On the search for gravestones old and curious



On retirement or throttling-back on work, many 60lifers look to spend more time on lifelong interests, or in pursuing new hobbies, like family history, visiting churches,or perhaps a more unusual hobby of visiting a ‘ collection ’ of many cemeteries and curiosities.The latter pastime is often in the cause of providing voluntary help necessary for the preservation and protection of gravestones; the study of people buried in a particular place;tombstone photography;tombstone rubbing and gravestone design, often used as an inspiration by artists,or it may just constitute a good day out in the fresh air walking.

Where have all the gravestones gone?  Continue reading “On the search for gravestones old and curious”

5 easy tips on taking the first steps to trace your UK ancestors

The family tree of Ludwig Herzog von Wurtenberg Source : wikipedia
The family tree of Ludwig Herzog von Wurtenberg Source : wikipedia

You may now have more time to pursue hobbies like genealogy.It maybe something you have always had in mind to do given more time.You may also feel that as you grow older you perhaps owe it to those younger in the family to provide as much information as possible about the family’s history so that it can be passed down to future generations. Or you may simply have an inquisitive nature and have stumbled upon this absorbing hobby. Continue reading “5 easy tips on taking the first steps to trace your UK ancestors”

9 of the best websites for walking events in the UK for all ages

via dollarphotoclub
via dollarphotoclub

Regardless of the growing success of the month of May as National Walking Month, the appeal of gathering and walking in groups has risen apace in many other months of the year.This can only be to the general benefit of the now large number of people who look to walking in groups as a fun and healthy thing to do. Continue reading “9 of the best websites for walking events in the UK for all ages”

If you must spend time on the sofa do this for your health and wellbeing


sofa so good -  @ dollarphotoclub
sofa so good – @ dollarphotoclub

This piece is about spending less of our waking day sitting down and using more time throughout the day improving your wellbeing and fitness. The importance of exercise at whatever age for longer life has been bandied about a lot in the media recently.It seems we are not listening.But scientists confirm exercise is the answer to keeping fit and well.
Continue reading “If you must spend time on the sofa do this for your health and wellbeing”

Why you can profit from being over age 65 if you are older active enough?

Derrick Evans, better known as "Mr. Motivator”  with aerobics team, Harry Nash,  Nigel Iskander, Anthony Shorter,  Hi Chu Yap, Judy Hill, Mangala Harris, Green Park, London
Derrick Evans, better known as “Mr. Motivator” with aerobics team, Harry Nash, Nigel Iskander, Anthony Shorter, Hi Chu Yap, Judy Hill, Mangala Harris, Green Park, London




Calling all you older actives who follow active lifestyles and love to keep fit!

If you are over 65 and think you are able and fit enough you can enter a national competition sponsored by Ateronon to find the 2015 Older Actives Champion.There will be prizes for the the winners of nine regional heats who will go on to the national final to be held later this year.Each of these winners will receive a medal together with £500 worth of Ateronon products and £100 of Marks and Spencer vouchers. In addition to the prizes won at regional level, the 2015 Champion will receive a trophy and £1,000 worth of UK holiday vouchers. Continue reading “Why you can profit from being over age 65 if you are older active enough?”

What Food Choices Make up a Mediterranean Diet?

mediterranean diet


When you think about Mediterranean food do you think of pitta, lasagna, plenty of white bread, lamb and pizza? If so, you are missing the point.

The Mediterranean Diet, proved time and again to lead to less disease, a healthier heart, better brain function and a multitude of other health benefits, has been misrepresented in recent years. A true healthy Mediterranean Diet is based on the eating habits of Greece, Crete and Southern Italy of around 1960.

That diet is based on whole foods, plants and vegetables. To these basic essentials small portions of lean, healthy meat can be added, as well as seafood 2 or 3 times a week. The idea is that good fats replace bad ones, and you should always eat a breakfast rich in high-fibre foods, fruits and whole grains.Though allowed,daily products, are used in limited amounts.

Below are a few popular food choices which make up a healthy Mediterranean-style diet.

