Monday, 29 August 2011

A Worrying Statistic

We had our mothers and some friends round for lunch yesterday. I made my signature dish of home made pizza (or pizzas in this case) and they proved very popular. All of our guests are widowed and what struck me was that five of the six are female. Now I know that this statistic is probably unscientific as we are more likely to come into contact with women who know our mothers but, if you look around when you are out and about, far more of the seventy plus age group appears to be female (unless all the blokes are at home browsing the Internet for mail order brides). So, if this is a typical statistic, things don't bode too well for me and I had better make the most of the next few years.

 "That's not like you" I hear you say. Yes that was a bit of a pessimistic paragraph for me. I'm the eternal optimist and I do love optimism and optimists in general. I would far rather spend my time with someone who is upbeat than one who moans and grumbles. So it was refreshing to hear an interview with Doris Day (who is about the same age as most of yesterday's guests) on Today on Radio 4 the other morning discussing her forthcoming new album. She said "I'm not going to go around with a long face - that's a waste of time." as well as saying that she danced alone every day. It was great to hear her upbeat and uplifting take on life and I hope that a little of her philosophy rubbed off on everybody who heard it.

And while on the subject of optimism and Radio 4, I had a brief interchange of tweets with Evan Davis this week. I congratulated him on an upbeat report that he broadcast on the Steelite factory in Stoke. I suggested we could do with more like it. He responded with "We don't want undue optimism. That's as silly as undue pessimism". which was a bit of a disappointment for me as I honestly believe that both optimism and pessimism breed themselves almost like viruses and even undue optimism can bring positive results. Have you noticed that if the stock market drops by 2% in a day, the broadcasters describe it as a plunge (or plummet) wiping £xbillion off everyone's pension but if there is a similar percentage rise (and there have been some even in the last few gloomy weeks) there is no equivalent surge or leap reported.

While our guests were here yesterday we were able to make a video call to daughter Sarah and her partner Duncan so that the great grandmas were able to see baby Rose. The quality of Skype has increased massively since the days when I first thought that it would change the world and immediately equipped all of our staff at Instanta with webcams only to find that in those days nobody would use it. Today as I write there are almost 25 million people online compared to the couple of million who were using it when I first came across it. Wish I had put my money where my mouth was and bought some shares.

So pleased to see that New York didn't suffer as much as was feared in the hurricane. I'll close today with an appropriate video.