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EditorialsUp Front 04/10

Up Front 04/10

According to many reports, typical characteristics of a person suffering a mid-life crises will include the purchase of unusual or expensive items such as motorbikes, boats or sports cars. Some will even get themselves a tattoo or an unusual body piercing. Apparently, sufferers are also likely to take more interest in their appearance, attempting to cover up baldness or wear clothes that might be more appropriate to somebody younger. In an attempt to claw back some of their missing youth, people have even been known to take up new sports or ‘youthful’ hobbies. In my case I took up tennis, rollerblading, surfing and real tennis, since I realised I was only going to get hurt if I tried to play football with anyone older than a toddler. I managed to avoid the fast cars, boats and bikes by not being able to afford them, and never really fancied a tattoo. However there may still be time to acquire a new adornment. According to a survey undertaken by researchers at the University of Kent, I could extend the length of my ‘mid-life’ depending on who I listen to or what country I live in. The survey asked 40,000 people in 21 countries, when does ‘youth’ end and ‘old age’ begin? For the UK, average response to this question was that, youth ends in one’s mid-thirties and old age begins from the end of one’s fifties. However on average, the youngest respondents (15 to 24-year old) judged that youth ends at 28 and old age starts from 55, whereas the oldest age group (80 and older) judged that youth ends after 42 and old age starts at 67. In Cyprus, the average perception of the end of youth and start of old age was over 52 and 67 respectively. So the good news for anyone thinking they are too old for fast cars, boats, bikes or extreme knitting is to listen to your elders, or go and live in Cyprus – or both, as the elders will probably have already moved there.

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