Love Later Life


There is no cure for ageing

Because ageing isn’t an illness, but a way of life.

And some are better at it than others

The secret?

Think yourself younger than you really are:

On a crowded bus or tube, offer your seat to a young man

Design a website, invent an app

Take up Zumba, forget to nap

For no-one can predict what’s lying in store

With a future more challenging than ever before.


So enjoy the adventure

Time flies, they say, but it’s us that fly

Time sits on its hands, as we rush by.

And life has a way of gathering speed

So seize the day, we’re a special breed

In the blink of an eye

The wave of a hand

The beat of a heart

The brush of a tear

You are old.

But valued still.

Welcome to the fold.


Written by English poet Roger McGough

This poem was created for the latest Age UK tv advert – I think it’s beautiful. In the cinema version of the advert, it is read by 92 year old movie legend Christopher Lee.


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44 thoughts on “Love Later Life

  1. I love this!

    Christopher Lee also is an amazing actorand person,so that just makes the poem eben better! 🙂

  2. I liked the poem very much and was really impressed with you until you gave the credit. Anyway, it’s an interesting coincidence that we both sort of wrote about the passage of time today. I wonder what may have prompted us both?

    • Haha, I wish I was anywhere near as talented as he is! I read your post and loved it – the idea of a million thoughts over a million seconds. Perhaps it’s that time of year where everyone reflects on their lives, their time and how they are spending it?

  3. Hi Suzie – thanks for posting that. I’ll have a look at the Age UK ad.

    I think this ageing generation is actively questioning the assumptions of what ‘old age’ looks and feels like like, as they questioned other cultural assumptions back in the post-war years. They’re the ones who brought the NHS into existence after all, in a time of great national austerity too. And the ones who put the energy into the 60s. Hopefully they’ll keep challenging preconceptions as they keep ageing.

    When I was somewhere near your age I remember keeping a postcard of Georgia O’Keefe in her later years with her lines and her strength etched on her face, as a future to welcome.

    All best wishes

    • Hi Elaine,
      My health has been in quite a precarious balance on and off since my mid-20s and so I have just been grateful for every new year and the passage of time. I will be turning 46 this year so I like your Georgia O’Keefe.
      Best wishes,

    • Apologies for the late reply – the changes to the notifications have meant that I have missed lots of comments! Absolutely loved your comment – it really gave me lots to think about!

  4. Having just had a birthday and being 35 backwards, it was great to read this, Suzie. I honestly thought you had written it yourself until you told us it was written by Roger McGough. I’ve tried writing poetry and only wish I could write something like that. Maybe one day.

    • I find poetry very difficult – I think that it was because we were force fed it at school, but I love Maya Angelou… I wish I had just a small portion of the talent that McGough has!

  5. Another thing about ageing is that the body is constantly surprising us with a new pain here, a new pang there, a loss of teeth, hair deserting the head, etc. etc. etc. There is also the awareness of the gifts of nature, an appreciation for the air we can still breathe, and, of course, infinite thankfulness for the love of family and friends. The older I get (an octogenarian), the more I know that I know nothing.

  6. I love this! I wish the U.S. would embrace the aging like this. Maybe I need to move to the UK. 🙂

      • I work in retail and from what I deal with on a daily basis it seems like more than half of the U.S. population is drowning in negativity. Lol Not me though…I’m going for my dreams! 🙂

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