Whole wheat, whole grains and oats
Good fats like extra-virgin olive oil, sunflower seeds, nuts and avocados
Fish like salmon and sardines, tuna and herring
Shellfish, such as clams, oysters and mussels
Herbs and natural spices
Fruits and vegetables of all kinds
Whole foods (foods that are as close to their natural state as possible)
Foods you should avoid or eat less

An understanding of your eating options also means knowing what foods you should avoid, or simply cut back on. If you limit your intake of the following food items and components, and you will be making smart Mediterranean food choices.

Fast food and fried food
Processed and red meat
Products made with white flour
Refined sugar
Bad fats like hydrogenated oils, saturated fats and trans fats
Butter, margarine and lard
Monosodium glutamate (MSG is found in up to 80% of all processed food)the
Isn’t this rather too strict a diet?

It doesn’t have to be.You can see the above are foods to avoid or eat less of and are not all strictly forbidden. Eating red meat a few times a month is considered alright. And sea salt can be used in limited quantities since it is not processed like table salt. Essentially, it is important to focus on eating more fruits, vegetables, nuts and grains, and less processed and refined food, salt, sugar and unhealthy fats.The wide variety of foods available and good for you means that the diet is not boring.

Gina Crawford has written a comprehensive guide to the real deal Mediterranean Diet with many delicious and easy to produce recipes.

Making smart food choices is the basis of the Mediterranean Diet. Before you prepare your next meal, be honest with yourself. Is your diet primarily whole food, plant and vegetable-based? Does it substitute healthy fats for bad fats? Will it ensure that you eat fish 2 or 3 times each week, and red meat no more than 2 or 3 times a month? If so, you are well on your way to choosing the foods found in a Mediterranean-style diet that lead to fewer diseases and better overall health.


Standing-up for your health really works

dollar photo club
dollar photo club

Scary headlines jostle daily in the media to attract our attention.Many do not deliver on the message and become just so much unnecessary distraction in our everyday lives.Now, where our health maybe concerned most of us will always prick-up our ears and take notice for fear of missing something of importance. Standing-up for your health is a theme that has gained traction in the last few years, but does it work? Sitting is killing us? Continue reading “Standing-up for your health really works”

5 ways to harness the exercise habit for a better life

The exercise habit  can lead to a healthier life.

Keeping physically fit is universally acknowledged as a ‘no brainer’ so far as leading a healthier lifestyle is concerned. So why do so many of us not bother, or almost as bad, like a New Year resolution vow to exercise more and regularly but fall away after after a short time?

Let us take five affordable and effective ways to exercise, first. These are:


1. Running for your life and enjoyment

2.Walking  Even a mere 15 minute walk can be so beneficial

3. Swimming Acknowledged by medical people to provide excellent but not over taxing strength training

4. Cycling  Age is no bar for this activity

5. Gardening. Even gentle pottering around the garden has been shown to aid balance and make for greater flexibility

The benefits of regular exercise doing one or more of the above activities will reward you with greater :

  • flexibility
  • muscle strength
  • balance and co-ordination
  • stamina

Now, the above activities can be done in short programmes to suit yourself and your physical abilities. You can go to the above resource links against each activity ( gardening will be dealt with in a later post ) for further information to help you.

And there’s the rub. In our heads most of us know what is good for us, but many of us do not persist long enough to receive the sustainable rewards. So we fall down. This is where we all need some help. After  working out what we can and should do, we need to change our daily pattern of behaviour to include our chosen

activities – often, in order to receive the benefit, we may only perhaps need to exercise every other day. But it must become a regular feature in our lives. Yes, it should become a habit.

A habit has been described as: ” a regular tendency or practice.It’s something you do almost without thinking.In some cases,our habits even come to to define us as people.”  S.J. Scott –77 Good Habits To Live A Better Life 

Powerful stuff ! We need the habit to keep us exercising.

To acquire a good exercise habit  it helps to have the support of others. We can join  clubs and associations, or a group of like-minded friends. In this way we can encourage and be encouraged in what we are doing.

In a series of posts to follow, we’ll go in more depth into these activities to increase our fitness and wellness . Also we’ll look into how exercise can become an indispensable part of our lifestyle. Hope to see you next time.





