Sophie Heawood: Is my newborn ready to face living to 100?

The thing is...

Share
Related Topics

The thing is, I'm not convinced that living forever is a very good idea, but it seems that the daughter with whom I am eight months up the duff may achieve just that. The Office for National Statistics has just announced that a baby girl born in 2011 has a one-in-three chance of reaching 100 (although it's only one-in-four for boys).

This terrifies me, because people in my family already live far too long and do everything far too slowly. My late grandfather was born in the 19th century; my cousins have some really groovy anecdotes about the dissolution of the monasteries; I'm enjoying my first pregnancy a mere 22 years after my first bewildering encounter with the instructions on a Tampax packet. So I have no doubt that the one-in-three will be my one, and that she could live well beyond that first century to at least 120.

I keep thinking of all the things she is supposed to learn from me. All the wisdom I have accrued in my 35 years of sage, seasoned panic. All the things I was going to pass on to her, whatever they were – surely she will need a lot more of them.

Telegrams from the Queen are already gone, what with the cuts – although I think you can now get a retweet from Princess Beatrice's hat – but there will be bigger things for this generation of permanent senescence to worry about. For starters, all those books called things like 100 Places To See Before You Die will have to be repackaged as 100 Places To See Before They Replace Your Retinas With Holograms of Dragons. And if the men can't last the course then the ladies will need several husbands, just like Joan Collins. Forget about being a burden on the NHS – my progeny is going to drain resources down the registry office and the bronzer counter at Boots.

And what sort of pressure will there be on her generation to achieve? Hardly any! Be honest – would you have got much done without that vague sensation that you were likely to cark it at some point before the next Ice Age?

Still, there is one thing to be grateful for, and that is that every old person I have ever met has been a raging alcoholic. Which means – and really, this makes the whole thing worth it – that the Government is going to forget about nationalising banks and privatising hospitals and get on with its real national duty. Yes, it is time to bring back Oddbins.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Project Coordinator

Competitive: The Green Recruitment Company: The Organisation: The Green Recrui...

Project Manager (HR)- Bristol - Upto £400 p/day

£350 - £400 per annum + competitive: Orgtel: Project Manager (specializing in ...

Embedded Linux Engineer

£40000 - £50000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: Embedded Sof...

Senior Hardware Design Engineer - Broadcast

£50000 - £65000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: Working for a m...

Day In a Page

Read Next
The Lada became a symbol of Russia’s failure to keep up with Western economies  

Our sanctions will not cripple Russia. It is doing a lot of the dirty work itself

Hamish McRae
The Israeli ambassador to the US, Ron Dermer, has been dubbed ‘Bibi’s brain’  

Patrick Cockburn: Israel's propaganda machine is finally starting to misfire

Patrick Cockburn
Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them altogether

Countries that don’t survey their tigers risk losing them

Jonathon Porritt sounds the alarm
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz
A new Russian revolution: Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc

A new Russian revolution

Cracks start to appear in Putin’s Kremlin power bloc
Eugene de Kock: Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

Apartheid’s sadistic killer that his country cannot forgive

The debate rages in South Africa over whether Eugene de Kock should ever be released from jail
Standing my ground: If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?

Standing my ground

If sitting is bad for your health, what happens when you stay on your feet for a whole month?
Commonwealth Games 2014: Dai Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Greene prays for chance to rebuild after injury agony

Welsh hurdler was World, European and Commonwealth champion, but then the injuries crept in
Israel-Gaza conflict: Secret report helps Israelis to hide facts

Patrick Cockburn: Secret report helps Israel to hide facts

The slickness of Israel's spokesmen is rooted in directions set down by pollster Frank Luntz
The man who dared to go on holiday

The man who dared to go on holiday

New York's mayor has taken a vacation - in a nation that has still to enforce paid leave, it caused quite a stir, reports Rupert Cornwell