the offending sub-editor with a walking stick purchased especially for the occasion.

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I wonder if anyone else born in 1944 feels the same?

JUNE HARVEY

Ottery St Mary