2 Types of physical activity to help make the most of your laterlife

How is your year going ,so far? All those resolutions you made, a distant memory? Like I am going to get myself fitter this year to reap the benefits of  a fuller and more active lifestyle. I for one can confirm, it isn’t easy.But it is worthwhile.Even small, incremental, improvements to flexibility,balance and energy levels are within all our reach,and it is never too late to pick-up on what we need to do.So if, like me,you need a reminder every now and then,and some encouragement, this page is a good place to visit regularly.

There are two types of activity strongly recommended for older people: aerobic exercise, and exercise to strengthen muscles.Exercise routines using these two types of activity will help protect you in your current and laterlife.

Good aerobic exercises can be derived readily from walking,jogging and biking. Muscle strengthening exercises involve light weight resistance activity for muscles, in all areas of the body including the arms,legs,chest and abdomen. Both types should form part of a weekly quota exercising habit.It is important, however, to know your physical limitations ,and not overly sap your energy or overstrain. If you have not taken regular exercise of this nature for a while you should check out with your medical practitioner that your intended exercise plan is appropriate for you and your future health.

When starting any exercise, it is always important to gently warm-up your body with some light stretches and balance exercises, in comfortable loose clothing in a dry, warm, and ventilated room. The big question I hear you ask is: how much exercise should do? Some useful guidelines for taking aerobic and muscle strengthening exercise, depending on age and physical condition, are provided on the NHS website.  So let’s get that heart pumping a little more. More information coming here soon with tips and advice on looking after yourself.Do let me know how you’re getting on and what works for you.





Towards a healthier later life : walk to live

By staying physically fit we can both extend our lifespan and age healthily.Fact. This message is the clear conclusion of an extensive study carried out by researchers at the UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Cooper Institute.

Today, there is such overwhelming medical evidence out there from many of the best research centres in the world that we can greatly improve our chances of living not only much longer, but without many of the chronic diseases that often beset people in their later life. It has been long known that adjusting our lifestyle -even a little- can be good for our health. We are advised to  exercise more; reduce alcohol intake; stop smoking; and maintain a normal weight. We know it’s right. It’s just that we treat these lifestyle changes much like new Year resolutions, and frequently fail to act. What the above study report tells us is that even a little exercise – just 150 minutes a week – can make so much difference to our longevity and our quality of life.Even regular light walking as on a gentle stroll, is good.

It is never too late to improve for the long term our fitness and our lives. Although the Southwestern study reported on the beneficial effect of being physical fit in your 30s,40s,and50s when reaching 65 and over, the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, as reported on the British Medical Journal website,has produced research results which point to a benefit of an extra 6 years in people over 75 who have reduced some or all of the above risk factors causing chronic ill health. Activities seen as particularly beneficial include walking and swimming.



Today is the birthday of the British artist who put his stamp on the Post Office

In the excellent company of rock singer and campaigner,Bob Geldof, former England goalie,Ray Clemence, author and broadcaster,Robert Kee, and many,many others, Ronald Maddox, celebrates his birthday today. He is 80. President of the Royal Institute of Painters in Water Colours, he is a renowned artist,illustrator and British Stamp designer.

postalheritage.org.uk (where you can see examples of his extraordinary work) writes:

“In the 70s and 80s artist Ronald Maddox travelled throughout the United Kingdom making drawings and paintings for the Post Office, Royal Mail and BT. The resulting images later appeared on stamps, first day covers, posters, aerogrammes, telephone directories and stamp books. In a talk given [here] in May, Ronald Maddox reflected on more than two decades of work. This talk is now available on our podcast.”

In the Times today he is quoted as saying:”I never think about getting older. I shall just carry on walking,cycling and drawing.”

We wish him a very Happy Birthday.

Are you a dissectologist?

While trawling through some archive stuff on an old blog of mine, I recently came across the following short post I had written:

‘It was some chap called John Spilsbury in the late 18th century who devised the first ‘dissected puzzle’. Almost all the earliest such puzzles to become known and beloved as Jigsaw Puzzles were made out of wood,often of mahogany. They were also often map puzzles depicting the countries of the world, hand coloured , the pieces cut around the different countries.

If you can find one of the earliest puzzles with all pieces intact, you will be well rewarded. Apparently,several years ago a set of Spilsbury jigsaws would have fetched at auction in excess of £25,000. One Spilsbury jigsaw of the map of England, where each piece was allocated a county could set you back around £2,000.

