Letter: The realities of coffin dodging

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The Independent Online
Sir: S. M. Padmore (Letters, 2 September) may be shocked to learn that your description of retirees at Southwold could have been much worse. My four sons and their friends, all in their mid-twenties, refer to the likes of me, a near 60-year-old, as 'nearly deads' and 'coffin dodgers'.

However, they use such terms openly in front of me because they know that the joke is really on them. They are burdened down with the cares and worries of mortgages, HP debts, their careers, etc, while I, having been forced to take 'voluntary' early retirement, appear to have been given a new lease of life.

I have certainly attended more parties and social events in my first year of retirement than I did in the previous 10, and the greatest hilarity on such occasions invariably takes place in what we laughingly refer to as the geriatrics' corner. Here we are often joined by youngsters curious to discover how we are having such a good time. To the chagrin of some of the young never-will-be's, this old has-been returned home from a recent party at 4.45am - nearly sober.

Apart from the social merry-go-round, I have enrolled on three courses at the local college and a correspondence course, and I attend a body studio each day in order to keep fit enough to withstand my social life.

So cheer up, Mrs Padmore, this old 'nearly dead' is looking forward to 'coffin dodging' for some time to come. And I am pleased to report that in this neck of the woods I am no exception.

Yours faithfully,

E. R. WHITTLEY

Cleethorpes, Humberside

1 September

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