Keep busy – but feel free to avoid dribbling
IT’S been a frantic few weeks, but, scanning some cuttings of articles that I had kept, because they caught my eye – I was pleased to spot a headline, ‘Rushed off your feet? You’ll have a sharper mind’. I delved deeper.
Men and women in their 50s, 60s, 70s and 80s were quizzed by American scientists about their daily schedules and put through a series of mental tests.
The results showed no matter how old they were, or how welleducated, a busy lifestyle was linked to a healthy brain. Those with a packed schedule processed information more quickly and had superior memory, reasoning and vocabulary to those who took it easy.
I won’t ever moan about being too busy ever again. Fisher Junior (FJ) always says I’d hate it anyway if I didn’t have a packed schedule to moan about. Mr F, (looking over my shoulder as I write this) agreed. With feeling.
As one regular reader, delighted to meet Mr F at Phyllis Whitsell’s book signing last month in Waterstone’s in Uxbridge, said ‘So this is the long-suffering Mr F?’ as he shook his hand.
The Oxford dictionary defines long-suffering as ‘having or showing patience in spite of troubles, especially those caused by other people’. I surrender.
Also long-suffering, are parents keen to see their children read at home. A survey of more than 500 families, with children aged three to eight, found 60 per cent promised their children rewards for reading. These included money, trips and sweets – as well as stickers and star charts.
At primary school I had a friend called Michael, a star footballer, whose mother was always saying “I wish you would read, like Barbara.” I always thought this was a bit mean. Having to be bookish at school was enough for him and after all, my ten-year-old self thought, nobody suggests I should hone my skills at dribbling or taking penalties.
Pondering on being competitive, and with Rio still fairly fresh in our minds, I was intrigued by an article which said members of Team GB would rather get bronze than silver, as nobody likes being second. I once came second in a fancy dress contest when I was about seven, the only time I can remember winning such a prize.
I’ve never forgotten, but more incredibly, I’ve absolutely no idea who came first.