Although you may not be able to get your hands on one of these rarest of puzzles, you may profit by visiting collectors weekly
But you may not be looking merely for profit, and as a collector you continue to research and hunt for choice specimens to add to your collection. These may include the most recent variety of mass produced puzzle punched out of cardboard. And yes, there is a name for such collectors: Dissectologists. For further research, you can go to The British Jigsaw Puzzle Library

I shall be developing a category here on the60life site devoted to collectibles and retro items.

An every day story of June Spencer

Perhaps you, too, grew up with ‘The Archers’ playing on the radio in the background. For me it signalled the end of yet another day, and time to go to bed when the latest evening instalment finished. There is one of the original cast from those faraway days, who is still going strong…

The Daily Telegraph reports:

“June Spencer OBE, 90, has been the voice of Peggy Woolley (née Perkins, formerly Archer) in Radio 4’s The Archers for 60 years and is the only remaining member of the original cast. She will be granted the Freedom of the City of London at the Guildhall on June 4. She lives in Surrey and has a holiday house in Menorca.”

You can check her day out in a full report at
June Spencer on being Peggy Archer

5 moneymaking opportunities

5th August 2010

• 10 More good reasons to include regular cycling in your life
• 5 Moneymaking opportunities for that little bit extra to spend
• 4 easy ways to a richer life

I hope you are enjoying your summer.
One good reason for rising early each day is to enjoy the light
fresh mornings and the opportunity to take out your bike to a safe
place for a ‘spin’, while it is quiet and few people are about…
some more on cycling below…we also look at opportunities that can
offer a fulfilling interest and a little extra cash. This area,
particularly home based ‘biz opps’ and pursuits, will be regularly
revisited over the next few months to bring-out something for
everyone in due course…
10 More Good Reasons to take-up Cycling
According to cyclinginfo.co.uk/blog there are ten good reasons
to take-up cycling:
1. Freedom
2. Quicker Travelling
3. Save Money
4. Reduce Weight
5. Health Benefits
6. Relieve Stress
7. Reduce Global Warming
8. Less Accidents
9. It’s Fun!
For the fuller report and other cycling info go to
If you are not yet convinced :
“Because the bicycle supports your body, cycling isn’t necessarily
a weight-bearing exercise (although this depends on your
technique). This means it’s good for people with certain bone and
joint problems, but it may be less effective for protecting against
osteoporosis, although all exercise helps strengthen bones and
muscles to some degree.”
For more great information related to all things cycling check out


5 moneymaking opportunities
Extra cash is always welcome. Here are five business or moneymaking
ideas from moneymagpie.com .Click on the link below for more

• Use your life experience to your advantage

Make up to £20 an hour by joining a focus group

Housesit with your partner and make money together

• Cash in on your hobby

• How to make ultra easy money!

4 easy ways to a richer life
While cash and the material stuff are important in your life, you
might want to check this out for a richer life at any age:
“Life’s a zero-sum game, right? The more you strive to win in one
dimension (e.g., your work), the more the other three dimensions
(yourself, your home, and your community) must lose. Not according
to Stewart D. Friedman, a Professor of Management at the University
of Pennsylvania. You don’t have to make trade-offs among life’s
domains. Nor should you: trading-off can leave you feeling
exhausted, unfulfilled, or isolated. And it hurts the people you
care about most.”
Although, Friedman’s Idea was developed with leadership in mind, it
seeks to improve satisfaction and performance in all four
dimensions of life.
The four easy steps to a richer life are:
1. Reflect – on each of the four domains of your life -work (if you
still do), home, community, and yourself. How important is each to
you? How much time and energy are you devoting to each, and how
satisfied are you in each?
2. Brainstorm possibilities- develop a list of small things to do
that may help you to get greater satisfaction in all four (or
three) domains. For example, join a club to help forge closer
friendships, or exercise several times a week, which could give you
more energy.
3. Choose the three most promising from 2. above – these should:

• Improve your satisfaction and performance in all the dimensions
of your life

• Have effects viewed as positive by the people who matter to you
in every dimension of your life.

• Be the most costly–in regret and missed opportunities–if you
don’t do them.

• Position you to practice skills you most want to develop and do
more of what you want to be doing
4. Measure your progress – always important know whether what you
are doing is working in order to encourage you to continue with the
If you feel, most, if not all, of this would be helpful in your
circumstances check-out the full report at

Coming-up in the next issue will be three more new items, giving news
and tips, including debt relief tips.

Look out for your next issue on 12th August!
Yours ,
Mike Paterson,
The 60Life Weekly

PS: If you have your own stories, tips, or feedback please send
them to me at
PPS: If you have missed earlier issues of The 60Life Weekly these
can be found in the archives at

Disclaimer: It is always my intention to be as accurate in fact,
detail and comment as possible. However, I cannot be held
responsible for any error in details, accuracy or judgement
whatsoever. This e-letter is produced on this understanding.

5 reasons why cycling should be part of your fitness regime…

From :  The60LifeWeekly

  • 5 reasons why cycling should be part of your fitness regime


  • Why regular use of the internet could stave-off dementia


  • Is this the most dangerous business opportunity ever?



 My grandchildren take some keeping-up with. I love playing ball games in the park with them, but boy does it take some work! Great fun, though.

 That brings me nicely to one of this week’s key themes. Luckily, I have recently rediscovered the joy of cycling…


 5 reasons why cycling should be part of your fitness regime


 According to the website, over50s.com, cycling is one of the easiest and effective ways of keeping fit. The website reports:

Researchers have found that ” in England ,just 32% of men over 50 and 21% of women undertake the ’ recommended’ 30 minutes of daily exercise.”

The article goes onto say:  “Five reasons why cycling should be part of your exercise regime:

1. It keeps your knees and hips flexible.

2. It is an aerobic exercise and releases ‘feel good’ chemicals in the brain.

3. People who regularly cycle have the fitness level and body of someone 10 years younger.

4. If you are overweight cycling is the perfect exercise because it doesn’t put any pressure on your joints.

5. As part of a healthy lifestyle, regular cycling can reduce your risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart disease by around 50 per cent.” 

Seems like a win/win situation to me. Before you embark on any unaccustomed exercise you should see your doctor first just to check-out that what you plan is appropriate for you. For more on this story, including the benefits of an electric bike, check this out:



 Why regular use of the internet could stave-off dementia


Natural News reports that” University of California at Los Angles (UCLA) scientists have found a way adults who are middle-aged and older can enhance brain function and thinking ability in just one week. This amazingly powerful prescription doesn’t involve a drug. Instead, it’s simply a matter of learning to surf the Web. 

Research presented October 10th at the 2009 meeting of the Society for Neuroscience held in Chicago suggests older people with little Internet experience can trigger key centres in the brain that control decision making and complex reasoning in about seven days after they are taught how to use the Internet. What’s the connection? Apparently, Internet training stimulates specific brain cell activity and could even potentially play a role in preventing dementia.”

You can read the full report here at



Is this the most dangerous business opportunity ever?


I think not. This is not about putting your finances on the line

moneymagpie.com has a number of great ideas which you can put into practice now to improve your income. 

You can

•Use your life experience to your advantage

•Make up to £20 an hour by joining a focus group

•Housesit with your partner and make money together

•Cash in on your hobby

•How to make ultra easy money!

There are loads of fantastic and simple ways to make money on the side, and lots of them are tailor-made for people over the age of 60. We’ve put together a list of the best moneymaking ideas for seniors so take a look and see what suits you.


 The first tip above about cycling is definitely something I’ll be following through with now. Especially in preparation for when the grandkids visit. In the next issue, I’ve got news about developing your creative writing skills, getting the best price deal on gas and electricity, and a special report about financial security in retirement. Look out for your next issue on 22nd July 


Mike Paterson,

The 60Life Weekly 

 PS: If you have your own stories, tips, or feedback please send them to me at


Disclaimer: It is always my intention to be as accurate in fact, detail and comment as possible. However, I cannot be held responsible for any error in details ,accuracy or judgement whatsoever. This e-letter is produced on this understanding. 

Ken’s still flying high at 94!

When I saw a piece in the Daily Mail yesterday about Ken Wallis, it gave me a lift. Wing Commander Ken Wallis MBE ,94 years of age, really does epitomise our site strapline: [he is] defined less by age, more by attitude. This hero-adventurer-inventor is one to count age merely as a number. He has been a flyer since 1936,  was a WW11 hero ,and served in the RAF until 1964. Totally self taught in engineering he still makes and flies autogyros, those frail looking  flying bob sleigh-like constuctions with tubular frame attached and two propellers, one at the back, the other on top. At his home in Norfolk, he has a number of these flying machines which can comfortably fly at 120 mph.

Apparently,Ken who holds a number of flying records has his sights on exceeding his speed record of 129 mph, and achieving 140 to 150 mph. He is finding that while his abilities know no bounds the Civil Aviation Authority may ground in red tape his proposed attempts on his speed records- the CAA have slapped a legal 70 mph speed limit on autogyros. Ken is not impressed!

It was Ken who, in 1967, was asked to build and fly one of his gyrocopters for the film sequences in the the James Bond film :’You Only Live Twice’. It was he who in his flying machine dubbed ‘Little Nellie’ acted as stunt double for Sean Connery. Though he did not appear in the film credits, he did have a great time travelling around to different countries in film promotions. ‘Little Nellie’ has pride of place with Ken’s other machines which are  housed in his large hangar workshop at home. You can catch more about Ken and his achievements (including a great YouTube clip to watch) at http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-1289662/A-magnificent-man-DIY-flying-machine-Wing-Commander-94-trying-hit-130mph-shed-built-gyrocopter.html

So Where Were You When Martin Peters Scored?World Cup ’66 Remembered

So the waiting’s over and we are on the brink of another emotion fest of tears and joy, but inwhat measure for each? The World Cup of Soccer is with us again. If you are like me of a certain age, you may remember where you were when England lifted the Jules Rimet Cup. The picture above says it all.

But picture this.Cup Final day in 1966 and England are playing West Germany at Wembley. Where am I when Peters scored and a nation’s spirit soared? Why at  a wedding , of course, and not a black and white (no colour then) TV within miles. Good friends of ours had planned their wedding for many months, and had  managed to cover every detail, except one. Then,why could they have predicted that England would reach the World Cup Final, even if they had realised the significance of the date itself.

On the day, I did ask for forgiveness of the joy I expressed when, like the way  messages were carried in the trenches during the first World War, that never to be forgotten message arrived along the pews: ‘Peters has scored!’

When the wedding guests arrived at the reception, delayed because the photographer was being updated constantly by the driver of one of the wedding cars who was listening to the soccer commentary on a small transistor radio, they were somewhat distracted by a tiny TV broadcasting extra time being played! The sight of the new bride standing alone in one corner of the reception room with virtually everybody, guests and staff, struggling for a sight of the TV screen in another corner, is still clear in my memory.

And, what of my friends? They emigrated to Australia soon after, in 1967. Not, I might add, as a consequence of that great day. We are still close friends today.

Hope you enjoy World Cup 2010! C’mon England!

If you would like to relive the final minutes of the Cup Final of 1966, you can by going to this link at sporting memories network


Get on yer bike!

Last week, I became the proud owner of a flexible friend. No, not a money guzzling credit card,but a folding bike that will not bend my wallet to fuel it. This  purchase is in part a new regime of mine to become fitter, and also in part a drive to find and enjoy interesting and pleasant country areas, with good level tracks for ease of peddling. I hope to develop this healthy outdoor interest over the next few months and years. When walking becomes more difficult as one grows older, cycling can lift the restriction on distance covered. It is, of course, essential to check out any medical problems with a doctor before embarking on unaccustomed exercise like this. But having checked this out, I am now looking forward to broadening my horizons.

Unlike the urban or city commuter, I shall be avoiding the hurly burly and hazards of the main roadways. My conveyance will be travelling on the quieter routes.   I shall perhaps be coming back in the near future with news of my intrepid adventures on (smallish) wheels. Oh, I did not say what model I purchased.If you are interested, it is one of the Dahon range. You can find further information on dealers and available model range on a website at www.dahon.com . I have no specific information on other folding bikes, of which there are a few, so I cannot draw comparison, but you can try these names: